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William Perez

SSI is Non-Taxable Income

By February 17, 2009

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A common question I often get in my inbox is how to report Supplemental security income benefits received from the Social Security Administration. One reader asked,
"Hi, I am trying to figure out if/ how to report SSI income for a disabled CHILD on our taxes... The SSA said I 'must' report it, the tax people said that since it is for a dependent, we do not need to. I can only find forms to report it for the filers though. Can I just list it in the 'other income' section? (I would rather mess up by giving them too much money rather than owe them later!!!!)"
SSI benefits are completely non-taxable, and don't need to be reported on a tax return. This makes SSI benefits unlike Social Security benefits, which are sometimes partially taxable and other times completely non-taxable. In Publication 907, Tax Highlights for Persons with Disabilities, the IRS explains, "Social security benefits do not include SSI payments, which are not taxable. Do not include these payments in your income."

More information:

March 13, 2010 at 11:45 pm
(1) Vickie says:

Bless you for your complete and understandable answer to the SSI question. I am my brother’s conservator and have been struggling to find the answer to that question. He received SSI after an accident, while waiting for SS Disability benefits to come through, and I have been trying to determine what to do. I never received a 1099 for the receipt of the money and though the know the total amount I couldn’t determine where to put it. I have been searching for hours for the answer. Thank you so much!

August 5, 2010 at 9:09 am
(2) Robin says:

This answer is great but I want to make sure I have this correct. I was married this year. My husband receives SSI because he is disabled. He has a 9 year old daughter for whom he also receives a check. I work full time. When I file our taxes next spring as married filing jointly, do I include his income but not his daughters or not include either?

November 3, 2010 at 11:34 pm
(3) billy says:

if you file your taxes next spring as married SSI COULD say your making to much money and take away some or all of your husband and 9 year old daughter money away your best bet is say your single and live alone. sorry for the bad news

November 4, 2010 at 2:26 pm
(4) William Perez says:

I do not encourage lying to the government just to preserve your Social Security benefits. There may be better ways to preserve your benefits.

March 27, 2011 at 10:33 pm
(5) Sherlyn hamilton says:

Wife received a check for 40,000 dollars for back pay for disability ssi, do we have to pay taxes on it. They brook it down by years over 3 years

September 15, 2011 at 5:04 pm
(6) Yris says:

My mom receives SSI, she leaves with me, I support her more than 50% in her expenses as: house, food, clothing, etc. I undertood in your article that I do not need to put her SSI in my taxes right? I file as Head of household.

March 1, 2012 at 9:51 am
(7) Andrew says:

Yesterday I had a meeting with Social Security in regards to my adult son who has autism. They will be increasing his SSI payment which is to be deposited in a representative payee account, which I am the representative payee, to disburse. His SSI payment is to cover his portion of the mortgage, food, electric, gas, and water bill. I am suppose to write myself a check from the representative payee account each month to cover his portion of our monthly living expenses.

Do I need to report this as income on my income tax (as room and board)?

He also had a job last year which lasted for 4 months and then was terminated because he could not perform to expectations. Would he be classified as a dependent since he has Autism? He can drive and communicate and does not have a life impairment, but because of his autism is unable to be self sufficient.

December 10, 2012 at 2:05 am
(8) Gloria W says:

I have a family member that receives SS Disability. She is an adult, and has 3 children, with a fourth on the way. Can she put her SS disability income down, in order to gain the Child Tax Credit?

December 30, 2012 at 12:53 pm
(9) Lynn says:

I have an autistic son that lives with me I am also his guardian and
write any checks for him. He pays for his portion of rent, food and utilities
to me. Do I claim those items as income for me on my taxes?

January 11, 2013 at 10:31 am
(10) Eve says:

I have a relative in a similar situation as Andrew #7. What is the answer to his question? Does he need to report that as income on his tax return?

February 10, 2013 at 3:52 am
(11) Ginger says:

To Eve,

I hope it’s not too late to answer your question.
If your relative’s “dependent” receives SSI, SSI benefits are completely non-taxable, and don’t need to be reported on a tax return.
However, if the disabled dependent receives SSDI, or any type of income that is taxable, that person would know they need to file because they would be getting tax forms and information informing them about filing for taxes.
So, if your relative has someone they can claim as a dependent (regardless of the age) and they provide over 50% of the dependent’s support- they can claim that person when they file their taxes without the need to include the disabled dependent’s income, as long as it is non-taxable income.

February 10, 2013 at 3:57 am
(12) Ginger says:

Thank you William Perez for your very useful and informative answer in regards to SSI and if one needs to include a dependent’s SSI income on their tax returns.
I also liked the other questions on this page, but I see they were written after your comments.
I answered Eve’s, but I don’t know if my answer will appear.

March 19, 2013 at 5:39 am
(13) Joe says:

Still don’t see a definitive answer to Andrew’s question.

I also have an adult son who receives SSI.

Do I need to report this as income on my income tax (as room and board)?

June 18, 2013 at 7:54 pm
(14) katy says:

Andrews question was never answered. I have a similar situation with my son and want to know the answer.

June 19, 2013 at 3:23 pm
(15) William Perez says:

Andrew and Katy, you asked good questions about whether the you’ll need to report Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments made to you as the representative payee for your child. The only thing I’ve been able to find out is what the IRS says in Publication 907, “Supplemental security income (SSI) payments. Social security benefits do not include SSI payments, which are not taxable. Do not include these payments in your income.”

September 23, 2013 at 12:55 am
(16) deanna says:

I am on disability and my daughter receives ssi that is the only income do I need to file taxes this year

January 6, 2014 at 10:13 pm
(17) John says:

I have been struggling with my type 1 diabetes for many years. I have had a history of hospitalization when I had bouts of DKA, and in the last two years have had probably 15-18 times EMT’s had had to come out to help me for extremely low blood sugar to the point of unconsciousness, my kids called 911. I am a single parent with custody of kids. I feel unable to hold down a full time job. I have already filed, but have you heard of type 1 diabetes qualifying for ssi? I saw it on the list.

January 7, 2014 at 1:25 am
(18) William Perez says:

I am not aware of what the eligibility qualifications are for SSI. I encourage you to contact the Social Security Administration.

January 10, 2014 at 12:25 pm
(19) Nathan says:

I would not say that tax planning is lying to the government. You are free to marry or not marry and can base the decision in whole or in part on tax implications. At some point common law marriage may become an issue, but there are options with that as well. Just wanted to throw my two cents in.

January 20, 2014 at 4:07 pm
(20) Doug K says:

SS told me it was reportable income when I first started getting it for my daughter. I just found out that was false when a friend of mine who is a tax preparer told me about it.

January 30, 2014 at 11:35 am
(21) Craig says:

I have a client who takes care of her son but receives the SSI and gets a W-2 from SSI with the son has the employer and her as the employee. Is this then concidered taxable income?

January 31, 2014 at 9:23 am
(22) james fletcher says:

I have a daughter that receives a check every month, her mother passed when she was 2 years old. Im not sure what type of check it is im thinking ssi check right? But anyway I received a 1099 form this year for her does it have to be filed on my taxes? Ive where it says I didnt have to file it but I wana make sure before I do my taxes so it want come back on me

January 31, 2014 at 10:46 pm
(23) faith says:

My question. Is like James f…im in Same situation

February 2, 2014 at 1:10 pm
(24) sharon says:

I am on SSI and my husband made about 35,000 last year.
We’ve filed as joint
Are my SSI payments supposed to be reported on tax returns?
We’ve already filed taxes, but I wondered about this..??
I didn’t think my SSI was taxable…?

February 2, 2014 at 1:23 pm
(25) sharon says:

I am on SSI and my husband made about 35,000 last year.
We’ve filed as joint
Are my SSI payments supposed to be reported on tax returns?
We’ve already filed taxes, but I wondered about this..??
I didn’t think my SSI was taxable…?

February 8, 2014 at 1:54 am
(26) Marie says:

I have a situation: A friend has an eight year old child that is totally disabled and will be for rest of life. He draws SSI. The parents were told they could not claim him on taxes because he draws the max SSI each month. I am trying to research it but can’t find a true answer. I happened upon this sight. The family has one other child and they are low income. Can they claim this child as a dependent? If so, will he lose his SSI?

February 9, 2014 at 11:11 pm
(27) Jennifer says:

It depends on how low income they are. If his SSI benefits total more than their yearly income than NO they can not claim him. If their income is greater than their son’s, but not by much it’s risky. It’s really hard with children to prove exactly where their money goes and what the parents money goes towards. They technically have to spend atleast equal to the amount his checks total on him, for him to qualify. It’s crappy because you think of the people who have multiple children who are on public assistance, they get a w2 for a few thousand and are still able to claim their children & qualify for the child tax credits. With that said, I have seen atleast alot of returns where the child makes more money than their parents. Including my mother & sister who claimed my younger brother his whole life without once generating more income than he did. It’s kind of a double dipping thing & is done way too much if you ask me. For everyone who had questions regarding what benefits are taxable & how to report their forms including 1099s. This link pretty much explains
http://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch11.html#en_US_2013_publink1000171909it all.

February 12, 2014 at 1:19 am
(28) marie says:

Hi i am providing a home including care and supervision for people with special needs . I am receiving their monthly SSI as payment but not getting 1099 form at the end of the year? Is it taxable income? Am I required to file it? Will you let me know please?

February 17, 2014 at 1:09 pm
(29) Greg says:

My wife is the guardian of her step-niece since her step-sister passed. She receives SSI in lieu of child support from the father who is disabled. Does that count as income for the child? Can she be claimed as a dependent on our taxes?

February 17, 2014 at 4:40 pm
(30) Allyn says:

James, Faith and Greg,

If a young person received a 1099-SSA, this income is social security and may or may not be taxable depending upon other income but if it is the only income of the child it most likely would not be taxable. If you provide over 50% of the support for the recipient, you may cclaim the recipient as a dependent if they live with you or are type of relative that does not live with you and meets the other criteria.


Income you receive from a SSI recipient is taxable less any applicable deductions for expenses.

February 28, 2014 at 12:13 pm
(31) Tim Miller says:

My son receives SSI. Do I have to include this amount in income he provides toward his support when I do the calculation as to whether he provides more than half his support? I’m talking about worksheet in Pub 501 – should i include SSI in Line 1?

March 26, 2014 at 9:30 am
(32) Wendy says:

I am wondering the same thing that Tim Miller asked in comment 31. I haven’t done my taxes yet as I am so confused and the deadline is quickly approaching.

Do I have to claim any money that my son gives me towards his living expenses, i.e. water, rent, electricity, etc.?

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