Can I Get a Grant if I Am on SSI?

by Ronald Kimmons ; Updated July 27, 2017

Supplemental Security Income is reserved for citizens with disabilities. Your SSI may be reduced or canceled, depending on the type of grant you are receiving. Income includes money you receive from working, government grants, alimony and assets. SSI can also take the form of Medicaid.

SSI and Grants

Only people with low incomes are eligible to receive SSI benefits. The income a person makes determines these benefits. The Social Security Administration analyzes most sources of income to determine eligibility. However, financial aid or grants that you receive for educational expenses and tuition fees do not affect your eligibility. Money received from organizations such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs does not affect eligibility either. But grants for food and accommodations affect your eligibility to receive SSI benefits since they are part of your unearned income.

Income Limit

The Social Security Administration checks your gross monthly wages and subtracts $65 from the initial SSI amount. After that point, it subtracts half of the remaining amount. The SSI amount that you will receive is a total of the remaining amount of wages subtracted from your SSI. Also, a grant would reduce your SSI. That is because when a recipient only receives earned income, $20 is initially subtracted from the wages before the usual $65 is reduced from the initial amount. This would mean you could receive higher SSI wages without the grant.

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Asset Limit

A couple must have no more than $3,000 worth of assets in order to receive benefits. The asset limit for a single person is $2,000. Certain types of assets are excluded from SSI consideration. This includes the house you live in, personal goods and the worth of your car.

Art Grants and Income

If you are an artist who starts making a lot of money from your craft, you may lose your SSI, but you can generally keep your Medicaid. If your earnings decrease in the future, you can still obtain SSI benefits without filing for a new application. Grants for art education and business start-ups do not count against your SSI income. Therefore, you are eligible to receive them while you receive SSI benefits.

Unearned Income

In case you acquire unearned income from your art work, the Social Security Administration considers the gross amount. It then subtracts the total expenses that you made from doing your art. The remaining amount will be deducted from your SSI benefits. In addition, money obtained from self-employment or home business operations is not part of unearned income. Other benefits you may receive that are not grants count as part of your unearned income. These benefits affect your eligibility to receive SSI benefits. It also affects the amount you would receive.

About the Author

Ronald Kimmons has been a professional writer and translator since 2006, with writings appearing in publications such as "Chinese Literature Today." He studied at Brigham Young University as an undergraduate, getting a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese.

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