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Supplemental Security Income increases in 2018

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can give you peace of mind when you have a low income that you need to boost. Each year, the limits are adjusted as needed, and 2018 will be no different. 2018's federal SSI benefits and limits have been released, so it's a good idea to re-educate yourself on the changes coming this year.

In 2017, the standard amount for SSI payments was $735. This year, that amount is going up to $750. Families may also see a $22 rise, giving them up to $1,125 monthly.

You may be wondering what you can still bring in as an income and maintain your SSI. You'll be allowed to have $20 of income in a month, the first $65 of your income and half of any earnings over $65. You can also exclude the value of food stamps, need-based support from the state or local programs, disaster assistance, aid from nonprofits and home energy assistance when calculating your income. Interestingly, your tax refund doesn't impact your income test for SSI, and you can earn up to $7,200 in a year if you're a student under the age of 22.

There are other exclusions as well, so it's a good idea to talk to your attorney about your specific situation. SSI is there to increase your financial support, but finding exclusions can help maximize the amount of money you have to live on each month. With good planning, you can make sure you're not missing out on exemptions that would save you money or help you live more comfortably.

Source: USA Today, "2018 federal SSI benefits: How much can you get?," Dan Caplinger, Dec. 06, 2017

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