HOW DOES DEEMING WORK FOR A CHILD?

If a child is under the age of 18, not married, and lives at home with parent(s) who do not receive SSI benefits, SSA may consider a portion of the parents’ income and resources as if they were available to the child. SSA may also count a portion of a stepparent’s income and resources if the child lives with both a natural or adoptive parent and a stepparent. SSA also does this when a child is temporarily away at school, returns home during weekends, holidays or during the summer and remains subject to parental control. SSA calls this process “deeming.”

SSA makes deductions from deemed income for parents and for other children living in the home. After SSA subtracts these deductions, the remaining amount is used to determine whether the child meets the SSI income and resource (aka non-medical) requirements for a monthly benefit.

WHEN DOES DEEMING NOT APPLY?

Deeming from the parent stops when a child reaches the age of 18, marries, or no longer lives with a parent.

Deeming does not apply, and we may pay up to $30 plus the applicable State supplement when:

  • A disabled child receives a reduced SSI benefit while in a medical treatment facility; and
  • the child is eligible for Medicaid under a State home care plan; and
  • deeming would otherwise cause ineligibility for SSI benefits.

DOES DEEMING COUNT ALL INCOME AND RESOURCES?

SSA does not deem certain types of income and resources.  Examples of income that is not deemed include: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families; Department of Veterans Affairs’ pension; general assistance; foster care payments for an ineligible child; and income used to make court-ordered support payments.

Examples of resources that are not deemed include a primary residence, one vehicle that is used for transportation and money in pension funds.

Please visit https://www.ssa.gov/ssi/text-child-ussi.htm for more information about parental income deeming as well as the 2016 SSA Income Deeming Chart.