Helpful tips for students in transition programs.

Summer jobs sign attached to a tree

Photo Credit: Summer jobs, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Andy Oakley’s photostream

Like other high school students, many students in transition programs want more out of their summers than just a break from the classroom. Many are eager to have a little bit more pocket money, build savings for college, or get some work experience under their belt. Summer opportunities, like internships or paid summer work, are a chance for them to achieve those goals.

Student Earned Income Exclusion

Social Security recognizes the importance of summer work experiences. For students who are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), there is the Student Earned Income Exclusion (SEIE). This Social Security work incentive is a special earned income deduction that enables students in high school transition programs and post-secondary education to safely explore their ability to work by allowing them to keep more of their SSI check and continue taking classes. This helps improve their future employment outcomes.

In 2018, Social Security will not count up to $1,820 of earned income per month when it calculates students’ SSI payment amount. The maximum yearly exclusion is $7,350.*

Eligibility Requirements: 

  • Under age 22 and
  • A student regularly attending school, college or training to prepare for a paying job.

Planning Ahead: Way to Save Summer Wages

SSI limits an individual’s resources to $2,000. But one option to consider is to set aside your summer wages for further career development or college by placing your earnings in an ABLE account such as the Oregon ABLE Savings Plan.

Eligibility for the SSI program is based on individual financial need. That’s why anyone with “countable resources” of more than $2,000 a month does not qualify for the program. “Countable resources” can be money or something that you can turn into cash, like property, stocks, bonds, and bank accounts. For more details, visit Social Security’s Spotlight on SSI Resources page.

Oregon ABLE Savings Planhead shot of Arlene

The ABLE savings account helps people with disabilities prepare for their futures. For SSI recipients, up to $100,000 can be held in an ABLE account and not count towards the $2,000 SSI resource limit.

Learn More

To learn more about these types of work incentives, contact WIPA/Plan for Work, or you can check out our Student Earned Income Exclusion fact sheet and this fact sheet from the Work Incentives Planning & Assistance National Training Center.

Arlene Jones
WIPA Project Coordinator

*These amounts are for the year 2018; we typically adjust these figures each year based on the cost-of-living.

NOTE: This post was created and published at U.S. taxpayer expense.

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