Work, School, Social Security Disabilities Benefits

The Student Earned Income Exclusion

Social Security has a great program known as the Student Earned Income Exclusion (SEIE). This program helps young adults (age 21 or younger) who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and work and regularly attend school to keep more of their SSI check every month!

What does the phrase “regularly attend school” mean? According to Social Security, it’s when you do at least one of the following:

  • Take 1 or more courses & attend college classes for at least 8 hours a week; or
  • Are In grades 7-12 for at least 12 hours a week; or
  • Are in a training course to prepare for employment for at least 12 hours a week; or
  • Are in school or a training course for less time than indicated above for reasons beyond your control (such as illness); or
  • Are being home schooled with a tutor so long as you’re doing the same workload as the above

To learn more about SEIE, check out this informative video





Using PASS to Surpass

Another great Social Security program is the Plan for Achieving Self Support (PASS). PASS is a powerful tool that can help a SSI recipient save money for education, vocational training, or start a business.

How PASS Works …

  1. Define a work goal that will significantly reduce or eliminate your need for Social Security benefits.
  2. Have your work goal approved by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC), Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB), a Ticket to Work Employment Network (EN) or a private Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC).
  3. Develop a plan that outlines any expenses you might have to achieve your goal.

The Benefits of PASS

There are many benefits of PASS, including:

  • Money set aside for PASS does not count as income and will not reduce your SSI check
  • PASS funds do not count against resource limits for SSI
  • PASS funds are excluded from all federal and state programs, so they won’t affect other benefits like public housing or SNAP (food stamps)
  • You have the opportunity to save money while still being able to pay for basic living expenses

If PASS seems right for you, then get started today. Click here to seek guidance from benefits experts on starting a PASS Plan now!

Additional Resources About the PASS Program

Examples of successful PASS Plans.


How will going to school effect your benefits?

Use the comments below to answer!