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EFC with social security disability benefits

MomOFourMomOFour Posts: 538Registered User Member
Does anyone have knowledge of the effects of SS disability income on EFC? The benefits are not taxable income but must be reported on the FAFSA. Are they assessed dollar for dollar as earned income or is some exception granted for medical consideration?

Would the child's benefit go under their income, thus taking a bigger hit? How about siblings benefits?
Post edited by MomOFour on

Replies to: EFC with social security disability benefits

  • entomomentomom Posts: 23,657Registered User Senior Member
    I'm not positive as this is my first time through FAFSA, but my two kids receive SS benefits based on their dad's death. From what I read, it will count just like income, but for me, not the student, because I receive the checks for them. If your child's SS disability checks come to you, it will be counted as your income, not theirs. I believe there is a place for sibling SS benefits, and it is under the parent's income as well.

    I don't know about exxceptions granted for medical consideration....there is nothing on the form that I've seen that addresses this, but I'd think that would be something that you could try to get them to look at as a special case to consider when determining your EFC. Good luck.
  • Jugulator20Jugulator20 Posts: 227Registered User Junior Member
    SS disability benefits received for minor children are treated as income to the parent(s) for FAFSA purposes and are reported on parent schedule A on FAFSA. How they are treated will depend on whether the school only requires FAFSA, or both FAFSA/CSS Profile; and whether the school meets 100% of the students need.

    As to FAFSA and federal aid programs only (Pell grants, Stafford loans, work study), a critical factor will be what is reported on the parent’s federal tax return (adjusted gross income, or AGI). If the parents AGI is under 20K and they file a short tax form (1040A, 1040EZ), then the SS disability benefits will be ignored. If the parent's AGI is over 20K, then I believe that the SS benefits will be assessed like other income.

    However, an aid package can include both federal money and the schools own money. As to the school’s own money, an aid officer has more discretion as to how to factor in the SS benefits.
  • MomOFourMomOFour Posts: 538Registered User Member
    Thank you. This wasn't for me but the subject came up in discussion with a friend. The mother works and I'd guess makes somewhere around $50K so it looks like it would count as income.
  • Jugulator20Jugulator20 Posts: 227Registered User Junior Member
    Your friend’s income level of “around 50K” is also critical. Again, as to FAFSA and federal aid programs only, if the parent's AGI is under 50K and they file a short tax form (1040A, 1040EZ), then all family assets will be excluded from the FAFSA calculation (EFC). The point is that if the family has significant assets (other than home equity and retirement), then there is a potential advantage if your friend can keep the AGI under 50K.
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