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2009-2010 FAFSA and Social Security Benefits

jubei1jubei1 Posts: 11Registered User New Member
So I took a look at 2009-2010: http://ifap.ed.gov/fafsa/attachments/0801SummaryChanges0910FAFSA.pdf

On question 47 (i) it says: "Don't include... untaxed Social Security Benefits..."

Does this include SSI?
Post edited by jubei1 on
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Replies to: 2009-2010 FAFSA and Social Security Benefits

  • baker101460baker101460 Posts: 176Registered User Junior Member
    it certainly does!!!

    SSI and/or Social Security Benefits are excluded from EFC calculation starting with the 2009-2010 year!

    i am also collecting ssi, so this is good news for social security/ssi beneficiaries who will be attending college next year.
  • jubei1jubei1 Posts: 11Registered User New Member
    Ok, are you sure though because 47 (i) begins as such:
    "Other untaxed income not reported, such as workers’ compensation, disability, etc"

    Is disability here referring to "worker's disability", or SSI benefits for disability?
  • baker101460baker101460 Posts: 176Registered User Junior Member
    it refers to workers disability, not social security disability or ssi funds.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,285Super Moderator Senior Member
    Wow, I hadn't seen those changes yet. I am particularly interested in the fact that some groups will be added to independent definition: legal guardian, emancipated minor, unaccompanied homeless youth, etc.

    Displaced worker is added, too.

    Automatic 0 EFC income rises from $20,000 to $30,000, though. And qualifying with federal means-tested benefits instead of 1040 form goes from one year to two.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 14,863Registered User Senior Member
    Does that mean we do not report SS pension income?
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,285Super Moderator Senior Member
    Swimcatsmom, I found a really good presentation that outlines the changes:

    http://ifap.ed.gov/presentations/attachments/071508NASFAAApplicationProUpdate20092010.pdf
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 14,863Registered User Senior Member
    Thanks kelsmom. Well Social Security pension is a social security benefit and my husband's is not taxable. So I think that means we do not report it anymore. Interesting.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,285Super Moderator Senior Member
    This took me by surprise. I worked in financial aid 20 years ago, and the current regulations aren't too far removed from those in place back then. These changes are, in my opinion, pretty radical. I will be doing my financial aid state training weekly, beginning next week (putting up with what I already know in order to get up to date on what's changed that I am not aware of yet) ... I will post with what I hear about this.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 14,863Registered User Senior Member
    Please do. I thought I had a fairly good idea of the upcoming changes but was completely unaware of the non reporting of untaxed SS benefits and the emancipated minor thing.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,285Super Moderator Senior Member
    The legal guardian & emancipated minor changes are pretty huge. I can only assume that documentation is going to be needed. As it is, my school does a lot of professional judgment for those two situations. If it is going to be easier, that's good in a way ... but bad if it leads to abuse of the system. If the situations must be documented, then it will have to still be on the up & up ... it just won't be professional judgment. We'll see ...

    One thing that was different 20 years ago was that students could be independent if they made a certain amount of money each year & were not claimed on their parents' taxes for 3 years. That led to lots of amended returns to get students declared independent. The definition of independent we have today came from that abuse. Changing it to include emancipated minor status bothers me, because I foresee similar problems.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 14,863Registered User Senior Member
    Kelsmom - do you know anything about how the SMART grant is awarded? I know the eligibility rules (Pell eligible, number of credits, specific majors etc) and expect my daughter to be eligible :D next year if nothing changes. Is there a question on FAFSA like the one about ACG that alerts the school to a student possibly being eligible. Or is it something the school has to somehow keep track of?
  • somemomsomemom Posts: 9,113Registered User Senior Member
    I think the schools do it? But I found with the ACG & the SMART, I had to point out to finaid that my DD was eligible. They may have determined that without me later, but I wanted to make sure we did not miss them :D and it seemed like the program was confusing, especially the first year or two
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 14,863Registered User Senior Member
    I know with ACG there were questions on the FAFSA then there was some blurb that she may be eligible. The school sent an email saying she might be eligible but they had to confirm it. I think it was right before school started her freshman year that they actually awarded it to her. We did email asking about it just to jog their memories.

    I have been looking at the SMART requirements posted at my daughter's school. They have really changed as far as credit hour requirements. She should be fine as far as her junior year is concerned but may have to add a couple of her hours during Junior year to be eligible for her 1st semester senior year. And it's not as if she takes the minimum hours required for full time.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,285Super Moderator Senior Member
    ACG and SMART grant are tough programs to monitor. Schools keep track of the requirements, but I don't know if the school is actually "required" to let a student know if he/she is eligible ... or if it is acceptable for the school to put the onus on the student for pointing out that he/she is eligible in the first place. What I do know is that in order to certify a student for the SMART grant, the school has to look at major, classes within the major, gpa, year in school, etc. The government actually publishes a list of eligible majors. This is really important, folks: In order to receive the SMART grant, the student MUST be enrolled in AT LEAST one course that counts directly toward the requirements of the eligible major. I had to take away some grants last week because the students had an acceptable declared major ... but were not enrolled in any courses that were required for that major. They were in classes that counted toward their degree, but not specifically toward their major.

    If you are at all concerned about making sure your child gets the grant whether or not a major counts, make sure to ask your financial aid office. This particular grant can be easily lost, so get the info directly from your school for your program.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,285Super Moderator Senior Member
    Swimcatsmom, I just reread your post #14. What kind of requirements are the problem? The only real issue would be if she can't fit in a degree requirement class or if she doesn't make the gpa (cumulative). Here are the government requirements: Student Aid on the Web. That link also has a link to the eligible degrees.
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