Can Student Financial Aid Impact Eligibility for Disability Benefits?

March 31, 2020
Dayes Law Firm

Anyone receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) due to a disability is able to attend school and continue to receive SSI as a student. However, there are certain rules that apply to SSI recipients who are students. It is important to be familiar with these rules and how they can affect disability benefits.

Our disability lawyers at Dayes Law Firm discuss how SSI benefits are impacted if a student receives financial aid for school. Request a free consultation for help with your disability benefits.

Student Financial Aid

Any student financial aid received under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) or Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) will not be counted as income and resources, regardless of use, by the Social Security Administration (SSA). No matter how long the assistance is held by the student, it is excluded from resources in determining his or her eligibility for SSI. Any interest and dividends earned on unused assistance under these two assistance programs are also not counted as income.

Types of HEA Title IV Assistance

Examples of Title IV HEA or BIA assistance programs that qualify include the following:

  • Academic Achievement Incentive Scholarships
  • Byrd Scholars
  • Federal Education Loans
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunities Grants
  • Gear Up
  • Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP)
  • Pell Grants
  • Special Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (SLEAP)
  • State Student Incentives
  • Upward Bound
  • Work Study Programs

For this type of financial aid, it does not matter how a student spends the money he or she receives.

Other Forms of Financial Aid

Any other forms of financial aid SSI recipients use for school will be disregarded from their resources calculation for a period of nine months that begins on the month the money is received. This could include gifts of money, grants, scholarships, and fellowships. Any amount of assistance not used or set aside for paying tuition, fees or other educational expenses are also excluded from a student’s income.

It is important to note that financial aid will only be treated as income during months it is spent on non-educational expenses. This is why students and their parents need to understand the impact and rules regarding SSI when it comes to receiving financial assistance for educational purposes. Disability benefits could be stopped and you may become ineligible if any aid is handled or reported improperly to the SSA.

Reach Out to Our Lawyers Today

If you are unsure about how student financial aid will affect your SSI benefits, we recommend reaching out to one of our Phoenix Social Security Disability lawyers to get started. We have many years of experience helping our clients obtain the disability benefits they need.

Our consultations are free of charge and there are no upfront fees for our services. Our firm only gets paid if we successfully help you obtain benefits.

There is no risk in calling us. 1-800-503-2000.