General, Taxes

Tax Season: What To Know If You Get Social Security or Supplemental Security Income

February 8, 2022 • By

Reading Time: 4 Minutes

Last Updated: November 2, 2023

Tax seasonIt’s tax season once again. It’s important to read this blog even if your earnings or benefits don’t require you to file a federal tax return. You may be entitled to special tax credits that can mean extra cash to help you with expenses. These tax credits are available even if you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and don’t normally file a tax return.

The Child Tax Credit

What is the Child Tax Credit (CTC)?

The CTC is a tax benefit, expanded in March 2021, that helps families who are raising children. You can claim the CTC for any qualifying child even if you don’t usually file a federal tax return. You can get up to $3,600 per qualifying child under age 6, and up to $3,000 for each qualifying child age 6 – 17. These ages are determined as of December 31, 2021.

Am I eligible for the CTC if I get Social Security or SSI?

Yes, if you meet the qualifying rules of the CTC. You can claim this credit from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) based on each of your qualifying children, even if you get Social Security or SSI and don’t normally file a tax return. You also may have received up to half of your credit through advance monthly CTC payments made by the IRS from July to December 2021. For more information about advance monthly CTC payments, you can visit and the IRS 2021 CTC and Advance CTC Payments Frequently Asked Questions.

Will advance monthly CTC payments, or any CTC I claim on my tax return, reduce my Social Security or SSI benefits?

Advance monthly CTC payments, as well as any CTC that you claim on your 2021 tax return, won’t reduce your Social Security benefits.

If you receive SSI, we won’t count the CTC (or any advance monthly payments you might have received during 2021) as income or resources for 12 months after you receive it when considering your eligibility for SSI and monthly SSI payment amount. If you received any advance monthly CTC payments, be aware of when you received them. You can get that information from the IRS Child Tax Credit Update Portal.

How do I claim the CTC?

You can claim the CTC when you file your federal tax return for 2021. You can visit for options to file a federal tax return for free.

What if I have questions about the CTC?

Please visit and read IRS Filing Season 2021 CTC Questions and Answers if you have questions. Social Security can’t answer CTC questions.

The Earned Income Tax Credit

What is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)?

The EITC provides low- to moderate-income workers and families a tax break. If you qualify, you can use the credit to reduce the taxes you owe – and maybe increase your refund. The EITC amount you might get generally depends on your earned income and the number of your qualifying children.

Am I eligible for the EITC if I get Social Security or SSI?

Yes, if you meet the qualifying rules of the EITC. Receiving Social Security or SSI doesn’t affect your eligibility for the EITC.

Do my Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or SSI payments count as earned income for the EITC?

Learn if your disability payments count as earned income for the EITC at the IRS’ Disability and the Earned Income Tax Credit webpage.

How do I claim the EITC?

To claim the EITC, you must qualify and file a federal tax return. You can visit for options to file a federal tax return for free.

What if I have questions about the EITC?

Learn more about the EITC, including basic qualifications, at the IRS’ Earned Income Tax Credit webpage. Social Security can’t answer EITC questions.

Your Annual Social Security Benefit Statement

What is the Benefit Statement and what do I do with it?

Your Benefit Statement is a tax form from Social Security that shows the total amount of Social Security benefits you received in the previous year. It’s also referred to as an SSA-1099. Noncitizens who live outside of the United States receive the SSA-1042S instead of the SSA-1099. You should report the amount of Social Security income you received to the IRS on your federal tax return.

The Benefit Statement isn’t available for people who only receive SSI payments because SSI payments aren’t taxed.

How do I get my annual benefit statement?

If you receive Social Security benefits, we mailed your Benefit Statement to your address on file with us. If you didn’t receive it, or if lost, you can get your SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S instantly online with a my Social Security account.

Remember to Check your Earnings History

If you don’t receive Social Security benefits, this is a great time to review your earnings history by looking at your Social Security Statement (Statement). It’s important because your future Social Security benefits will be based on your earnings history we received from the IRS. Underreported earnings will mean lower monthly benefit payments when you are ready to start receiving them.

Use your Statement to review your earnings history and to see personalized benefit estimates so you can plan for your future.

Tax season doesn’t have to be a stressful time of year. And for many people, it’s an opportunity to claim additional money. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, more Americans can claim larger Child Tax Credits and Earned Income Tax Credits for 2021.

Please share this blog with family and friends and remember that Social Security is here to help secure your today and tomorrow.

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About the Author

Darlynda Bogle, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Darlynda Bogle, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Paul G.

    Dear SS,
    I did not receive my SSI subsidy for January, 2022. Received my February, 2022 subsidy at the beginning of the month. Not as scheduled. Help me to understand, please?

    • Sgarcia

      I think the one for Jan 2022 was issued the ending of December 2021.

      • Ken

        That is correct

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Paul. Thanks for visiting our blog. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

    • Cheri T.

      what SSI subsidy are you referring to. I’m new to receiving SSI.

  2. Christy

    Can an ex that gets to file on 1 of the children get the child credit. He saw the child 5 hours the whole year. Didn’t even have child.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Christy. Please visit and read IRS Filing Season 2021 CTC Questions and Answers if you have questions. Social Security can’t answer CTC questions. Thanks! 

    • Twodaloo

      You better talk to someone at Irs office because child custody is a thin line. Most of the time the custody agreement will declare who gets to claim the child. If he pays you child support then whether or not he sees them is his problem. I only know this because my daughter has had two divorces and she can’t claim her kids.

    • Adam B.

      Yo man
      Get same

  3. To y.

    Marvelous post. The articles are well written. Your blog is really outstanding. Thanks a lot for sharing such a wonderfuL

    • M P.

      I am a recipient
      Of social security I
      Retired and am drawing from
      Social Security only.
      Am I required to file with
      IRS ?

      • Ann C.

        Hi. Thanks for your question. You must pay taxes on your benefits if you file a federal tax return as an “individual” and your “combined income” exceeds $25,000. If you file a joint return, you must pay taxes if you and your spouse have “combined income” of more than $32,000. If you are married and file a separate return, you probably will have to pay taxes on your benefits. For more information, visit our Benefits Planner.  For tax questions, you will need to contact the IRS. Their toll-free number is 1-800-829-1040 or you can visit their website. We hope this information is helpful.

  4. Lydia D.

    I am assured by my ex-ssi Payee who now has claimed me for the last several years bacausr of health related and financial set backs. I would like to now Claim myself as sole on regular SS, with my Statement. I am now able to justify my new independence as sole and Head of my own household with Financial Assistance for Meds, with Care Act plus Affordable Housing and Snap Benefits with A Medicare Insurance that is covered as well. Does that mean all these benefits are taxable income?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Lydia. For any income tax questions, you will need to contact the IRS. Their toll-free number is 1-800-829-1040 or you can visit their website. We hope this helps.

  5. BetsyJ

    I am so confused about SS taxes, these blogs never explain anything. I am paying taxes on top of taxes.

    • Ken

      Thanks to democratic vote in 84 and 93
      Taxes went from up to 50 % an now 85% can be taxable plus pending in what state you are in the state taxes up to 100%
      13 states don’t tax ss

      • Catherine C.

        The no morals way our elected officials act makes me want to never vote Republican again. There’s always that one who has to draw politics into a discussion.

        • Jeanne B.

          Ken was stating a fact, ma’am. Your comment is only stating an opinion.

          • John Z.

            In 1984, Reagan was President. He was Republican.

        • Bm

          Clinton administration raised taxes to 85% on social security.
          Clinton is a Democrat.

          • Robin

            Ha! What did the last administration add to the deficit? Lowered taxes for the rich.. Didn’t help me at all. FACT..

        • Robin

          Agree. Tax the rich. Republicans don’t even want to raise the minimum wage. Sigh…

          • Duke H.

            The so-called rich are the ones that employ others and by the way 9 out of 10 times they can’t get my order correct, but you want them to make $15 and hour. My mother and other seniors get the equivalent of $5-8 per hour on their SS and they paid in forever. Like paying $5.00 a gallon for gas. That didn’t happen under the other guy who you all hated and no taking over of other countries.

      • Pat

        That’s true however the income limit has not been adjusted since then. It would be wonderful if they stopped taxing social security. If not that the income limit needs to be drastically raised. Stop taxing the low income persons.

        • Lisa

          It isn’t right to tax ss I use to work made about 27,000 yr my husband was drawing ss about 17000 yr I had to pay taxes on at least 5,000 of his ss so needless to say if I got back 500. in a tax refund wooohoo! While billionairs paid near nothing because of loopholes that are unethical and should be outlawed

      • Cindy

        yes absolutely! Meanwhile our legislatures receive a government pension if they serve as little as 6 years. Then they legislate that those that have already paid SS and medicare taxes must pay taxes on their SS benefits plus pay $170 a month for medicare. Talk about a conflict of interest.

      • spyboy

        But you can thank Republican Ronald Reagan’s set of Amendments in 1983 to start taxing your social security. The Amendments extended the social security program BUT would tax half of the monthly amount.

  6. Deborah C.

    I’d like to find out where the money comes from for medicare supplements that cost 0. I know someone is footing the bill. Is my social security medicare cost include this?
    I also wonder if I need a supplement because I have Tricare for life as well as Medicare?

    • Willie H.

      Why are the unifications to get tricare for life?

      • Robert O.

        Depending on which Region is determining factor. I reside in NJ & Medicare is covered by Humana. However, Tricare EAST is covered by Humana as well. I was told years ago when Tricare SOUTH went away & was reset as E & W only that a program can’t double charge. I had been paying my yearly Tricare dues, then received a check for 3 years back! Im 100% VA disabled, full SSD, and 20 1/2 year retired. I don’t pay any dues for my Tricare, its my secondary, Medicare is primary. Hope I helped somehow…

      • BRIAN


    • MajJohn

      If you have TRICARE for life and Medicare you don’t need any other coverage. Normally you have 100% coverage and any additional premiums that you’d pay would be for nothing.

      • COLJRPSC

        Absolutely correct. Don’t waste money paying when Tricare for Life covers the difference between what Medicate pays and the approved rate. Almost every doc and hospital accepts Medicare, so you actually have better than Medicare with TFL. And good prescription coverage as well.

        • CCC

          I think I read where some of the providers in my area are now not accepting some of the medicare part C providers, not sure if that includes Tricare or not. What’s that all about? Ive also heard that with the Part C companies, many of them are now refusing to cover services that are covered by medicare, and since they make all the decisions about your medicare coverage, they can very much limit your medical coverage. Sounds like a ponsie scheme to me. I will keep my medicare supplement.

    • Ken

      Talk to financial planner that deals in Medicare they can explain not Medicare people

    • CCC

      I’m paying almost $400 a month for a medicare supplement for my husband and myself, plus $170 each for medicare. Its not fair or equitable to charge some retirees who have worked 30+ years all this but give it all for free to those that have never worked nor contributed. It is true that those that will work will work harder and suffer more for the cause of those that won’t. Socialism at its best!

  7. Pete B.

    This may be more IRS territory than SSA scope, but a clear explanation of what part of SSI payments are taxable, lines 6a and 6b on form 1040 would be quite useful.

    • MajJohn

      NO SSI payments are taxable and you don’t have to file a return unless you’re claiming a child tax credit.

      • Sgarcia


        • Summer

          That’s what I don’t get I get SSI and have a Child until December I was getting the ctc then it stopped. I’m not sure how to file cause I dont get a 1040. So im not sure what to put as my income. I don’t have any. last year it put one dollar automatically when I filled out paper work to claim him. Not sure what to put.

          • Summer

            I meant 1099 not 1040 I so wrote that wrong.

          • Ann C.

            Hi, Summer. Please visit and read IRS Filing Season 2021 CTC Questions and Answers if you have questions. Social Security can’t answer CTC questions. Thanks! 

          • Nancy S.

            You should receive a yearly benefit statement from SSA that tells you your yearly amount.
            I believe the CTC stopped in December and you are to file your taxes to get the rest or receive more.

      • CCC

        NOT TRUE! I have 15% withheld from my SS benefits, and I don’t get all of it refunded back to me. You most definitely have to pay on your SS benefits if you make more than $24,000 as an individual or $32,000 as a couple.

        • JaNan

          SS income is social security BUT SSI is a supplemental income & not the some thing ..and are not taxed the same many people interchange these

  8. Ron W.

    I want to know exactly why Medicare raised the Part B monthly amount from $144 (2021) to $170 (2022). They don’t do much but make hospitals, doctors, etc have to “eat” the charges they as secondary won’t cover.

    • Judy F.

      They giveth to one hand & taketh away from our other hand. It’s a shell game, Ugh.

      • katherine a.

        well said. It was what they call, a “given.” Also, “duh.” lol

    • Linda R.

      The people coming through our southern boarder, ILLEGALLY, get medicaid, NO CHARGE, and no copay at doctors or meds. Meanwhile, we worked 40 years and put money INTO medicare, some of us can’t take meds, we can’t afford them! They also get foodstamps. I have no problem with these people, its OUR GVT!

      • Sgarcia

        What a racist comment…

        • Joe

          Not racist, it is an accurate comment.

          • Rowens

            God expects us to help the less fortunate, but He also instructs us to be a good steward of the resources we’re blessed with.
            There are people in this USA of all races and all colors that act as if society owes them something just for being in this world.

            Those who habitually indulge in drugs, alcohol and too many babies no matter what color should not be taken care of by the government…in my Non Person of Color opinion!!!
            No Deadbeat parents!!
            Yes, a government one time subsidized program for a job or education in a field that would allow a person to be freed from governmental dependency would be helpful.
            Parents, Stop have babies that you know that you can not take care of!!!

        • Faye C.

          Undocument people are NOT eligible for public benefits. Exception may be access to emergency Medicaid which will help pay for hospitalizations. Emergency Medicaid is very limited and temporary.

          According to the National Immigration Forum,
          Undocumented immigrants, including DACA holders, are ineligible to receive most federal public benefits, including means-tested benefits such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, sometimes referred to as food stamps), regular Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

          Undocumented immigrants are ineligible for health care subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and are prohibited from purchasing unsubsidized health coverage on ACA exchanges.

          • GRFG

            Thank you for a factual response. I understand people’s anger, but if you worked for 40 years you should have planned for retirement. Not spew comments that are not factual.
            It is 100% true what you said about undocumented immigrants.
            Thank you again.

          • katherine a.

            If you are as blindsided as your comment implies then I suppose they can have YOUR hard earned taxes. People who have connived their way into the United States are not all as truthful as you would hope. I’m positive there are sob stories by the zillion but in actuality, we are all supporting one way or another those coming across our borders illegally and legally. Come to MY neighborhood which I recently dubbed it “transientville.” Blue tarps, tents, plastic hovels, old RVs, more tarps all within view over my backyard’s 6′ wooden fence. It ain’t pretty. I’ll be calling our Health Department soon because the backyard where all these things are belongs to a well known meth house. A man rents it to whomever. The house houses about 6-8 people and of those there are 4-6 cars, pick-up trucks in the frontyard. I see this as I drive down the main street of my neighborhood (The golf course is across from my frontyard view….thank goodness). It’s the backyard view though that I seriously worry about for my safety.

          • Twodaloo

            Don’t be foolish! They can’t apply for anything. They can have benefits for their children born here. The kicker is that all those undocumented illegals work 40 years at crappy jobs with false SSN#’s and when they retire they cannot receive the benefits. The reality is that they put billions in the cofers but never claim them. Who keeps Social Security afloat..? Them and anybody who dies a few years after working all their lives..Money in the bank! At one time it was percieved that SS would run out of money about this time.

          • Cindy

            If an undocumented person goes to the Emergency room they cannot be turned away. Suppling no ID is fine. The bill is never paid and the costs go to hospital who now incorporates that cost into their fee schedule. The American Taxpayer is the one who pays in the end.

        • John f.

          You are obviously not an American and have not worked for over 40 years to get the measly payments we do. That is not a racist comment at all.

          • Twodaloo

            And you sir are not informed well.

        • katherine a.

          Why is it racist? He said blames our GOV. What more do you want? Myself, I’m racist because I do not care for ILLEGAL people coming across OUR borders and being give freebies. We are setting ourselves up to another GIMME, GIMME, GIMME race of people…..we already have one of those. You can only play the “race card” when a race is mentioned. duh

          • Twodaloo

            Oh like your great grandparents who crossed an ocean to get here on boats? They got in easy. Didn’t have to have a 10 year wait for an immigration appointment. Then to top it off they began all these GIMME programs. You started it. And I’m sure you claim all sorta benefits too. You racist we know who you mean by we already have one of those race of people.

          • Robin

            You are what’s wrong with this country. SCARY

        • Chuck B.

          Did he ruffle your panties ?.

        • Tim

          She is stating facts, and you call her a racist

        • John c.

          Your a jerk to say that’s racist!

      • GRFG

        This is not fact based. Please don’t believe what you hear on certain news outlets.
        My spouse was undocumented at one time and he was unable to apply for any government services. Even health coverage.
        He has now changed his status legally, and now there are only some services he could apply for. But, never SSI and only if needed financially medicial.

      • Tavo

        Suck a fat Dick Linda . Does the R stand for Racist?

        • katherine a.

          Why do people LIKE YOU have to use such language and talk the filth as you have done? No one is impressed. We are only grossed out and therefore other comments by you need to be banned.

      • David D.

        Lol! What state?

      • Donna

        Not in any state in our area. And most hospitals have posted policies that plainly state they only have to stabilize, not diagnose or cure an indigent patient. Try bona fide sources instead of social media and conspiracy websites.

      • Bev

        Illegals do not get any type of benefit. A birth certificate or resident alien card is required to apply for ANY government benefit.
        I did that job.

    • MoniqueDC

      News reports claim that the excessive prices charged by Big Pharma (since congress will not allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices) for a new Alzheimer drug was what caused the huge increase.

      solution? Write your Senators and put more progressives in Congress.

      • Jeanne B.

        Maybe news reports have you confused since Congresses majority ARE progressive. You want more of this??

        • David D.

          Keep up- who’s stopping up the works? It’s not anyone other than the trumpanzees.

      • Phyllis

        Funny, President Trump made big pharma reduce their costs. Insulin at most was $100.00 per month. That changed the second this administration took office. That is because it is to help Americans!

        • Robin


        • David D.

          Absolutely false.

        • Lisa

          actually insulin cost was an Obama plan it came to fruition during the Tramp administration and yes I said tramp not Trump

    • Mariah S.

      Exactly my same question. Thanks for posting it Ron!

    • Terri

      It was raised due to a new Alzheimers medication that cost alot! Now, that medication is no longer as costly as they once thought. So, the government is reviewing if they can reduce the Medicare Part B premium. When that decision is going to be made,w knows. They increase COLA to 5.9% but increase the premium for Part B. Makes the government look like they are giving us a huge increase, but in fact they are not.
      I guess any increase these days is better than a decrease.

  9. Tony R.

    If my sole income for 2021 came from my SS retirement benefit and the total amount was under $25,000. Do I need to file?

    • MajJohn

      Ask the IRS.

      • Mark S.


    • Ann C.

      Hi, Tony. For any income tax questions, you will need to contact the IRS. Their toll-free number is 1-800-829-1040 or you can visit their website. We hope this helps.


    • katherine a.

      no. I’m under $20,000 and I don’t file. I did receive the stimulus checks which were a godsend because of Hurricane Sally had put 2-3″ of water in my house. FEMA blamed the rain not the Hurricane. I’m serious. I still have two rooms where wet carpeting was pulled up and now I have concrete floors with old dried carpet glue on them. My vinyl wood planks probably have mold under them but with no home owner’s insurance, some things you just have to live. I can’t get over how God just keeps me alive and safe all these years.

    • Marc

      Research the SSA site and you will find that SSA benefits are not taxed if that is your sole source of income. In fact if you are under the base amount you won’t even get the SSA-1099.

    • Lisa

      no, read info on ss pages

  10. Carlos C.

    why is noncitizens overseas Social Security taxed?

    • Tiffany J.

      Your question confuses me, social security is ran by the United States government. So why would a non citizen ( who lives elsewhere) be taxed? I don’t believe they would be.

    • Steve

      Because they are receiving a US benefit. If worked legally in the US, are not a citizen, and went went back to your home country, you can receive SS if you meet the 40 quarter contribution requirement. If you pay taxes on it to your home country, you may be exempt from the US tax. You will have to speak with the IRS here and whichever agency collects taxes in the country you reside . There is no easy answer.

    • katherine a.

      Carlos, your statement doesn’t have an ounce of truth in it.

      • katherine a.

        Sorry Carlos! My mistake!! “Noncitizens who live outside of the United States receive the SSA-1042S instead of the SSA-1099.” I just read this like you did! I hope someone does explain this. Maybe it’s NONCITIZEN where they are living outside the U.S.?

Comments are closed.