When you apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, the amount of the monthly payment that you are awarded is determined by household income, living arrangements, income exclusions, and applicable state supplements. To determine an applicant’s eligibility for SSI, the SSA will calculate whether or not the individual falls within the income limits. To do so, they match the applicant’s “countable income” with the Federal Benefit Rate. An individual’s monthly benefit amount is the difference between the income they earn and the FBR—not including any state supplements.
If the applicant earns income that matches or exceeds the FBR, they will not be awarded benefits. The break-even point is the total amount of income that would reduce your SSI payment to zero. As of 2020, the FBR is $783 per month as an individual or $1,175 per month as a couple. This means that if an individual has $783 of countable income, they will have hit the break-even point.