Student Grants and Loans May Affect Your Eligibility for Social Security Benefits
There are three ways this can happen:
- If you set money aside for education but then later use it at any point within nine months after you get it to pay non-education costs—such as rent, heat, food, clothing, etc.—SSA will count the money you used for non-educational purposes as income in the month you spent the money and as a resource the following month. This is significant because if your unearned income exceeds $730 per month individually (or $1,086 as a married couple) or your resources exceed $2,000 individually (or $3,000 if married), you will be ineligible for federal benefits.
- If you set aside a portion of the grant/loan/scholarship/gift money for non-educational purposes within nine months after getting it, SSA will count that portion of the money as a resource.
- If any of your grant, loan, scholarship, or gift money remains unspent at the end of the nine months after you received it, SSA will define the unspent money as a resource, starting with the 10th month after it was received.