February 26, 2024

The IRS is now accepting tax returns, with the 2024 tax season officially underway. That means if you’re a Supplemental Security Income recipient, you may be wondering if you’re required to file a tax return this year. 

This story is part of Taxes 2024, CNET’s coverage of the best tax software, tax tips and everything else you need to file your return and track your refund.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, we can help you decide whether it’s worth your time to file. For instance, you might be eligible for other tax credits and potentially more money that you can only receive if you file your taxes. We’ll explain below.

Keep reading to find out whether you should file your taxes this year as an SSI recipient. Also, if you receive Social Security benefits, here’s how much more money you can expect with a COLA increase in 2024 and what to know about the child tax credit. And here are our picks for the best tax software.

Is my SSI money taxable? 

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Your SSI benefits are not taxable, and the money you receive isn’t considered earned income. Instead, SSI benefits are designed to help those with limited income, certain disabilities and more (you can check out the full eligibility requirements here).

Should I still file my taxes even if it’s not required?

Although filing your taxes is not required, there are other reasons you might want to consider filing anyway. The biggest reason is to potentially get a tax refund, which means extra money for you. You might also be eligible for other benefits, such as the child tax credit and earned income tax credit, that could provide you with even more money.

What tax credits can I get if I receive SSI?

If you receive SSI, you’re still eligible for additional tax credits, which won’t affect the amount of SSI money you receive. As mentioned above, you can claim the CTC, assuming you meet the qualifications. If you have kids aged 17 and younger, you could receive up to $2,000 per child, depending on your income. You can find out how much CTC money you’re eligible for here.

You can also claim the EITC, a tax break for individuals and families with low to moderate income. The amount you get depends on how many kids you have and your earned income. If you qualify for the EITC, you can use the credit to reduce any taxes you may owe. If you don’t owe any taxes, it could be refunded to you.

Note that it may take longer to get your tax refund if you claim either of these tax credits when you file your tax return.

How can I find out how much SSI money I received in 2023?

The answer depends on whether you receive just SSI or whether you also receive Social Security benefits. If you receive both, you should receive a letter in the mail or online in Jan. 2024 from the Social Security Administration that will include how much money you received in 2023. If you don’t already have one, set up a My Social Security account so you can see the letter online.

If you only receive SSI, the Social Security Administration won’t send you a letter since the payments aren’t taxed. Instead, you can call the administration at 1-800-772-1213 or visit your local Social Security office for assistance.

For more details, here’s the maximum amount you can receive from SSI. Also, find out how much of a COLA increase you’re getting on your monthly SSI check in 2024.