i thought the formula was total houselhold income. divided by number in household then divide by 12 to get monthly amount.....then if one half of my income is greater than this amount eligibiloity would be met.... is this correct?
No, that's not correct. It's more complex than that. Bear in mind that the statute requires that the disabled person contribute more than one-half of the stepchild's support for the stepchild to qualify for benefits. SSA uses several different default rules depending on the circumstances, and in any case if the facts show something different than the default rule does, those facts are what will control. That said, the most common situation is likely where the members of the household pool their income and share support of all family members equally. Moreover, it's likely that the step-child doesn't have a lot of his own income. If that that's the fact pattern, the following pooled fund method is what SSA by default would use (as copied from the SSA Procedure Operations Manual (POM):
NH and spouse both have income; stepchild may or may not have outside income
NOTE: Remember the NH's contributions to the stepchild must equal or exceed one-half support.
1. Determine the support period (see RS 01301.020B).
2. Compute the total gross income to the family from all sources during the support period.
3. Divide the total amount of income by the number of members in the household. This amount constitutes the cost of support for each member. Dividing this amount by 2 equals one-half of each member's support.
4. If the stepchild's outside income exceeds one-half the cost of support, the NH could not have been providing at least one-half support. If the stepchild's income is equal to or less than one-half the cost of support, or if the stepchild has no outside income, proceed to the following steps.
5. For each member of the household whose income exceeds the cost of support, (e.g., the NH and spouse), the cost of his/her own support is subtracted from their income. The balance is the amount that individual is contributing toward the support of other household members.
6. To compute the balance of the stepchild's support (which comes from the contributions of the NH and spouse), subtract the stepchild's income from the cost of support.
7. Compute the proportion of the NH's contributions to the stepchild as follows:
Using the amounts arrived at in 5 (the NH's and spouse's balance available for support of other household members), then add the two figures together. Determine what proportion of the total amount the NH's contribution represents. This fraction is the proportion of the NH's support to the stepchild.
8. Apply the fraction derived in 7 to the balance of the stepchild's support (the amount arrived at in 6) to determine how much of the balance of support the NH contributed. If the result is equal to or greater than one-half the cost of the stepchild's support, the one-half support requirement is met.
EXAMPLE: John Sanders became entitled to disability insurance benefits (DIB) in July 2010. The support period is the 12 months before he became disabled. In that year, he lived in the same household with his wife Marie and her son James. James is now applying for benefits as John's stepchild.
John's income during this period was $20,000. Marie's income was $15,000, and James received $4,000 during the period from his grandfather. Pooling all household income, the total family income was $39,000. The cost of each member's support was $13,000. One-half is $6,500. Since James' income did not exceed $6,500, SSA must determine whether John was providing at least one-half of his support.
Both John's income and Marie's income exceeded the cost of each one's support ($13,000). Subtract the cost of support from their share of income. The balance of John's income available for support of other household members is $7,000 ($20,000 minus $13,000); for Marie, the balance is $2000 (15,000 minus $13,000).
Subtract the amount of James' income from the cost of his support ($13,000 minus $4,000 = $9,000). The balance of his support came from the contributions of John and Marie.
In order to determine how much of the balance of James' support came from the NH, apply the following rule:
The proportion of one member's contributions to any other member is the same as the proportion of their contributions (minus their own support) to the total of the remaining amounts available for support by the contributing members.
Compute the proportions as follows:
Income $20,000 $15,000
Cost of own support -13,000 -13,000
Available for support of other $7,000 $2,000
John's contribution to James' support equals 78% of $9,000 (the balance of James support). Compute the proportion of 78% by dividing $7,000 (the balance available from John) by $9000 (the total remaining support available from John and Marie).
Since 78% of the balance of James' support ($9,000) is $7,020, and this amount is greater than $6,500 (one-half the cost of James' support), John, the NH provided one-half support and the requirement for James' entitlement is met.
Again, what method SSA will apply in any give case depends greatly on the facts. The statute requires that the disabled person provide more than half the support of the stepchild. Where only the disabled person and her spouse have contributed to the stepchild's support (i.e the stepchild has no income of his own and no one else, like the spouse's ex, contributes to the child's support) you can see that using the pooled approach above, the spouse with the greater income is the one who would be considered to contribute over half the child's support.
By the way, NH in the SSA manual stands for "number holder," i.e. the disabled person on whose wage record the step child is seeking to qualify for benefits.