Does Social Security count on the FAFSA?


Q. My ex-husband is 74 and on Social Security. Does this count as income for the FAFSA?
— Mature parents

A. FAFSA, short for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is what college students and their families need to complete to be eligible for federal financial aid.

It asks very specific questions about a family’s means.

Will your husband’s Social Security income count on the FAFSA? Maybe.

The FAFSA looks at adjusted gross income, said Michael Karu, a certified public accountant with Levine, Jacobs & Co. in Livingston.

But, he said, any untaxed Social Security benefits are not added back to income.

“Under the law, up to 85 percent of the recipient’s Social Security benefits are taxable,” Karu said. “That portion is included. The rest is not.”

Speak to a pro who knows your financial situation to help you determine what will count here. Good luck!

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