Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Resource Limitations

If you are eligible for to claim disability benefits for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), it means that you have been adjudicated as disabled, and fall below the resource limits.  To better understand the disability application process, and claiming Social Security Disability benefits, you should speak with an experienced attorney who practices Social Security Disability law, like the lawyers at  Match and Farnsworth, P.C., who assist clients in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada and Utah.  But if you are just looking for some quick and helpful information, please keep reading.

Once the Social Security Administration (SSA) has decided you are either legally blind or disabled, you must still be found eligible for SSI under certain asset limitations.  The SSI program requires that an individual have no more than $2,000 in assets with certain exceptions.  A couple may have up to $3,000, again with certain exceptions.  Also, your income is counted against any SSI payment you may receive, again with certain exceptions. 

Standard assets include resources you may own like cash, bank accounts, stocks, U.S. savings bonds, land, life insurance, vehicles, and anything else you own which may or could be changed into cash to use for food and shelter.  Resources also include deemed assets, which you can read more about in the post “What Social Security Counts as Income”.

The standard exceptions from the resource limit include the home you live in and the land it is on; household goods and personal effects, for example your wedding rings; burial spaces for yourself and your immediate family; as well as a limited amount of burial funds for you and your spouse; limited amount of life insurance policies; one vehicle, regardless of value, if it is used for transportation for you or a member of your household; retroactive SSI or Social Security benefits up to a certain time and limit; and any grants, scholarships, fellowships, or gifts set aside to pay for educational expenses for 9 months after receipt.   

Other resources that do not count against the limit for SSI purposes include property you need for self support, resources that are part of an approved plan for achieving self support (PASS); money saved in an Individual Development Account (IDA), support and maintenance assistance and home energy assistance, as well as cash received for medical or social services for the first month - this does not include reimbursements, health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs), state or local relocation assistance payments are not counted for 12 months, crime victim’s assistance is not counted for 9 months, earned income tax credits are not counted for 9 months, and dedicated accounts for disabled or blind children.

Also, cash that is received to replace an excluded resource (like your home or vehicle) that is lost, damaged, or stolen is not counted for 9 months, as well as Federal tax refunds and advanced tax credits received on or after January 1, 2010 are not counted for 12 months.  If you receive cash from participating in certain clinical trials, the first $2,000 of compensation may be excluded as well.  Some trusts are not counted as long as they meet all the special rules required for a Special Needs Trust.

Understanding what is counted as a resource is complex, if you need help or have more questions, call a law firm with experience in this area like Match and Farnsworth, P.C..   



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