If you are unable to work due to a medical or mental condition, you might be eligible for aid from the government. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers disabled people two options. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is for those who have worked enough in a certain period of time. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is aimed at those who lack a work history but that have few assets. Assets are not an issue for those drawing SSDI payments. When it comes to SSI assets, it's important to understand how much you can own and still qualify for benefits. Read on to find out more about asset and your SSI benefit.
Know Before You Apply
It's important to understand the below limits because of the way the SSA evaluates your application. If you list assets in excess of what's listed below, you will receive what is known as a technical denial of benefits. This denial is automatic when you own too many assets. No medical information will be evaluated if you fail to pass the asset test.
The Dollar Limit
If you want to be approved for SSI benefits (and keep your benefits) you cannot have more than $2,000 in assets if you are single. If you are married the amount rises to $3,000. Not everything you own counts, however. The following list contains what resources the SSA courts when it comes to SSI eligibility:
- Cash on hand – This includes money you have on your person or in your home and money in a checking or savings account.
- Second or vacation homes.
- Second vehicle.
- Life insurance cash value over a certain amount.
- Home furnishings and personal property that exceed $2,000 in value.
- Stocks and bonds
What Is Not Counted
Fortunately, not everything is counted for SSI eligibility. Take a look at the below list of exempted assets:
- Your primary residence. This includes the structure, the land, and any outbuildings on the land.
- One vehicle.
- Burial funds that are valued at up to $1,500 for you or family.
- Certain savings accounts – Able accounts, IDA savings, and PASS savings are not counted.
- Wedding and engagement rings (regardless of value).
- Other support benefits – These include child tax credits, victim restitution, local assistance payments, earned income tax credits, gifts, grants, and scholarships for education purposes.
If you have been turned down for SSI due to asset issues or for any other reason, speak to a Social Security lawyer at a firm such as Parmele Law Firm, PC. You may be able to get help with your application or be represented at your appeal hearing so that you can get the benefits you need.