What assets count towards SSI eligibility?
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program that assists people with disabilities in paying for basic necessities like food and shelter. SSI and SSDI are often lumped together, but the two programs have some major differences. SSI is not limited to those who have a certain number of work credits, unlike SSDI. The program is open to individuals with a disability who have limited assets and income. Our SSI eligibility lawyers explore the eligibility requirements for SSI and what assets will count towards your asset limit below.
To receive SSI benefits, you must demonstrate that you are disabled and have limited financial resources. Various medical conditions may allow you to qualify to receive SSI benefits. Check the Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments to determine if your condition may qualify. You will need to include strong medical evidence of your disability, which must prove your inability to earn a living.
Once you have substantiated your disability, you must meet the income and asset limits. To be eligible for SSI benefits, you must have no more than $2,000 in assets or $3,000 per couple. However, not all assets will count towards this limit. Assets excluded from consideration include:
- Your home
- One automobile
- Household items, such as furniture and kitchenware
- Personal effects, such as jewelry and art
- Assets held in an ABLE account
- Assets in a special needs trust
With these items excluded, countable assets that could exclude you from eligibility may include cash in your bank account, retirement funds, stocks, extra cars, rental homes, and the like. It is important to note that the asset limit is ongoing, meaning that if your bank account exceeds the $2,000 limit at any time, you could lose your SSI benefits.
SSI income limits are adjusted each year. The SSI limit is based on the federal benefit rate, which adjusts to meet the cost of living expenses each year. Not all income is countable, however, and you can make a certain amount of money monthly while still receiving benefits. Contact an SSI attorney for more assistance with your application.