Asset Limitations for SSI Eligibility

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Asset Limitations for SSI Eligibility

If you are low-income or living below the poverty line, suffering a disabling injury or illness can strike a crushing blow. From workplace accidents to unforeseen medical conditions, issues can often occur which prevent you from working or saddle you with extremely high medical expenses. Thankfully, there is a solution: government SSI benefits, which provide assistance for those suffering from a disability and unable to work, as well as those over age 65. However, in order to know if you qualify when filing your SSI application, you have to understand the asset limitations.

What is SSI?

SSI, or Supplemental Security Income, is a program of the Social Security Administration which administers financial assistance to low-income citizens that meet the criteria of a disability or an age requirement. SSI, unlike SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), does not require you to earn a certain number of work credits (by working in the United States for a number of years) in order to qualify.

Instead, the SSI qualifications are the following: in order to receive assistance, you must prove that you are blind, disabled, or over age 65; that you are a U.S. citizen or a non–citizen who meets the alien eligibility criteria under the 1996 legislation and its amendments; and that you have limited income and limited resources.

What are the asset limitations?

The “limited income” part of the SSI eligibility requirements essentially means that your income cannot exceed the federal benefit rate (FBR), which takes into account the average cost of living at the time and is different for individuals and couples/families. As of 2018, the FBR was $750 per month for individuals and $1,125 for couples.

The “limited resources” aspect of the requirements, however, is a separate issue. Assets are defined by the SSA as “anything else you own that could be converted to cash and used for food or shelter”, which includes cash, bank accounts, stocks, U.S. savings bonds, land, vehicles, personal property, and life insurance. In order to qualify for SSI, you must possess no more than $2,000 in resources for an individual/child, or $3,000 in resources for a couple.

How do I learn more?

Talk to your SSI advocate to discuss the specifics of your case and eligibility.

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