The Social Security Administration oversees two separate disability programs: Social Security Disability or SSDI and Supplemental Security Income or SSI. Different eligibility rules, including the amount of money you may have in a bank account, apply to each of them. This article takes a closer at the assets you may own, including money on deposit, to help you avoid losing or being denied benefits.
Purposes Behind SSI And SSDI
Before looking at how the two programs differ, a good place to begin is with a discussion of the similarities between them. Each of them is a program of the Social Security Administration, which is the agency of the federal government responsible for administering rules and regulations that apply to each one.
The second thing they have in common is their purpose. Each of the programs was created to assist people who meet eligibility guidelines based on being disabled under the medical criteria established for each program.
Except for the two similarities, the programs are quite different. Social Security Disability Insurance provides benefits to insured individuals with a disability. An insured individual is someone who worked and paid taxes into the Social Security system while they were employed. The qualifying work history required for SSDI may be that of the disabled person or a spouse or parent.
Supplemental Security Income is a needs-based program that pays benefits each month to people who are over 65 years of age or who are disabled or blind regardless of age. A person does not need a work history to qualify for SSI, which makes children who are blind or disabled eligible for benefits. Payment of benefits under the SSI program requires proof of financial need, which imposes severe limits on income and assets available to the recipient.
SSDI Eligibility – Can You Have A Bank Account?
The good news is that you can have a bank account and be eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits as long as you meet the other eligibility requirements. The Social Security Administration does not limit the number or value of resources or assets you may own. The following are examples of some of the assets you may own:
1). Bank accounts.
2). Cash on hand.
3). Stocks and other investments.
4). Real property, including your primary residence and other properties.
5). Motor vehicles.
6). Jewelry, furniture, art, and other items of personal property.
Keep in mind that while the SSDI program allows you to have a bank account regardless of how much money may be in it, it imposes limits on the amount of income you may earn from employment or self-employment.
The amount of income you may earn through employment or self-employment changes each year, it would be a good idea if you are on SSDI or think you may be eligible for it to speak with a professional disability advocacy company to learn more. Earning in excess of what is allowed may disqualify you because the SSA will consider it as establishing that you are capable of engaging in substantial gainful activity.
SSI eligibility guidelines stand in stark contrast to those of the SSDI program as far as having money in the bank or owning other assets. SSA limits the value of resources you own to no more than $2,000. The resource limit for a couple is only slightly more at $3,000.
Resources are any assets that can be converted into cash, including bank accounts. However, some assets you own may not affect eligibility for the program. Assets that do not count toward your resource limit include:
1). The home and land where you live.
2). One vehicle, primarily used for transportation by you or a household member.
3). Your personal effects and household goods.
4). Life insurance policies with face values that do not exceed $1,500 in total.
5). The value of a burial plot.
6). Up to $1,500 toward burial expenses.
7). Tools and other property used by you or your spouse in your trade or business.
A disabled or blind SSI recipient may set money aside through a Plan to Achieve Self-Support without it counting toward the resource limit. Also excluded are funds set aside under an Achieving a Better Life Experience program established in your state.
Get Advice And Information On Asset Ownership
Eligibility rules for SSDI can be complicated, so it is important to get sound advice about assets and income before you submit an application for Social Security Disability benefits. Depending upon your particular circumstances, you may also be eligible to submit an application for SSI, which makes it even more essential to speak with someone a professional having the knowledge and experience to guide you through the process.
London Disability is a professional disability advocacy company offering advice and much-needed guidance through the complex and frequently frustrating application and review process. Contact them today for a free consultation.