How do financial assets affect the benefits of ISS?



Supplementary Security Income (SSI) is a government safety net benefit for the elderly, disabled and blind in need. The Social Security Administration (SSA), which administers the program, sets strict limits on the amount of money SSI beneficiaries can earn and the level of financial assets, such as savings or stocks, that they can earn. to possess.

To be eligible for SSI, an individual cannot have more than $ 2,000 of what Social Security calls “countable resources”. For a married couple, the combined assets of the spouses cannot exceed $ 3,000. Resources exceeding these levels are grounds for Social Security to reject an SSI claim and withhold or terminate benefits if you are already receiving them.

SSA defines resources as things of value that you own, including:

  • Cash
  • Bank accounts
  • Financial investments such as stocks and bonds
  • Vehicles
  • Earth
  • Life insurance
  • Personal property
  • Anything else you own that could be changed to cash and used for food or shelter

Suppose you have $ 800 each in checking and savings accounts and no other financial assets. You may be eligible for SSI, assuming you also meet income and age or disability criteria. However, if on top of that $ 1,600 in the bank, you have $ 5,000 in a mutual fund or individual retirement account (IRA), you cannot receive SSI.

Social Security may also count certain “deemed resources” against your limit. These are assets owned by a spouse, parent or in-laws with whom you live or, if you are an immigrant, a sponsor who supports your residence in the United States.

Not all resources matter

Just as the SSA doesn’t count every dollar you collect from labor and other sources to determine if you meet the income requirements of the SSI, it doesn’t factor all of your assets into the resource equation.

In your income statement, Social Security will not include the house you live in or a vehicle that you or another member of your household relies on for transportation. (If you own a second car or other property, this may count.)

Here are some examples of other resources that do not count for SSI eligibility:

  • Household items and personal items you use or wear regularly, such as furniture, appliances and clothing. (Personal property that you own because it is valuable because an investment matters.)
  • Immovable you own for use in a trade or business.
  • Life insurance policies with a combined face value of $ 1,500 or less.
  • Funds set aside to pay for the funeral you and your spouse, up to a maximum of $ 1,500 each.
  • Money in a flexible healthcare spending account (ASL).
  • Savings in some specialized accounts and programs designed for people with disabilities or low income.
  • Grants, scholarships, scholarships or gifts received for educational purposes. (These can become countable if not used within nine months.)

You can find a complete list of exclusions on the Social Security web page on SSI and Resources.


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