Thursday, July 10, 2008

Can you Receive Disability Benefits and have Assets, Investments, a Savings Account?

A recent commenter stated a concern about the effect of assets on a social security disability claim. Apparently, he had been told that to be eligible to receive disability benefits, he could not have possession of assets, including a savings account, or investments such as a CD.

How the social security administration views assets depends on which program a claimant is approved to receive benefits in. Individuals who are awarded social security disability benefits are exempt from any consideration of assets. In other words, assets are not an issue in any sense whatsoever. The reasoning for this is that SSDI (social security disability insurance) is a program that is "paid in to". It is a benefit, but one that workers pay, through FICA deductions, for the privilege of drawing upon, if they so need (at retirement, or at a point at which they become disabled and unable to work.

SSI, supplemental security income, however, is different. SSI is a need-based program and it provides disability benefits to those who have never worked, or have worked but so long ago that their insured status for social security disability has lapsed, or are actually eligible for social security disability, but only to receive a relatively small social security disability check (in which case they might receive concurrent SSD and SSI benefits to ensure a certain minimum monthly benefit).

SSI recipients, consequently, are ineligible to receive SSI if they have more than two thousand dollars in countable assets. Countable assets would include real property other than the home a person actually resides in, automobiles in addition to the one that is primarily used for transportation, excess funds in checking and savings accounts (excess would be money in addition to that which would be used for regular ongoing expenses), cash value in life insurance policies, and so forth.

Basically, nearly anything that can be readily liquidated to cash and is not essential for daily life (such as a home and car and money in the bank to pay bills) is considered a countable asset.

Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both my parents' only income source is their SS Retirement monthly benefit, and I live with them. Will SSA consider my parents' income when considering my application for SSI?

SSA denied my disability claim because I haven't earned enough credits - not surprising since I've held 12 different jobs within past 10 years, and not because of information on my application but they don't tell me how to go about filing for SSI.


1:26 AM  
Blogger Disability Blogger said...

Hi Jenn. If you receive SSI as an adult spousal income can be deemed to you. The same is true if you receive SSI as a child, in which case parental income would be deemed. In this case, if you receive SSI as an adult and live with your parents their income would be not be deemed for eligibility. Regarding filing for SSI, the application process is the same. If they gave you a technical or informal denial on SSD due to a lack of credits, they should have screened you for SSI eligibility. You may want to contact the social security office where you originally filed and see if an SSI application can be taken.

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


4:20 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home