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SSI Disability and Your Assets

Posted by Louis B. Lusk | Apr 26, 2012 | 0 Comments

SSI Disability and Your Assets

Are you wondering if your assets will matter when you file your Social Security disability claim? Well, it depends on which Social Security disability program you're going to apply for: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is a need-based program, so your income and assets will be evaluated when you file your claim. On the other hand, SSDI benefits are based on having worked for a minimum period of time and having paid a minimum amount of cash into the system (typically through payroll check deductions). In other words, the availability of SSDI benefits is based on whether you earned a sufficient number of work credits over the last several years. When you apply for SSDI, your assets aren't considered an issue, so there is no limit to the amount of resources or cash you have. SSDI benefits are considered by the government to be a form of social insurance, so they have a number of features similar to private insurance plans. For example, the SSDI program has something similar to an elimination period, except it's called a five month waiting period. SSDI benefits are paid on the sixth full month after the date your disability began – you're not entitled to benefits during the waiting period. If you become disabled and you're not insured for SSDI, you can apply for SSI. To be eligible for the SSI program, however, you must have a low income and few assets. If you have substantial assets, you will not qualify for SSI benefits. Currently, the asset limit for SSI applicants is $2000 in countable assets. If the claimant is married, the asset limit is $3000. Countable assets include the following:

  • Fair market value of vehicles other than your primary vehicle
  • Balances in savings accounts
  • Excess burial plots
  • Excess property
  • Revocable trusts
  • Cash value in life insurance policies (over $1,500)
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Household goods and personal effects (over $2,000)
The Social Security Administration (SSA) will count these assets against you if you apply for SSI benefits. If you're over the asset limit, the SSA won't fully evaluate your application to determine whether you're medically eligible – you'll simply get a “technical denial” of benefits. Assets that aren't countable include your primary home, primary vehicle, irrevocable trusts, burial plot, and checking account balances you use to pay the bills. Have Any Questions about the Asset Limit? If you aren't sure whether or not you're over the asset limit, set up a free consultation with Atlanta Social Security disability lawyer Louis B. Lusk. We'll evaluate your claim and determine whether you should apply for SSI, SSDI or both. Call (800) 883-7043 or fill out our online contact form to get in touch.

About the Author

Louis B. Lusk

About Louis B. Lusk – Disability Attorney Attorney Louis B. Lusk has helped thousands of disabled individuals recover Social Security disability and SSI disability benefits.  He is an active member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimant's Representatives (NOSSCR), an organizat...


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If you have been turned down for Social Security disability call me at 1 (800) 407-1516. I look forward to hearing from you.