Supplemental Security Income- Denied because my husband is getting SSA Retirement benefits

If you have been denied for Supplemental Security Income it can be for several reasons: the SSA has determined you are not disabled, your condition is not expected to last for 12 continuous months, your spouse makes too much money, or your family does not meet the income or resource requirements for the Supplemental Security Income program.

For your question we will assume that your condition is very severe and you may actually be disabled but you were denied for what the Social Security Administration likes to call a “technical denial” or nonmedical denial. These denials are difficult to appeal because unlike the subjective nature of the SSA claim that you are “not disabled,” if your husband makes too much money or your family’s resource level is too high, until something changes, you will always be denied Supplemental Security Income benefits.

What is Supplemental Security Income?

First and foremost, the Supplemental Security Income program was established as a cash assistance program for the aged, blind or disabled who did not have enough work credits to be considered insured for the Social Security Disability Insurance program and who have VERY limited income and resources. So if your income and resources are too high, regardless of your condition, you will be denied SSI benefits.

Are my resources too high for Supplemental Security Income?

It is not clear from your question if your spouse’s retirement income is too high or if you and your husband have too many resources. The Social Security Administration considers resources as things you own such as: land, vehicles, personal property, bank accounts, United States’ Savings Bonds, life insurance, and cash. The current limit for 2012 is $2000 per individual and $3000 per couple.

Not all resources are counted by the Social Security Administration. Currently, the SSA exempts the following resources:

  • Your primary residence and land
  • Personal effects and household goods.
  • Burial plots for your immediate family members
  • Burial funds for you and your spouse up to $1,500
  • Life insurance policies for $1500 or less
  • One vehicle
  • Grants, fellowships, or gifts which are set aside to pay for educational costs within 9 months after their receipt
  • Retroactive SSI or Social Security benefits for up to nine months after you receive them

Is my income too high for Supplemental Security Income?

Not only do your resources have to be limited, you and your spouse also cannot be making too much money. According to the Social Security Administration you must have limited income. Income can be earned income (wages), unearned income (Social Security benefits, pensions, state disability payments, unemployment benefits, and cash from friends and family), in-kind income (any food or shelter that you receive which is less than the fair market value), or deemed income (income from your spouse or parents).

There are some types of income that are not considered “income” by the SSA. For example, if your spouse’s income is all SSA retirement benefits it may not be considered, but if it rises to high and they have other types of income the SSA may consider it and “deem” a portion of it to you. If it rises too high, you may not be eligible for SSI benefits. Contact the SSA for more information about the deeming process.

So to answer your question, if you have been denied Supplemental Security Income by the SSA it sounds like they have determined that either your resource level is too high or your husband is making too much money.

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Beth L. is a content writer for Disability Benefits Home. Good content and information is one of many methods we utilize to bring you the answers you need.

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