Can my resources be too high for SSA disability benefits?
Can I have too many assets and be denied disability benefits?
There are two disability programs offered by the Social Security Administration: Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income.
To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance the Social Security Administration will review whether a claimant is performing substantial gainful activity, whether their condition is expected to last for 12 continuous months, and whether or not they have earned enough work credits to be considered insured. The Social Security Administration does not evaluate the income of a spouse or the resource level of the family. So for SSDI, there is not a resource limit.
How does the Social Security Administration review resources for Supplemental Security Income benefits?
Supplemental Security Income, unlike SSDI, is a program for individuals who cannot work for at least 12 continuous months and who are blind, disabled or aged (65 years of older). SSI is also only provided to claimants who have limited income and resources.
If you have applied for Supplemental Security Income, yes, the Social Security Administration will review not only the income level of you and your spouse (or other persons in your household providing food, shelter or monetary support) but also the resource level of your family.
What does the Social Security Administration consider a resource?
According to the Social Security Administration, a resource is anything that you could turn into cash: stocks, bonds, and bank accounts. To qualify for Supplemental Security Income an individual can have $2,000 in resources and a couple can have $3,000.
This sounds pretty low until you consider that there are many resources that the SSA does not count towards the resource limit, no matter how much they are worth. For example, you may own:
- One house which you live in.
- One vehicle that is used for transportation for one member of your family.
- Life insurance policies worth $1500 or less per person
- Burial plots
- Burial funds up to $1,500 per family member
- Household goods and personal items
- Funds set aside under a Plan for Achieving Self-Support
- Property owned by you or your spouse which is used for trade or business
The best thing to do if you are unsure if your resources are too high to qualify for Supplemental Security Income is to contact the Social Security Administration or review the Social Security Administrations website.
I am disabled but I was denied SSI benefits
Many claimants are denied Supplemental Security Income benefits for reasons that have nothing to do with their disability benefits. For instance, if you have applied for SSI benefits you could have been denied because you were making too much money, your spouses income was too high or your familys resources were too high.
Does this mean you are not disabled? No, but it does mean you will be denied SSI benefits. Disabled claimants who do not have enough work credits for Social Security Disability Insurance but who also have too high resources for SSI may find their stuck. This frequently occurs for homemakers who have worked and who are married but who have not paid employment taxes. If they become disabled they generally do not qualify for SSDI but their husband may make too much money for them to get SSI benefits..
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