When I am applying for SSI Disability, which of my assets are counted against the SSI resource limit?

By / March 3, 2016 / SSI Benefits / 457 Comments

Learn what “resources” means and find out which resources count and which do not when applying for SSI disability.

Resources and Applying for SSI Disability
Resources are your assets, that is, things that you own, such as real estate, vehicles, personal effects, cash, bank accounts, and financial instruments like stocks, bonds and insurance policies. The Supplemental Security Income Program—SSI—is intended to provide income to cover basic needs for individuals who do not have sufficient income and resources to provide those basics for themselves. For this reason there is a value limit to the things you can own and be eligible for SSI.

When applying for SSI Disability benefits, the value of your countable assets is added up to determine whether the total is less than the SSI resource limit, which in 2013 is $2,000.00 for individuals and $3,000.00 for married couples. Not all resources are counted in determining your SSI eligibility, and we’ll review a few of the excluded resources later in this article.

Resource eligibility is determined based on what you own on the first of the calendar month. The value of an asset that comes into your possession counts as income in the month it is received. Any amount of it that is left on the first of the following month is counted toward the resource limit in the following month. For example, you receive an old boat and $1,000.00 cash as an inheritance in February 2017. The boat is worth $500.00; therefore, your inheritance counts as $1,500.00 income in February and you are not be eligible for SSI that month. You use $735.00 of the inheritance to pay your February SSI overpayment. On March 1, you are again eligible for $735.00 SSI because you have no income and on March 1, your total assets are $265 cash left from the inheritance and the $50.00 boat for a total of $765.00.

Countable Resources
The Social Security Administration counts the following resources unless a specific exclusion applies: deemed resources, cash, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, land, certain life insurance policies, personal property of significant value like valuable jewelry or art, vehicles with some exceptions, anything else you own that could be sold for cash and used for food or shelter unless excluded. For an explanation of deemed resources, please see our article, Why Do I Have to Give Information about My Family’s Income and Assets When I Apply for SSI Benefits?

Excluded Resources That Do Not Count
In general the following resources do not count towards the resource limit:

  • The home you live in and the land it is on.
  • Household goods and personal effects, such as your wedding and engagement rings
  • Burial spaces for you or your immediate family.
  • Burial funds, life insurance policies, and/or burial contracts for you and your spouse, totally $1,500 each.
  • Usually one vehicle if it is used for transportation for you or a member of your household.
  • Retroactive SSI or retroactive Social Security benefits for up to nine months after you receive them.
  • Property essential to self-support and resources that a blind or disabled person needs for an approved Plan to Achieve Self-Support. These exclusions are discussed in With Some Education, I Could Work Full-time and End My SSI Disability Eligibility. How Can I Get Money for Schooling?
  • Money saved in an Individual Development Account.
  • Certain support and maintenance assistance and home energy assistance that we do not count as income.
  • Cash received for medical or social services that we do not count as income is not a resource for one month.
  • State or local relocation assistance payments are not counted for nine months.
  • Crime victim’s assistance is not counted for nine months.
  • Earned income tax credit payments are not counted for nine months.
  • Grants, scholarships, fellowships or gifts used for tuition and educational expenses are not counted for nine months after the month of receipt.
  • Dedicated accounts for disabled or blind children.
  • Disaster relief assistance that we do not count as income.
  • Cash received for the purpose of replacing an excluded resource that is lost, damaged, or stolen is not counted for nine months.
  • All Federal tax refunds and advanced tax credits received on or after January 1, 2010 are not counted for twelve months.
  • The first $2,000 of compensation received per calendar year for participating in certain clinical trials.
  • Some trust funds.

More Information about Burial Funds
In addition to a burial plot, SSI law excludes from countable resources burial funds up to $1,500 each for you and your spouse or parent if you are a minor. The $1,500 can take the form of a bank account that is set aside for burial, an insurance policy, or a prepaid burial contract, or a combination thereof. If the total amount set aside for burial exceeds $1,500 per person, then the excess value is counted toward the resource limit.

Any amount that is set aside must clearly show that it is to pay burial expenses. This can be done either by titling the account as a burial fund or by signing a statement that indicates the amount set aside, how the set aside was accomplished, the date you first considered it to be for burial expenses only, and for whose burial the money is to be used. Interest paid on a burial fund does not count as income or a resource, but if you spend any of the money set aside for burial on items unrelated to burial expenses, there may be a penalty.

Trust Accounts and SSI Eligibility
SSI rules that govern how trust funds affect your SSI eligibility and payment amount are complex. This article just provides some general information. You may need legal advice from a lawyer if you are applying for SSI and have or plan to have a trust fund.

Generally, if you place your income or assets into a revocable trust, all the assets in the trust will count as a resource. If you establish an irrevocable trust and payments could be paid to you from the trust, then the portion of the trust from which the payment could be made is a countable resource. Certain kinds of trusts, such as special needs trusts and some pooled trusts are excluded from this law. Also, in some circumstances a trust will not count if it causes undue hardship.

If the trust is not a countable resource, money taken out of the trust and paid directly to you is income and counts to reduce your SSI check. Money from the trust that is paid to someone else to pay for your shelter or food will also count to reduce your SSI check up to the maximum one-third reduction for in-kind support and maintenance. More information about in-kind support and maintenance can be found in our article Why Do I Have to Say Who Lives with Me and Who Pays the Household Bills When I Am Applying for SSI Disability? Money taken out and paid to someone else to pay for things that are not food or shelter, such as a telephone, medical expenses, or entertainment does not affect your SSI payment.

Individual Development Accounts
If you are working and receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, you may be eligible for an Individual Development Account, known as an IDA, to help you save for your education, the purchase of a first home, or to start a business. In some cases you may qualify for a demonstration project IDA if you are working and have low income and assets, even if you are not receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

If you are eligible for an IDA or a demonstration project IDA, you can deposit money from your earnings to the account. If you are receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, that program may match your deposits to help you meet your goal. The earnings, matching money, and interest put into the IDA are not countable resources and do not affect your SSI benefit.

Dedicated Accounts for Children
Past-due SSI payments of more than six months paid to a representative payee for a disabled or blind child must be put into a separate account and reserved for special purposes. The money cannot be used for basic monthly maintenance including food and shelter. Therefore, the money in a Dedicated Account is not a resource. If the child continues to be eligible for SSI when he or she turns eighteen, the restrictions on the funds in the Dedicated Account continue to apply and the account continues to be excluded from countable resources. This is true even if the former child becomes his or her own payee as an adult.

Be Cautious When Disposing of Resources
The following rules apply to the resources of an SSI recipient and to those of a person whose resources are deemed available to an SSI recipient.

If you give away or sell a resource, generally the resource will no longer be counted as a resource as of the first of the month following the month of transfer. However, if you transfer a resource into a trust fund, in some instances the transfer will make you ineligible for SSI and in other cases the resource will continue to count as a resource.

If you sell an excluded resource for its fair market value, the money you get in the month you sell it is not income, but any of the money that you still have on the first of the following month will count toward the resource limit for that month.

You have the right to dispose of your resources as you see fit, but it is important to understand the impact of giving away or selling a countable resource for less than its fair market value. If you give away a countable resource or sell it for less than it is worth, the value of the gifted resource or the uncompensated value of the sold resource may result in your being ineligible for SSI for up to thirty-six months. How long you are ineligible depends on the uncompensated value of the resource you transferred to someone else. Additionally, you may lose Medicaid eligibility.

Conditional SSI Payments While Trying to Sell a Countable Resource
If you have resources that cause you to be over the resource limit, you may be able to get conditional SSI payments while you are trying to sell the resources. For example, you may have a property where you do not live and you are trying to sell it. To get conditional payments while the resource is for sale, you must sign a conditional benefits agreement. Once the property is sold, you must immediately repay some or all of the conditional payments you received.

Conditional payments can be made for a maximum of nine month while you trying to sell real estate and up to three months when you trying to sell a personal property such as a second car.
After the property is sold, you may be eligible for regular SSI benefits.

Help Is Available
If you have questions about your resources when you are applying for SSI Disability for yourself or your child, the Social Security Administration or an SSI and SSDI attorney can help you get the answers you need.

When I am applying for SSI Disability, which of my assets are counted against the SSI resource limit?
Rate this post

  • Dear Carolyn,

    There is no simple answer to your question. Social Security’s definition of disability is the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted, or can be expected to last, for a continuous period of not less than twelve months.”

    If you have become disabled and are not performing any services for your limited liability corporation (LLC) or the services you are performing are not “substantial” as defined by Social Security, the income might not be considered income from work and would not keep you from being considered disabled and receiving benefits. The complex issue is the evaluation of any services that you are performing, particularly whether they are they essential to the business. To get a firm answer, you would need to file a claim and get a formal determination.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jared,
    A loan is a transaction whereby one party advances money to, or on behalf of another party, who promises to repay the lender in full, with or without interest. The loan agreement may be written or oral, and must be enforceable under State law. If your wife retains any funds from the loan to the next month, it becomes a resource. I suggest you contact your local Social Security office to make sure you would have all the documentation you would need.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Kevin,

    I don’t know the answer to your question. Presumably, you have reported the property to Social Security and it has not counted as a resource because it is an income producing property. Now that the rental is turning a profit, you need to report the rental income to SSA. For this, you will need to show your documented expenses to arrive at your net rental income. When you do the reporting, I suggest discussing with SSA whether operating funds for maintaining the property can also be excluded. I believe that there is some provision for business operating funds and rental business would be comparable.

    If an operating fund cannot be excluded, the funds would be your your wife’s assets and count toward your parental $3,000 limit. Any excess above $3,000 would count toward your child’s $2,000 limit.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jason,

    Because the money is a loan, you do not have to report it. However, keep all the papers related to the hardest hit fund payments, so that at the next SSI financial redetermination, you will have the documents necessary to show that the money received was a loan, which can happen if your expenses including mortgage are very large in relationship to your income, or if you are asked to explain bank deposits.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jason,
    Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will not exclude the value of the camper. Social Security will count the equity value (EV) to determine the value of the camper. The EV of the camper is the price it can sell for on the open market (to a private recipient) in the particular geographic area involved, minus any encumbrances. You can have up to $2,000.00 in resources (or $3,000.00 if a married couple) and your son can have an additional $2,000.00. If the camper, and any other countable resources you have are under $4,000.00 (or $5,000.00 if a married couple) you would still be under the resource limit.
    If you are unsure of the value of your countable resources, contact your local Social Security and ask them about your resources.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Jean,

    I think you are stating you saved money in a checking account and it affected your benefits. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs based program and you have to have limited income and resources to be eligible for payments. An individual can have unto $2,000.00 in countable resources and a couple can have up to $3,000.00 in countable resources. If you saved more than more than the countable resource limit you would no longer be eligible for SSI until your resources are reduced below the resource level. Note that you are legally required to report if you exceed the resource limit regardless where the money is stored. If you are talking about income you would have to provide more information for me to explain how any income affected your payments.

    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear MRP,
    Just for clarity, let me mention that SSI is Supplemental Security Income. If you and your wife are actually planning to apply for Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI) or Social Security Retirement, what your wife does with the 401k has no affect on eligibility. The money could be spent in any way or left in the 401k.In contrast, in order to qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you and your wife cannot have more than $3,000.00 in countable resources and the 401k could affect SSI eligibility.A 401k plan can be excluded if your wife does not have access to it in any manner other than as aloan against the account, which has to be repaid. On the other hand, if your wife can withdraw from the fund in lump sum amounts and your wife is not eligible for periodic payments, the account will count as a resource. If she makes a withdrawal to pay for the car and you and she have only one vehicle or the equity value of the second vehicle does not put you over the $3,000 resource limit, then the money spent on the vehicle will not affect your and your wife’s eligibility for benefits. The reason is thatone vehicle (the one with the highest equity value) is excluded and doesn’t count toward the resource limit. Repaying a loan is a little more complicated. If your wife’s debt were a public debt, then repaying a loan with the money would not affect SSI eligibility. With a private loan, especially from family, it can be difficult to establish that the loan was real loan, which has to be repaid. If Social Security accepts that the money from your wife’s parents was a valid loan (one that lists amount[s] loaned, the date[s] of the loan[s], and when repayment must be made), then repaying with 401k funds would be spending the money and would not negatively impact SSI eligibility
    Just for clarity, let me mention that SSI is Supplemental Security Income. If you and your wife are actually planning to apply for Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI) or Social Security Retirement, what your wife does with the 401k has no affect on eligibility. The money could be spent in any way or left in the 401k.
    In contrast, in order to qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you and your wife cannot have more than $3,000.00 in countable resources and the 401k could affect SSI eligibility.
    A 401k plan can be excluded if your wife does not have access to it in any manner other than as aloan against the account, which has to be repaid. On the other hand, if your wife can withdraw from the fund in lump sum amounts and your wife is not eligible for periodic payments, the account will count as a resource.
    If she makes a withdrawal to pay for the car and you and she have only one vehicle or the equity value of the second vehicle does not put you over the $3,000 resource limit, then the money spent on the vehicle will not affect your and your wife’s eligibility for benefits. The reason is that one vehicle (the one with the highest equity value) is excluded and doesn’t count toward the resource limit.
    Repaying a loan is a little more complicated. If your wife’s debt were a public debt, then repaying a loan with the money would not affect SSI eligibility. With a private loan, especially from family, it can be difficult to establish that the loan was real loan, which has to be repaid. If Social Security accepts that the money from your wife’s parents was a valid loan (one that lists amount[s] loaned, the date[s] of the loan[s], and when repayment must be made), then repaying with 401k funds would be spending the money and would not negatively impact SSI eligibility.
    If, however, the money given to your wife by her parents is determined not to be a loan, then repaying the loan would be considered giving away the money. You have the right to dispose of your resources as you see fit, but it is important to understand the impact of giving away or selling a countable resource for less than its fair market value. If you give away a countable resource or sell it for less than it is worth, the value of the gifted resource or the uncompensated value of the sold resource may result in your being ineligible for SSI for up to thirty-six months. How long you are ineligible depends on the uncompensated value of the resource or amount of money you transferred to someone else.
    In short,you can make the withdrawals and spend the money down below the current resource level as long as it is not given away. Keep receipts for all expenditures to prove funds have been spent. (As an aside, you might want to consult with a tax account regarding your tax liability if large sums are withdrawn in a single year.)
    One last note: If your wife is eligible for periodic retirement payments, the fund may not be a countable resource, but she will be required to apply for those benefits to be eligible for SSI. If she has a choice between periodic benefits and a lump sum, she must choose the periodic benefits. You can read more about this at https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0501120210.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Jean,

    Supplemental Security Income (SSI) makes a resource determination at the first day of each month. The SSI check deposited on the first is not a resource during that month. Any money retained becomes a resource the following month. If you retained more than $500.00 from the previous month in your checking account it will be a countable resource and with the boat and trailer you would be over the resource limit. I am assuming your only countable resources are your cash , the boat, and trailer.
    If you did not have more than $500.00 in your bank account on the first you can file a reconsideration, but you will have to provide proof showing your account was below $500.00. You only have 60 days from your notice to file a reconsideration.
    If you feel you were not at fault in causing the overpayment and you are financially unable to repay the overpayment you can request a waiver.
    Contact the Social Security office for the forms needed waiver (SSA-632) or reconsideration (SSA-561).

    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Desire,

    You can appeal the closure of the claim based on the value of the business property being excludable as income-producing property. For this exclusion to apply, however, you have to get some customers and some income off the business fairly soon.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Michelle,

    If you use the funds from the sale of your home to purchase a home within three calendar months of when the sale closes, the portion of the sale proceeds that you use to purchase another home will not count as a resource.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Alli.

  • Dear MRP1950,

    Please tell me who is applying for SSI, you, your wife, a minor child, or your daughter with the student loan and credit card debt. Then I will be able to respond.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Alli,

    The balance in a 401k does count toward the SSI resource limit of $3,000 for you and him if he can access the 401k. (Note that any excess over $3,000 would be split in half and half charged to each of your disabled children’s $2,000 limit. If he can withdraw funds (even with a tax penalty), the funds would count. He can either read the 401k plan document or ask the plan administrator to tell him whether he can access the account and if so under what circumstances. He should also ask the administrator for identify the provision that says he can’t withdraw or can only withdraw under certain circumstances, so you have that as proof for your children’s claims.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Richard and Ursula,

    If the 401k was excluded from counting as a resource because you were prohibited from withdrawing, the withdrawal is income in the month of withdrawal. Depending on how much it was, some of it may be deemed to your daughter and affect her benefit in the month of withdrawal. You need to report the withdrawal as soon as possible.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Joe,

    Getting a credit card or line of credit does not give you any income; any money you get from it is a loan that has to be repaid, so it does not affect Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits and does not have to be reported.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Joyce,

    Yes, if you can withdraw your 401k even with penalties, the account will make you ineligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The account will not affect eligibility for Social Security Disability (SSDI).

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Kerry

    My grandmother is having her SSI benefits taken away, because my mother recently moved her into her house so she can care for her. She was previously living in a home, owned by my mother, my aunt, and my grandmother. The SS officer valued the home at $70,000, and based on that, valued her assets as over $2000 monthly. My mother and my aunt recently took my grandmother off the deed, in order to prepare for when she passes away, but for the few months my grandmother was living with my mother so my mother could care for her, the SSA is collecting the money distributed to my grandmother because of the value of the house. My grandmother did not make any profit on the house and because it was owned jointly, she had no access to sell or make profit off the house. Beyond that, she suffers from dementia and Parkinson’s, and has not mental capacity to have made any determinations on the property. Is there anything we can look to to appeal the government’s decision?

    • Dear Kerry,

      Yes, your grandmother or her representative payee can appeal the termination of benefits. If I understand correctly, originally, your grandmother lived in the house in question with your aunt and she had partial ownership. Because she lived in the house, it was not a countable resource.

      If an error has been made, it may be that benefits were terminated because your grandmother gave away her equity in the house. There is a prohibition against giving away an asset to gain or retain eligibility to SSI benefits. This leads to the grounds for an appeal and that is that the property given away did not make her ineligible when she owned it, so she should not be barred from getting SSI because the property was transferred out of her name.

      You also have the argument that you suggested, which was that her partial ownership had no market value because it was not saleable due to joint ownership. (Note that for that to be true the ownership type would have to be the type that does not allow sale of the partial ownership.)

      Lastly, you mentioned your mother moving in. That should have lowered your grandmother’s share of shelter expenses so that if she continued to pay the same amount toward those expenses, your mother’s moving in should not have caused a reduction or termination.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dear Joey,

    Income is different from resources. Income is money received in a month; resources are money, property, and other assets received in one month and carried over into the next month. In that “next” month, they count as assets.

    The gifts you received were countable income as explained in the month in which they were received. They were private gifts so they were not excluded as income the same way that certain formal grants and scholarships are.

    In the future if family and friends want to give you money for education, they can do so without affecting your SSI benefits if they pay the money for your tuition and fees directly to the educational institution or buy your textbooks and give the books to you.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Joey,

    The amount of each gift above $60 counts. For example, $140 of the $200 gift counts as income. It is likely that you will have your full SSI benefit withheld given the amount of the overpayment and how small your SSI payment is. The overpayment will not be withheld from your SSDI or food stamps income. If any of the SSP is an SSI state supplement, it might be subject to withholding.

    Just a note, if in the future people want to gift you, they could pay your phone bill directly or take you on a shopping trip for clothing or a new haircut and pay for those things directly for you. As long as they purchase you food or shelter including shelter utilities, the purchases will not be income. Gift cards are income unless they meet two requirements: they are for a store that does not sell food and there is an enforceable legal prohibition against selling them.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • Joey

      Hi Kay,

      I found this on SSP: “The SSP Program is the state program which augments SSI… is part of the monthly benefit paid to most Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients.” So that means it’s an SSI state supplement, right?

      My uncle says he’ll pay the overpayment amount for me. Can he pay SSA directly the full amount, or will they insist on withholding monthly payments? I’m waiting till I get my bank statements till I go to SSA.

      Will they suspend SSI or SSP because of my oversight? I hope not. It was truly a mistake.

      Thanks for the invaluable information!

      Joey

      • Dear Joey,

        I am not sure how a third party paying your overpayment would be treated, but if it is paid directly to the Social Security Administration and/or the state, I would think it would not count as income. In any event, I suggest that you report the gifts as you plan to and wait for the overpayment letter. ($1,100 sounds too high to all be SSI and SSI state supplement, so the SSP may include something else as well.)

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Dear Larry,

    You are correct, the SSI that is paid on the first of the month should not count as a resource until the first of the following month. Occasionally, a benefit will be paid early because the first falls on a non-business day. For example, the April 1, 2017 payment was paid on March 31. Technically, money received on the 31st and retained to the first counts as income on the first. To move out of this tight zone, it might be good to spend some of the savings on something your son needs or wants or perhaps put it toward a burial policy, which would be excluded if it has a face value of $1,500 or less.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Lori,

    The strongest basis for appealing the value of the RV is that the IRS has a lien on it. Only the equity value of property counts toward the $2,000 limit. You can argue that you have no equity in the RV because whatever the RV would sell for all of it would go directly to the IRS just as it would it you owed the seller for it.

    As far as the bank balance goes, the amount in the account on close of business the last day of the month is the amount that counts toward the resource limit the following month because that closing balance would be the opening balance on the first. You can look at your bank statements to see what those balances were. If your father deposited at the end of the month and you did not spend the money till the beginning of the next month, his deposits would count as a resource.

    The money that your father is lending you could be a problem if it is not accepted as a bona-fide loan. Usually if you have no means of repaying a loan and no plan to repay it, money received as a “loan” is not really a loan and counts as income in the month it is received.

    A final note: your income and assets will not affect your Social Security Disability claim.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Joey,

    Financial redeterminations go back as far as the prior redetermination. Irregular and infrequent income is excluded from counting when determining SSI benefit amounts. Based on the definition of irregular and infrequent, if you did not receive more than $60 from any one person in any single calendar quarter, the gifts were not countable income.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Joey,

    Yes, your are okay. Resources (assets) are counted on the first minute of the month. Stated another way, money received in a month is income; that money does not become a resource (asset) until the first of the following month.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Keith,

    I am not certain, but selling blood plasma may be considered conversion of a resource. You “own” your blood and sell it, so it may be the same as owning a car and selling it. The resource of the car or your blood is converted in form to money. If the sale of blood is treated that way, the money received would not be income. If you kept the money till the first of the following month, it would count toward the $2,000 resource limit.

    I cannot answer your question about bank account searches; however, keep in mind that hiding assets from Social Security in order to receive benefits is against the law.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Rachel,

    Apparently you did not see my response of last week. Here is what I wrote:

    If your son is barred access to the 401k, it will not count as an asset. For example, if the 401k plan will not let him withdraw from the 401k while he is working for the company or under a certain age, the 401k should not count as a resource. Also, because he can’t access it, the deposits by the employer should not count as income. The account would need to be reported at SSI redeterminations with proof from the plan administrator that he does not have access.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Adam B

    I have a question – My wife and I have 3 young children with Autism and right now our total gross monthly income is around $3,100. My wife was recently laid off from her job which is why our income is so low and we were planning on filing SSI disability for our 3 children however I’m not sure if we meet the Asset Requirements. Here is our dilemma…with my wife being laid off she received a severance check from her employer in the amount of $12,686 (pre-taxed)…On top of that we recently received some monetary donations (roughly $2k) from a gofundme campaign due to a string of recent bad luck ($7,000 car repair bill, layoff, medical bills, etc.). Will this $15k+ that we have in our checking account make us illegible to receive SSI disability for our 3 disabled children? I know it looks like we have a lot in assets by their definition, however this money will quickly disappear paying for health insurance premiums ($811 per month), food, car payment, student loans and various out of pocket medical bills not covered through our insurance. We also have about $8k in credit card debit, $10k in student loan debt, etc. Basically our debts completely outweigh our cash on hand.

    • Dear Adam,

      Your family’s assets are currently above the limit for your children to be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). You and your wife can have $3,000 in countable assets–bank accounts, other investments, equity value of second vehicle, cash value of certain life insurance policies, and certain other things. Any excess will be split among your three children and applied to each of their $2,000 limits. This means that if your children have no assets, you and your wife can have $9,000. If only two are approved, you can have $7,000; or one approved, $5,000. As you gradually spend the money for the family’s needs, be sure to keep receipts and bank statements to show where all the money went and don’t give any away. When you get within the limit or think you are, apply for all three children at the same time.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dear Jason,

    First with regard to the interest subsidy, every assistance program has different rules based on different laws. If the family income is considered then probably the SSI does count as income (SSI is counted for food stamps and government housing, for example.). However, you can ask to see the USDA regulations that show it counts or conversely a list of excluded income to see if SSI is on it.

    With regard to the cars, if you purchase a car with a loan, the equity value counts (value reduced by the amount you owe on it), so for some time you could still be under the limit, which is $3,000 for you and your spouse with the excess counting toward your child’s $2,000 limit. You probably cannot get the car excluded as income producing property by hiding in in an LLC if it is not producing income. However, you might be able to get the second car excluded on the basis that you cannot get to work without a car (assuming you can’t take public transportation) and your spouse cannot drop you off at work and pick you up and also get your child to the medical appointments.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • Jason

      Thank you for your swift response, Kay. Have a good day!

  • Dear Shelly,

    Switching the policies to your name will not help your parents; it will compound their problem because they would be giving away an asset to obtain benefits, which is prohibited and causes ineligibility for a length of time.

    One solution is for them to withdraw enough of the cash value of the insurance policies to put themselves within the $3,000 resource limit when considering all their countable assets including bank accounts and other investments. They can then use the money to live on and/or to repay the overpayment. They can use the money for regular living expenses or anything else they need. they should keep receipts for all expenditures to prove the money has been spent. Once they are within the limit, they can request redetermination of eligibility to get benefits started again.

    With regard to the overpayment, they could request waiver of repayment, but they must both not be at fault in causing the overpayment and be unable to repay. With the excess resources, they may not qualify for waiver at least to the extent of the cash value of the policies, which could be used to repay. They might not be at fault if did not realize their policies had cash value. Also, if they had a redetermination in 2015 and 2016 and they declared their policies then and Social Security did not find them ineligible then, that could be a basis of not being at fault for some or all of the overpayment.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, KT

  • Dear David,

    Then direct payment of the bill by another person should not affect your SSI.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear KTBunger,

    It is likely that payment for credit card debt is not directly referenced in POMS. The underlying law is that payment of shelter or food expenses directly without giving cash to the recipient is in-kind support and maintenance (ISM) and is countable income. Other purchases (clothing, toilet articles, transportation, medical care, phone, etc.) directly paid for without money going to the recipient usually are not income. The discussion in POMS of support and maintenance and what is and is not considered income and what income is excluded is extensive, but you can sift through the topics and levels of links dealing with ISM in the SI (Supplemental Security Income) section of POMS to get a good overview.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Faye,

    If you move into the house and your name is still on the deed to the house and you meet all other eligibility factors, you can receive SSI benefits.

    The only question I see about it is your reference to three years of ineligibility, which would apply if your signed off your ownership to your siblings. If you did that, then moving into the house would not eliminate the ineligibility period caused by giving away an asset.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear David,

    The answer to your question depends on what you charged on the card. If you charged food or shelter expenses, payment of the debt by another person is likely to count as income for Supplemental Security Income. If the card was used for other things, direct payment of the debt by a third party would not affect your SSI.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Ken,

    I suggest that you file a formal request for reconsideration of the fact of the overpayment based on the tax refund not being counted as a resource for twelve months. To support your appeal, provide a copy of the following provision in Social Security’s procedural manual, POMS., which you can get at https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0501130676. Refer to section B.1.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kismet,

    Your mother can request that a limited amount be withheld from her benefits each month.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kismet,

    Each of your parents can have up to $1,500 set aside for burial. This can be done by purchasing a burial insurance policy or placing the money in an account titled “burial account,” or signing a statement that the funds in a specific account is set aside for burial. The statement should include for whose burial the money is saved and when the money was first set aside or considered to be a burial fund. Interest paid on a burial account is not countable income and does not count toward the resource limit. This means that with interest, the account could increase about the $1,500 each and still be excluded.

    Burial funds must be separate from other assets. If your mother’s IRA has more than $3,000–or $3,000 plus interest accrued since it was first considered a burial account–your mother might want to move the $3,000 out of the IRA into an account holding only the burial funds. Before doing so, they should check into the tax implications. Unless the IRA is a Roth IRA, your mother will have to pay taxes on the withdrawals, even if she puts them into savings. Accordingly, it would be advisable to consult with a financial planner or tax accountant before making a decision.

    Ordinarily, the mandatory withdrawals from retirement accounts are not income for SSI, even though they may be in terms of taxation. For SSI usually withdrawals are just moving resources (assets) from one place to another. However, if the funds are truly considered burial funds, the withdrawals could cause the burial to lose their exempt status. If the IRA has more than $3,000 in it, your mother could try to argue that the mandatory withdrawal did not come from the set aside money. Or if the withdrawal was part of the $3,000 set-aside, she could deposit it to another account and assert that the burial fund is being split between two accounts because of the mandatory withdrawals.

    The one thing she needs to do before her financial redetermination is write up the statement referenced above and decide the disposition of the withdrawal.

    Lastly, if the IRA has more than $3,000 in it, depending on whether any of the account balance is allowed as a burial fund, your mother may have excess resources and may have been overpaid due to countable funds in the IRA.

    Sincerely,
    Kay
    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Guest,

    Because you are not your nephew’s parent, your earnings and assets do not affect the calculation of your nephew’s SSI benefits.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Pang,

    If your parents buy their next house within three months of receiving money from the sale of the first, the $30,000 put into the house will not count as a resource in any month. (Note that if there will be closing costs in purchasing the new house, that money can be held and excluded in addition to the $30,000 for down payment.)

    The remaining money will count as a resource the first of the month following the month of sale, and they will be ineligible for SSI for every month that their countable resources are over $3,000.

    If your parents repay you, Social Security will treat it like repaying a debt only if you and they can prove the money you gave them was a bona fide (true) loan. Evidence of a true loan would be a ledger showing how much you lent each month and a document showing the repayment agreement, for example, repayment upon sale of the house or whatever the agreement was. If the money you have your parents is determined not to be a bona fide loan and they repay you, the money will be treated as given away and the portion of it that would put them above the $3,000 limit will make them ineligible for about two months from the time of the repayment.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Guest,

    Normal household and personal items are not countable assets; any of the things you mention would be excluded. And, you are right, a credit card is not an asset.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Guest,

    If you are receiving Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI) and not Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you can do anything you want with the money.

    If you are receiving SSI, you need to report the inheritance, which will make you ineligible the month that you received it and continuing until you have spent down to $2,000 or below. You likely cannot put the money into an educational account in your daughter’s name because it would be giving the money away. Giving away $8,000 will make you ineligible for about ten months because you could have used the money to support yourself for that period of time.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Guest,

    The bank from which you want the credit card will have to answer your question.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Theresa,

    If you have charged food, shelter expenses such as shelter utilities (not phone or cable) or rent to your credit card and your father pays off the card, it will affect your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Otherwise his paying the bill will not affect your SSI benefits as long as he pays it directly to the credit card company or bank and doesn’t give you the cash to pay it. If you receive any kind of Social Security benefits (the fact that you have Medicare seems to indicate that you do), his paying any of your bills will not affect the Social Security.

    If you lose your SSI and therefore Medicaid stops, check with your state or county social services office to see whether there are other rules under which you can qualify for Medicaid. Rules regarding this vary from state to state.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Josh,

    Having a credit card will not cause you to lose your SSI benefits, but I strongly suggest that you think about whether your SSI benefit is high enough to pay for all your current expenses including housing, food, clothing, hygiene items, medical and dental needs, current entertainment and transportation and have money left to pay a credit card debt.

    Your mother is your payee, so I suggest that you discuss the matter with her because she may not agree to paying a credit card debt for you because your money is needed for the basics that I listed. You could discuss with her what you want to buy with the credit card and instead make a plan with her to save up for it a little bit at a time until you can pay cash.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Guest,

    If you are not working, put unemployed or disabled and list source of income as SSI disability benefits.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • guest

    Are we allowed to have a credit card while receiving SSI? if so what do we put on credit card application

    • Dear Guest,

      There is no prohibition against have a credit card because a credit card is not an asset; it is a liability. However, it would be wise to consider whether you will have sufficient income to pay back money that you would borrow with the card. If you have to list your source of income on the credit card application, you would list the SSI income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Hi Kay,

    My grandmother is on Housing & SSI for low income individuals over 65. She is 78. She has no other income whatsoever. Her senior citiczen complex rent for a 1 bed / 1 bath tiny apartment is $800. Her housing only pays $500. She was receiving $800 from SSI. So $300 of that went also toward her rent and she lives off $500/month for food and medication and bills.

    She had burial insurance that I guess acquired a cash out value of $3,008. She didn’t even know this. She got cut off from SSI without any notice. She called them and they admitted that she should have gotten a notice but did see that one was not sent out. However, they didn’t change anything. She was told by a woman named Ms. Bryant that what she needed to do was to transfer the asset to someone else and then come back to the social security office and she could be reinstated. So, she did this the first opportunity she could because she didn’t want it to take too long to get her payments back wanted to take care of it ASAP. When she went back to SS office she was told now that she has transferred the asset she is not eligible for reinstatement for 3 years and probably won’t get it back even then. My grandma probably won’t even live another 3 years and without having any social security income she will have to give up her apartment and move in with my mom who is also on SSD. There will be no way to pay for her medications or food or bills now.

    To the best of my understanding through research, she should have cashed out the burial insurance but then I’m not sure what would have been the right thing to do because it cost around $10k to bury someone and if she cashes out and makes a burial find account for $1,500 that is still not going to cover the cost of her burial. Not sure if she could purchase a new policy with a lower cash out value or what.

    Regardless, now SS has been notified that she transferred the asset and she has been put on the 3 year inelligable list. I don’t know if that can be appealed or recorded or what. I’m not sure if she can transfer the asset back and cash it out even. Really not sure what to do now. It seems like she’s stuck between a rock and a hard place. The really aggravating thing is that SS messed up by cutting her off without notice putting her in a panick and giving her no time to think. Then she acted on the advice of a SS worker who gave her very bad advice and now she is … well, you know what she is now.

    PLEASE HELP!!!

    Thank you,
    Sasha

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sasha,

      It is very unfortunate that your grandmother was given incorrect advice to give away the asset. If not too much time has passed, she might contact the insurance company to see whether the transfer can be voided, that is, not transferred back, but voided. If that is possible, she could then perhaps withdraw part of the cash value of the policy or borrow against it to reduce its cash value and spend it for her own needs to drop herself below $2,000 in assets.

      If voiding the transfer is not possible, she might consider talking to a supervisor to see whether having the policy transferred back to her would shorten her period of ineligibility from the time the value went above $2,000 to when she got the policy back and cashed part of it or borrowed against its value and spent the money. This second idea is a long shot and seems unlikely.

      If your grandmother’s ineligibility for SSI is not reinstated, she might be able to continue in the government-subsidized housing without paying rent. She could apply for food stamps and for Medicaid based on having no income. Hopefully, her having given away the life insurance will not affect eligibility for those benefits if she explained how it came to be that she lost her income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Nadi

    I have two questions: 1. Can I offer my mom to pay her real estate tax and have and instead of making it a loan (she has not money to pay me back) put a lien on her home? 2. I write checks from her account every month, but one month last year I was very ill and did not get to do payments for utilities, home, etc. As a result of that, the amount on her account went over $2,000. It can be seen from her bank statements that usual payments were not made. How can I explain this?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nadi,

      Explain what happened with regard to your mother’s assets going over the limit. Despite the cause, she will be ineligible and overpaid the month she was over the limit.

      A bona fide loan is not income, so you could pay the property taxes and provide proof of the lien as how you will be paid back. Another option that you might look into is that some counties allow disabled and aged individuals to defer payment of their taxes and the taxes are paid from the proceeds of the sale of the house upon death. In this case, the loan is from the county and similarly is not income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • stanley lewis

    My son is getting 488 a month for ssi according to awards letter bc 264 was subtracted for food and shelter but shouldnt i get that back and be getting 733 bc i paid for his food and shelter and he is 9!!! Also i stayed in sc from jan 2014 til march 2016 and ga from march 2016 til present!! Sc is giving me backpay from jan 2014 til nov 2016 but for dec he is not recieving a check is this bc i have to now report to ga for dec and so on???

    • stanley lewis

      And we are homeless no car cell phones are off and barely have food while waiting so will he be able to get an advancement!!! And do you know how lumpsum are broke down he was awarded 17000 based off the 488 but shouldnt that go up if he gets the full 733 after i clarify the food and shelter issue

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Stanley,

        See my response of a few minutes ago to your first post regarding reduction for support and maintenance (shelter and food)

        You can request an emergency advance payment based on your son being homeless. If he is due more than six months of back benefits, his back pay will be paid into a Dedicated Account, which has restricted use. (See https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200602140 ). To use dedicated back pay for housing, you need to request permission to use some of the back pay under the emergency provision due to homelessness. Research the amount you will need to get an apartment that you will be able to afford ongoing. Include first and last month’s rent, if required, utility deposits, basic furniture if needed (beds, dining table, chairs, and basic cooking and eating dishes and implements).

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stanley,

      If your child is nine years old, his Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is not being reduced because of food and shelter you are providing. It would be reduced if you and your son are living with someone else and you have not been paying enough to cover both your share and your son’s share of shelter (and food if you and your son share food with others in the household. Your son’s share is the total expenses divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Please help!! I recently separated from my husband and have had to move back in with my parents. I am only paying for my own food at their home and not paying any rent as of now because I’m unable to work (my disability is pending). My only income is random money I get when selling my clothes or other small items I own. I applied for SSI and was told my IRA of 2050$ put me over the limit so I cashed it out. I was told to bring proof that I cashed it out and spent it.
    #1- My question is can I keep $1000.00 in my checking account and then show that I have spent the remaining money?? I want to keep cash as I know I will have to pay a penalty for withdrawing the IRA early. Is it ok to keep money up to my 2000$ limit or less in my checking account??
    #2-Also I would like to know how my parents will be affected by me living with them or vice-versa.. will their income affect me getting SSI even thou the only thing I get from them is shelter? Will they have to “claim” me on anything? And my mother gets disability already so will it affect her benefits by me staying at her home? Or my dad who works full time??
    Thank you so much, this process is so confusing.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kelli,

      You can keep any portion of the retirement account money you want as long as the amount together with any other countable assets you have total $2,000 or less. (Keep in mind the bank pays a small amount of interest on some accounts that can raise assets above the limit.)

      Your parents’ income has not impact on your SSI eligibility. The free shelter you are receiving will cause a reduction of up to $264.67 in your payment.

      If your mother receives Social Security Disability, your living with her will not affect her benefits. If she is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and you do not pay more than your share of shelter expenses, her SSI will not be affected. Your share is the expenses divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Britsboys

    Dies my husbands retirement account through work, it is at about $20,000, and my PERA through the school, it’s at about $500, count as resources for my son who was approved for SSI?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Britsboys,

      Your husband’s and your retirement accounts do count as resources if hand you can withdraw from them (not borrow, but withdraw) even if there are tax penalties to do so.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Britsboys

        Would it be better to cash it out with the penalties? We were approved, but still need to finish paperwork like life insurance, etc.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Britsboys,

          You and he can have $3,000 in countable resources or if your son has none, you and your husband can have $5,000 including any countable life insurance or second vehicles, etc. The first step is for you to find out whether you can even withdraw from the accounts. If not, they are not countable resources for SSI.

          If you can withdraw, you and your husband will have to decide what is best to do in the context of your total financial situation. Some factors to consider are: Are you child’s medical bills very how and now uncovered by insurance? Also, it could be helpful to get an estimate of how much SSI he would receive based on family income. (If you tell me your income and the number of minor children in the household and the amount of any child support being paid out, I can give an estimate.) How much will you actually get after taxes? If the deposits to the accounts were tax deferred, you will have to pay regular income tax on the withdrawal, plus penalties if you are too young. And, there is the consideration of whether it would be best to save the money in the retirement accounts for your retirement years. If you cash out the money, you need to keep proof of how you spend the money, for example, for general expenses, for the down payment on excludable home you live in or to pay off a car.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • kim mann

    My daughter is disabled and gets ssi as well as Michelle P. My question is, if Michelle P Waiver money doesn’t count as income since the money is for her care, do I still need to keep my checking /saving account below $2000? I can’t get an answer from either agency and hope you can help!
    Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kim,

      I do not know the answer to your question. Michelle P. Waiver is not listed as an excluded resource. To be on the safe side, I suggest keeping your daughter’s assets below $2,000 until you can get a definitive answer, which I would define as one or the other of the administrations supporting their answer by showing you section of the regulations reference that says it is excluded either by name or by classification of income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jasie

    Hi Kay,
    My father receives SSI, foodstamps and Medicaid.
    He is elderly and does not speak English. I write checks from his account and make sure that the bills are paid. Last year I was not able to do that and money accumulated over $2,000 on his account during some of the months. He told me that he was saving to pay property tax for the house. He just got a letter from SSA that said that he needs to repay for those months and that his monthly amount will be diminished because they feel that he is getting financial help from me (not the case – I just help writing checks). Any ideas what to do? Does he also lose food stamps and Medicaid?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jasie,

      You and your father need to go to the Social Security office and file an appeal on the reduction of benefits and any overpayment caused by the determination that you are helping him financially. To support the appeal, you can submit bank statements showing no deposits other than your father’s benefits and you can sign a statement that you just help him with the clerical work of paying his bills due to the language barrier. If your father writes in his language, he can make the same statement. Hopefully you have power of attorney (POA) to write checks off his account. If so, you can present a document from the bank that shows your POA. (If you don’t have one, your father should grant you a POA so your signature is legal.)

      With regard to the overpayment due to excess resources, your father can try to get waiver of repayment based on the overpayment not being his fault and inability to repay. Inability to repay would be based on his needing the money he has saved to pay his property taxes (i.e. to retain his shelter). He might be able to make a case for the overpayment not being his fault based on why he didn’t know he was not eligible–because he thought he could save for taxes–or because of the language barrier or both, whatever the situation is. Note that in the future, he will have to stay within the resource limit. This may require him to pay only part of his taxes when due and pay the rest in quarterly payments, which most counties allow.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jackie

    Kay, I have a special needs child turning 18 this month. Before his disability diagnose, I opened up a Coverdell Ed. Savings account. Unfortunately, he will not be going to college, and he is currently in a special needs school, funded by the state.
    I am applying for SSI for him, but was told if the Coverdell is in his name, he will automatically be ineligible for SSI benefits. He has no siblings to transfer the IRA over to them. How do I get his name off of the Coverdell so he can receive SSI benefits?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jackie,

      You may need to start with the IRS to find out how to remove your son’s name and whether there are any tax consequences. Then in terms of his Supplemental Security Income (SSI) application, your son is likely to be ineligible for a period of time because he gave away money to become eligible for benefits. For example, if the account has $10,000 in it, he would be ineligible for benefits for 14 months ($10,000 / $733, the current SSI Federal Maximum Benefit). An alternative might be to see if the school your child attends will take private payments and pay for his attendance instead of the state. Depending on the monthly cost, he might become financially eligible sooner as he spent down to the SSI $2,000 limit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • charles

    My daughter was receiving SSI benefits which were suspended in April stating I was over the resource limit due to receiving a tax return. I was told to provide a bank statement showing in fact it was a tax return, which I did and her beenfits still have not been reinstated. I was told that being I withdrew 5,000 from the account I now have to show what that was spent on. I don’t keep many receipts so I’m really at a loss with this. Also, I withdrew from my 401k as I was looking to buy a home, which I currently still am. Will that 401k withdrawal cause my daughter to be ineligible (even with me not being on the birth certificate)? And how will this afffect her medicaid, she was born premature with a brain injury and desperately needs to maintain her insurance. Can you please offer any advice? I need help…please

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Charles,

      Please see my reply to your first post. I did not address Medicaid. Your daughter will lose her Medicaid eligibility that stems from SSI eligibility; however, she may qualify in another manner. If not, I suggest that you investigate insurance for her under the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP). More information is available at http://www.healthcare.gov.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • charles

    My daughter was receiving SSI benefits which were suspended in April stating I was over the resource limit due to receiving a tax return. I was told to provide a bank statement showing in fact it was a tax return, which I did and her beenfits still have not been reinstated. I was told that being I withdrew 5,000 from the account I now have to show what that was spent on. I don’t keep many receipts so I’m really at a loss with this. Also, I withdrew from my 401k as I was looking to buy a home, which I currently still am. Will that 401k withdrawal cause my daughter to be ineligible (even with me not being on the birth certificate)? And how will this afffect her medicaid, she was born premature with a brain injury and desperately needs to maintain her insurance. Can you please offer any advice? I need help

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Charles,

      As soon as you buy the house, the money withdrawn from the 401k for the purchase will not count toward the limit. You do not say when you withdrew from the 401k, but if there was a time gap from April up to the withdrawal for the house purchase, to get benefits for those months, you will have to show when your resources dropped below $2,000. If you paid for things with checks or a debit card, you can print your bank statements for 2016 to account to provide proof for at least part of the expenditures. If you made any fairly large purchases, you may be able to get a duplicate receipt from the vendor. Whether or not your name is on your daughter’s birth certificate, your income and assets affect her SSI eligibility as long as you live with her.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • john smith

    Kay

    If you have a roth IRA say valued at 100k will this disqualify you for SSI and medicaid? If SSI is zero as a result of this Roth medicaid is out as well … right?

    thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear John,

      A Roth IRA is a countable resource even if withdrawing the money at a young age or withdrawing before the account was open for five years would result in unfavorable taxation. The reason is that Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based public assistance program that is intended to be a last resort source of income after all other resources have been used for self-support. (You can have $2,000 countable resources or $3,000 if you are married and living with your spouse.) The Roth IRA will probably keep you from qualifying directly for Medicaid but I don’t know for sure, so be sure to check with the Medicaid department of your local state or county social services office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Alma

        Hello, when i initially applied for ssdi for my mother i was unaware that she had bank accounts so i said she didn’t have one. She was unable to answer questions on her own since she has memory loss due to her accident, which caused her to become disabled. After i learned that she did have a bank account i called many times to see what i can do but i was always on hold so i researched and read that having a bank account doesn’t affect ssdi and left it at that. I recently learned that when we applied for disability we automatically applied for SSI also. I always thought the copies i received from the day of the claim were the same until I looked over and noticed one was for SSI. My mother is already approved for disability and will receive her first payment soon. She has a review for eligibility for SSI coming up, my question is do I let them know there that she does have a bank account and that I made a mistake on the ssdi application? Will my mistake affect her even though she has not yet received any SSI benefits or even been approved? Please help, I don’t want her to be in trouble because of my mistake. Thank you in advance.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Alma,

          Yes, correct the record and take a copy of your mother’s bank statements back to the month before she applied. If her assets have been below $2,000, the account will not affect her Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility. If she is ineligible for SSI, she can still receive SSDI.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Victoria Atilla

    Hi Kay,
    We have 3 vehicles total. Me primary vehicle which is excluded, my husbands vehicle which is worth $2500.00 and also a work truck worth$2200.00 and used for work only and also claimed in our income taxes as work vehicle only.
    Does my husbands work truck excluded?since it is a must vehicle to support family
    He is in construction trade self employed.
    Where is the reference for that? POM or whatever the law is not clear.
    I would appreciate if you can clerify this one for me
    Thanks
    Vicky

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Victoria,

      The work truck should be excluded as property essential for self-support, assuming neither of the two other vehicles are capable of hauling his tools and work materials. The reference for property essential for self-support can be found in POMS at https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0501130500.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Helen

    Hi Kay.
    My stepson was medically approved for ssi in Oct 2016. My husband works and recieves approx 1800 a month for employment. we have 2 other miner children in the home. I have a house valued at 18200 bought that we once recieved rent for but no longer do 1 yr prior to the marriage how will this be assessed as an asset?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Helen,

      If your family does not live in the house and there is no mortgage on the property or the equity value (sales value minus amount owed on the house) is $18,200 the house will make your stepson financially ineligible for SSI. If you had the house rented out, the house could be excluded as income-producing property and the rent would count as parental income. Given that the house is not producing income, you could choose to sell it and request provisional SSI payments until it is sold. At that time, you would need to use the proceeds from the sale to repay the SSI paid while you still owned the house. Your husband’s work income of $1,800 will not reduce your son’s SSI benefit from the maximum $733 when your son becomes eligible for benefits or provisional benefits based on family resources.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Cydna Bellamy

    Dear Kay,
    I have not read all the posts so my answer may be up there but I highly doubt it.

    I was asked to be an onsite manager for my apt. building and am on SSI. They offered a small rent deduction in exchange, no money. I checked with the SSI office via phone and they told me that if I was not collecting wages I do not have to be concerned.

    Well.. about 8 months after I was let go from that job, I got a letter from SSI saying they were cutting my payment down due to my “wages” I called and explained. They told me it was still work in exchange for lower rent so I owed the money back! (paying SSI MY OWN money and meaning I worked free… really?!) I am 62 years old and it just seems to get worse. I get one huge letter that says what my payments will be , 120 off my check, and then i got 3 over payment letters and they wanted that. Ok so I couldn’t reach or even find out who the worker was but I finally did and marched into the office. He filled out a reconsideration and had me sign it and get a letter from the management company that said it was not wages but a trade. Then I got my original check back. For ONE month!! Then they sent an over payment letter for almost 500.00 (not the amount they assumed I got in wages) and they started taking 89.45 out of my check. I appealed, they denied it and off to the SS office I went. The man that saw me gave me a waiver form. He said we did the waiver before, verbally????????? ok don’t they have to be in the computer and signed etc. He did not do that verbally. We only did the reconsideration which he took right back!!!!!

    So at this point I have a waiver to deal with. I have some questions because i probably totally confused you with my situation.
    1. Do I give them my credit card bills as they are a debit? Or will they say I get to use that money and take those payments from me as well as the credit cards.

    2. What DO i put on there for waivers? I am a hot mess with all of this. They lie, they downright lie and there is not a thing I can do. All I know is I am paying SSI for the work I did for credits only, meaning I did that for free. That is the way I see it.

    Please if you can, email my answers. You may post them as well, but I want to make sure.

    I went to legal aid but they couldn’t do anything for me stating I didn’t report my life insurance which I will do and NO i am not borrowing off of it. Honestly, I thin they had no idea what SSI was doing to me either.

    Thank you kindly
    Cydna B.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cynda,

      I would think that the rent reduction you received was work earnings. This, however, is a statement based on logic. A factor that might cause the rent reduction to be treated as unearned income is that for income tax and Social Security and Medicare tax purposes, the value of free or reduced rent in exchange for work duties is not taxed. Because it is not taxed as work earnings, it is possible that SSI law requires the income to be treated as unearned. (I tried to find a reference but wasn’t successful.)

      As work earnings, the first $65 ($85 if you have no other income) would not affect your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and there would be a one-dollar reduction for each two dollars you earn over that amount. I don’t think a “trade” would keep the rent reduction from counting as income; instead if the reduction is determined not to be work income, it would count dollar-for-dollar as unearned income with only a $20 exclusion if you have no other income. Whether earned or unearned income, I am sure that the reduced rent is income for SSI benefit calculation.

      A reconsideration disagrees with the fact of an overpayment; a waiver request is a request not to have to repay an overpayment. For the waiver of repayment to be approved, you have to establish that the overpayment was not your fault (your reported it and were told it didn’t count as income) and that you cannot afford to replay. For the waiver request, put down all your expenditures including credit card payments. (Money charged to a credit card is a loan to your that has to be repaid, so it is not income.) If the waiver is denied, you can request a smaller amount withheld each month.

      Lastly, the temporary increase in benefits was likely due to your appealing within ten days. As soon as the reconsideration was denied, the increase would be terminated and the extra you were paid would be a new overpayment.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Joy Myers

    My son receives SSI and I’m looking to adopt, if I create a charity page where the funds go directly to the agency, will this affect my son? Will adopting in general hurt my son’s benefits?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Joy,

      The charitable money you receive to fund adopting a child may count as income to you and affect your son’s benefits. If you do adopt a child and receive governmental adoption assistance under a government program, the income will probably count as the adopted child’s income and would not adversely affect your son’s SSI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Shayla

        Good morning, I receive ssi benefits. I would like to put 1,000 in the bank so I can get a secured credit card. Can you please tell me if that will affect my ssi benefits

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Shayla,

          Please see my reply of a moment ago to your first post. You can have $2,000 countable assets ($3,000 if you are married and living with your spouse). Your liquid assets count as resources regardless where they are stored–in a bank account or held as cash at home.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Telma Isayan

    my father owns my business property, and is bedridden, He transferred the property to me but there were no money exchange. Will he be eligible for ssi?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Telma,

      Your father may be excluded from getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for up to three years. The length of the exclusion depends on value of the property. He could file an application to get more specific information.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • jim lewis

        What if you get an inheritance of $5,000.00 will they just discontinue your SSI benefits forever or will they look at the $5,000 and suspend benefits temporarily. How can they just stop your benefits for ever????? This piddling amount of money wont last too long. Shouldn’t they just reinstate your SSI after the $5,000 has been used at the same rate of the money you receive. For example if you get $400 a month SSI, that would be the same as 12 and a half months. Would they start your payments after a year

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jim,

          If you receive $5,000, you will be ineligible the month you receive it because the money counts as income in that month. You will be come eligible for benefits again in the first month in which on the first of the month your countable resources drop to $2,000 or less ($3,000 if married and living with your spouse). A person without a vehicle could choose to buy a car or buy an excluded burial policy or purchase other needed items such as dental work or new tires or clothing or pay off bona fide debts that were written loans with repayment plans and be eligible as early as the month after getting the money if the spend down occurred in the same month as the money was received. Receipts should be kept to show where all the money went. If a person gives away money, then the amount given away will make the person ineligible for a number of months determined by dividing the amount given away by the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR), which is currently $733.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Louise P.

    Hi –

    I am in the process of applying for SSI for our 19 year old daughter. She is currently a college student. I just learned that my father had saved some funds for her in a Coverdell Education Savings account (Coverdell IRA or CESA) years ago and the estimated value is over $5,000. The question is, and I can’t seem to find a clear answer, whether Coverdell accounts are countable resources. We have a 529 Plan account, and this is excluded as we are the owners of the account and control it. But as she is 19, and the rules of the Coverdell exclude control by the donor (in this case my father), I am trying to find out if these funds are countable. Can you help?

    Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Louise,

      It would appear that the Coverdell IRA is excluded from being a resource at least until your daughter is age thirty at which time the funds are supposed to be withdrawn. See D.1. in the regulations at https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/links/0501130460. Also see E.1.Example 1. for using the funds for education or disability-related work expenses.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • I get SSDI and have 2 vehicles but just sold the one that hasn’t run in 2 yrs to a junk car company. Got $50 for it as a scrap car. That’s the most they offered & said it was worth. Will my benefits be hurt & do I need to go to SS office & show I no longer have it?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dinora,

      Keep the bill of sale from selling the car to the junk yard and report the sale at your next annual redetermination of financial eligibility. Explain that the car had not run for two years and $50 was the most you could get for it. The sale should not affect eligibility.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • kay, I own my own home and receive SSI 733.00 my son and his wife and 3 children will be living with me if they pay for total electric bill and water bill will that effect my check

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Linda,

      Here is the answer I wrote to your first question, which you posted under a different article.

      In order for your SSI not to be reduced, you need to pay your share of shelter expenses. Stated the other way around, your son’s family cannot pay more than their share. Your share is the total expenses divided by the number of people in the household (6 with your son’s family). Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and mortgage, property tax, and if required by a lender, property insurance.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Erika M.

    We are applying for SSI benefits for my step-daughter. We qualified in all areas other than owning a second vehicle that is worth $7,000. We are considering selling this vehicle and using the $7,000 to pay off credit cards. Will this be ok? We are just concerned about the $7,000 counting as assets.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Erika,

      Yes, you can sell the car and pay off the credits cards. Keep records of the sales price and of paying off the cards so you can prove you don’t have the car and did not give the money away. Note that you need to sell the car for fair market value. If you pay off the cards in the same month as you sell the car, the cash will not count toward the resource limit on the first of the following month.

      One other thing to note is be sure you know which vehicle is the countable one. It is the value of the less expensive vehicle that is the countable asset. The value is the retail value reduced by any amount you owe on it. For example, you could have a $15,000 car and owe $13,000 on it and its value would be $2,000.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Elise

    I am told that I have an overpayment because of getting in kind help for medical expenses.I will appeal and request a waiver, but if they deny my appeal/waiver I will not have any money to repay (that is sort of the point when you have no money). So I have two questions: can I borrow against my home to repay? Once I repay, then what – do they reinstate my benefits or I will have to reapply for everything – SSI, Medicaid, food stamps. But would they deny me because they think I would get in kind funds again?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Elise,

      I suggest that you appeal the determination that you are overpaid. If someone paid your medical bills directly to the medical provider, that is not income of any kind for the calculation of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. Only direct payment of shelter expenses and food are in-kind support and maintenance. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance.

      Should you have an overpayment, you can borrow against your home; however, there’s no expectation for you to borrow against your home. A option would be to request waiver of collection based on the overpayment not being your fault, assuming it was not, and not being able to afford to repay.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Elise

        Thank you Kay – you are a terrific resource! I plan to appeal and ask for a waver. I am just very anxious always as I feel that sometimes i have a hard time explaining myself (I had a traumatic brain injury in 2009), especially when I have to explain mysef to a government person. I just want to know what happens if I fail – would they stop benefit until I repay, or if I borrow against my residence and have to repay my reverse mortgage i will need money coming in from somewhere so that I can repay the mortgage and have money to live on.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Elise,

          I would not jump to borrowing against your house. If you are not granted a waiver, you can request collection by having part of your benefits withheld each month.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Nolan

    I have a similar situation as Lauren, but I got a loan from my brother to pay my RE taxes. I have been paying him back, but now I think I may be in trouble. Would SSA count this loan as a sort of resource or something?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nolan,

      Loans are not income. Given that you are repaying your brother, you have a bona fide loan. When you next have a redetermination of your financial eligibility, have a loan agreement signed by you and your brother ready that states the amount of the loan, the date of the loan, and the repayment schedule. If you are asked how you paid your taxes, present the loan agreement papers and any proof you have of actually repaying the loan (cancelled check or money orders).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lauren Wilson

    My kids helped me pay real estate taxes for a couple of years because I could not pay myself. Would it diminish my SSI payments and do I need to report it?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lauren,

      Yes, payment of property taxes by someone else must be reported because the payment is in-kind (non-cash) income. If they paid the taxes directly, the maximum reduction of your SSI is $244.34. If they paid the taxes all in one month, then one month’s SSI would be affected and you would have a one month overpayment.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Lauren Wilson

        Thank you Kay! I may be confused, I thought that if I lived alone and paid monthly assessment (I own a condominium, where I have to pay monthly assessment) and my own food, but could not pay taxes, it would be Ok for someone else to help pay this tax. Also taxes are fairly large where I live and I would have to save money to pay them, thus accumulating funds in excess of $2,000. I am not sure how this will be interpreted by the SSA.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Lauren,

          The law is clear that shelter expenses include property tax. In terms of determining in-kind support and maintenance, this is what Social Security says: “Condominium fees in themselves are not household costs. However, condominium fees may include charges which are household costs (e.g., garbage removal). To the extent that such charges are identifiable, use them in the computation of inside and outside ISM.” This means that if the fees include shelter utilities (not cable), the fees would be shelter costs.

          As far as saving up for taxes, you would have to stay within the SSI resource limits. However, most taxing governments allow quarterly payment of taxes so you would have to save up only one quarter at a time. (Note that paying in quarterly installments you would not get the discount, if one is offered, for paying in full once a year.)

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Lauren Wilson

            Great information! thank you Kay!

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Lauren.

  • Jason

    Would the following items fall under excluded resources personal effects? Laptop, Cell Phone, Tablet, Video Game console and accessories, etc.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jason,

      Yes, usual household items and basic electronics are not counted in adding up countable resources.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Scott

    I have a wife and six kids.
    Two of my kids have autism.
    Both kids have been getting SSDI for over ten years.
    I worked for a company for 15 years and I did not enroll or contribute to any 401k, because I knew it was basically not allowed for SSDI.
    Every now and then I would receive letter from Fidelity and I just thought it was junk mail.
    I quit that company in Jan of 2015.
    Just got a letter in the mail that said my 401k was being transferred to Vanguard from Fidelity.
    Called Vanguard and found out that I had over 10K.
    While I worked for that company they started a 401k without my consent and they were contributing. Non of it came out of my paychecks.
    Why? I have no Idea?
    While I worked for them, I could not take anything out, as I did not contribute to it.
    It wasn’t until I quit, that I could have taken it out.
    Now that it has be 1.75 years that I quit that company, will I owe back payments of 1.75 years, or could I just buy the needed equipment to start my own business?
    Once I have our assets down to $3000 will we be penalized for only one month?
    I really want to take it out, as I have a solid business as long as SSI does not penalize us for the 1.75 years that it could have been withdrawn.
    Would it be wise to hire a lawer?.
    Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Scott,

      I will offer some information and ideas to give you a place to start in thinking about what your options are. The 401k is probably a countable asset, so it will probably be determined that your children have been overpaid beginning with the month that you had access to the account. The only way it wouldn’t be is if the tax penalty (not normal taxes) for early withdrawal (assuming you are below the age of allowable disbursements) is so great that the actual value of the asset to you (the amount accessible) is low enough that it and all your other assets are $7,000 or less.

      You need to report the 401k and when you became aware of having an account to SSA. If it is determined the children are overpaid back to when you left your employer, you can try appealing the fact of the overpayment, saying that the overpayment should be calculated at the point you became aware of the asset

      To have collection of an overpayment waived, you have to prove that you were not at fault in causing the overpayment and cannot afford to repay. Given that the 401k is available to repay the overpayment, you may not be successful in requesting waiver for more than the difference between the overpayment and your 401k proceeds. However, it wouldn’t hurt to try to get the money excluded as an asset necessary for self-support to help you run or expand your business. (You can try to hire an attorney, but most Social Security attorneys deal with disability decisions, not payment calculations.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Marianne C.

    I am 59 years old, disabled and unable to work. My only income is from a trust established upon my mother’s death, 14 years ago. There is an independent trustee of the trust. I am entitled to the the annual income earned by the trust. This currently is about $2,400 annually. The trust pays the expenses on my condo (where I live). This includes utilities, condo dues, real estate taxes, insurance on the condo and any repairs. This totals about $5,500 per year. The trustee, at his discretion, can make distributions to me out of principal of the trust. He distributes about $2,200 to me monthly.This would be the income and principal distribution combined. The trust will be out of money in about 2 years. When can (should) I make application for SSI? My condo is worth about $70,000 and is mortgage free.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Marianne,

      The trust balance may or may not count as a resource for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program; it depends on the kind of trust and how it was written. If the trust assets count as a resource, the money distributed from it usually does not. Conversely, if the trust is not counted as a resource because you cannot dictate the amount of money disbursed from it, then usually disbursements count as income, but there are exceptions.

      I suggest that you call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to request an appointment with an SSI claims representative to find out how the trust would be handled. If the balance in the trust isn’t an asset and withdrawals are income, you can apply the first of the month that the countable distributions from the trust do not exceed $753 a month. In counting that, include $264.34 in-kind (non-cash) income (2016 amount) for the trust paying the condo and utility costs directly. Another choice, if the trust will allow it, would be to stop taking any money from the trust other than the payment of the condo and utility expenses at an earlier point in time and apply for SSI and receive $488.64 in SSI to supplement the trust’s paying your shelter costs–in other words, stretch out how long the trust funds last.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Colleen

    I was just denied SSI for my child with Autism because they deemed our resources to be over $3000.00 (I’m married). My personal resources are no where near $3,000.
    The issue is a few years back my mother put myself, my brother and her husband on her bank account she uses for her rental properties. We all help out – doing repairs and such, but it’s not my money, or my assets. That account has a savings attached that is rather large because it’s the security deposits for 4 properties. Again, it’s not mine, although I technically have access to it.
    Should I request a review for the denial?
    THANKS!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Colleen,

      Your name being on the account as a joint owner of the account makes the money in the account legally yours, even though all the account holders agree privately that the money is your mother’s. Accordingly, an appeal won’t help.

      You can have your mother remove you from the account and submit proof from the bank of the removal, together with a statement from your mother about the reason your name was on the account, the fact that part of the money is not even hers because it is rental-deposit money she must legally hold during the tenants’ tenancy, that the money was never yours to use, and that she has removed your name. Doing this will not change the determination for the past, but should allow eligibility ongoing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Colleen

        Thanks so much Kay – would that mean that I need to reapply as well?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Colleen,

          I think that you may be able to just take the documents I referenced to the office and file an appeal claiming financial eligibility the month after the bank account has been changed. That way, you should not have to reapply and get a new medical decision if you already got a medical approval. If no medical decision was made, you may have to file a new claim.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Sandy

    I have been collecting SSI for a few years now. When I applied, I informed SS that I had taken a loan from my aunt previously. I have been paying her back monthly from my SSI payments. My mom passed away earlier this year. She used to handle my aunts banking needs because my aunt is not in the country. When she passed, my aunt asked me to handle her bank account. She put me as POA under her banking account. I am allowed to write checks for her, but have no access to her atm. My concern is that SS will see that I have POA over my aunts account and that I pay her every month from my SSI payments. Will that be an issue? Should I remove myself as POA for her account?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sandy,

      Having power of attorney (POA) means that you can act on behalf of your aunt; however, the account, as the bank has it set up, shows that the money belongs only to your aunt. (POA is not the same as a joint account where joint owners of the account have legal right to use all the money regardless of any private agreement that the money belongs only to one person.) Accordingly, the account should not affect your SSI. The fact that you are repaying a loan does not affect your SSI. It could be helpful, though, to keep a ledger or have your aunt keep a ledger showing the payment and the balance due each month in case the account ever comes into question.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • sang

    i currently have 2 cars . 1 of the car is being financed, will the car that being financed affect my eligibility for benefits

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sang,

      When you have two vehicles, the one with the higher equity value (retail value minus what is owed on it, if anything) will be excluded. The vehicle with the lower equity value will count toward the resource limit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Kimberly

      Hi!
      My child was recently approved for ssi. My concern is that I’m married. Will my husband’s income be counted toward the household income even though he doesn’t live with me? Will my 20 year old child who lives with me income be counted?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Kimberly,

        Neither your husband’s nor your adult son’s income will affect your child’s SSI benefit amount.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Tiffany

    My car was completely totaled when the flash flood hit. Car was ruined, damage to catalytic converter, Hole in radiator from not enough oil in the car after the expensive repair that would exceed over 1500 and constantly putting work into it to fix it up over the period that I had the car will I get penalized for junking my car I did not sell it willingly but nobody would take it for the value that SSI would want me to sell it for so I had to junk it. Also my Landlord does not want inoperative vehicles in my yard covered or uncovered. Which is clearly stated in my lease when I started receiving benefits. Will I be penalized for this please give me a response as soon as you can thank you I appreciate it

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tiffany,

      How you disposed of the car will not affect your Supplemental Security Income (SSI). After your car was hit by the flood and was in need of repair, its value likely dropped to the junk value you got for it. Also, if you had only one car, the car was an excluded resource and getting rid of an excluded resource does not affect eligibility for benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Tiffany

        Thank you Kay you are always a big help thank you so much.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Tiffany.

  • Adora Bayman

    Im in SSDI and receiving $789 my son is 13 yrs.old and he is receiving $810 from his dad SDDI Im not married with him anymore but Im also receiving $645 a month from his retirement. My question is am I still qualified for SSI?

    • Adora Bayman

      I want to add also that I have significant others that been living with me and has only $125 a month income from VA.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Adora,

      Your income is too high for Supplemental Security Income payments.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Mike

    My father in law has 2 kids with Autism and they are receiving SSI. He has a lot of credit card debts and he has a little over $12,000 in a 401K. Can he withdraw that money to pay for his debts without getting in trouble with the Social Security?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mike,

      Specific rules apply to the withdrawal of 401k funds. Your father-in-law can check with the 401k plan administrator to find out whether he has access to the account. If he does have access to the $12,000, his children are not eligible for SSI and are probably overpaid.

      If he withdraws the money or part of it and uses it to pay debts, the children will become eligible again when his assets drop to the limit. The limit is $2,000 for one parent, $3,000 for two parents in the household, and $2,000 for each disabled child. This means that if the children have no assets, he can have either $6,000 or two parents can have $7,000.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Felicia

        Our gross income is 3440. Household of 6. 3 ineligible children 1 child being the eligible child.
        Pay child support of $215
        Receive child support $245.
        Own two cars 1 being paid on 1 is 14 years old. Pay rent of $725. 401k has 1,400.00 in it and cannot just be taken out whenever you want.
        What would my child get?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Felicia,

          Please see my responses posted earlier today to your earlier questions.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • dmc

            What kind of answer is that?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear DMC,

              I am not sure what you are referring to.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • sara

    Family of 5. Husband , wife, 2 non disable childern, 1 disabled child. Husband makes 1100.00 a month . wife makes 1500.00 a month. Rent is 900.00 we have one car 2013 focus which we make payments on. My son rcvs 733 a month currently. My question is , my hours are changing is it possible to get another car? If so what would be the limit we could get which would not effect my sons ssi. Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sara,

      If you have to have two vehicles for you both to get to work because public transpotration is not available and you can’t coordinate hours, your might be able to get the second vehicle excluded as property needed for self-support. I suggest that you talk to Social Security about this and if they agree, have them put it in writing so that there will be no question in the future. Otherwise, the value of the less valuable car will count toward the resource limit, which is $3,000 for you and your husband and $2,000 for your disabled child. If you have resources above $3,000, the excess counts toward your child’s limit. The equity value (retail value of car reduced by the amount owed on the car) is what counts. Add up all your existing resources to figure out how valuable a car you can buy. Note that the value of the cars will go down as they age but you will also be paying them off so it is difficult to predict what their exact values will be in the future.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Chris

    Hello. I’m on SSID. Do I have to report any lines of credit or credit cards if I apply and am approved for?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chris,

      You do not have to report credit for Social Security or SSI. Money gotten off a credit card or line of credit is a loan that has to be repaid, not income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Rose

    My mom receive SSI benefits and my dad is her representative payee and they live together. Recently they went in for a redetermination. They brought all the papers and info requested. Well now she is denied benefits due to my dads life insurance policy having a cash surrender value that makes his resource over the amount limited. Both my parents don’t speak or understand English very well so when my dad got the life insurance he assume it was a term life insurance. What can they do now in order to continue to receive benefits for my mom as they can barely pay rent with my dads monthly income alone?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rose,

      Your father can cash in the life insurance and use it to purchase irrevocable term life insurance policies for him and your mother. If each one does not exceed $1,500 the policies will be excluded and not count toward the resource limit. If they are still over the resource limit, they can use the money for living expenses until they have spent down or they can use part of the money to repay the SSI overpayment.

      Alternatively, if your mother is notified of an overpayment, she can request waiver of collection based on the overpayment not being their fault (explain the language barrier and that your father thought he was buying an excluded term life policy) and not being able to repay.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Devon M

    My 23 year old son is living with me and his younger sister age 15. He is awaiting approval from SSI. I provide shelter and he buys his own food every month with SNAP ($194). If approved about how much will he get? Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Devon,

      Your son’s SSI benefit, if he is approved, will be $488.67 a month. Once he starts to get SSI, he can use his monthly benefits and, if needed, his back pay to pay for housing. If he either pays fair market value (FMV) for room rental or pays his share of shelter expenses, his SSI will increase to $733 a month.

      His share is the total shelter costs divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance. Fair market value (FMV) for room rental is the amount comparable rooms are renting for in your geographic area. You can get a fair market rental rate by looking at room rental ads or by visiting the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. It will list efficiency apartment prices. A room rental would be less, possibly as much as 50% less.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Suzanne

    Hello,

    My mother is 69 years old. Up until a few months ago she was working. She has a medical problem that will prohibit her from continuing to work. She lives with me and I pay the mortgage and utilities. She pays for her own food, insurance, car payments, etc. She does give me money monthly to help out. My mother receives $550 in social security and $800 in short term disability which runs out in November. She does have $80,000 in an IRA that she rarely draws from. She doesn’t want to touch until she’s older. I can’t afford to take on her bills and $550 is not enough to support her monthly bills. I’m wondering if my mom would be able to collect SSI?

    Thank you!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Suzanne,

      Your mother is not eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), because her IRA puts her $78,000 over the SSI resource (asset) limit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • ray

    I have been supporting my disable brother for last twenty years. He worked may be few months in last 20 years.
    Finally he agreed to apply for SSI as I my self retired and unable to support him. He also agreed to reimburse me for all I had paid for him over the years. I gave him $15000 for emergency usage. He put the money in a CD under his name. Couple months ago he cashed it and gave me the money. When he applied for SSI they rejected and said that he had cashed the CD few months and that counted as asset. Now he wants to appeal. How should he go about it?
    Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ray,

      Giving away an asset to obtain SSI eligibility results in ineligibility for the period of time that the money could have been used for self-support at the SSI maximum benefit rate of $733. In your brother’s case, the $15,000 would have supported him for about 20 months. Even though you and he apparently considered the money in the CD to be yours, it was in his name and he had legal access to it. Accordingly, an appeal may not be successful. If he wishes to appeal, he needs to complete an SSA-561 appeal form listing the reasons why the money should not be considered his. You can read more about transfer of resources by clicking on the transfer of resource sections in the table of contents in Social Security’s POMS at https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0501150000.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Terri Helms

    I started getting SSI for myself, my son has been getting it since birth. Now that he is 18 there was an evaluation done. I have a ring that is valued at $3,695. Which put me over the limit. I know the ring can be sold, but it has sentimental value, and won’t be selling it. What can I do so the ring stays in the family and not be counted as an asset, or be sold?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Terri,

      You can give the ring away to a member of the family, which will make you ineligible for SSI for five or six months–the period of time that proceeds from the sale of the ring could support you at SSI support levels. If you do this, you must really give up ownership of it. You will need a statement from the recipient and if the recipient insures it or adds it to existing home owners or rental insurance, that insurance would be good documentation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Michael

    Hi, thanks for the great article. Last month my mother-in-law has been asked to repay SSI benefit, due to assets in the bank account owned by my wife. My mother-in-law has POA over my wife’s account, but otherwise no connection to wife’s money, wife’s account is titled to wife only.

    We consulted one attorney, and have been told that SSI has not erred, because MIL, by virtue of having POA, “had access” to money in wife’s account. I am still incredulous, though… I think bank shouldn’t have even reported my wife’s money to SSI, when responding to inquiry about MIL assets.

    What’s your opinion?

    Thanks,

    Michael

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Michael,

      Please clarify one thing for me. Which person receives SSI, your wife or your mother-in-law?

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Michael

        My Mother-In-Law receives SSI, my wife has bank account.
        MIL has POA to my wife’s account

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Michael,

          As your wife’s attorney-in-fact, given power of attorney (POA) by your wife, your mother-in-law acts an agent for your wife. If she were to take any money for herself without your wife expressly giving the money to her, she would be breaking the law. Accordingly, your wife’s bank account should not be counted as your mother-in-law’s asset for determining SSI eligibility. If necessary submit documents from the bank that shows it is not a joint account and that your mother-in-law only has POA. As to your second question about whether she would have to report the existence of the account, it would depend on how the question was worded. If she was asked to declare all her bank accounts, then she would list your wife’s account.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          S

  • Jorge

    Hello were receiving SSI for my 2 kids 3 and 5 yrs old. We have a car right now that were still paying to a bank. We wanted to know if a second car loan will affect our ssi?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jorge,

      You say “we” so I assume your are referring to your spouse or your children’s other parent (could be the same person) who lives with you and the children. If so, you and the other adult can have $3,000 countable resources. If you get a second car, the more valuable car will not be counted. The less valuable car will count toward the $3,000 resource limit. Value is the equity value (retail value reduced by what you owe on it). If your countable resources are more than $3,000, the excess will be divided in half and half will be counted toward your children’s resource limit, which is $2,000 each.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • angiie

    hi, im new to ssi thing , ok so my daughter got diagnosed with autism , i will be applying to see if she qualifies for ssi, my question is how do they count my income , do they run my previous income tax from previous years or do i just give them my income information that im currently recieving, i recieve cash aid for one of my kids but not for her and i get food stamps, my husband (wich is not her dad) but i am married to gets income as well for his job wich is 195 a month ( he also gets child suppport deducted for his son of a previous relationship half of his paycheck), .. what income do they count?, oh i also have 1 car under my name i paid cash for it 2 years ago, and a bank account wich only has 200 dollars in it,

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Angie,

      Your child might be financially eligible for SSI. I suggest that you apply. Take verification of the family’s income for the month in which you apply, proof of the child support your husband pays and the child support you get for your non-disabled child, and information about the equity value of your cars if your husband also has a car.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • ashley

    Hi,

    I have been on SSI since I was 25 (for the past 2 years). I just found out that I have an Fidelity stock account worth $5000. My mother is listed as the custodian, but because I am over 21, I’m actually considered the owner & it is my resource. (All this time I thought the money belonged to my parents). I’m nervous about what rules I may have unintentionally violated or if I owe the state money (back payments because I’ve been over the $2000 asset amount all this time…). I also don’t want to lose my SSI; I don’t know how I’ll pay my rent without it.

    If possible, I’d like to be able to give the money to my parents. The money was given to me to pay for my college education. It should go back to them… Can I transfer these assets to them? Will I have to pay back the govt for 2 years of SSI?

    Nervously,
    Ashley

    • ashley

      **The money would be used to repay the loan my parents gave me for college, not merely gifting it to them

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ashley,

      First, you need to report your discovery that you have an asset. You might try to make a case for its not being counted as an asset because you didn’t know it existed and, therefore, could not use it for your support. Then you could cash the stock out or enough of it to put you below the $2,000 resource limit and use the rest to support yourself at the SSI level of $733 a month until you are below the limit. At that point you could then re-qualify financially. (Keep in mind that stock fluctates in value so keeping close to $2,000 in stock could mean that you would go over the resource limit again.

      Unless the money your parents gave you to attend college was a bonafide loan with a repayment agreement on how and when they would be repaid, transferring the money to them will likely be treated as giving it away and make you ineligible for benefits for six or seven months.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Vivian R.

    Hello, My brother receives SSI, I receive SSD, my mother passed away and now we have gone through probate and her property has been left to us jointly 50% equally. First will this affect his SSI? Second if we sell this property and purchase another at the same time will his SSI be effected? If this property is sold I got a loan for 40K that had to be borrowed to support this property during probate that has to be paid back, so a portion of the sales will be used to pay back that loan, will that affect his SSI? All of this is so confusing to us, thank you so much for your help.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Vivian,

      If your brother is not living in the home, his interest in the home will count as a resource the first of the month after the property has been passed to you and him. If the property is put up for sale while he is not living in it and he provides proof he is trying to sell it, he can get provisional SSI payments for a specified period of time; however, once the house is sold, he will have to repay SSI received for the months that he was not eligible because he had excess resources.

      If the loan was secured by the property and it is paid back as part of the escrow sale closure costs, then half of the net proceeds of the sale after payment of the loan will belong to your brother. If another home that he is to live in is purchased he will not have excess resources beginning with the month after he moves in.

      If the loan was not secured by the house and your brother did not sign on the loan, I do not know how that might be handled. It is an unusual situation and your brother will have to report all the facts and wait to see what Social Security determines.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • i have a life insurance policy, cvs is 4300.00, am i still eligible for ssi

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear S.,

      If you can cash out your policy in for $4,300, you are not eligible because your resources exceed $2,000 resource limit ($3,000 if you are married living with your spouse). An option would be to cash in the policy, buy a $1,500 term life burial policy, and use the rest of the money for your usual living expenses and then apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) when your assets dropped below the limit. (Note that your policy does not affect your eligibility for Social Security Disability (SSDI).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Crystal

    Hi Kay,

    I recently received a letter from ssi stating I was over the income resource for my 2 kids that receive ssi. The letter states I was over income from 3/15-1/16. Reason being is that 2 of the bank accounts they have listed are in my daughters name but bc she opened those accounts when she was a minor at the age of 17 I was required to be on the accounts as well. I never reported this to ssi due to the fact that I didn’t think it was necessary since the primary account holder is my daughter. And number 2 is I didn’t realize that 2000 was the income limit for my household. I withdrew my pension in 2014 and I reported it and proved that the extra income went to mortgage but there was leftover monies in my account causing me to be over the 2000 threshold each month. I no longer receive Ssi since 1/16 but I’d like to know if I will owe back monies for all of those months? I’ve also sent in a waiver but I haven’t heard anything yet. If the waiver is denied can I ask for a case review since I did not know these things? I can not afford to pay that much money back. One more question is if I sign to be my daughters power of attorney in her accounts will that eliminate her accounts as a resource? Thank you for your help.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Crystal,

      Yes, you are overpaid for the past period. I am not certain whether a waiver of repayment denial can be appealed. If you can appeal, it will say so in the denial. Note that you have to both not be at fault and not be able to afford to repay. If you still have over $2,000 in your own account, you might be considered able to repay a portion of the overpayment.

      If your name is removed as an owner of the account and you become an attorney-in-fact on the account (have power of attorney), then the money will not longer legally be yours and should not be resource of SSI. However, there are restrictions on giving away money or other resources to become eligible for SSI. Because legally the money is yours even if ethically it is not, your removing your name from the accounts may constitute giving away money. If that is the case, you may be ineligible for SSI for a period of time. For example if the accounts have $4,000 in them, you could be ineligible for five and a half months, the period of time the money would last if you used it at the SSI support rate of $733 a month.

      Just a note for future reference. You are overpaid because of what you legally own. These are assets, which the SSI program calls resources. Resources are assets that are carried over from the prior month and that you own on the first of the month. Income is money or free food or housing you receive in a month.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Crystal

        Thank you for your answer Kay. If I may ask another: I understand there are rules regarding giving away money but I was wondering how it would be perceived if I withdrew the money from my bank account? SSA is stating that I owe back in excess of 19,000. I am waiting on the waiver to be processed but should I go on a payment plan as well? And will ssa be willing to take a settled amount in compromise?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Crystal,

          If you withdraw money from your own bank account to pay for your usual living expenses, that will be fine. If the waiver is denied, you can request a monthly payment plan to repay. I have not heard of Social Security or Supplemental Security Income overpayments being settled for less than the overpayment.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Cora N.

    Hi Kay,

    I just found out that 6 years ago when I applied and got approved for SSI I omitted to disclose a cash-value life insurance. I never understood how the life insurance works and this one was purchased overseas in 1998 before I moved to the USA. Just recently a friend of mine was talking about life insurance and mentioned the cash-value option and the name of that company. The conclusion is that the life insurance I have has cash value of about $4500 now (I do not know the value 6 years ago) and I am scared of the implications. I want to contact the Social Security and disclose this and I am just trying to be prepared for what might happen to me once I tell them all the facts. Would I face jail, would they ask for all the money back? I am really scared. Thank you for your time.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cora,

      If you voluntarily reporting a mistake now that you are aware of it, it is extremely unlikely you would be prosecuted for fraud. if the $4,500 is the cash surrender value and you can cash in the policy, it seems possible that you have never been eligible for SSI because of the cash value of the insurance policy, which may well have been over the limit six years ago.

      If that is the case, you are overpaid all the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits you have received. The only possible relief from your situation would be to file a request for waiver of repayment based on not being at fault and not being able to repay the full amount. You could claim no fault because you didn’t remember the policy until the recent conversation with a friend, who was talking about life insurance. If the waiver is granted it most likely will not be for the full overpayment because you can cash in the policy and use the cash to repay a portion of the overpayment. The repayment would make you financially eligible for SSI again.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Cora N.

        Kay,

        Thank you so much for your answer. I will contact social security right away to get this done with and making it right. Thank you again and God bless you for helping us all.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Cora.

  • Kim

    Hi my son gets ssi and I went in for a redetermation in 2014 during that time I explained to the agent I had two cars one a kia and xterra the kia was paid off but the xterra I owed 9000. I got a letter a couple weeks later saying I was over resource. Noe I know ssa excludes one vehicle regardless of the value but I dnt understand how I was over resource shouldn’t the car that is exclude be advantageous of the recipient. Which means the kia would be excluded and the fmv of the xterra make it not over 2000 he calculated the value of the xterra to be 10100. So how am I over resourced. I’m confused now I have a 5000 overpayment. Please tell me if I understood this wrong.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kim,

      You are right that the car in which you have the greater equity should be excluded. Equity is the value of the car reduced by the amount you owe on it. You can appeal the fact of the overpayment and present a copy or printout of a recognized source, such as Kelly Blue Book, to document the value of each car. If you owe money on either car, take proof from the lender of the amount still owing. If you had a bank account during the months they say you were overpaid, also submit evidence of the balance on the first of each overpayment month. Be sure not to miss the sixty-day appeals period.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Mary

    Our son is 24 and has autism. He has been receiving SSI for over 5 years.

    We have a whole life policy where we are the owners (not our son) – the cash value now is $800 – does this count toward our son’s assets? He is only listed as an insured. We have been the owners since the policy was purchased 22 years ago.

    Thank you very much.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mary,

      The insurance policy you own should not count as your son’s resource.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Mary

        Thanks very much for the confirmation. I called SSA and they noted the mistake and corrected the determination.

        Thank you for work for all of us.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Mary.

          • Mary

            Hello Kay,

            I have one other question about assets.

            My 24 yo son with autism still has my insurance as primary. It is a high deductible insurance with a Health Savings Account (HSA). He is by virtue of being on my insurance able to be covered by the HSA. Even though I don’t use the HSA for his medical bills, does the amount in the HSA still count as an asset for him since his name is listed as a beneficiary?

            Thanks!

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Mary,

              Your son has no access to the money in your HSA as long as you are alive. When you die, if you still have the HSA, the money will count as income in the month that is received and an asset the following month.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Matt

    My question is this. My son was just diagnosed with autism, so we are going to try and apply for ssi. The problem is, between our checking and savings accounts, we have roughly $6,000 (mostly from our tax refund) in the bank. Can we just withdrawal that cash and spend it as needed? I feel like this would be breaking some law.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Matt,

      I am not clear from what you wrote whether you son has to parents in the household (including step-parents) or just you. If your son has two parents/step-parents in the household, the parents’ resource limit is $3,000. One parent in the household has a $2,000 limit. The excess counts toward the disabled child’s $2,000 limit. If your son has no assets and he has two parents in the household, his parents can have $5,000 in countable assets. If you are the only parent in the household, you can have $4,000.

      You can spend down by using the money for things you and your nuclear family need. You would not be breaking the law. Keep receipts to show where the money went. Once your assets drop below the limit, you can apply.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Janie Macfarland

    Hi, I receive SSI and I sold my only car yesterday because I couldn’t afford repairs & maintenance any longer. I sold it for $1000.00. Will I be punished for sell it?
    Thank you for all the answers!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Janie,

      If your total assets including the $1,000 you got for the car are below $2,000 ($3,000 if you are married and living with your spouse), the sale of the car will not affect your SSI payment amount. Keep the bill of sale showing how much you got for it so you can show it at your next annual financial redetermination. If your assets are above the limit on the first of the month following the month you sold the car, you are not eligible for that month or following months until you spend down below the limit and you should report the sale now.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Janie Macfarland

        Thank you SO MUCH for speedy information. You are an angel!

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Janie.

  • Bridget

    I have my ssdi and ssi hearing at the end of this month. I have about $3,000.00 left in an ira. I’ve been using this money to help pay my bills some over the past few years. My understanding is that ssi says that I can only have $2,000.00 in assets. I am going to take some more out this week. My question is, does my credit card debt or my unpaid medical bills go against the $2,000.00 asset limit for ssi determination?
    I also received child support of $1, 000.00 for about 2 1/2 more years. This is my only income, except food stamps. How will this affect my chances of qualifying for ssi?
    I’ve spent the majority of my ira and all of my savings on Dr bills and living expenses. Please advise me. This process is so long and I am under so much stress. Thank you!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Bridget,

      You will be ineligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as long as your assets are above $2,000. This means that if you are medically approved for SSI, you may not be eligible for any back pay. Your debts are not assets, they are liabilities. The child support should be counted as your children’s income, not yours. If you have also filed an application for Social Security Disability (SSDI), what you own will not affect your SSDI claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Bridget

        My parents have been helping me pay my bills. They also helped me buy a used car. Should I get a statement from them saying that I owe them the money back? They don’t want to continue to help support me, so I don’t want the judge to look at their help as income.
        Will I need to have copies of my income taxes for the past few years? Note: My gross income is different from my AGI.
        Thank you for your time.
        Bridget

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Bridget,

          The judge will be deciding whether or not your are medically disabled. If you worked after the date of disability that you are claiming, then it would be good to have proof of those amounts, such as copies of W-2 forms or self-employment tax forms or schedules and the months of each year you performed the work. If you have not worked since the disability date you are claiming, you do not need to provide financial documentation of your situation at the hearing. If you are asked how you have been supporting yourself, you can say with your retirement account and help from family.

          If you are medically approved, you will need to provide proof of income to your local Social Security office. If the help from your parents is really a loan that you really have to pay back, then it would be appropriate for you both to sign a statement to that effect. The statement should itemize the amount and dates of the loans and what the repayment agreement is. Even if the help is not a loan, you will need to present a statement from your parents as the what they paid for directly and when and how much cash, if any, they gave you each month.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Paige

        Does being an authorized user on a bank account affect your ssi disability? And also does being an authorized user on a credit affect your ssi disability?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Paige,

          The value of any bank account on which you have your name is a countable resource for calculating eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The only exceptions are if you are only listed as having power of attorney for the account to act on behalf of the account owner or if you are a representative payee for someone else’s benefits.

          A credit card is not an asset so having your name on a credit card does not count toward your resource limit. However, if you charge shelter or food on the credit card and someone else pays the credit card bill, their paying for your food or shelter expenses is income to you.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Matthew Herzer

    It is my understanding per the people I spoke with at SSA,
    that if I have a single and a joint account,
    the amount I have in the joint account is only valued at 50% of amount.

    In other words if I have $1000.00 in single account and $2000.00 in joint account they only show me as having $2000.00 dollars.
    I can find no information about this
    and would appreciate some clarity.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Matthew,

      You were given incorrect information. The entire balance of the joint account is a countable resource for determining Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility because you legally own all the money and can withdraw it legally and use it for your support. Sometimes the service representatives at the front desks or on the call center line are not fully knowledgeable about the eligibility details, which are handled by claims representatives. (Note that if the join account is with your spouse and you live with your spouse, it might not be a problem because your and your spouse’s resource limit is $3,000).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Chris

    I receive disability for my son whose under 18. They recently did a yearly review, and have now changed a lot of months to $0 receivable. Thus, I have now been over payed. In the review, they are counting the value of both my vehicles. They are also counting that I have in excess of $5000 in my bank account. I checked one of the excluded months and compared it to my bank statement. My beginning bank balance for the month was $1300. The other issue I am having is that I own my home and took out a mortgage in October to pay off my debt and repair my house, replace the roof etc. I have to repay this loan , so although there was a big balance, does this get counted towards my assets? Ssi discluded the last 4 months of my kids disability for this. My fear is that all these supposed over payments will have to be repaid by me. They have halted his disability payments. How would you go about handling this situation? I would really appreciate your input.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chris,

      You can appeal the calculation of your son’s benefits and the fact of the overpayment. Here is some information that may be helpful.

      All countable assets are added together. You can have $2,000 ($3,000 for you and your spouse if you are married and your spouse lives in the household or for you and your child’s father if he lives in the household). Countable assets on the first of the month that were carried over from the prior month cannot exceed those amounts. If they do, the excess counts toward your child’s $2,000 resource limit.

      The vehicle with the highest equity value is excluded and doesn’t count toward the limits. Equity value is the market value reduced by the amount you owe on the car.

      A mortgage loan is not income; however, money from the loan that you held over to another month before paying for repairs on the home is a countable resource.

      When you appeal, list each overpaid month separately and the reason you do not think that your son was overpaid in that month. Submit any documentation you have organized by month for the months you are contesting. The basic appeal form is an SSA-561.

      Lastly, you can request waiver of repayment of the overpayment based on not being able to repay and on the overpayment not being your fault, if you think it wasn’t. You have to make a convincing argument that you did not know you had to report the loan money because you were going to use it to repair the house your son lives in and that you were not aware of having excess resources for any other month you appeal. You must request the waiver within 10 days of the date you receive written notification of the overpayment. Check to see whether the 10-day shifts to 10 days from the appeal decision or you have to file the waiver request now.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • nikki

    Hi I’m a single mother of 4 children 1 whom gets SSI…she has been getting the full $733 a month. I just had a redetermination today. I get paid every 2wks grossing only $510 a check at most..I did have to turn in I have 2 vehicles one of which allows me to transport my daughter and the other for me to get back and forth to work…I have been turning my paystubs in but during the interview found my local ssa office hasn’t entered in my earnings…my question is how likely is it gonna be to lose her ssi?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nikki,

      Your income will not cause your children to lose their SSI nor cause it to be reduced. Whether or not the second vehicle will put the family above the resource limit depends on its value. If the vehicle with the lesser equity value has an equity value of over $4,000 or its value when added to other assets–including money left on the first of the month from your prior month’s paychecks and–puts you over $4,000, your child will not be eligible. (Your resource limit is $2,000; any excess counts towards your child’s $2,000 resource limit.) Equity value is the market value of the vehicle reduced by any amount you owe on the vehicle.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tracy

    I am in the beginning stage of filing for SSI. I just had my phone application. I have a ROTH IRA and it is over $2,000. I am finding out that is considered assets or a source of income and will not to be eligible for SSI. They want my account information. What would you advise or suggest my next step to be regarding my ROTH.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tracy,

      If you want to pursue Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, I suggest that you withdraw some of the money from the Roth IRA so that the account together with other countable resources puts you well below the SSI asset limit and use it for your normal living expenses (food and housing) and any non-extravagant item you need. Then reapply. (I say well below the limit because the value of a retirement account can vary if it is invested in stocks, bonds, or mutual funds.)

      Note that if you haven’t had the account for five years and/or are not old enough for a qualified withdrawal, you may have a tax penalty which can be withheld from what you withdraw.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • lindsay

        hello. i have a question. my husband and i get disability for two of our children. We live in a rental house and my husband is inheriting a piece of property this summer (more than likely) thats not livable. can we lose social security even though thats the only asset we own? We dont want to sell it because we want to wait till next year so we can buy a house with the money. how does that work?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Lindsay,

          The month your husband inherits the house, the equity value of the house will cause your children to be ineligible. Beginning with the following month, the equity value of the house will count toward your and the children’s resource limits. This means that if the value is over $7,000 or its value together with other countable resources you have on hand exceeds $7,000 the children will not be eligible again until you sell the house and reinvest the funds in a house you live in.

          An exception might help you with the transition. If you put the property on the market right away and request that your children’s benefits continue for up to nine months while the property is being sold, the benefits could continue on a provisional basis. Then when the property was sold, you would have to repay the SSI received for that period.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Wade Ford

    Hello my question is two part…

    My wife is a 37 yo whom was just approved for being disabled in AZ, she applied for SSI back in Aug 2013. And just got a fully favorable decision. At that time I was working making $15/hr 40hr weeks. We have 3 children two of whom are under 18 and living with us. The oldest has moved out. Today my income is 17.40hr but they reduced my hours to less than 35/wk. We currently receive snap benefits of 158/mo although was told this would stop when she starts receiving SSI.
    Will this affect her payment?
    And if so how much?

    Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Wade,

      Your wife’s benefits will be calculated month by month using your income in the specific month and the number of minor children in that month. Currently with two minor children in months that you get only two bi-weekly or four weekly paychecks, your wife’s SSI will be reduced by about $129. In months that you get an extra payment (every three months if paid weekly; every six months is paid bi-weekly), the reduction will be more. Specifically the extra reduction will be about half of extra check.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Wade Ford

        Thank you Kay!!

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Wade.

  • Erin Knowles

    I am paid under my son’s medicaid waiver and these payments qualify under IRS notice 2014-7 to be excluded from gross income (difficulty of care). Does this change how ssi treats this income also?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Erin,

      My response is based on the assumption that your son is under age eighteen. With limited research, I did not find a special exclusion for your earned income. I suggest that you ask the agency that is paying it to you whether they are aware of any special SSI exclusion and also inquire with Social Security. If so, see if they can cite the specific law. The general work exclusion is that the first $65 does not count and only half of the excess counts toward the calculation of your son’s benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Amy

    I received a letter saying that my son was not eligible for SSI payments from July 2013 to present because my husband and my bank account put us over the income limit. Apparently they have made a mistake because never have we had monthly income of over five thousand dollars. As of right now our only income are the ssi payments. I’m trying to figure out what is going on. I’m going to go to the local ss office tomorrow and hopefully get it straightened out because otherwise we are out of luck.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Amy,

      You are confusing income with resources. Income is money that comes in during a month. Resources is money and other assets carried over from month to month. This means that if you and your husband had over $5,000 in a bank account of the first of the month before any money received on the first, your son would not be eligible. You and your husband can have $3,000 and the excess counts toward your son’s $2,000 resource limit.

      You might be able to appeal the overpayment successfully if you wrote a check right at the end of the prior month that did not clear the bank and had it cleared you would have had under $5,000 on the first. The basis of the appeal could be that the amount in the account that corresponded to the amount of the check was not available for your use. You’d need to submit a copy of the check that showed the date it was written.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lori

    My son receives ssi. My father just passed away & left 14,000 in life insurance. What happens to my son’s ssi? We’re in Ohio. Even though it’s a large lump sum it won’t take care of us for the rest of our lives. How does this work? I know I need to report it. I also just bought a house last year & could use some of it to fix some things in my own home. Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lori,

      Please clarify two points so I can respond: How old is your son? Was the insurance left to your or your son?

      Thank you,
      Kay

      • Lori

        My son is 12. And I was the beneficiary so the check was left to me.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Lori,

          The life insurance policy proceeds will count as income to you in the month you receive the money. Your son will be overpaid for that month and you will need to use some of the insurance to pay the overpayment. Any of the money left the following month will count as a resource the following month. The Supplemental Security Income resource limit is $2,000 for you and $2,000 for your son. If you have no other resources, when the money is spent down low enough that your regular cash flow together with what you save from the insurance will not put you above $4,000, your son will become eligible again.

          You can spend the money on housing repairs and needed car maintenance, to pay what was usually paid with the SSI, to purchase an irrevocable burial policy up to $1,500 face value for yourself and one for your son and the policies will not count. Keep receipts so that you can prove the use of the money when you request reinstatement of benefits.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Lori

            I have another question then, I’ll probably have to use some of it to pay some of his things. Such as an attorney, & to clean the house out. Not sure what else because I was never in charge of anything like this before. Also can I just put some of it towards my house payments so I don’t owe as much for on my house. Thank you

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Lori,

              I suggest that you make an appointment to discuss the situation with a Social Security claims representative. If you were appointment the personal representative of your father’s estate, then the portion of the insurance benefit that you use to settle his affairs may be considered a legitimate expense and not giving the money away. Similarly, paying down your mortgage may not affect your son’s eligibility, but it would be best to find out so you can plan financially.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Winson Thai

    Hi Kay,

    I have a question, maybe several. My wife’s parents gets ssi and they live in their home that they own. They would like to sell the house and come and live with us. We are in the planning stages of buying a home and they would like to use the money from the sale of their home towards the purchasing of our home. Would that affect their ssi? If the sale of the house affects their ssi, then can they gift the house they live in to us? They live alone and they really want to live with us, just so someone is around to take care of them. so let’s assume after the sale of the house, moved in with us, would living with her daughter have any affect on their ssi? Thanks in advance.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Winson,

      If your parents receive SSI (Supplemental Security Income) not Social Security, the following remarks apply. If on the other hand they receive Social Security, they can do whatever they want with their property and live with whomever they want and not have it affect benefits.

      If your parents-in-law receive SSI and sell their home and help you purchase your home, they would be giving away the money from the sale of their house and it would exclude them for getting SSI for a length of time up to three years. If on the other hand, you all purchased the house together so that their names are also on the deed, then there would be no effect if the new home for you all was purchased within three months of the closing of the sale on their current home. (Note that they can retain up to $3,000 countable assets and still be eligible if they wish to retain some savings for future needs and not put it all into the house.)

      Whether you move in with them or you all purchase a house together, your living together will not affect their SSI if they can afford to pay their share of the mortgage and property taxes (and property insurance if the mortgage holder requires it) and their share of shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, garbage) and either buy their food separately or pay their share of food. Each of their shares is the total costs listed divided by the number of people in the household.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Winson Thai

        Thank you so much Kay.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Winson.

  • Carol

    Do you answer questions about mass health? Its legal in nature. Not the run of the mill will I qualify. This is an oh my goodness there was a mistake and now I think we’re screwed and I dont know what to do to control damage

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Carol,

      I cannot answer your questions about your health insurance or health insurance application. I suggest that you contact the company or agency where you applied to discuss your situation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kate

    We are trying to get SSI for our disabled daughter. My husband has a Roth IRA that has 5,000 and a 401k that has 3,300. I understand the cash out value is higher then 3,000.00. How should we go about getting it down? We can transfer the IRA into his dad’s name. We also have a second vehicle that blue books for 3,300.00 but really if we were to sell it we would only realisticky get 3,000.00.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kate,

      Giving away assets can bar Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility for a while. Your husband can take withdrawal from his Roth IRA account (with tax penalties if he is not old enough or has not had the account five years) and use it for things your family needs. He can check with the administrator of the 401K account and find out whether he can access the funds by withdrawal (not loan). If he can, he can do the same as with the Roth. If he cannot withdraw, then you should declare the 401K and show written proof (letter from administrator or plan documents) to show he does not have access. If he doesn’t have access, it won’t count. With regard to the second vehicle, you and your husband can have $3,000 in countable assets including the equity value of the second car. The excess counts towards your child’s $2,000 limit, so the car may not make her ineligible. Another possibility is that if you both work and there’s no way you can both get to work without two cars (carpool or public transportation), you could request to have the second car excluded as property for self-support.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Kate

        I’m currently not working. However I’m looking for a part time job. My husband can’t carpool because he works in a warehouse and most days he’s the only one there. So we need the second vehicle so our disabled daughter can get to therapy and doctors appointments some which are in 3.5 hours away. Would we still be able to get the second vehicle exempt? He can drain both his IRA and 401K but doesn’t want to. We are still young and our daughter is 2 so he is worried about our future as well as her’s.

        • Kate

          My husband’s 401K will not allow him to withdrawal even with penalty without proof of hardship. Does it still count?

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Kate,

            The 401k might not count under those circumstances. “Hardship” is probably defined in the 401k plan document. If your situation does not match the plan’s definition of hardship, Social Security may not count it in determining your child’s financial eligibility. You will probably have to present some of the 401k plan document pages to prove inability to withdraw.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Kate,

          Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a public assistance welfare program. As such, it is an income of last resort. This means it will not be payable while your husband has retirement accounts that put your daughter over the resource limit because the accounts could be used to support her. You may be able to get the second car excluded based on the reasons that you need two vehicles.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • scott

    I’m on ssi I received a settlement for a car accident of 17,000 I’m scared I spent all tgr money in one month on clothes, and persional items for myself, I gave 2,500 to my son to finance a car to drive me to Dr appts ,etc thats in his name because I have bad credit what do I do. And also I live in the Porter ranch are where the gas leak is and the gas company says it will pay for relocation but wants me to sign a w9 form. IRS a natural disaster . please help me only have these benefits to live on or I’ll be homeless thank you I need advice now please

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Scott,

      You need to report all this to the Social Security Administration and have them sort this out. The receipt of the funds in excess of replacement of your vehicle may count as income in the month received. The gift of the money to your son to buy the car may have made you ineligible for benefits for a few months because the car is not in your name. If you are overpaid, you can request partial withholding of benefits over a period of time to collect the overpayment.

      I believe that the relocation money may not count as income. Relocation payments related to eminent domain are excluded (see https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/05008306550.) While this is not the same thing, I think it will likely be treated the same way.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • I own a home but planning to sell it.I dont recieve disability yet .I want to know if l will be eligible for ssi or ssdi .Im 46and my husband is over 65.Can i get some kind of trust.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Diana,

      Please clarify your situation. With more information, I may be able do comment.

      Are you disabled? Have you filed a claim? Is your husband receiving SSI? When you ask about “getting some kind of trust” do you mean putting the money from the sale of the house in a trust? If so, what do you want to accomplish by doing so?

  • Ivan Y

    Hi Kay,
    There is no mention about ESOP, Employee Stock Owner Ship Plan, my Dad has been working working for this company which has this plan, and we don’t know weather to count this as resource or not?
    This article says that its kind of trust, https://www.nceo.org/articles/esop-employee-stock-ownership-plan

    Please advice as he has been getting SSI for a long time and wasn’t aware of this to count as a resource, he just retired and would need to liquidate this plan. He is probably going to use this money to payoff my loan to him which he took from me to buy his condo.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ivan,

      ESOPs are complicated and can be set up various ways. I can only give you general information about resources for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility. The stock is a resource beginning at the point in time he had the legal right to sell it whether he wanted to or not. When stock can be sold would be described in the plan. You refer to his liquidating it so apparently at least currently he has the right to do so and the plan should be listed as a resource. If your father receives Social Security, not SSI, the ESOP has no effect on Social Security benefits. If he is not getting Social Security and has been working for a length of time, he might now be insured and could apply for Social Security now.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • joel

    I’m currently on SSI. I have a credit card with a $5000 credit limit. Does my credit card count as an asset or resource? should I lower my credit limit?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Joel,

      Any credit card you have does not represent anything you own so no, it is not resource.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Marty

    So my brother passed away recently and I learned that he did have an insurance policy that I was not aware of. He was on SSI which my sister helped get him on after getting his assets down to almost nothing.

    She tells me she didn’t know about the policy either and thinks it was something our mother took out and paid into years ago.

    I have been contacted by the insurance company and asked to submit a claimant form. I know nothing more. I’m guessing the policy is for a fairly small amount but I just don’t know as they will not tell be until after the claim form has been submitted.

    My sister and I paid for the funeral expenses out of our own pockets because our brother had nothing left. Those expenses were just under $4,000 and it seems like if there is insurance money we should get reimbursed for what we paid for the funeral.

    Should I submit the form? Do I have an obligation to contact the government and let them know about this situation?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Marty,

      I recommend submitting the insurance claim form.

      The general rule is that if the policy had no cash surrender value and the face value is more than $1,500 face value, the excess would have counted toward his $2,000 Supplemental Security Income (SSI) resource limit if he had known of its existence. Similarly, if it was whole life with a cash surrender value, all the cash surrender value would apply toward the $2,000 limit if he had known about the policy.

      There are some reasons why the policy would not now retroactively affect your brother’s SSI eligibility. First, it is possible that your brother did not own the policy if your mother took it out on him. Second, if neither he or his payee knew the policy existed, they could not have used it for his support so it should not count as a resource for SSI during his lifetime even if it had cash value. Third, if it was a burial policy with no cash value and with a face value of less than $1,500 it is excluded. You will be better able to decide what to do after you file the claim forms because you will be able to ascertain who owned the policy and what its value was during his life time. Even if you have to report because some of it could have been considered a resource (considering the above reasons why it would not), the claim may not be recalculated retroactively for an administrative decision.

      One other thought is that you, if you are a beneficiary, would have no legal obligation to use the money you receive to repay your brother’s overpayment. Your sister as payee might if she is a beneficiary, but she could request waiver of collection based on her not being at fault because she didn’t know about the existence of the policy and because it would be unfair because the money needs to be used for the burial.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • kim sing

    My son receives ssi. I am currently unemployed and had to withdraw from my IRA to pay bills. Will I have to pay back the month I withdrew from my IRA?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kim,

      Your IRA is a countable resource for SSI, so withdrawals are not income; however, the balance in the IRA counts toward the SSI resource limits. If your son is a minor, the first $2,000 of your countable assets is excluded ($3,000 for both parents if both parents live in the same household); any excess counts toward your son’s $2,000 limit. If you have not previously declared the IRA as a resource you need to do so. If it has caused your son to be over the resource limit, he has been overpaid. You can read more about this at https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/policybriefs/pb2006-01.html.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • bryan

    hi Kay. my question is my wife owns a roth IRA worth around 19,500.i started drawing SSI benefits october2015. we live with my sister and would like to purchase a home.can we cash in the roth IRA and use the entire amount as a down payment and still keep my SSI? or will this be counted as income? thank you for your response.P.S. my wife makes only 8,500 a year part time.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Bryan,

      If your wife’s Roth IRA was declared when you applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) an error may have been made in paying you benefits because the countable resource limit for a couple is $3,000. If you did not declare your wife’s IRA, you should have. Either way, it is likely you are overpaid SSI you have received. (You can read more about this at https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/policybriefs/pb2006-01.html). Your wife can cash in the account to buy a house and the money will not count as income. Doing so will make you financially eligible once the house is purchased.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • jay

    My father had a stroke he is 57. He has a 401 k that is fairly large about 9 to 10 yr full work pay. Does he have to spend that money before his ssdi
    will become active or is they ways to get around it.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jay,

      Your father’s 401k does not have any effect on Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits. If he is unable to work and is expected to be disabled for twelve months, he should file an application right way. The 401k will make him ineligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is a public assistance program, because he can access the money for his support.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • My son was approved for SSI and now they are telling me his back pay has to be placed in a dedicated account. While i was waiting on a decision I bought and paid for things for him out of my social security check. So can you tell me what is approved and what is not. They say i cant buy clothes or food out of that money so what can that money be used for? Can you please send me a list of things that are approved and things that or not?

    Thank you

  • Hello Kay,
    First let me say that I really appreciate this website.
    Eventually my whole life insurance will have a high enough CV that it will cause my SSI to stop. I cannot work any longer-disabled, so I really need it. Can I take the CV, not the Cash Surrender Value, and have the company use it to prepay my premiums, thus using up that resource and not having it counted against me?
    Or should I surrender the policy and use the money to buy a term life which won’t be really valid for 2years but will not increase in value. I’m 65 and heart health is not too good.
    Many thanks, Lynn

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lynn,

      You have come up with a couple solutions. The former solution will continue your insurance while the latter as you point out would leave you uninsured. The rules regarding life insurance are complex. You can read about the rules at https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0501130300. Item C.2. seems to be saying that only the cash surrender value (CSV) is counted not the dividends that raise the face value. If my understanding of the provision is correct, it is possible that you don’t need to do anything with the policy if the CSV and your other assets are less than the limit. You should check this interpretation with the Social Security Administration.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Lynn

        Hello again Kay,
        I read the ssa website you gave and have one more question.
        Can I relinquish ownership of my life insurance policy to someone else without it impacting my monthly ssi? Or will they say I have given away a resource and subtract the cash value from my ssi?
        Thank you so much for your time.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Lynn,

          Usually, giving away a non-excluded resource results in SSI ineligibility for a period of time. How long depends on the value of what is given away. So, maybe one of the solutions you originally suggested would be the best for you. However, because there are so many details and variations in insurance policies,it might be best to take the policy to Social Security and ask to go over your options with a claims representative before making a decision.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Brian

    If I was fault-free in car accident, and my car was totaled by another party’s insurance. Will the check I recive for property damage settelement(I decideded to keep my vechicle) consider countable income if spouse is recving SSI? In other word, does it have affect on the SSI?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brian,

      The money you receive for the damage to the car is likely not income because it is replacing the value of an excluded resource. However, if you still have the money after the end of the month in which you receive it, the money will probably count toward your and your wife’s $3,000 resource limit. I recommend that you check with the Social Security Administration for a more certain answer.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Gretchen Hanna

    I’m receiving SSI and received a life insurance policy information from my Dad’s work for 6000. I was shocked! I’m not sure what to do. I’ve been reading a few sites which states, I need to report it to Social Security, and have 1 month from the date which received to spend it on aloud items. Whoa! Is this true? Can this money be divided into small amounts along with my SSI not to exceed the amount I’m aloud? Like a part time job. A person can make so much a month and not have loss to the SSI. Is this insurance taxable? I read since the policy holder pays the tax it can’t be taxed twice. He retired, worked part time somewhere else, became ill, placed into a home, medicaid took all of his money etc. and then he died. Not sure if the money is taxable when a policy holder becomes retired and becomes ill. My sister took care of his financial work, never shared anything with me. Im a little shakey about this, like everyone else, life is huge for such a small amount of SSI! Thank you for any information!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Hanna,

      All but $20 of the life insurance proceeds are countable income in the month you receive it, so you will be overpaid for that month and need to use part of the insurance to repay the overpayment. ($20 is the monthly unearned income exclusion.) Any amount you have left on the first of the following month is a countable resource (asset) and counts toward your $2,000 resource limit ($3,000 if you are married and living with your spouse.) If you are over the limit on the first of the month, you are not eligible for SSI that month. The same is true the following month and so on. Once you have used enough of the money for things you need and to support yourself in months you are not eligible for SSI until your resources drop to $2,000, you can show proof of the use of the money and have benefits reinstated. (Note, giving away money can negatively affect eligibility.) You can use it to buy a car, buy life insurance for yourself up to $1,500, pay debts, cover needed dental or visual services, purchas needed clothing, etc.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Gretchen Hanna

        Thank you for your reply and answers. I’ve learned a few things since then. I spent 2hrs on the phone with a woman where my dad retired from. She said the $6000 my sister and I are receiving was offered through the company which is not taxable. My Dad passed at the end of October, we received a letter at the end of November, stating an apology for our loss but didn’t receive his passing information till later and sent out November and December’s pension payments, which of course had to be returned. My instuctions are to obtain his death certificate, send it to them, they update their information with the company sending out the check. I called Social Security, let them know I will be receiving money, also emailed them too. The woman on the phone said, as soon as I receive the check come in the next day. My email response stated, they count the month he died and after that until the money is spent, like you said. Will they really go back to October when I had absolutely no idea this money existed until the letter arrived? Can this be waived? Or, do they count it from the day I receive the check to be spent within that month, like you said? I was hoping I could use this amount on a car since I am now driving a 1991, and in desperate need of something better. I’m hoping they count from the day I receive the check and not back to October! Thank you for anymore information to my questions here!

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Gretchen,

          The money should not be counted as a resource until you were aware of its existence. The rationale is that you could not have used it for your support if you didn’t know you had it. Submit proof of when you were first notified of the death benefit if possible.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Gretchen Hanna

            Thank you Kay! !

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Gretchen.

  • Jay

    Dear Kay, I am on SSI and own one property which was placed in three peoples names so really I own 1/3. My Mother passed and she left me a home in another state, which I understand Social Security will count as income and take. She also had another home that was under pending sale. There is another home next to me that adjoins my property which I understand does not count due to adjoining/homestead. I am awaiting the court to furnish the Letters of Admin. My question is this. Can I take the money from the sale of one home, buy another property out of the city. Then sell the other two homes that adjoin and build me a small energy efficient home/trailer? The two homes that adjoin are really only good for property. E.G. both need roofs, floors are sagging, toilet is rockin, tub need to be torn out and redone. I don’t have the money for these repairs. I am sick and find it hard living in non energy efficient home. It’s cold in winter, wet, and very hot in summer. Thank you kindly, Jay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jay,

      Your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is going to stop for a while because your inheritance will count as income in the month that it is received and will count as a resource the first of the following month. It is likely that the portion of the inheritance that you carry over from month to month will be more than the $2,000 resource limit.

      You can do what you plan with all the properties. Keep good records of how you spent the inheritance and the money from the various property sales and also proof of the proceeds from the sales. You will need to support yourself with the money as well as using part of the money for your planned change of residence. When you have spent down to $2,000 including the value of any property you do not live on, you can reapply for SSI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jay

        Dear Kay, thank you so very much for the reply! I see what you’re saying. Now someone told me I could ask for a continuance and not have to lose my SSI, but I would have to pay back to SSI. Is this true? Never heard of it before.

        I’m thinking that perhaps I need to have a Special Needs Trust done and place all assets into that trust and then sell and have a energy efficient home purchase/built. Either way just something that’s more healthy than the home I live in now.

        In your opinion, would this be the better way to go with the special needs trust?

        I’m just so confused. My monthly medications are so expensive $900 or so and I must go to the doctor monthly. Many specialists. If I did put assets into a SNT would I be able to use those items to sale and get a new home? I’m not trying to cheat anyone but I’d like a comfortable living environment. The proceeds from the house out of state will go to SSI except I think $20 bucks every month. I’m totally fine with that.

        Thank you and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Jay

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jay,

          There are many kinds of trusts and trusts are very complicated. How the trust would treated by the Supplemental Security Income program would depend on the terms of the trust. I suggest that you get advice from an attorney who is knowledgeable in trusts.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Jay

            I just want to thank you for your time and expertise! I do appreciate your response. Thank you again!

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Jay.

  • Jacelin

    Hi, I am interested in getting a personal loan to pay some credit card debt that I incurred while waiting to receive my SSI benefits. I have read here: https://www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi/spotlights/spot-loans.htm and here https://www.ssa.gov/ssi/text-income-ussi.htm both on the social security websites that loans do not count as income in the first month you receive them and only count toward your resource limit the following month if you do not spend the money in the first month. I contacted the national social security number and asked them if I received a loan over $2000 if it would count towards my resource limit and they said it would not count until the next month. I just want to double check this information. Is it okay to receive a loan above $2000 if I spend it within the same month that I receive it? Thank you so much for your assistance, I really appreciate it.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jacelin,

      The information you have is correct. Just be sure to have loan papers drawn up for the personal loan that show the amount borrowed and the repayment plan (how much you will pay per month). This is needed to establish that the money is a bonafide loan.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jacelin

        Hi Kay,

        Thank you so much for your assistance.

        Sincerely,
        Jacelin

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Jacelin.

  • tom

    I am currently receiving SSI, but was only awarded 245.00 in back pay, last month. It should’ve been closer to $6000.00 in total. My question is, I received loans from my brother and my daughter totaling $5500.00. To survive and the plan was to pay these back I received my back. What I do now it appears ssa has used this as countable income. But I must pay them back. I had promised in writing. Please help. Thank you Tom

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tom,

      Appeal the calculation of your benefits from the date of your application. State that the calculation is wrong because the money you received were loans with written loan agreements to repay with disability back pay when it was awarded. Submit a copy of the loan agreements.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Darius

    I am receiving SSI and I understand that my assets cannot exceed $2,000 and continue receiving benefits. How and when do they assess your assets? Are they constantly monitoring your bank account and stock portfolio? Or do they look at your year end tax filings?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Darius,

      Your claim will undergo a financial redetermination once a year; however, you are legally responsible for reporting if your assests exceed $2,000 on the first of any month. If you have countable assets over the limit and accept Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments when you know you are over the limit, you are committing fraud and are putting yourself at risk for criminal charges.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Carl Wilson

    I receive SSI, Medicaid & SNAP & live in Florida. I own an eleven year old van that has become unreliable. My Father has offered to buy me another vehicle up to $20,000. I am finding conflicting information on owning one car & the value limit. Two websites say I may own one vehicle worth up to $8,500 in FL & not lose benefits. I called the Florida Dept. of Children & Families who administers the SSI, Medicaid & SNAP programs here & the customer service rep told me that I may own one vehicle regardless of value. This is a one time gift & I need to keep my benefits. Do you have a definitive answer? Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Carl,

      It is correct that you can own a vehicle worth $20,000. Just be sure to sell the van in the same month that you receive the gift of the other vehicle so that the van doesn’t count toward your resource limit on the first of the following month. Because the vehicle will be an excluded resource, it will not count as income in the month that it is received.

      As an aside, in the future, get SSI information from the Social Security Administration. Your state administers the Medicaid and SNAP and SSI state supplement, if Florida has a supplement that applies to you, but the Social Security Administration administers SSI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • dee

        I am on ssi. I have not had a car since I started getting ssi. My friend has offered to buy it for me. Will this gift of car effect my ssi pay?

        • dee

          If so, what would be the best way to go about getting this car that would not effect my ssi pay? EX: buy the car for himself and then sell it to me with a written loan document? If I buy it from him instead of gift does it matter how much he agrees to sell me the car for? Ex: I buy the car for ___ but blue book value is ___?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Dee,

          My response is to all three of your posts.

          Your friend can give you the camper and car if you move into the camper the month it is given to you and declare it your residence and actually live in it. You would then report the gift of both items. They will not be income to your because they are both excluded resources. You need a statement from the friend as to the gift and also as to the amount of space rental you will be paying.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • dee

            How difficult is it to get it designated as a resource of “self support” or “medical necessity”? What documentation is needed for these types of designations?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Dee,

              In the context of the residential camper you referenced in your previous post, an exclusion as necessary for self-support of medical necessity would not apply. For a resource to be excluded as necessary for self-support it has to be used to produce income that reduces the SSI payment. An exclusion as a medical necessity would apply to a specially equipped vehicle that allowed a handicapped person to be transported or a vehicle needed to get medical treatment where there is not public transportation. As previously indicated, the exclusion that would apply to the camper is that it would be your residence. Additionally, one vehicle is excluded with needing to have any special reason for the exclusion.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • dee

            I have a medical condition that requires a specialty toileting device that cannot be used in public. The camper would transport the device and the toilet it is attached to.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Dee,

              You would have to discuss your situation with Social Security to find out whether that would make the camper medically necessary; but, again, there is no need to because if you live in the camper, it will be your residence and excluded as a resource, which is a much simpler, surer way to have the camper excluded.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Sir, Both parents getting SSI and SSDI respectively in a joint account ,at present account balance is less than $1000. Sister of my wife send a money order for $1000 to her name.Can I deposit to the joint account bank ? It effects the wife’s SSDI or me.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rashid,

      I am not sure I understood correctly, but I think that the “parents” you are referring to are you and your wife. My response is based on that assumption. If the money was sent to one of you, it counts as income and will affect the SSI benefits in the month it is received, whether or not it is deposited. You and your wife can have up to $3,000 in countable assets so the gift will not cause you to go over the resource limit in the following month (if they have no other assets.) You have to report the gift and will have to repay some or all of the SSI received for the month of the gift. The gift will not affect the SSDI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • dasarae

    Dear Kay my mom gets ssi,I live with her at this time. We have one car and she promise me that car before she was on ssi when I was little.Now that I know how to drive and am going off to collage next year can she put the car in my name and if she does what will happen to her ssi ? Chris.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dasarae,

      The car your mother has is an excluded resource. My understanding is that giving an excluded resource will not affect SSI eligibility, but she should check with the Social Security Administration to be sure.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jc

    Dear Kay:
    At the end of the year I’ll be 59.5 years old. I want to withdraw all my money from my 401K which is around $30.000. My wife who is 66 years old is currently receiving SSI (due to the fact that she only had 9 credits) and Medicare. My question to you is how is that action going to affect her and in the event that they will terminate her benefits, what can I do to withdraw the money without affecting her SSI or Medicare.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear J.C.,

      Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is to provide support when other support is not available. My understanding from researching is that 401k accounts are countable resource any time you can access them. That means that once you reach the age you can withdraw from the account, the $30,000 becomes is available to support you and your wife and makes her ineligible for SSI whether or not you withdraw the money. If you withdraw it and use it to buy an excludable resource such as a house to live in, it will no longer count as a resource. I do suggest that you double check this with the Social Security Administration.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jason Martinez

    Hello, I am in the process of getting my parent’s last Will and affair’s in order. Currently I am on full disability since 2012, live with my father. I am on Medicare and Pennsylvania Modified Medicaid program which I pay $60\ month. My questions are my parents made me the POA and they want to put me as joint ownership on their checking accounts. I contacted my Social worker to ask about being on my parents checking accounts they informed me that will not effect my Medicaid. From what I am reading about SSID me being on their checking accounts WILL effect my SSID. IS THIS TRUE? My second question is my Father wants to put my brother and me on the deed to his house to avoid some of the death taxes when he passes away. If I am put onto his deed as 1\3 owner will SSID consider this an asset and lower my payments or denie my payments? If I am doing my research is correct since I live in the house I should not be effected. However, if I want to move while he is still alive and on the deed will that effect my SSID?? Thank you Jason

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jason,

      If you receive Social Security Disability (SSDI or SSD, for short), what your own and what accounts your name is on does not affect your benefits in any way and doe not have to be reported to Social Security. The article that you read and where you posted your question is about Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is not Social Security and has limits and many rules about assets. If you are getting SSI, let me know and I will respond again.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jason Martinez

        Thank you so much have a fantastic day.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Jason.

    • Nick

      I’m not sure where to start a new comment. My girlfriend and I want to get married and I am currently receiving SSI and Disability. I recieve a small amount from them that is not a livable means. She makes 50k a year but owes 150k in student loans. Her entire check goes to those payments. Does social security take into consideration those loans? Will I lose my benefits? I’m on my own and only recieve 700$ and give that all away. No matter what im supposed to pay they say I don’t have enough and won’t increase my payments. Also, do I have to go on her insurance? I live in mass and recieve mass health and my medications are through the roof expensive. I couldn’t afford to go on a lesser insurance.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Nick,

        If you get married, you will not be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) because your wife’s income is too high. How she spends the money (repaying student loans), does not affect how her income is treated. I suggest that you contact Mass Health to find out the impact of marriage on your Medicaid (I think it is likely it will stop.) You would also research insurance possibilities through the Affordable Care Act at http://www.healthcare.gov.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Carlyn

    My son has been receiving SSI for a few months. We were just alerted by Social Security that we have treasury bonds that were issued in his name and my name (his mother) that put his assets over the $2000 limit. The bonds were a gift from my mother and are nearing maturity. My son is 21 and his own guardian, and I am his representative payee. What should we do with the bonds? Can we reissue in my name only? or request payment to me only.
    Thanks for any advice.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Carlyn,

      Please provide a bit more information so that I can respond. When were the bonds put in your son’s name and what was the value of the bond when they were transferred to him.

      Thanks,
      Kay

      • Carlyn

        The bonds were issued between 15-18 years ago (in his name and mine–its says “or” on the bonds) and if we cashed them in today they would be worth over $8,000.
        Thank you.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Carlyn,

          Because the bonds can be cashed by either one of you (the “or” wording), it is likely that the full $8,000 will be counted a your son’s resource because legally it is all his. If that is the case he has never been eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If he transfers his ownership to you, he will be ineligible for SSI for a period after the transfer because he will have given away an asset that he could have used to support himself. Usually, the length of ineligibility can be figured by dividing the amount given away by the maximum SSI payment of $733.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Chris

    How are overdraft and unsecured overdraft lines of credit counted?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chris,

      They would likely be treated as loans and not counted as income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Chris

        What about as a resource?

        • Chris

          I mean a overdraft revolving line of credit.

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Chris,

            This response is to both your posts of September 10. An overdraft paid with a line of credit is a debt (money you have to pay back), not income or a resource.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • Chris

            what about the line of credit once it is paid back and available but not used?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Chris,

              Please see my response of earlier today.

              Thank you,
              Kay

          • Chris

            Is there a limit to the amount of the line of credit I can have and what it is used for?

            T.I.A.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Chris,

              Given that a line of credit is a loan that you have to repay, your use of it does not affect your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim. However, if you run up a debt that you can’t repay and someone gives you money to repay it, that money would be income for SSI.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Chris

            what if we get a loan to loan to someone else and they make payments directly to the bank?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Chris,

              If you write up formal loan papers when you lend the money and have the borrower’s signature on the loan agreement notarized, what you are planning should not affect your benefits. Be sure the papers state the amount they will repay each month and that the repayment is to be made directly to the lending institution where you borrowed the money.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

      • Hannah

        Hello Kay, Using your info here, I asked my SSI caseworker at Social Security whether it is true, that a line of credit on a checking acct is a resource they count, and they said IT IS. Because I am honest I then told her we have one, and now because of that I am now losing my SSI benefits and will have to repay it! If I had known that a line of credit counted, I never would have accepted or applied for SSI. My husband was laid off and we have no money and so had been living off the line of credit (we write checks to pay bills and even though there is no money of our own in the checking acct, the line of credit pays the checks but of course we now owe that money to the bank). I cannot work due to being disabled, so the line of credit has been paying our bills (the SSI checks were paying the mortgage for the last few months however). I have 3 children (one a minor), all 3 have part time jobs at minimum wage, but my son is disabled (Aspergers./ADHD). The only way we can repay the money is from that line of credit which we also use to live on. What can we do? Also, can they take money from our children to repay it?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Hannah,

          A line of credit is a “resource” to borrow money that has to be repaid (a loan). I am reasonably sure that the determination you received is incorrect. I recommend appealing.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Hannah

            Thank you! I intend to, I have contacted a lawyer from community legal services to see what can be done.

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Hannah.

          • Hannah

            Looks like I have a new problem. When I last spoke to Social Security, along with mentioning that I have a line of credit (which they claimed is a resource), I expressed frustration with how hard it is to reach anyone at SS either in person or by phone, and that letters I have sent them to report info were not responded to, so I didn’t know if they received them. I said all the rules are very complicated for someone with memory problems such as I have. He then said he would contact our bank to find out about the LOC, and for me to await a letter. I assumed the letter I was waiting for was to say the LOC is a resource and they are taking the SSI away from me. The letter I got instead was for me to sign to say I wanted to voluntarily give up receiving SSI payments. Did he take my words of frustration to mean I don’t want SSI anymore? If I sign this, I won’t get SSI anymore but does that mean they will close the case and not ask me to pay anything back (remember, they claimed the LOC was a countable resource). See how confusing this is? What should I do? I can certainly use the money, but if I lose SSI I would go back to living off the LOC which we have to repay somehow eventually. WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WERE ME?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Hannah,

              You do not have to voluntarily have your claim closed. If you do, you will lose your appeal rights on the issue of the line of credit. And, you would still probably have to repay the overpayment that they say you have because of the line of credit. As you asked, if the claim were mine, I would decline to terminate benefits. If I didn’t receive a positive determination about the line of credit by the time the sixty-day appeals period was close to expiring, I would file a formal appeal before the appeals period ran out.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • zoila

    i am on ssi and my daughter owns a mobile home and the land it is on in Florida outright she will put it in my name so I can move in it and pay all taxes and utilities will owning this property and not paying rent a mortgage reduce my ssi payment monthly.i receive 733 now

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Zoila,

      The gift of the mobile home will cause you to be ineligible for one month only if you move into in the same month your name is put on the title. Thereafter if you pay the taxes and utilities, your SSI will not be affected.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • dee

        I am on SSI in Texas. I rent a room in a private home from a friend for 500month. (it took a year of arguing to get them to acknowledge this and stop charging me ISM). OK great, but now I pay so much for rent I cannot afford a car, and or rehab supplies and devices or dental care. So I was thinking to get a car towable camper. My friend says he will buy it for me. (he also is buying me the car to tow it with-see my other post) How will this gift of camper effect my ssi pay? Can I designate this camper as my primary residence and avoid the excess resource? Then contract with him to rent only the space to park it? ( ex: pay 100 a month to rent parking space instead of 500 for room rental). Alternately, could I exclude the camper as a self support resource? Or as a medical device? (my impairment(s) require stay home alot due to no suitable bathroom or place to lay down while in public)

  • Kim

    my three children receive SSI and I was just informed from my former employer that as a vested participant in the Employees Retirement plan I can elect to receive my accrued pension as a one time lump sum payment of close to $11,000.00–will this affect my three children receiving their full monthly benefits? I had no idea until the other day when I received this notice that I had this.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kim,

      If you take the lump sum payment, the $11,000 will affect the children’s benefits. If the lump sum is treated as income because it previously was not a counted resource, the children will be ineligible in the month you receive it. Once it is received, any assets you have above $2,000 ($3,000 if there are two parents in the household), will be split among the three disabled children and will count to each of their $2,000 resource limits, so they will be ineligible until you have used the funds for their support and they drop below the resource limit again.

      However, there is another twist to this. Given that it appears that the money is available to you, it may be counted as a resource even if you don’t take it now. Although it is likely that since the money is available to you as a lump sum payout, it will count as a resource, maybe there are some rules that would keep it from being counted. For instance, if you accept the lump sum rather than rolling it over to an IRA or 401K will there be a tax penalty because you are not old enough to withdraw without a penalty. If so, the retirement plan might be excluded from counting and you might be able to leave the money in or roll it into a retirement account. Before making a decision, I recommend that you inform yourself of the rules and options related to the retirement plan and then take that information to Social Security to find out how each option will affect your children’s SSI. I recommend that you request to speak to a claims representative, not a service rep.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Kim

        Thank you Kay!! There is a third option and that is to do nothing and just keep the pension there and receive it normally when I get to the age of retirement…. I will do nothing and opt to leave it there … Too much of a hassle… Thank you

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Kim,

          Your child’s SSI may be terminated even if you don’t take withdrawal because you have the option to do so. Money that is available to you counts whether you chose to take it or not. it is like having a bank account and deciding not to withdraw money from it. I again suggest that you discuss the situation with a Social Security claims representative.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Kim

            Kay how would they even know that if I opt not to take it? I will be paying large penalties etc and even after the net I would use the remaining amount in a week to buy things for my children that are needed they need clothes badly they need furniture and a few things in the home and I can pay for classes to better prep myself for a job so I can transition off in the future…that money would be gone quickly… Besides the possible net amount would still fall below income guideline for the household–still way below poverty level–it’s not a continuous payment it’s a one time lump so when I retire at 62 now I have absolutely nothing if I choose to accept

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Kim,

              Again, I suggest that you take the facts to the Social Security Administration to find out the exact rules on whether the money in the account counts as a resource or is excluded and, if it counts, if there are any restrictions on how quickly you can spend down.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Kim

            Sorry I re-read your reply that it would be counted that month until we fall below the resource limit that month…. I have no issue reporting it but that amount would be gone in less than a month and can be accounted for would it temporarily suspend them and would it be easy to get them back on the next month? My son has therapy services and postponing a surgery for him due to school starting I will have him do the surgery in November over thanksgiving weekend not wanting their Medicaid gone in the event of emergency

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Kim,

              As long as your son is not ineligible for a period of twelve months, no new claim is required. How fast the local office would process reinstatement depends on their current workload and staffing. Also, please see my response of a minute ago to your previous post of August 16.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • rose

    I am in the process of applying for ssi for my son .my question in regard to assets is ,his father owns outright a truck which is worth around 3000 dollars.i have a car payment that I have only been making for 3 months so no where close to “owning the vehicle yet .is my car considered an asset sinse I don’t actually own it yet?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rose,

      The first car worth $3,000 will be excluded. The equity value of your car (the car’s value minus what you owe on it) will count toward your and child’s father’s $3,000 resource (asset) limit. If you and he have more than $3,000 in countable resources, the excess will be counted toward your son’s $2,000 resource limit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Sheryl Luke

    If you are on a parents checking account so you can write the checks to pay their bills because they are not able to do so, willthat count as a resource against you if you recieve a SSI check?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sheryl,

      Yes, your parents bank account will be considered yours if you are on it as a co-owner of a joint account. An alternative is to have your parents appoint you as their attorney-in-fact. That would allow you power of attorney to write checks on the account without your owning the money in the account. Often banks have forms for this purpose.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Dee

        Dear Kay

        I had a fully favorable decision for ssi in july 2015 after waiting for 3 years. I had an appointment with ssi to determine my back pay and benefit amount. I signed up for direct deposit, I have a joint checking account with my partner. Will her income count against me and if so, if I get my own checking account and the other account is closed can they still use that old account. I don’t want her income to be used against me cause technically it’s not my money. Please help I’m at a loss and not sure what to do.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Dee,

          The joint bank account can affect your SSI, so I suggest that you get your name off it and open another account in just your name for direct deposit of your benefits.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Dee

            Thanks, I have opened my own account and closed the joint account. Since its closed can they still try and look that up to use against me?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Dee,

              You will be asked about your bank accounts for every month for which you were medically approved and for which you can potentially be paid benefits and you have to declare all accounts you had in your name during those months. This means that you may not be eligible in some months past.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Ann

    I was approved for SSI a few months ago, even though I told the interviewer that my husband has a 401k that he cannot withdraw from without severe penalties, due to not being old enough yet. I also told her of an inherited IRA I got from my mom when she died, which I cannot take because its in her name (but the bank sends me a 300 dollar disbursement from once a year).

    My husband was laid off in 2013 after 31 years and our only income right now is food stamps, Medicaid, and SSI for me. Plus, 3 of our children live with us (one is a minor) and they have part-time low paying jobs (each one pays one of our utilities).

    I am getting conflicting info online about whether or not my husband’s inaccessible 401k counts as a resource or not. Some sites say it does, others say it doesn’t if he can’t withdraw from it. What is the truth?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ann,

      Your husband should check with the 401k plan administrator and the IRS for rules of withdrawal now that he is not employed. If he is under age fifty-nine and a half, he may not be able to withdraw without a substantial tax penalty.

      My understanding is that the 401k is not be counted as a resource for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) because of the tax penalty for withdrawing before age fifty-nine and a half; however, this should be confirmed with the Social Security Administration (SSA). (Given that you told SSA about the 401k at the beginning of the claim, it is probably not a countable resource.) The flip side of this is that if your husband decides to take money out of the 401k despite the penalty, the withdrawal will most likely be treated as income and, depending on the amount withdrawn, could reduce your SSI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • dasarae

    Dear Kay, I wrote you about my two year back pay and my daughter transfer as the owner of her life insurance.You said I won’t get the two years back pay even if the judge favorable me fully.So my lawyer won’t get paid?I look on the internet and it said if my reconcideration is approve I will still get the back pay.I did talk to SSI and they said to show prove that I don’t have the life insurance any more.But will I be approve for SSI? I talk to my lawyer and they said to say I sold the policy to my daughter this would be a lie.Please tell me what to do.I transfer it and can this be a valid transfer.I will only tell the truth. I know you will agree with me.But if I don’t get the back pay how will the lawyer get paid? And if I do get approve will SSI take only $200 are charge me $1700 if surrender value can be $1500?? Please help… Thank you Dasarae

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dasarae,

      Check this with Social Security, but I believe that if you have no back pay coming, your attorney has no fee coming. You would only have to pay his out-of-pocket expenses such as the cost of getting medical records or photocopying, which typically would not be more than about $200. The full $1,700 will be charged against your $2,000 asset limit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • dasarae

      Dear Kay, I want to thank you for helping me.I read that SSI can denied you for 36 month if you transfer a resource.Is this true and will this happen in my case with my life insurance?I am so sick and this is stressing me because I have a son at home and no money to survive.And I can’t work any more.SSI is making me even sicker with all of the rules.Help so stress out and depressed.

      • dasarae

        Kay if my mom transfer me on my life insurance that is in my name but she was the owner.Can I pay her for the life insurance?And if so will she get her back pay and ssi approve. Can I do this are not.I thank its only fare for me to pay her for this It. Save me and my husband to get a new policy on myself.Thank you Brenda

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Brenda,

          You and your mother may need legal advice or advice from the company that sold the insurance policy to your mother. I do not know how to determine the fair market value of the life insurance policy or whether policies can be sold. For the transfer of the policy to be a valid sale for SSI purposes, my understanding is that your mother would have to sell the policy to you for fair market value.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • dasarae

            Dear Kay, I talk to the insurance guy he said the fair market value of the life insurance is the surender value which is 1700.But I can not bye it from him.So how can I bye this are can I for SSI?Should I write my mom a check for the amount?And if I did this won’t this make my mom have more excess resource? Brenda

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Brenda,

              I am not an expert on insurance sales. Presumably, you could buy the policy from your mother. If you so, she can then use some of the money to purchase things she needs or to pay debts to bring her assets down to the resource limit.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Dasarae,

        Transferring resources to gain eligibility can cause ineligibility for a period of time. The length of time depends on the value of the resource that was transferred. I believe that transferring a life insurance policy with a $1,700 face value that put you over the $2,000 resource limit would cause ineligibility for two or three months after the transfer.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • selena silva

    I had applied for SSI a and in June 2012 I won my case. My dad have died in January 2011 and I was the beneficiary on his Insurance at work. I got the insurance money of 7,000.00 around April 2011. The money was used to pay for my dads funeral. Somehow when they did my back pay for my SSI the money was counted in so I did not receive any back pay for my SSI. Now it has been almost 5 years. My dad had a 401K and since I was the beneficiary with his job that included his 401K as well. He has drawled everything out a few months before he died so there was no money left in his 401k but the was a ESOP account whatever that is I am not sure. The begin of 2011 the job was doing away with the ESOP account so I guess that was put in his 401K thing. Since I knew that he had took all the money out of the 401K I did not even ask about it or do anything to try and get it. I was not aware of the ESOP thing till later and then they said something about waiting 5 years. I have not touched any of the money it is only 5000.00 I was not worried cause I knew there was nothing in the 401k and I was not aware of the ESOP. They gave employments notice the end of 2010 to stop the ESOP begining January 2011..He died January 21. How I found out was I was going through his papers and found the information. They said since I was the beneficiary of his 401k and that was out in the 401k it would be mine. I have never had any 401k or esop so I do not know how that works. I told them I did not want it so now how is this gonna effect my SSI. I have not used or did anything with the account it is still in there. 5000.00 is not worth messing up my SSI…Please help me understand what to do.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Selena,

      I believe that the $5,000 became your asset the later of the date you could have withdrawn it and the date when you became aware that there was money to withdraw. You need to report the asset to the Social Security Administration as soon as possible. Refusing the money will not keep it from counting as an asset toward your $2,000 resource limit. Even if you have to use all of the $5,000 to repay SSI you were not eligible for after you became aware the money was available to you, you need to make the report. To do otherwise would be fraud. Once your assets are below $2,000 again, you will be eligible for SSI again.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Selena

        Dear Kay Derochie. When my dad died in Jan 2011 I told them about the insurance I received from my dads death as I have proof I used it for his funeral and they would not allow me any back pay due to the money. It was only 7000.00 and I received it before I was approved for SSI but it was still calculated for my SSI that I was approve for in April of 2012. Now when they did his close out for his job and sent me everything I was not aware of the ESOP going into the 401K. Now that is did since I was the listed Beneficiary on the 401K and knew there was no money in it why would they make me the beneficiary on the ESOP. I don’t know what to do cause the way they took all my back pay and the money was used for the funeral from the insurance I am scared they will take my SSI away for this issue. I told them the truth about the Insurance money and they didn’t start my SSI until Aug 2012 even though I was approved for April 2012 and would not let me get my first check till Aug 2012. I can’t afford to loose my medical and that what I am scared of. Since I have not touched any of the money can I just will it only count as income when I get the money? Am I gonna loose everything like I lost all my back pay? It is not right cause when I did all the papers for his job they should of sent that and closed his 401k and not put the ESOP money in it cause I was not on the ESOP account. I really need my checks and if they cancel it I will be back to square 1 in my health problems…Please what can I do? Can I do a special needs trust. Can I give it to Social Security ? I know I wrote about about it but I feel since I got no back pay due to my dads death I am scared I am gonna loose my monthly stuff. It’s like when your truthful they want to take everything. I just want the money to go away..I don’t want any of it.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Selena,

          I believe that the money from your father’s retirement accounts will count as a resource beginning the month after you found out about it. That would mean that you would be ineligible beginning the month after you learned about it and would be overpaid beginning that month. You can withdraw the money from the retirement, if Social Security determines it is an accessible resource, to repay any SSI overpayment, to live on, and to pay for your medical treatment and medication. When you have spent down to $2,000 or less in countable resources, you can apply to have your benefits and Medicaid restarted.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • dasarae

            Dear Kay I receive ssi and my boy friend ask me to marry him.I don’t want to give up my ssi but would love to marry him.His income is less then $2000.What is limit to for ssi to not loose my ssi to get marry? Thank you desarae

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Dasarae,

              I believe that in months that your boyfriend got to pay checks, you would be eligible for about $100 a month and twice a year when he got three paychecks, you would be ineligible those months. You should, however, double-check with the Social Security Administration.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

    • james

      I have a question I applied for ssi for my daughter who is 8 years with speech delay. I didn’t get approved due to the fact that I had 6,000 in that month of may I told the Rep that 4400 went back to the 401k that my husband borrowed last year then she said I need to see Prof that you paid off your 401k and if you have 15k in you’re 401k it counts as income so you will be denied again due to the fact the you’re husband 401k. I still don’t understand he can’t take the 15k out then she said does he has accountability to the 401k if he takes it out what is the penalty’s . She then said I can do an appeal for it, help

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear James,

        Two issues exist here: what is countable income and what is a countable resource (asset).

        The loan from the 401k should not count as income because it is a loan. Your husband should have some loan agreement papers with a repayment schedule and some proof that payments are being made that can be presented to prove that the withdrawal is not income.

        The issue of resource is more complicated. Your and your husband’s assets above $3,000 are deemed to your child, who has a $2,000 resource limit. All liquid assets (cash, stocks, bonds, accounts) to which a person has access count as a resource. If the 401k were your daughter’s (the SSI recipient’s) 401k, the 401k would be a countable resource because a disabled person can withdraw from the account without tax penalty. It may be that because there is a tax penalty for withdrawal under age 50 1/2, that your husband’s 401k does not count as a resource or if it does, the net amount after the tax penalty is the countable resource. I suggest that your husband appeal to be sure to get a correct determination. If the appeal is denied, request a copy of the regulations on which the denial was based to determine whether to appeal again.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • james

          Thank you so much for responding back to me. I called my 401k requesting a copy of the payment that was taken out on our account in May for 4400 was paid I’m full. I really hope we get approved this time. So in my understanding his 401k does not count as income. I have 1 more questions to ask when they asked me about my vehicles I had I told her 2. I had a Ford escape xlt paid off she put down it’s a limited edition which it’s not and A 2005 Nissan 4 cylinder she put down 6 how can I correct that. Please and thank you

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear James,

            Submit a letter stating the correct information on the vehicles and any documents you have that shows the correct models. If you don’t have anything, you might have a third party, such as a dealership write up a note saying they inspected your cars and the one is not a limited edition and the other is a four-cylinder. The more valuable vehicle will be excluded and the value of the second one will count toward your resource limit.

            Loans from the 401k should not be counted as income. Please refer to my prior response regarding whether or not it will count as a resource.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • dasarae

    Dasarae july12015 I was denied ssi because i have three life insurance and my daughters was over 1500. It was 1700 and put me over.I ask for recocideration for excess resource because my daughter is 32years old.And I transfer the policy in her name and I no longer is on her policie.I have two yearsback pay coming to me.Will I be approved now that I did this and will I get my back pay? Help …Dasarae

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dasarae,

      The effect of disposing of resources to obtain eligibility depends on various factors. You may not be eligible for any back pay due to excess resources, and it is possible that giving away the policy will make you ineligible for a couple months after the disposal. I suggest that you contact the Social Security Administration for an explanation of the impact of the disposal in your specific circumstances.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Nina

    My son is on ssi. He owns a 1997 jeep Cherokee that is setting in the yard junked in disrepair. He bought a 2002 Chevy Silverado of which ssi knows about. He wrecked it because an individual ran out in front of him and it totaled it. Now we have two junk vehicles just sitting around and cluttering up the property. The truck was counted as his vehicle he uses for necessary transportation, not an asset. ssi is reviewing my sons case (hes 22) to see if hes still financialy eligible and they want copies of all vehicles in the household as he lives with me. Will they count his junk vehicles against him as assets? They aren,t worth $ 2,000 that’s for sure I,d probably have to pay a junk yard to remove them from the property. Is he just stuck with these old junk vehicles because of fear of junking them and having that counted against him? Will they try and value them even though they are truly worth very little? And their not licensed are drivable? Are is he free to get rid of them and get a new vehicle? I,m confused. And hes a victim of a series of bad events along with bad physical disabilities a satisfying answer would be wonderful because we are totally stressed out over what to do or what we can do because we want to do the right thing. Thank you so much in advance, sincerely a very upset Nina.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nina,

      Your son is free to sell the wrecked cars. Their small value may be counted but it sounds as if they are worth less than $2,000. If he got insurance money for the wrecked Silverado, that money will count toward his resource limit beginning the month after he received it as will the amount he sells the cars for. At his review, he should declare the vehicles and explain their condition if he still has them at that point. He might take a picture of them if the damage is visible. If he sells them, he should be sure to make up a bill of sale that the buyer signs so he has proof of the amount he got for them, which will help prove their value.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Maria

    I have a question about resources. My special needs son receives SSI payments for his disability. Listed in our resources was our one and only vehicle valued at a lot higher than what it turns out might actually be worth. It died ( the brake pad fell off while I was driving, I am fine and my son was not in the vehicle) I called it in this morning and told them of this change. I am wondering what us purchasing a new vehicle will do in terms of our SSI eligibility. Will it change anything? The woman on the phone said the new one will be valued as a resource. What exactly does this mean?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Maria,

      I am not sure that you received correct information. If you sell your current vehicle–even if it can only be sold for scrap and then buy a new or used vehicle, you will still only have one vehicle and it should not count as a resource. Another option is to have the brakes repaired on your current car.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Maria

        Sadly it would cost more to fix the brake pads and the reoccurring bearing replacements than the actual vehicle is worth. (We fix those about every 6 months) Thank You Kay you explained my quandary perfectly.

        Maria

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Maria.

  • Larry

    Thanks, this helps allot!

    Would I be able to do spend down with non new items (assuming with hand written receipt) from other people as well?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Larry,

      Yes, you can spend down purchasing non-essential items; however, depending on what they are, they might be countable resources. I suggest that you discuss your plans with a Social Security claims representative (not a service representative).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Larry

        Alright I will do that. Thanks allot for all of your help and it is great what you do.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Larry.

  • Larry

    Also, for a spend down, when I buy another vehicle, does it have to be from a dealer or can it be a personal sale from the likes of craigs list?

    thanks again.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Larry,

      You can purchase your replacement vehicle from a private party. Get a bill of sale (handwritten if necessary) that says you bought such-and-such vehicle (make, model, year, and VIN number) from the seller’s name for the dollar amount you paid for it. Have the seller sign and date the bill of sale.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Larry

    Hi, I am expecting a check from an auto insurance settlement and I am wondering if the payment will count when I receive the check or when I cash it.

    Thanks.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Larry,

      The settlement counts when you receive it. However, if the settlement is limited to the amount you are being given for the vehicle, it is not countable income. If part of the settlement is for pain and suffering, that part will count as income. On the first of the following month, any money still on hand, whether for the car or pain and suffering, will count toward the resource (asset) limit of $2,000 (or $3,000 if you are married and living with your spouse.) The replacement vehicle will not count toward the resource limit if you have only one vehicle.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • shareca

    Hello….

    My child just got approved for ssi medically but they want me to come in and go over my income to see if she is approved in income. Now i get ssi $334 and ssdi $419 plus cash assistance $241 for my kids. My child also was receiving ssdi off her dads DISABILITY but they have stopped paying her because she was over paid and they didnt tell me how and why so i appeal it. My question is will my income have anything to do with her getting ssi? Or will they count cash assistance and my ssi an ssdi? Her ssdi from her dad has stopped for a year because the overpayment plus its being reviewed but they still holding benefits until the review is over.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shareca,

      Your Social Security Disability (SSDI) will be considered. If the cash assistance for your children is public welfare assistance, it will not be counted; however, if some of the assistance is for the child who was approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), some of her SSI back pay will be withheld to repay the portion of the assistance she has been receiving. It is possible that the child support that is being withheld will be counted as her income because she is effectively receiving it and is using it to pay off a debt.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • shareca

        Thanks…. so they will count her ssdi off her dads even though there holding payments… and yes the cash assistance is for her and my other child.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Shareca,

          I am not positive, but, yes, I believe that the gross amount of the Social Security benefit will be paid even though it is being withheld to collect an overpayment. If that is the case and later SSA reverses the overpayment determination or allows a waiver of repayment, no retroactive recalculation of SSI benefits will be needed because the Social Security benefit will already have been counted as income.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • shareca

            Thanks kay

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Shareca.

  • My 14 year old son got denied ssi cause i have land in my name but myself and 14 yr old son does not live there i let my older son take it and he makes the payment but because its in my name now my 14 yr old son cant get his ssi what can i do

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lynn,

      If you move onto the land with your fourteen-year-old, the land will not be counted toward your resource limit. Or, maybe you could sell the property to your son on contract so that he pays you a monthly mortgage payment. If the payment is not too high, your younger son might be SSI eligible; however, before doing this, you should find out whether or not the value of the sales contract will still be a countable resource. It may not be; or if it is, it may be excluded as property needed for self-support on the basis that it is producing income for you.

      Another alternative, which would not help immediately, would be to transfer ownership of (give) the property to your older son. Your younger son would still be ineligible for up to thirty-six months after the transfer. The amount of time he would be ineligible depends on the value of the property. If the period of ineligibility is more than twelve months, you will have to file a new claim for him and get a new medical approval.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Michelle G

    My daughter is 21 and has been receiving SSI for 7 months. I own a CD, which has been rolling over for 5 years, which lists her as my beneficiary upon death. I received a notice from SSI that they want to deny her benefits due to this counting as a resource. Can you explain to me how this is a resource as this is not a trust fund nor a joint account, and only my name appears on the account?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Michelle,

      You can appeal the decision because based on the CD is not a resource because it is not accessible to her while you are living. Take whatever paperwork you have on the CD to show that you are the only owner during your lifetime.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Thomas

    Hi,

    My daughter has been receiving SSDI and is in the Ticket 2 Work program. Soon, she will finish the trial work program and lose her SSDI. I know that her Medicare will continue but here is my question: We live in CA and currently Medi-Cal “extra help” pays for her Part B premiums and drug co-pays, will that’s”extra help” continue?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Thomas,

      Your daughter will have to check with the administrators of Medi-Cal to find out whether it will continue to pay her part B premiums and prescription co-pays.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Amanda

    My boyfriend is receiving SSI for being deaf/blind. Recently, he deposited some cash his family gave him to pay off a credit card (about $1700). How will this affect his benefits for the next month? Will they not pay him at all? Will they cancel his SSI completely?Do they check bank accounts regularly?
    Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Amanda,

      Your boyfriend has the legal responsibility to report that he received $1,700 from his parents. Failure to do so opens him up to possible fraud charges. The gift will cause him to be ineligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in the month he received it (presumably March). He can ask to have the overpayment collected through partial withholding of his future monthly benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Amanda

        Thank you for responding. How does he go about reporting it? I thought the monthly income cap for those who are blind was $1850? What kind of proof does he need about where it came from?
        Thanks again!

        • Kay Derochie

          Given that your boyfriend is deaf and blind, presumably he will need some assistance in reporting. He can either deliver the proofs in written form or mail them. He needs to submit a statement from his parents that tells the amount of the gift and the date it was given and also with some proof of the date that he paid out the money. A bank statement or other bank document would be satisfactory for the later.

          The special income limits for the blind are related to earned income, not unearned income such as gifts.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Amanda

        He would also like me to ask about how student loan refunds affect his SSI? He is unsure about if he should accept any kind of refund, because obviously that money is temporary and he needs his SSI every month just to get by. Thanks. 🙂

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Amanda,

          He should double check with the Social Security Administration but I think that, if your boyfriend’s student loan refunds are his own money returned to him, the money probably will not count as income. If he still has the money on the first of the month following the month he receives it, it will count toward his SSI resource (asset) limit of $2,000.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Amanda

            Thanks again, Kay! You’ve been an incredible help!
            The student loan “refund” isn’t really a refund. Whatever Federal Student Loan money isn’t used in tuition every semester is sent to the student directly to use for other educational expenses, such as books, transportation, meals while on campus, etc. We called SSA today and no one could give us an answer on this, so any help is appreciated. According to their website, loans are not considered income, but again we like to double check. Right now he has less than 2k in his bank account, so I don’t think that will be a problem for assets.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Amanda,

              A loan that has to be repaid is not income, so the student loan is not income for SSI purposes. (If the money were grant money or scholarship money, the situation might be different.)

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • sheily

    my childrens getting ssi disability. also child support but it’s been years haven’t receive child support money but is been collected missing money I have to claim the money my question is is that going to effect ssi for my childrens if alots money?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shelly,

      The child support money will be counted as income in the month it is paid to you and it will likely cause your child to be ineligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in the month it is received. You will need to use some of the support money to repay the overpayment for that month. If the amount is over $2,000 your child will not be eligible for benefits again until he or she has spent down to $2,000. I suggest that you talk to a Social Security claims representative about acceptable use of the money during the spend-down because there is an expectation that other monies, such as child support, pay for a child’s needs when such monies are available.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Joan R

    I will be 69 in few months. I received social security and was approved for SS disability and started receiving in 2011. I received a bit over $2000 each month. Am I eligible to received SSI also. The only income I receive is my social security.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Joan,

      You are not eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) because your income is more than $752.99

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Stacy

        Dear Kay,
        I am so confused! I receive $1054.00 per month and just can’t make it..I am divorced and don’t understand the limit of $20-2500 per individual per month being the cut off for SSI…then the statement of if you get more then $752.99 a month in SSD you don’t qualify. How on earth can I pay my Drs bills and get there plus food and shelter the basics on SSD and have no ability to qualify for SSI which ANY amount would help because I would automatically get food stamps and utility assistance. .I have no help…I am sicker and sicker..my disease is totally crippling. I get asked to see my specialist all thr time but can’t afford the gas or copy to go…much less buy food. I don’t understand how anyone can be expected to survive as a sick person with crazy high medical bills. My health gets worse because I can’t afford to go…who if ANYONE at Social security can and will help me get some SSI or a form of assistance. SOCIAL SERVICES said I get $30 per month in food stamps…it costs more to keep trying to go therr and update in gas alone…not worth the couple bags of rice..thats not assistance! ? I am confused and need REAL HELP and guidance before I die in my home alone at 48… I can’t work at all!
        Thanks for any recommendations you can give me. ( I have nothing either but a 10 yr old car to get me to store and APPTS)

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Stacey,

          It is not possible to get Supplemental Security Income because your income is more than the maximum ($733) paid to individuals with no income and more than payable in a state SSI supplement. Check to be sure the food stamp office has your monthly medical expenses on record because medical expenses are considered in determining the amount of stamps you are eligible for. If you have not already, try applying for Medicaid at your local social services office.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Marion

    I am the trustee for my sis’s special needs trust. I bought cremation plans for her and after reading SSI’s rules, it seems a burial plot and cremation plans are two different things and the cremation plan is in my name. So, I’m going to convert this to fit SSI’s rules and turn the cremation plan into a traditional funeral plot w/plan. Whom should the burial plot be titled to? I had the cremation plan to my name, asked my lawyer and he said change it only if SSI complains about it. I want to avoid the hassle before it gets here..what to do? Do I need to convert to a funeral plot and whose name should I deed this to?

    • Marion

      By the way, I used trust funds to buy the cremation plans but i put it into my name with my sister as the beneficiary. My sister is on SSI also.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Marion,

      If the cremation plan is irrevocable, it may be considered “burial” insurance and be excluded (not counted) as a resource if its value is $1,500 or less. However, if I am correct in assuming that you used your sister’s money to buy her a cremation plan, there may be a problem with your or her Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in that you put the plan in your name instead of hers. I suggest that you take the paperwork on the special needs trust and the newly purchased cremation plan to Social Security and find out whether there is currently a problem or not and, if there is, how to change it causing the least impact on either of your SSI benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • karen

    My daughter and I are both on ssi. I just recently bought two pieces of land. The appraised value is 2000 together (1000 each piece)and the tax assessed value is 500 together ($250 each piece ) Will this affect our eligibility? We do not own any other assets. I don’t know if ssi counts the assesed value or appraised value when determining Eligibilty.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Karen,

      You do not say whether you are single or married. My response is based on your being single or not living with your husband or your daughter’s father. The resource limit for a single person is $2,000.

      If you are buying the property on time, then the equity value of the property (its value reduced by the amount you owe on it) will count toward the resource limit. It is likely that the appraised value of the land will be its countable value (or the basis for calculating equity value) because it is closer to the market value of the land than the tax assessment. If you bought the property outright and its value is $2,000 and you have any money in the bank on the first of the month that is carried over from the prior month, you will be over your resource limit and not eligible for benefits. For example, let’s say you had $5 left at the end of March in your bank account, just to keep the account open, your assets on April 1 would be $2,005 and you would be ineligible for benefits in April. The $5 excess would also count toward your daughter’s $2,000 resource limit.

      You need to report ownership of the property to the Social Security Administration right away so that they can make a determination as to its value.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lacy

    My son is 28 and has applied for SSI/SSDI . He has his own apt but because he lost his PT job in July ,he had to get a roommate to help with expenses in order to keep the apt . He just got a letter saying he has been medically approved for SSI ( not SSDI yet anyway – perhaps does not have enough quarters ) .
    SSA is asking for a list of all his resources and income for the past 6 months . I have been lending him the $ for his share of rent and electric for the past 6 months and expect to be paid back when he gets the SSI . Because I have done this will this reduce or deny his ability to get the full amt of SSI ? He also receives food stamps – will this reduce the amt of his SSI check ? Thank you .

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lacy,

      Food stamps do not reduce Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. A bonafinde loan will not reduce benefits. You and your son need to sign a statement that you lent the money with the agreement that you would be repaid when he was approved for disability benefits. List the exact amounts you lent your son each month and the total amount he owes you to date. You son will also have to provide proof of the rent and utility costs and the amount the roommate and he are each paying toward these costs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • David k

    I have a question? If I have 1000 in my bank account and spend it before the first of the next month will I still get Ssi. I ask this because sometimes my grandmother gives me a check to deposit in my account for her groceries and medicine and other things i always take the money out through atm and buy what she needs are they going to take my Ssi away I’m so scared I have never had anywhere close to $2000 in the bank

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear David,

      You should cash the checks your grandmother gives you to shop for her without running them through your account because each deposit of her money to your account is income to you and reduces your SSI benefit. If you have a bank account, you can probably cash her checks at your bank and, if not, you can cash them at her bank. The resource limit is $2,000, not $1,000 so it sounds like excess resources is not an issue, but the deposits are.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • David k

        So basically they are going to deny me benefits I’m so scared as I depend on it to live

        • David k

          What can I do are they going to take my benefits away I’m so scared

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear David,

            Immediately stop depositing your grandmother’s money to your account. Report what has been happening, saying that you just found out that depositing her money into your account and then taking it out to shop for her affects your SSI and you have stopped depositing the money. Take a letter from your grandmother with you in which she lists the checks she gave you and take your bank statements for the period in question.

            If the deposits were high enough to make you ineligible, you should be eligible again the month after you stop making the deposits. If the deposits just reduced the amount you were eligible for, you will be eligible two months later. If the former is the case and you report all this within the last five days of the month, you will get the next month’s benefit and may be able to avoid interruption of payment.

            Make a written request to have collection of the overpayment waived because you were not at fault and can’t afford to repay. Say you were not at fault because you didn’t know the deposits were counted as income. Also, make the case that collection would be unfair because you had no benefit from your grandmother’s money. Also request that if the waiver is denied repayment be set up by having a small amount withheld from your benefits each month.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • Katie S.

    I have an ADHD/ODD son and I am in the process of applying for SSI for him. I make $38k per year which, I think, puts us over the income limit. Sigh… I am still applying in case there is some income that is not counted. His meds and therapies are soooo expensive and that is the only reason I am applying. Medical insurance every month through my job costs me $112 A WEEK just for two people (me and him only; I’m a single mother with sporadic CS whenever the heck his dad feels like it). I am being killed financially. I really only need help with the therapies and prescriptions but I think my income is going to cause my son to not be eligible. If we get denied, is there anything else I can do or am I just SOL?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Katie,

      You are right that your work income appears too high for your child to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) even in months that he does not receive child support. I am not sure whether there are government subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) for the payment of premiums on employer-sponsored health insurance, but you could check at http://www.healthcare.gov.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • dave c.

    My question: my wife is getting SSI. I am applying for SSD. we have 1 automobile now. It is being paid by insurance since I am unable to work. I am looking for a pickup truck. what are going to be my issues in getting this? I was thinking if I get back pay I might use to get one. will this effect what we have now? If I get one I intend to pay it off. Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dave,

      If you and your wife have two vehicles, it is likely that the less valuable one will count toward the $3,000 asset limit for SSI eligibility. However, the vehicles may not be material. If your Social Security Disability is $1,120 a month or more and you have no minor children to support, your wife will not be eligible for ongoing Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits because of your income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • David

    I am 59 1/2 and draw SSI Disability. I have some funds in an IRA and some in a 401k. Do these count against my resource limit and if I took out some income would it count as income against my income limit?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear David,

      If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your IRA and 401K do count as resources. Money taken from a resource and spent does not count as income. If you receive SSI, you need to report the accounts as soon as possible to avoid future overpayment. If you receive Social Security Disability (SSD or SSDI), your retirement accounts have no effect on your Social Security.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ceci

    my daughter receives SSI and every month it always changes, Im a single mom with two kids and I get CS for both its 408 a month my income before taxes is 2400 and its hard. My rent went up and now next year my rent from 669 will be 1200 I have no idea what will happen and now I am applying for a house will SSI take this away from her when she already gets a little? Please help I dot get help from foodstamps nor housing

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ceci,

      I assume that your daughter’s SSI benefit changes frequently because your earnings vary. Living in government housing, will not change your daughter’s benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ken

    My 3 autistic grandchildren receive SSI benefits monthly. If I pay for private health insurance for them, does the premium cost count toward their mothers income or is it excluded?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ken,

      If you pay the premiums directly to the insurance company and don’t give the money to their parents, your paying the insurance premiums will have no effect on your grandchildren’s SSI benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • kelly

    My son just started receiving ssi…. before he was born my sister bought a house and we put it in my name I now live in public housing will the house that she lives in that’s in my name affect my son’s ssi?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kelly,

      Yes, your son likely will not be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if your interest in the property is worth more than $4,000. (You and your son can each have $2,000, and your excess resources count as his.) If you take your name off the property, it would be like giving it away and could keep your son from being eligible for a period of time. Or, the house could possibly be excluded as income-producing property if you were to rent it out. The rental income would be considered in determining your son’s financial eligibility.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • So if we rent it out for 200 a month then what would happen.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Lynn,

          Please see my reply of a few minutes ago. If you rent the property to your older son or someone else, the rental income will be income to you and will be considered in calculating your son’s SSI benefit but may not make him ineligible. The property probably will be excluded as resource needed for self-support, although I do not know whether you have to be collecting rent at fair market value (FMV) to get the exclusion. $200 seems very low rent for house or even an apartment and is probably less than FMV.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Denise

    I am on SSI. I have been told that an old life insurance policy from my father will be split between the 4 children, amounting to $2500 each. I understand that this will cause my sSI and medical insurance to stop for a month. This could amount to me owing a lot of money, as I’m recovering from an injury and seeing doctors, getting mri’s seeing physical therapist. Can I waive my right to the $2500? I am concerned that receiving the money could cause me enormous stress and problems, and not benefit me in any way.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Denise,

      If you refuse to take income that you are entitled to, the amount will be counted as if you received it. One option would be to schedule your medical appointment and tests for a month in which you are not receiving the insurance. That way, you will only have to pay back the amount of SSI you get in that month, assuming you spend down below $2,000 before the first of the following month.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Daisy

    Hello my question I’ve been drawing dissibility since 1998 my husband inherited a home from his mom when she passed away social security found this out and says I owe them the amount the pva office has it valued at.i really did not know the home was left to him cause we have been seperated that’s why I never did tell the social security,,the home isn’t in my name nothing about the home is in my name only his why should I be held accountable for this and have my income stoped ..if I let them know we are seperated will they give my check back ? Do I need to get a lawyer ? We are in the process of a divorce we have two childern ,,I need my check to pay bills and provide for my kids,,thanks for any information/also I live in the home place with the kids while he is staying in the home he inherited

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Daisy,

      If you and your husband separated before your husband inherited the home, then the inheritance will not affect your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment. If this is the case, gather whatever proof you can of the date he moved out (utility bills, date-stamped mail addressed to his new address, etc.). Also, present proof of the date of the inheritance. If the inheritance was before you and he separated, then you will be overpaid due to excess resources. The amount of the overpayment would be equal to the amount of SSI you received beginning with the month of the inheritance through the month in which you separated. If you have received a formal overpayment notice, file a request for reconsideration when you submit the evidence. If not, just submit it along with the statement signed by both of you with the date he moved out.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Laurel Rae Pena

    Dear Kay ,
    I have been found disabled and I need mortgage information from a house my separated husband were buying . The house is not occupied and has no water heater or water service , Can SSA help me get my current mortgage information from my husband?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Laurel,

      Social Security probably cannot help you get that information; however, if your name is on the mortgage, you can get it form the mortgage holder.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Shawn

    My dad has a truck that’s in my moms name because he was told if it was in his name would stop is disability but to my ? Can he put a car in his name since the truck is broke down I was going to sell him a blazer I have but he don’t want to lose his disability if and when we get truck fixed

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shawn,

      If your father receives Social Security Disability (SSDI), what he owns does not affect his benefits. If he receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI), he can own one vehicle without its affecting his benefits. If he buys the Blazer from you for reasonable market value either outright or in payments, acquiring the Blazer will not affect benefits in the month he gets it. If a vehicle is just transferred into his name, regardless of any unofficial understanding of current ownership, the value of the vehicle will count as income in the month the vehicle is transferred to his name and likely will cause him to be ineligible in that one month.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Joy

    Hello. I also receive the Michelle P. Waiver on my son, and I am his employee under the waiver. They have always counted my income, but now they tell me they don’t have to (opposite of Angel). There is no language in the waiver regulations themselves, however I just learned that IRS publication 2014-7 excludes waiver income as federal taxable income to parents or guardians that live in the home. Since it clearly states that we don’t pay into social security or federal taxes, would that be enough to show that it shouldn’t be counted as income? Would that be the best form to take to a hearing?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Joy,

      You need legal advice regarding the fine points of the law; however, I can say that tax law is not necessarily the law that governs public benefit programs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • cindy a mcknight

      Hi I am a grandparent who’s ssa was just taken in Jan 2015 for receiving michelle p payments for two years, I was told in the beginning it was a resource and not counted as work since I don’t go to work and just care for him as I have for the past 6 years, now they have just stopped my ssa plus my extra help from medicaid due to receiving it the same way, it states my grandson is my employer and taxes are withheld with a w2 each year so to ssa its a job. Also stating I have to repay 13,000 for the past two years benefits I received. Of course I asked for a waiver on that since I had spoke to them several times the past two years and told it wouldn’t affect me.
      What are my rights? I am disabled, severe rheumatoid with mutlitple joint surgeries, broke my back in two places past two years, surgeries for that, plus anxiety disorders still. Please help.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Cindy,

        Please tell me what “Michelle payments” are. Then I may be able to offer some suggestions.

        Thank you,
        Kay

        • cindy a mcknight

          They are waivers paid via medicaid for the care of my grandson who is severly autistic with MR, this is considered a medicaid waiver but Pathway and the Michelle P Program (who actually received the medicaid payments I’d assume) are listing my grandson as my employer on a w2 form I am receiving and taking out taxes.

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Cindy,

            A W-2 form is a tax reporting form used to report work earnings to the IRS. If it is correct for the Michelle P Program to be reporting your payments as wages, then it is likely correct that you are overpaid Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and that the earnings are counted in determining whether you are eligible ongoing.

            The only possible exception I can think of would be if the Michelle P. Program is a federal program and written into its statute is a directive that its payments do not count as income for SSI payment calculation. You might check with the Michelle P. Program to see if that is the case. If so, take a copy of the program’s documents to show the Social Security Administration.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • cindy a mcknight

            I have printed off valuable info on this that might help others in my position, First off the Michelle P waiver is considered the same as Home and Community based waivers. The first bit of into is that As of Jan 3 2014 the IRS issued Notice 2014-7 addressing the inctome tas treatment of certain payments to an individual care provider under a state hcbs waiver (Medicaid Wiavers) program. That the IRS will treat qualified waiver payments as difficulty of care payments excludable from gross income under the s131 of the Internal Revenue Code.You can file electronically or on paper if you received a form1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income or Form w-2 that report this as income, You can then state payments are excludable from gross income under Notice2014-7. You write this on line 21 of your tax return.

            Also The second bit of info is that since this is considered difficulty of care Under SSA S1915 , 42USCss139n(c)) a state may obtain a medicaid waiver that allowes the state to include in the states Medicaid progran the cost of hcbs provided to individuals who other wise would require care in a hospital or nursing facility. Section 131(a) excludes qualified care payments from the gross income of a provider.
            These are considered difficulty of care payments excludable under s 131 since my grand child was placed in my home via the state of ky. I notice income is not excludable is a child whose biological parent receives the hcbs wiaver , but since the state placed my grandson with me and I am starting to receive this after not the first 5 years that it is excludable due to I am considered a foster placement as a grandmother. This of course is not word for word but the basics and coding that you could look up for others seeking advice. The second source I speak of came off the Ssa site. So I have printed all this off highlighted these areas and am sending it with my reconsideration/appeal. And also the repayment they are requesting back.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Cindy,

              It seems as if the information you have shared applies to tax law and Medicaid and not to Supplemental Security Income (SSI); however, the law is complicated and it is good that you have appealed to get a formal review. Let us know how it turns out.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Angel

    My daughter has drawn SSI since she was 5 months old due to her severe disability. She has been on the Michelle P. Waiver in Ky since 2011, they have always told me the income from the waiver paid to her parent for the care was not counted as income since it was a medicaid waiver program. They are now saying it does count and that we owe them money. From what I am reading it still does not count but I have not been able to reach someone who actually knows. Can you provide that information?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Angel,

      I have spent a little while researching and from what I read, the exclusion from counting the Medicaid waiver payments is written into the Medical waiver law not into Supplemental Security Income (SSI) law. Social Security Code of Regularions 416.1124 (b) just says that some income is excluded per other federal laws. You can view this at http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/cfr20/416/416-1124.htm. I suggest that you appeal the decision to count your payment under the Medicaid waiver program and submit the documentation from the waiver program law that shows that it does not count. If need be, get legal assistance.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Bibi

    The resource limit is $2000 for an individual yet $1500 inheritance in the example made him ineligible? Huh?

    Perhaps there is an INCOME limit as well as a resource limit. If so, please state it.

    Do I add resource and income? Or is there a formula?

    If I earn $1 income in a a month, does that reduce my SSI by 1$?

    If I exceed the $2000 limit by $1, am I suddenly ineligible?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Bibi,

      Income and resources are calculated separately. The inheritance is income and counts in the month received. None of the inheritance is a resource until the first of the following month.

      Unearned income over $20 causes a reduction in SSI benefits The maximum unearned (not work) income for an individual can have and still be eligible for at least one dollar of SSI is $739.00. Unearned income reduces benefits dollar for dollar.

      The first $65 dollars of earned income does not count to reduce benefits, then for every two dollars over that amount there is a one dollar reduction. With regard to resources, yes, if you have $2,001 in countable resources on the first of the month, you are not eligible in that month.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • DLJ

        For initial SSI eligibility decision process-
        App date Nov 2013. AOD Jan 2007. DLI june 2007. judge decides after hearing in March 2015 that EOD is Oct 2014 for complex reasons related to age51 now but less than age51 at app time. Very kind and I am relieved that it is over and looking forward to getting back pay and medical. But wait! SSA now calls me and starts harassing me to investigate my living arrangements and assets while i was waiting for the judge.

        My Roth IRA balance put me over and under SSI resource limit due to loss/gain before during and after EOD. bal at app date in 2013 was stated 1400 but a gain to 2500 later then a loss and a withdrawal of 1400 for living expenses.

        I also had 400 month direct deposit gift from a friend but he stopped gifts in March 2014. (hence the need to withdraw from IRA). i gave lots of money to various people who let me stay with them, mostly to my mother. Oct 3 2014 my car was totaled. Dec 15 2014, I received 4k via auto insurance proceeds for total loss of vehicle. I gave the check directly to my roomate to deposit in his account. I told him to hold it until i found a car to buy, after a couple months of not able to find a car to buy, i told him to just keep it for back rent for the many months i lived in his home while i was waiting for disability decision. I did not have a written contract to pay rent to him or his landlord, only a verbal with him to pay when i could. Am i going to qualify at all?

        Or am i just SOL due to a car wrecked, gain/loss of IRA, a few thousand dollars after so many years of homelessness, poverty, illness, no healthcare, paperwork, medical examinations, and inquisitions regarding my health and waiting for the judge to decide?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear DLJ,

          Your finances have to be reviewed from October 2014 to present, not earlier, because you were medically denied benefits prior to October 2014. Give Social Security your Roth IRA statements for September 2014 through present. The amount in the account on the first of each month will be the amount counted against your $2,000 resource limit.

          Even if your Roth is below the limit on the first of each month, you are probably not eligible beginning the month after you received the insurance payment and continuing until the month after you told your friend to keep the money. You may also not be eligible after that because it may be determined that you gave the money away. This may be true if you did not have an agreement as to how much per month the rent was that you were supposed to be paying. If it is treated as a gift, giving the money away will make you ineligible for about five or six months from the time you gave it away because you could have used it to support yourself at a rate of $733 (the maximum SSI payment) per month. If all this is the case, benefits can start at the end of those five or six months.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • karen

    I have a child on ssi disability….my husband and I had separated for a few years and I forgot to take myself off his bank account! That being said when they did the review it made it look like I was over resourced therefore they stopped my daughters benefits. I filed a waiver and this was back in February..still have not heard anything. When I call the 1-800 number they say it is still processing but that they are monitoring me? What does that even mean? The representative didn’t know either? Is it normal for it to take this long for a waiver? Also if they deny it because I was indeed on there, I have since removed myself but if they deny it what happens then? My daughter has not gotten benefits since last November. Will I have to pay it all back or will they take so much from her benefits when she is eligible again or how does it work? Thanks very much

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Karen,

      You asked questions about your situation on July 19 and 20 and I responded. It is possible that your daughter is not getting benefits now because they are collection the overpayment, not because she is ineligible. If she is ineligible it may be that by removing your name from the account it is considered that you “gave away” the money in the account. You can ask for partial withholding if the waiver is denied.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Shannon

    If I am my 20 year old son’s court appointed conservator and trustee of his special needs trust, which has been approved to not count as a resource for ssi, and if I purchased a home for him and I paid for half of it and his special needs trust paid for the other half, how should I have it deeded or titled so that ssi would not count it as in kind income or unearned income or look as though I am providing him with free rent. I would like to put it in my name in case he ever got married she could not leave and take his home but I don’t know what the legally correct way is to do this.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shannon,

      You should get legal advice on how to protect the property for your son also on whether you can legally put the house entirely in your name, given that you are using his trust money to by part of it.

      As far as the effect on his SSI, in all likelihood, the amount withdrawn from the trust would be income in the month withdrawn because the trust is not a countable resource. The withdrawal would likely cause SSI ineligibility for one month, but as soon as the money was “converted” into a house your son lives in, it would not be a countable resource. In terms of SSI, if the house were put entirely in his name, then the half you paid would also be income for SSI in the month it was paid. If you decide to put the property in both your names or in your name alone, the issue becomes more complicated in terms of SSI and you would need to get a formal determination from the Social Security Administration.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  • R. Shif

    There is no information pertaining to child support payments and ineligible children. For example: Does child support I receive for an *ineligible* child count towards my ssi payment??

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear M. Shif,

      Child support being paid for a child in your household who does not receive SSI comes into play in calculating your SSI payment only if you have a spouse in the househo and the spouse has income. When Social Security determines what amount, if any, of your spouse’s income counts to reduce your SSI, there is a certain amount they can exclude for the support of the child. That allocated exclusion is reduced by the child support received for the child.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

Read It To Me
Listen to the article with our text to speech feature
Ask the Adivsor
Click for the BBB Business Review of this Online Publications in Orlando FL

Send this to a friend