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Can I get disability benefits from Social Security if my family or I have income and assets?

By   /  March 3, 2016  /  530 Comments

Get answers to the question “Can I get disability if my family has income and assets?” Learn about income that affects Social Security Disability.

can-i-get-disabilityWhat You Own and Social Security Disability

When you ask yourself “Can I get disability with money in the bank?” keep in mind that what you and your family own, that is your assets, never affects your eligibility for Social Security disability benefits or the amount of benefits payable to you.

How Income May Affect Your Disability Payments

The question of whether family income affects the amount of your disability benefit is a little more complicated. First, the easy part: your spouse’s and children’s income does not affect your benefit amount. However, some types of income you receive can affect your payment amount.

If you receive a public pension based on work that was not covered by Social Security taxes, the amount of the Social Security benefits that you receive may be affected because there is a limit to the total amount you can receive from the two benefits. If you receive workers’ compensation benefits, both your and your family’s benefits may be reduced. Reduction for workers’ compensation is applied first to your dependents’ Social Security benefits. If the amount of your workers’ compensation offset is greater than the amount of your dependents’ benefits, then your Social Security benefit will also be reduced.

How Work Income May Affect Your Dependents’ Benefits

If your spouse or children are receiving dependents’ benefits because of your disability and they work, then there are limits on how much they can earn and still receive their full benefits.

More Information

If you would like more information about how certain types of income can affect Social Security benefit amounts, we have two articles that may interest you: “Can I Get Workers Compensation and Also Get Social Security Disability?” and “Can My Spouse and Children Get Benefits If I Am Approved for Social Security Disability?”

Can I get disability benefits from Social Security if my family or I have income and assets?
5 (100%) 1 vote

  • Dear Shelley,

    If you mean a 401k and you have access to the 401k, the amount in it will count toward your resource (asset) limit of $2,000 ($3,000 for you and your spouse if you are married). You can cash all or part of it to cover your expenses while you have no income. The cashing out will not count as income, but the money from the 401k regardless of where you store it will still count toward the resource limit. Note that part of the 401k funds will have to go to pay the taxes on the withdrawal so it would be best to see that those are paid up front when you withdraw. Note that if you are approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI), the 401k will not affect your SSDI in any way.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kile,

    Your spouse’s benefits are paid first and foremost for his shelter including utilities and food; so, yes it is fine to use his money to pay for those things as well as household supplies. The next priorities should be personal hygiene and grooming, health care including dental and vision, transportation to medical appointments, and clothing. Then if there is money available for other things, using some of it for his entertainment is appropriate. The pet care might be a stretch.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Stacey,

    If your medical conditions end up causing you to be unable to work or to reduce hours so that you are earning less than $1,170 gross per month, I recommend filing an application. If you do, be sure to list all the conditions and the specific problems each presents for you in terms of working and performing activities of daily living (caring for yourself). List the number of days and partial days work missed due to health over the previous six months. Also, let each of your doctors know that you are filing a claim based on the combination of your illness, not on just the one that doctor is treating you for.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Ken,

    What kind of case did you settle?

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Bernie,

    Because you own land you do not live on and the land does not produce income for you, it would ordinarily cause your son to be ineligible because your family’s resources (assets) would exceed the SSI limits. However, if you cannot sell the land either because the lease prohibits sale or because there is no market for land that will not produce income or provide a home, you might be able to get the property excluded.

    So your first step is to find out whether you can legally sell the property. If you can not, then appeal both the medical denial (assuming you think your son is disabled) and the financial denial on the basis that the property is not a resource because you cannot liquidate it and use the funds to support yourself and your son.

    If you can legally sell the property, your next step is to find out whether the owner has the right (per land-use laws and per the lease contract) to build a home on it and live on the land. Then engage a real estate agent who is knowledgeable about the type of property it is and with the real estate market in its geographic area. Get the realtor’s professional opinion regarding whether there is a market for the property with its prepaid lease and ability or inability for the owner to build a home and live there. If the answer is the property would never sell, you can appeal both the medical and financial denial. Keep your sixty-day appeals window in mind.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Robin,

    If you pay fair market value for renting a room with utilities, your benefits will not be reduced. FMV for room is the amount such rooms are renting for in your geographic area. Social Security law does not specify an amount required to be paying fair market value because the economy is different in every location. You can figure out a fair market rental rate by looking at ads for room rentals in your area and/or by choosing state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. It will not list rooms, but it will list studio or efficiency (one-room) apartments. A room in a house would probably cost about half of that amount.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • Robin Horsey

      Hi Kay , You sound very knowledgeable. Thank you for the information. That sounds like good advice. Robin

  • Dear Andrea,

    Self-employment income is accounted on an annual basis and your tax return is the documentation of what your business profit was. That profit is divided by the number of months you were in business in 2016 and your son’s SSI benefit will be recalculated to see whether your income was high enough to affect his benefits, which it wasn’t. If you have not done so, you now need to provide estimated earnings in 2017 and track your profit so you can adjust the estimate mid-year if actual earnings turn out to be different from the estimate.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Lisa,

    The benefits you receive were earned by your deceased husband and will not be affected by what you own or your sale of anything you own including the mineral rights.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Linda.

  • Dear Linda,

    You need to report your work earnings to Social Security. Take with you any documentation you have to show the months that the back IHSS payments were for to document that the earnings were $680 a month. The amount of the earnings should not affect your Social Security Disability (SSD) because the amount is below the Trial Work Period earnings level of $840 ($810.00 in 2016). Keep copies of that documentation and your monthly pay stubs ongoing even after the W-2s are issued in case any questions should come up in the future.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    Si

  • Dear Karen,

    If you are receiving SSDI (Social Security Disability) based on your earnings record and having paid Social Security taxes and not SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and you do not work in the business but receive only passive income from it, owning a share of the business will not affect your benefits.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Miss Visionary,

    If you are receiving only Social Security Disability (SSDI) based on your earnings record and not Supplemental Security Income (SSI), what you own and how you dispose of it does not affect your benefits and there is nothing you have to report.

    If you receive SSI, then selling the car would be converting an excluded resources to a countable resource with no effect on your SSI that month. If you still had the money at the beginning of the month after the month of sale, the proceeds from the sale would count towards your $2,000 resource (asset) limit. Giving away the car shouldn’t affect benefits because you would not be giving it away to get benefits. Lastly, if you get SSI and buy an expense camera, you can request to have it excluded from counting as a resource based in its being income-producing property.

    Whether or not you get SSDI or SSI, you need to keep records of the time spent in your photography business and gross income and business expenses from your photography business to document your work activity to show whether or not you are performing substantial gainful activity (SGA). SGA in 2017 is usually assessed as being able to earn monthly $1,170 gross wages or net profit from self-employment . You should report the work when you first have earnings. Additionally, you will be asked for your business tax return (probably a Schedule C) once a year to finalize your self-employment for the year.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear J.,

    Your brother’s Social Security Disability (SSDI) will not be affected by the marriage. His stepchildren will be eligible for dependent benefits only if he was supporting them when he became disabled or when he filed his disability claim. The child’s SSI financial eligibility will be redetermined considering your brother’s income and assets.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear K.,

    If your husband is receiving Social Security Disability, what he owns does not affect his eligibility. If he is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), putting your husband’s name on the deed so that he is an owner will not affect his SSI benefits as long as he lives in the home.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kin,

    If the 403b account is accessible to you now, it and the equity value of the less valuable car will count toward your $2,000 resource limit. The excess will count toward your son’s $2,000 limit. If you cannot access the 403b, get a statement from the plan administrator so stating and the reason why.

    If your family’s resources are within the limits, in months that you are paid $2,400 gross your son will be eligible for about $330 a month if he is not getting any in-kind (non-cash) support from his grandmother in the form of subsidized housing. In months that you earn $1,800, his benefit before reduction for any in-kind income would be about $633.

    In order to not have in-kind income, you have to be paying two-thirds of the shelter costs because there are three of you in the household and you and your son count as two. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and mortgage, property tax, and if required by the lender property insurance. Be prepared to provide proof of these expenses and a statement from your mother as to how much you contribute. If your son is approved with in-kind income, once he has income so that you and he can pay your and his share, you can report the change and get an increase.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Becca,

    Your question has now been answered.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Becca,

    Only income on which you paid Social Security taxes counts toward building a Social Security benefit, so your benefit amount may be correct, assuming your tax accountant filed the taxes correctly. You can request an earnings statement to check that the Social Security taxed earnings are all shown as you reported them.

    You can appeal the disability onset date if the onset date was established as being in 2015. It is possible that the wage loss somehow showed up as work earnings so that it looked like you worked until 2015. On the other hand, if you mean that benefits don’t start till 2015, that could be correct because there is an unpaid five-month waiting period. This means that with a November disability onset, your benefits would begin to accrue May 2015.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Mary,

    Rental income from a single house is not self-employment and is not considered work earnings.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Gravity2,

    I suggest following up in a month to inquire whether your report has been processed and, if so, to confirm your Medicaid eligibility. If it has not been processed, ask for an estimated time frame for processing. The same would be true of the Part D application.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Sherry,

    Your boyfriend’s income and assets do not affect your child’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment. However, if he pays more than his share of shelter (and food if you share food), your son’s SSI payment will be reduced.

    Your boyfriend’s share is the shelter (and food if you share food) 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

  • Dear Anne,

    If benefits have been awarded, but not paid, or a claim for disability is filed posthumously, the underpayment will be issued to the surviving spouse or children, or to the estate. Survivor benefits might also be payable. However, if you are referring to taxes paid into the insurance system, it is like paying an insurance premium–the money stays in the Social Security Trust Fund.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Rita. I think you can choose the duration of the loan.

  • Dear Sarah,

    All questions are answered. The only exceptions are those that contain offensive or aggressive language, are addressed to another visitor to the site, or are repeat postings of the same question by the same person. However, answers are not necessarily immediately. Your question was answered today.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Rita,

    I suggest that you and your husband engage the services of a certified financial planner to help you make a decision.One thing to discuss with the planner could be paying off part of the mortgage and refinancing the rest to reduce payments and eliminate the monthly deficit while retaining some money in savings for unexpected needs or irregular needs your monthly income won’t cover.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Sarah,

    First of all, if you are getting Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI) what you own and income like an auto accident settlement do not affect your benefits.

    If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you must report the second house and the accident settlement. Unless you can prove that you cannot sell the second house, you are–before receiving the settlement–now ineligible for SSI and are overpaid everything paid to you since you both got SSI and were not living in the home. Not reporting is fraud and you could be prosecuted for it if it comes to light in another way.

    Possibly–and I say, possibly– your best course of action is as soon as you get the settlement report both to Social Security. Make a written statement that you cannot sell the house your ex lives in because he won’t agree to sell. If you have the legal right to sell your interest (your half), you would also try to make the case that no one but your ex would purchase half interest in a house and he won’t buy you out (assuming he won’t). Discuss this with an attorney, but you will probably have to make a documented effort to get your ex to sell by sending him correspondence requesting that he sign a real estate contract to sell.

    With regard to the settlement, you do not have to spend down quickly. You can repay the SSI overpayment for the month that you receive it and use it to support yourself (current housing, food, etc.) while you decide the best use of the money–pay off your half interest in the home you live in and refinance to reduce payments, pay for deferred needs such as dental care, eye glasses, do house repairs, pay debts, etc . As long as you are ineligible for less than twelve months, you will not have to file a new claim to get your benefits reinstated when your assets drop to $2,000. Be sure to keep receipts for everything you spend and don’t give any of the money away because any given away will continue to count as a resource for a period of time up to three years.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Dean,

    Questions are not visible until they are answered.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Dean,

    You are receiving SSDI (aka SSD), not SSI; that is you are receiving Social Security Disability, which is an earned and paid for benefit, not Supplemental Security Income, which is a public assistance program. Accordingly, your inheritance has no impact on your earned benefits and you do not have to report it.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tara,

    You need to file a formal request for reconsideration on the basis that you are not receiving in-kind (non-cash) support and maintenance from your mother in the form of housing or food. Submit proof of the shelter expenses and a statement from your mother as to the amount that your husband pays of those expenses. (I think it is unlikely they are using your mother’s income instead of your husband’s. It is more likely they are charging you with in-kind support and maintenance, which when combined with your husband’s income makes you ineligible. However, if they have also make a mistake about your husband’s income, list that on the appeal as well, and submit correct evidence.)

    You need to show that your husband pays his and your share. A single share is the total expenses divided by the number of people in the household. If there are three of you, your husband has to pay two-thirds in order for you not to be receiving income from your mother. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance. If you all share food, include the amount spent on food for all in the statement.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Sam,

    Resources given away in the three years before filing for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can make an individual ineligible for SSI for a length of time. The money given to the child will cause ineligibility from the date given until it is prorated out at the unreduced SSI rate of $733 in 2015 and 2016 and $735 in 2017. So, for example, if she gave away $4,000 two years ago, she would be ineligible for about five and a half months from the date she gave it away. The child who received the gift can write a statement confirming the amount and the date or range of dates the money was received. Possibly there would still be a bank record.

    Then your mother can make a statement that she supported herself with the remainder of the money estimating how much went for housing, food, clothing, medical care, etc. If she paid her rent, or mortgage, taxes, utilities, and medical providers with the money, she may have the documentation needed or may be able to get it from the landlord, mortgage holder, doctor, etc. to prove she did not give away the remainder.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear PJ,

    If our are listed as the owner, the equity value of two of the cars counts towards the SSI resource limits for eligibility. The two with the lowest equity will count. Equity is the retail value reduced by the amount you on on the vehicles.

    Whether or not your child is ineligible for SSI depends on how many parents/stepparents are in the household and what other countable assets you and your disabled child have. One parent can have $2,000; two parent’s can have $3,000; and your child can have $2,000. Any excess you and the other parent have, if there is another parent in the household, will count toward your child’s $2,000 limit. If you calculate your child is over the limit, you need to report it right away. If your child is not now over the limit, keep an eye on the rising equity value of the cars as you pay them off as related to the resource limits.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Nathan,

    I suggest that you do some investigation about your options. “First time” buyers can mean not having owned a home for a certain period of time, three or five years. Many communities or counties offer free home buyer education classes to help educate the public on buying options and process.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Nathan.

  • Dear Nathan,

    If you can purchase a new smaller house or condo and pay cash for it and can afford the property taxes, I wouldn’t think you would lose in terms of a financially sustainable future. If you plan to rent, you may want to consider how long the money you get from the sale will last paying rent and considering rent increases as inflation occurs.

    If you are receiving Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI), the sale of the house has no effect on benefits and does not have to be reported. If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), sale of the house won’t affect your benefits if you repurchase a home within three months of the date you receive the proceeds from the sale.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jacob,

    Please give me more information so I can respond:

    1) Including months of back pay, how many months of benefits have you received?
    2) How many hours a week will you be working?
    3) How much will you be earning per pay period and what is the length of the pay period?
    4) Will you be receiving any special accommodations due to your health?
    5) Has your health improved since you were approved?

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Letloose,

    Your mother’s inheritance will not affect her eligibility for Social Security Disability.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Heather,

    Borrowing money against your home will not affect your child’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits as long as no one outside the home pays the second mortgage and no one within the home who is not part of your nuclear family pays more than his or her share of shelter expenses.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI) benefits are based on having worked enough and paid Social Security taxes while working to become insured for benefits. The benefit amount is based on your earnings record. The only income that affects benefit amount is workers compensation benefits and in some cases public pension benefits based on employment that was not taxed for Social Security. What you own does not affect SSD eligibility.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jade,

    Your work earnings will not affect your mother’s Social Security benefits. If she is getting dependent benefits for you, your benefits will not affected as long as you don’t earn more than $16,920 gross per calendar year. If your mother is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your earnings might affect her SSI if she is married and living with her spouse and if her spouse’s income. To know whether the SSI would be affected, I would have to know the amount of her benefits; your dependent benefits, if any; and her spouse’s income and kind of income.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, James.

  • Dear James,

    Usually if your name is on the loan, your name has be listed as a co-owner of the car also. If your application is only for Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI), having your name on someone else’s vehicle will not affect your application or benefits. If you have also applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the situation is more complicated. If you already own a vehicle, the vehicle with the lower equity value will count toward your $2,000 resource limit ($3,000 if you are married and living with your spouse). Equity value is the retail value of the car reduced by the amount owed on it.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear CC,

    Your comment that your income is “less than $12,000” a year gives me the impression that you may be receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI) and not SSI, which is Supplemental Security Income. Yet you reference an asset limit which would be related to SSI. If you are receiving only SSDI, the oil and gas lease will not affect your benefits and does not have to be reported.

    If you are getting SSI, you will not be eligible for SSI the month you received the $70,000 and you will remain ineligible until you spend down to the point that your and your husband’s countable resources are at $3,000 or less.

    You can use the money for pretty much anything, but you cannot give it away. Some purchases could be excludable items such as paying off a car or purchasing a new(er) car. You could pay your car property insurance for a year, make house repairs or old appliance replacements, pay for deferred dental, medical, or vision care, pay off debts, etc. (Be careful if you plan to repay a private debt because if there is no proof of a bona fide debt it could be hard to prove that you are not giving the money away. If you do not have life insurance, you can buy a $1,500 irrevocable burial policy for each of you and cemetery plots if you plan to be buried. And, of course, you will need to repay the one month overpayment for the month you receive both SSI and the lease payment. Be sure to keep receipts for everything you spend so that you can prove where the money went. If you spend down in less than twelve months, you will not have to file a new claim to get payments reinstated.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Abby

    My husband is legally blind and wants to receive SSDI. He has been getting money from a settlement from a medical malpractice lawsuit monthly since he was 18. He could have chosen a lump sum but he chose monthly payments for life. will that affect his eligibility?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Abby,

      Your husband’s income from winning a medical malpractice suit will not affect your husband’s eligibility for Social Security; but to be eligible for benefits he has to have worked enough to be insured for Social Security.

      If he has not, his eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability depends on the amount of the monthly malpractice payment and other family income and assets. If the malpractice payment is $753 a month or more ($755 in 2017), he will not be eligible for a federal SSI payment. Some states pay an SSI state supplement that allow a little higher income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • I am in the process of getting disability, (pending) for the very first time due to illness. I have a 6 year car loan through my bank and have paid one year and 2 months on it. Will this affect disability and/or social security and/ or qualifying for Medicaid?
    Thank you, any and all assistance is greatly appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Alesia,

      What you own does not affect your eligibility for any kind of Social Security. If you have only one vehicle, it will not affect your financial eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). I am unable to answer your question about Medicaid, other than to say if you qualify for Medicaid due to SSI eligibility (only one of the ways to qualify), the car won’t keep you from getting Medicaid.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Cherilyn Tupac

    My 65 year old mother is working and receives survivors benefits. At the first of the year, Social Security stopped her payments for 4 months due to what she made last year. She is working the same amount and she is very worried this will happen again. However she is now raising my 16 year old daughter. No, I am not disabled or dealing with addiction, and also not incarcerated. My daughter needed out of this horrible area and even worse school system and a fresh start. So I drew up papers giving my mother guardianship so she could enroll her in school and take care of all her needs there. My mother and daughter are 9 hours away in another State. I am employed full time with the State of Oregon. My question is, now that my mother is raising her minor grandchild, will her working affect her benefits the same? Not looking for a benefit payment for my daughter, just wondering if it will affect my mothers amount differently or if they will count her income differently? Hoping she does not lose her benefits again. Thank you for reading!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cherilyn,

      Having guardianship of your daughter does not affect your mother’s Social Security survivor’s benefits or how her work earnings are counted in determining benefits due.

      Typically, overpayments are avoided by benefits being withheld at the end of the year based onestimated work earnings that the Social Security beneficiary provides earlier in the year. If the estimated earnings are over the limit, one dollar for every two dollars over the limit is withheld from the December benefit; then the November benefit, if needed, then the October, and so on so that an overpayment does not occur. This will change for your mother when she reaches full retirement age at age sixty-six. At that point there is no limit on earnings to receive full benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Keri Gunter

    3 questions: My best friend of 32 yrs is on SSDI and I receive SSI in AR. We’ve been bff’s since high school. We’ve lived in the same home for the past 11 yrs because he has cirrhosis of the liver and has problems with hypatic encephalopathy. I’ve had 9 back surgeries which has cause some physical limitations, nerve damage and a pain stimulator in my back. I was injured at such a young age my benefits are only $737.00 a month and his is $1137. This arrangement helps me because I couldn’t afford to live anywhere decent otherwise. Helps him because I’m his advocate with social security, caregiver and medical representative because of his condition can be unpredictable. He can’t live alone and he doesn’t trust easily.
    His parents are in their 70’s and of course worry for him and he can’t depend on his children. The only time he hears from them is to ask for money.
    We are quite aware of how unorthodox and confusing this is for the outside world to grasp. But we make it work. Just need to know the best way to handle this for all parties.
    Question 1: Can he be put on his parents bank accounts and homes without a fallout for either party?
    2.: Would marriage protect him and not harm my benefits? We feel it would leave his parents with peace of mind that he’ll be carried for and protect him from the neglect he fears would come at the hands of his children?
    We both have had 2 failed marriages each and have no desire to bite that bullet again. Lol
    However, our friendship has stayed strong for over 30 yrs and figure marriage might be the best course of action.
    3.: Can one be married in name only?
    His mother has suggested he keep a room at her house and use her address so it doesn’t affect me. Because we split everything. He pays for all his personal stuff, the mortgage and taxes. We split utilities. I pay for my personal stuff, groceries, laundry and cleaning supplies. Perform such duties as cook, clean, wash his clothes and handle his finances in exchange for room and board.
    However, we occupy separate ends of the home and only share the common area. What would be our best course of action here? Thank you. K.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Keri,

      So that I can reply, please tell me whether the $737 you receive is Social Security Disability on your earnings record, Childhood Disability Benefits on your parent’s earnings record or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Keri Gunter

        732.00 is SSA. 5.00 is SSI.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Keri,

          Your friend’s benefits and your Social Security Disability (assuming it is on your own earnings record) will not be affected if you get married. Your SSI will stop because your and his Social Security benefits are above the SSI couple rate. Doing what your friend’s mother suggests, i.e., hiding from Social Security that you and he live together would be fraud.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Keri Gunter

            Thank you.

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Keri.

              • Keri Gunter

                Is there a difference in SSA and SSDI?
                With my friend being disabled. Can he be put on either of his parents accounts or homes? Can he inherit money, car, home from parents without it affecting him? I read it wouldn’t but would feel better to get an answer here. Thanks.K

                • Kay Derochie

                  Dear Keri,

                  SSA stands for Social Security Administration, which is the agency that handles Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI), Social Security retirement, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims.
                  If your friend receives SSDI or Social Security retirement, his assets and income including any inheritances do not affect his benefits.

                  If he receives SSI, putting his name on his parents’ accounts will cause his parents’ bank accounts to be counted as his and money they put into the account could also count as income to him. If he does not live in a home with his name on it, the home could make him ineligible for SSI. An inheritance will count as income only in the month that it is received. Assets he inherits other than a home that he moves into or one vehicle will count toward his $2,000 resource limit beginning with the months after the inheritance is received if he has any of the inheritance left then.

                  Sincerely,
                  Kay

              • Keri Gunter

                Replying to your last response. My appologies. This layout made it confusing to read.
                He is SSDI. No SSI at all.
                Based off that, does he have any restrictions on inheritance Thank you, K

                • Kay Derochie

                  Dear Keri,

                  An inheritance will not affect your son’s Social Security Disability benefits and he does not have to report it.

                  Sincerely,
                  Kay

    • Keri Gunter

      Kay,
      Thank you for answering my questions about my friends inheritance while on disability. His father keeps getting conflicting information. He worries if he doesnt set his will correctly it could hurt his son’s future benefits. Which leads to another question please.
      To recap. My friend is on SSDI. However, he gets extra help with his part D drug plan. What if anything will be effected if his parents leave him, property, assets, vehicles and/or monies like cd’s and such as an inheritance?
      You had already said nothing would be effected. Unfortunately, I had forgotten about the extra help on his meds when I posed my last inquiry.
      Thank you for your help.
      Best regards,
      Keri

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Keri,

        I am not familiar with the income and asset limits for extra help with Part D Medicare premiums. You might find that information at http://www.medicare.gov or your friend’s local Social Security office might know.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Jacki S

    Hi I am on ssi and was in a bad car accident 6 years ago that has just now finally been settled…i recieved approx 8,000. My question is, i owe my aunt approx 5,000 for old lawyer fees that she paid for me in the past. Will ssi accept this as part of my spend down? And if so, how does she go about writing a receipt that they will accept? Or any type of money that i am in debt to that isnt a company? Do they accept hand written receipts from family or friends that you owe money to? Or how do i go about that?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jacki,

      Your aunt can write a handwritten receipt stating that she paid out X dollars to attorneys for you and that the agreement was that you wold repay when you got the accident settlement or whatever the repayment agreement was. If she has proof of the amount of the attorney fees she paid, submitting a copy of bills would be helpful. The other people can write similar statements: when the money was lent and when per the agreement you were expected to repay. Then be sure to repay with a check so you can present a copy of the cancelled check as proof of payment.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • If I’m living in a low income housing and i get my disability and back pay. Will my back pay affect my rent

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Vicki,

      Your rent is likely to increase based on your having more income. For more detailed information about how the one-time back pay is handled, I suggest talking with the housing office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Terry

    Hello, I have both Lupus and Scleroderma. I am on social security disability income. Can I rent out a bedroom in my house to help me
    pay some of my bills without losing my social security disability? Also when renting out the room do I put it on my taxes under rental royalty earned income. I do not want them to think I am working when I am not. I would only charge $600.00 for the room but it would help me to pay much needed bills and meds. Thank you in advance for taking the time anwsering me.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Terry,

      Renting out a room will not affect your Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits. (If you were getting Supplemental Security Income [SSI], it could affect payment.) Check with a tax accountant or the IRS on the proper way to report the rental income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Patricia Nelson

    Hi I am a 63 year old woman and i have been on social security Disability for 17 years, my Question is My Aunt Passed away and i moved in her house to take care of her Adult Mentally Challenged Son. I do not want to loose my Disability benifits, as i am still disabled from working.how much can i recieve in homecare Benefits for taking care of her son? Will it effect my disability benifits? Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Patricia,

      You can work and receive Social Security Disability (SSDI) as long as you are unable to perform Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). The earnings benchmark for SGA is now $1,130 gross per month. You can receive benefits during a nine-month Trial Work Period (TWP) regardless of the amount earned; but after the TWP, no benefits are paid for any month you perform SGA and beginning with the thirty-seventh month after the end of the TWP, if you perform SGA your claim will be closed. Be sure to report your work when you start and permanently keep a copy of all your pay stubs to show the amount earned in each month.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jenny

    Dear Kay,
    I am 52 yrs old and have been on disability for 3 years…my mother is 82 and might have some invested money left when she dies that she would like to leave to me. Will this stop/affect my benefits?
    Does it help if it is left in a trust or not?
    Any suggestions on whom I might be able to discuss this with?
    Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jenny,

      If you receive Social Security Disability (SSDI) and not Supplemental Security Income (SSI), an inheritance will not affect your benefits. If you receive SSI, the inheritance will count as income in the month you receive it and it is likely to make you ineligible that month. Any money carried forward to the following month counts towards the SSI $2,000 resource (asset) limit.

      Trust law is complex and Supplemental Security Income law about trusts depends on the terms of the trust, so I can’t give you a definitive answer. Your mother might be able to set up a trust and restrict its use to purchasing you items that when paid for directly to the supplier do not count as income, such as paying for telephone, cable, medical, dental, and vision services. It could be helpful for your mother to consult with an estate planning attorney to discuss that and other options.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Bob

    I’m on disability and receive benefits of $830 a month. I’m currently working and receive just under $1,000 income. Plus my girlfriend and I are planning on moving into a house she bought with inherentence money she received from her family. Will this affect my benefits if we decide to get married down the road? Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Bob,

      What you and your spouse own and your spouse’s income do not affect Social Security Disability benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jennifer

        I have a ?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jennifer,

          You can post your question the same way as you put up this post.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Melissa Stull

    Hi so my question is if my mom cosigns for a auto loan for me can that affect her husband from getting disability? I live in Indiana and my mom is in Tennessee

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Melissa,

      Your mother signing on a loan will not affect Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. It could affect Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits if your mother’s name is going to be listed as co-owner of the car.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Guadalupe Gonzales

        What about Texas if my mom co-sings for me will she will she lose her medicade

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Guadalupe,

          I suggest that you contact your mother Medicaid office to find out the effect of her co-signing on something for you.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Sky

    Hi. I’m on disability and plan to marry someone with a child. Will I be able to get disability for my future stepchild?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sky,

      If you receive Social Security Disability (SSD), your stepchild could be eligible for dependent benefits only if you were providing 50% of the child’s support when you became disabled or at the point that you filed the claim. If that is the case, check with Social Security to see if support will provide eligibility when that otherwise qualifying support occurred before you were married to the child’s mother, that is, before the stepchild relationship was established.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Sky

        I was getting disability before I met her mother so that makes me ineligible to claim her? Would I be able to with second parent adoption? Thank you so much for your replies!

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Sky,

          Adopted children are eligible for dependent benefits with the month the adoption was finalized treated as the month of “birth” for entitlement purposes. It does not matter whether the adoption occurs before or after you began to receive benefits. I do not know whether the type of adoption matters as long as it is a legal adoption in the state where the adoption occurs.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Alex meier

    If my mother is on disability and I use her address as my home Address can that affect her disability? We live in indiana.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Alex,

      If I understand correctly, you want to use your mother’s address as a mailing address, but you do not live with her. You can do so without affecting her benefits even if she gets Supplemental Security Income and not Social Security.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Melody

    I am 54 yrs old, and have cerebral palsy. My mother and one sister recently died. My mother I and lived together in a home in both our names. We had it set up as a joint trust with rights of survivorship. My surviving sister wants to use the money left from their estates to pay off the home I shared with my Mom. Nothing was left specifically to me. I receive SSDI, Medicare, and Medicaid from the state, but no SSI benefits. Will paying off my house stop my benefits? The mortgage on the house has a balance of about $45,000

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Melody,

      If your family pays off the mortgage directly to the mortgage holder, your SSI will be reduced by $244.34 two months after the month in which they make the payment. If they want to help further with housing, they could choose to pay your year’s property taxes in the same month with no further effect on your benefits. Later if they pay property taxes, it will cause your benefit to be reduced two months after the payment. Because there is no mortgage, they can pay the property insurance directly and not affect your benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Melody

        Thanks for the reply. Can you clarify, do you mean SSI would go down permanently two months after the payment, or just for the second month after the payment? Also, I don’t get an SSI payment, only Medicaid from the state. Do you know if that would be effected?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Melody,

          A one-time payment (one-time income) that is enough to make you ineligible, will cause you to be overpaid the full amount of SSI you received in the month the payment was made. If the payment is small enough that you are not completely ineligible for a month, two months later your benefit will be reduced for just one month. I cannot answer your question about Medicaid. I suggest that you check with the Medicaid office.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Dolores

    Can I have a credit card while receiving disability? Do I need to report it if so to ssa

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dolores,

      You do not have to report having a credit card.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dolores

    Can I get a credit card while receiving disability and is it considered earned income ? Will it affect my benefit amount

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dolores,

      Having a credit card will not affect either Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • khushrua sharmin

    Me n my husband has two bank account where total amount should b $ 25000 which ($15000) we got as a gift of my sons birth from his uncle and rest of the money from tax return. Child’s uncle gave us those money as a gift because we r new here, very poor income of my husband, l have no job n after born child was very sick. Now the baby is 19 months n has brain injury and delay development problem. We have no assets except this money. Now we applied disable benifit for baby n the case worker asked about our assets n bank account. But I said we have only 2 or 3 thousand dollars in our account. And I didn’t say anything about those money. Is that effects on my child’s disable benefit? How? Pls let me know.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Khushrua,

      Unfortunately by not declaring all the family’s assets, you committed a crime, fraud, when you applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)your child. To protect yourself, I recommend that you immediately go to Social Security and correct the record by declaring the $25,000. Currently, your child is not financially eligible for SSI. If you have to use some of that money to support yourselves and to take care of your child, when the child’s money has been spent down to $2,000 and your and your husband’s assets have been spent down to $3,000, you can apply again for SSI benefits for your child.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Erin

    Hello!

    I’ve read through much of this thread, and the subject of assets has been discussed, although I’m still not completely clear. I have a 12 year old daughter who receives SSI every month; I am her rep payee. I understand her resource limits are not to exceed $2000 a month and my income that I report every month does effect her amount. Does this mean I cannot have a savings account? I recently graduated and started a new job in my field. Thinking of the future, I would love to try and put some money away every month into a savings account. Am I allowed to do this? What about a 401k or 403b plan? My new job does offer a 403b and I think it’s a good idea to sign up. Am I allowed to do that as well? Thank you in advance!!

    Sincerely,
    Erin

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Erin,

      You can save money while your daughter is eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you are not married living with your spouse or your daughter’s father is not living with you and her, you can have $2,000 countable resources. Money in bank accounts does count toward the limit. If you have resources above $2,000, the excess will count toward your daughter’s $2,000 limit. Retirement accounts are countable resources if you have access to them. Usually 401k and 403b plans do not allow withdrawal while you are still working for the company. There may also be an age requirement to withdraw. I suggest you find out the rules, but it is likely that your access will be restricted, which will allow you to participate in a retirement plan. If in the future you can withdraw the funds, the money will become a resource at that time.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Brittney

    Family of 5. Husband , wife, 2 nondisable, 1 disabled child. Son rcvs benifits and i am payee. My work hours have changed. we currently have one leased vehicle. My question is can we get another leased vehicle? There is no way we can buy one with cash so it would have to be a car we make payments on. .. is this allowed since both parents work? I so what would be the limit my car could be worth?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brittney,

      What you own are assets. Some assets are countable resources for SSI eligibility. I do not know all the legalities of leasing a vehicle, but I don’t think you own the car while it is leased. If that is the case, the number of leased vehicles is not material to your child’s eligibility.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Brittney

        Thank you for your help. So basically if i go to a buy here pay here and im making payments on the car but will own it when paid for that counts againest us as an asset but a leased vehcile will not…am i understanding or is any car i make a payment on not counted?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Brittney,

          Your equity in a car that you are buying and making payments on counts toward the resource limit. If the car is worth $4,000 and you owe $3,000, the equity is $1,000. Leased cars likely don’t count because you cannot sell them, but you should check this with the Social Security Administration (SSA).

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Shelly

    I have been on ssdi for about 7 years . I have a list of issues . Pulmonary Fibrosis , spinal issues etc. My health is getting worse and worse and I am having to sell my home to move into something smaller and less expensive. My 21 year old son lives with me and is my Idependent Provider. He is not paying expensives , just helps me. I can barely walk at times and am on oxygen. My question is about the monies from the sale of my home. I understand I basically need to spend all the money asap. And not to have more than 2000.00 left . Am I allowed to help my son purchase a used car? I will be trading in my car for something with a little less miles, but he wants to be able to drive to college etc. ? Thank you so much for any help on this matter .

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shelly,

      If you receive Social Security Disability (SSD/SSDI), you can do anything you want with the proceeds of the sale of your home.

      If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), then how you handle the money will affect your future SSI eligibility. If you get SSI, I suggest that you put the car in your name or in both your names. If you pay for a car only in your son’s name, for SSI purposes you are giving it away and it will affect how long it will be until you are eligible again. You can also purchase a irrevocable burial insurance policy up to $1,500 and/or a cemetery plot. If you plan to purchase your new smaller residence, you have three full calendar months to reinvest the money in your new residence.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Shelly

        EEEeeeek! First, Im on SSI :/ 2nd I was told from someone on the phone at SSI , I had 30 days to spend ALL the money . Then I was reading , and it sounded like SSI goes from the 1st of the month, to the 1st of the month. Meaning if I sell my home on the 15th , I only have till the 1st to spend the money. Since “they” told me I had 30 days I basically took the first home I found that was half decent . So, I was assuming I had /have 15 days after closing [the 15th of this month] to buy all the appliances, furniture etc , and not have more than 2000.00 in the bank and all the reciepts. I would go talk to someone ,but the closest SS office from my house is almost 3 hrs one way. And the trip is brutal for me to make. But since I all ready own my own car , I think SSI would count a second vehicle in the household as an asset , even though it’s my son’s. And he doesn’t pay me for bills. He just helps me. I don’t know what I would do without his help 24/7 Sorry to be a pain, I am getting lots of different information and I don’t have a lot of time . It is becoming very stressful. I have a surgery coming up , I am now wondering if I should postpone till the dust settles. It doesn’t seem right you can’t give your child a couple thousand dollars. I understand ,it [ssi] is designed for the poor .but I owned my home way before I got sick , and a person could spend 2k in WalMart!! Especially if they have been “starving” the last 7 years . Again, I thank you for your time. Btw, I have had a “no cash” value life insurance for many many years . Just enough to cover costs.

        • Shelly

          One other thing, then I wont bother you again . A friend of mine said she would paint my house and stuff to get it ready to sell, and that I could pay here , after the house sells. I owe her roughly 1,000.00 for all the work she did. She is just a friend . How do I prove that I paid her out of the sell of the house? Or will SSI not accept that, even if she write me a receipt? TY again

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Shelly,

          This response is to both of your posts of July 8.

          I thought that you said you were going to trade in your car for the one you and your son would use. If you have two vehicles in your name, the value of the less valuable car will count toward the $2,000 limit. Keep receipts for everything you spend including paying for the painting of your house, which would be a valid expenditure. You can pay off other debts, get deferred dental care, tires and maintenance for your car, etc.

          Whatever money is not pledged for the purchase of another home (I think you are saying that you are already in the process of buying another home), will count on the first of the month following the closing date on the sale of your home. If you are over the limit on the first, you will not be eligible for SSI that month and you will need to use part of the sale proceeds to support yourself that month. As soon as your assets drop to $2,000 you can report that to Social Security and your SSI will start again. If you choose to give your son the car and it costs $2,000, your SSI eligibility will be deferred approximately three months because you could have used the money you gave him in the form of a car to support yourself for three months.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • monica

    my mom receives all the government assistance she recently helped me get a 2016 car out in an agency since i dont have good credit could this affect her receiving help? the title would be under both out names but i would be the one using it and paying for it

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Monica,

      If your mother receives Social Security, her name on your car will not affect her benefits. If she receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and has another vehicle, the lower equity value of the two cars will count toward her SSI resource (asset) limit. For any other benefits such as food stamps or subsidized housing, she will have to check with the agency that administers those benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • trina cooper

    I own my own home, which I live in. I just went through cancer and have been offered complete disability. I am having trouble holding down a job. If I rent out a room will I lose my disability status?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Trina,

      Renting a room will is not working and accordingly will not affect your status of being disabled.

      If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability (not Social Security), the room rental could count as income to you; however, if you share housing and your roommate does not pay more than his or her share of the shelter expenses, having another person share expenses will not affect SSI benefits. 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

  • Beth King

    My mom received SSi and she is mentally ill. I am her daughter and ended up moving her closer to me as she lived by herself in another state and could not take care of herself. She is living in an apartment and waiting to get low income, but paying $425 for rent until then. She received $733 and pays utilities. She left a mobile home where she used to live and its vacant. Would I be able to try and help her sell or rent out the home to help pay her expenses in her new apartment or would that affect her SSi? I’m just not sure what her options are with the vacant home that she owns. Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Beth,

      The mobile home she is not living in makes your mother ineligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if her equity in it is enough to put her countable resources (assets) over $2,000.

      There are two approaches she can take to this situation:

      1. She can rent it out and ask to have the property excluded as necessary for self-support (as income producing). All but $20 of the rental income would reduce her SSI benefit.

      2. She could put the property up for sale and request to receive provisional SSI benefits until the property is sold. Once the property is sold, she would have to repay all the SSI she received during the period that her assets were over the limit because of the property. If after repayment, she still had over $2,000 in assets, she could use the money from the sale to support herself until her assets dropped to $2,000 or below. (If she doesn’t have life insurance, she could purchase an irrevocable $1,500 burial policy, which would not count toward the limit.) Once she spent down, she could request reinstatement of SSI payments. If her period of financial ineligibility is less than a year from when she moved out of the mobile home, no new application is needed.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Beth king

        What if my mom is paying rent here and the trailer is in bad shape and cannot sell? She has no intent to return as she cannot because of her health. Also if she pays back ssi and only gets $2000-3000 out of the trailer, how does that work? She would owe back more than she received out of the trailer. Can she sell it as is for cheap if it needs a lot of work?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Beth,

          Your mother has to sell the trailer for fair market value. She could research the value of her model of trailer in bad condition and try to sell it for that. She would not have to repay more that she got from the sale. If the overpayment is more than she gets from the sale, she can request waiver of repayment based on inability to repay and having tried to sell it for as much as she could.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Jennie

    I have two son’s so far that I know of both were approved I think for SSI. I got the papers in the mail that my 8 year old was over the asset limit for February, March, and April. But then a couple of days ago I got a phone call saying my 3 year old was approved. I applied for the both at the same time. I know for the current months of May and June I am fine on the Asset limit as it was just money in my bank account.

    I’m not currently working and only receive $269 in child support for my 8 year old. Since the 8 year old was already denied can he now be approved since I’m within the asset limit? I have currently $3,300 in a savings account but $650 of that was a state tax return. I only have two children who are both disabled and im not married.

    thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jennie,

      Your child who was first approved medically but denied financially should be eligible now because deemable income and assets will be divided between the two. When you submit the information for your three-year-old, ask to submit updated financial for your older child to have his financial eligibility redetermined.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kate

    My husband and I (recently married) received a significant amount of gifts in the form of checks and cash. The total is over $10k and we would like to open a joint checking account from which we’d pay down almost all of our credit card and automobile debt. We will need to report the funds to the IRS to avoid unethically obscuring the gifts. My husband has been on SSDI for several years due to MS. He works part-time and I support 90% of our living costs (including rent, food, clothing, etc.).

    What is the most appropriate and legal obligation to report the gift money? Will it affect his SSDI benefits? Will paying off his car loan and credit cards trigger a reduction in the monthly payment he receives, since his expenses will technically be less than usual? We’d like to allocate the money he’d be saving to put towards purchasing a home together (sometime in the next few years).

    What do we do about the gifts?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kate,

      If your husband receives Social Security Disability (SSDI) based on his earnings record and not Supplemental Security Income (SSI), there’s no need to report anything to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and he can do anything he wants with the money.

      As far as taxes go, check with the IRS to be sure, but I believe that you only have to report gifts of $10,000 or more that come from a single person. That is, you could receive $15,000 in gifts and they would not be taxable if all individual gifts were below $10,000.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • leslye owen

        I have a question. I am married, retired from 26 years of work due to MS. I do not work at all. My husband makes plenty so I don’t have too. But I am curios about something. I use mary kay products, have for years. Spend 200 plus a month. I was considering signing up with Mary kay(a home based sales ). Not to sell it and make money, just to save for myself. I may sell a little to family and friends but nothing significant. How will this affect my ssdi? Will I have to report it to ssa? I think I know the answer. I did work for 26 years in the field of assisting persons with disabilities find employment. So I know how earn income affect ssi and ssdi. But have never encountered the home based sales part. DRS did not consider it employment so we couldn’t do that as work.

        Thanks in advance

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Leslye,

          Please clarify: are you now receiving Social Security Disability benefits.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Irene Ewing

    I currently receive SSA but cant receive my ssi due to my work credits was more than my ssi. But now my income has dropped 50% and I was wondering can I start receiving my ssi becasue of it?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Irene,

      Please tell me why your Social Security benefits were decreased. Is it because you received a workers compensation settlement or is it due to collection of a overpayment? The reason has a bearing on possible SSI eligibility.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Shawna

    I have a question about assets and SSI for my child. The father and I are not married but living in the same household. Our child has severe autism and is nonverbal. I stay at home to take care of the two boys and the father works. Last year he purchased a house with a friend for $3000. The house is in both of their names. The agreement was the friend would put up the money for renovations and when the house sold they would get their money back off the top and the rest would be split. Here we are a year later, the friend is 10k in and the house is nowhere near ready to sell. At this rate the house could honestly be in the same inhabitable state for who knows how long. One income and a family of four we desperately could use the money for therapies and keeping afloat. Is there anyway we could still be eliagble? Or are we just out of luck until the house sells.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shawna,

      The resource limits are $3,000 for you and your child’s father. The excess counts toward the child’s $2,000 limit. If you do not have a second car or a lot of other countable resources and if you did not make a typographical error in writing $3,000 and the house is currently uninhabitable, it’s possible that the father’s interest in the house will not make your child ineligible. I suggest having a realtor look at it and write up a statement of what it might sell for in its current state. The most your husband’s interest from SSI viewpoint would be half that price or possibly the division in any written contract between the father and his friend.

      Another possibility is that you could try to get the house excluded as income producing property because it will bring in money when sold. This is something of a long shot because usually it applies to a property that brings in monthly rent.

      If the property is determined to be countable with a value that puts resources above $5,000 ($3,000 for parents and $2,000 for child), you can apply for provisional payments to be repaid for a limited period of time. When the property was sold, you’d have to repay the SSI received. This might provide Medicaid for the provisional period. Also related to medical costs, you can get information about the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) at http://www.healthcare.gov.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Karl Mayfield

    My step-son is 29 years old and is 100% disabled. We have to provide 100% care for him. He only receives $443 a month in SSI which in no way covers his living expenses. Why does he only receive partial SSI and how do I rectify this? He is severe profound mentally retarded and has no source of income.

    Thank you, Karl

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Karl,

      To receive the maximum SSI of $733 your son has to pay his share of shelter and food expenses. His 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.

      If his current payment does not equal his share, but it is within less than $264.33 of his share, he can get a raise to some amount lesser than the maximum. For example, if his share was $600 and he was contributing $443, his subsidy from you would $157. Than means that $137 would be countable income and his SSI would go up to $596. At that point, he could contribute $596 and get another increase and so on till he had enough money to pay his full share and receive $733.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Brandon J Ware

    If you have just ssdi and you work for an item such as car or motorcycel and no cash goes through your hands do you have to report it?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brandon,

      If the value of your work in any one month reaches $810, you need to report the work even though you were paid in-kind (non-cash), so that the months of work at $810 or above can be counted as on of your nine Trial Work Period (TWP). Full SSDI benefits are paid for TWP months.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • M

    Hi Kay,

    My son was born with a rare chromosome disorder; permanent physical and development disability, in the early 90’s. He will never be able to work or live on his own. I filed for SSI when he was about 12 yrs old.
    I am his Rep Payee and he will live with me, as long as I am still living.
    He is now going to be 23 this July.

    Question; does MY income still count when they look at his eligibility, now that he is well over 18?

    I’ve always understood the $2,000 per month limit. But, I thought, it doesn’t apply anymore once he turned 18? I’ve got $4300 in MY OWN bank savings account; which my son is NOT on. Is that an issue?

    Thanks so much!

    M

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear M.,

      Now that your son is over eighteen, your income (money coming in during the month) and your assets (what you own) does not affect his benefits. Your son can have $2,000 of his own money saved up and still be eligible for SSI because he would be within the asset limit. Just be sure not to comingle your and his funds.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • M

        We were just notified this morning, we must meet with SSI next week for eligibility check-in of every 7 yrs. I haven’t had to do that since he was a minor.
        So, I REALLY appreciate the time you took to advise me.
        I was very impressed with your expertise when I read your threads. You’re really helping a lot of folks here, to comprehend and navigate a complicated system.

        On behalf of us all and my wonderful son…..
        Thank you, Kay!!

        :). M

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome.

      • Mariam

        Hello, I have two children with SSI benefit, 2x$733 montly. I am an independent contractor that filed IRS. But I didn’t included my kids that received SSI benefitS on my taxes. Because I have 4 more children that depends on me, (total = 6 children) If I filed ($15,540) single parent/ worked independently. Would this affect my children SSI benefits? Or would this lower their benefit payments?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Mariam,

          I am unable to comment on whether you filed your taxes correctly as related to your children. If the $15,540 was your net profit from self-employment and you have four minor children living with you who are not disabled, your income is not high enough to affect your children’s SSI payments.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • M

        Hi Kay,

        Overnight, I thought of one more question-
        am I, required, to file a tax return on behalf of my 23 yard old son, for his SSI income, (he has no other income- nor will he), as his Rep Payee?
        We’ve never filed a tax return for him, as he’s listed on my taxes as my dependent. I’m head of household.
        I think that answers my question as far as taxes go, however double checking on SSI’s rules.

        Again, my profound thanks, Kay!

        M

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear M.,

          I can’t comment on whether you are filing your own taxes correctly, but I can tell you that Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is not taxable.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Brittany

    Hello, I was just curious cause I’ve been looking on multiple sites. My boyfriend receives SSI and we were planning on getting married but don’t want to risk his benefits ending. We can’t afford that. I work thru a temp agency so my wages are never more then 1500 a month if I’m lucky. I also have 3 children which I have joint custody of. If my boyfriend and I decide to get married will my income stop his benefits considering I barely make ends meet as an individual myself?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brittany,

      If your $1,500 wages are gross wages and your children live with you and they do not have income, your earnings will not affect your boyfriend’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If your boyfriend receives SSDI (Social Security Disability), your work earnings are not considered in determining his benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • J

    I had a question. I have a roomate that is disabled due to having cancer. He is unable to hold down a regular job due to health issues. He said that he is not allowed to work from what SSI had told to him. From what I understand, is that there is a minimum hours a week that he can earn income even though he is on disability. Which section of the SSI pamphlet or section of the web page that I can show him that he can work? Thanks.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear J.,

      How much your roommate can work and still receive benefits depends on whether he is receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Usually earning below $1,130 gross per month will not affect SSDI benefits because usually the work is not considered Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). SSI law also considers work earnings as related to SGA to determine whether disability continues. SSI also monitors work earnings to determine SSI payment amount. If your roommate receives SSI, he can earn $65 gross ($85 if he has no other income) a month with no reduction if he is not performing SGA. Half of his earnings above that amount will cause a reduction in SSI. He can read about SSDI and SSI return-to-work incentives in the Red Book, which is available online at http://www.ssa.gov and from local Social Security offices.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Joy

    My husband is self employeed (farmer) and in October 2015, he had a stroke he was parolized on the right side. (he is right handed) He has gained most of his mobility back, however, he still drags is leg/foot and has no strength in his right arm. His mind is slower to react to things around him. The doctors state that he should apply for disability because he is a hazard to his self and others trying to work. He has not worked since October 2015. I work and pay all the bills right now. He has 2 LLC’s. Both LLC’s do not generate an income. They are just property; however, having those LLC’s would that disqualify him for disability benefits?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Joy,

      I suggest that your husband file a claim to get a formal determination of eligibility. If your husband has made a profit working as a farmer and has paid Social Security self-employment taxes or the LCC paid Social Security taxes for him, he could be insured for Social Security Disability (SSDI). SSDI eligibility is not affected by owning land or businesses if he is not working in the businesses.

      The other disability program that the Social Security Administration (SSA) administers is Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which has income and asset limits. If your husband’s home is on the property you mention, then that property and contiguous property might be excluded as his primary residence. If it is not and the property can reasonably be expected to produce income, such as leasing it out or having hired hands work it, it might be excluded as property needed for self-support. Same could be true of farm implements.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Mary Beth

    Recently, both of my parents have become deceased. They have left me in charge of the remainder of their money. I have a brother who is on SSI. He lives alone in his own apartment and pays his own utilities, but does struggle financially. What can I do to help him, without jeopardizing his assistance? He does have a credit card bill, school loan, almost no social life and awkward social skills and poor health. Also, who would make decisions for him if he should need medical care and is unable to speak for himself? Does the Social Security Administration assign a representative in that case?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mary Beth,

      If your brother did not have a representative payee while your parents were living, he does not need one now. If he inherited from your parents, he needs to report the inheritance, which will affect his SSI at least temporarily unless it was left in some special trust. If you assist him financially with your money by giving him money or paying his rent, utilities or food, it will affect his SSI. With money that is not his, you can pay directly for phone bills, medical bills, bus tickets, clothing, credit card bills (as long as the credit card bills are not for food or shelter and as long as you pay these things directly) and not affect his SSI. Note that you have to pay for these these directly, not give your brother money for them.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kayu

      • Mary Beth

        Thank you for your very quick response. I have read many of the questions and answers here, but, and I apologize for this, I still do not understand the resources. Could I deposit money ($2000 or less) into a bank account for my brother or will that affect his SSI. (Obvious answer seems yes it will) Are conserved resources referring to what the recipient owns (items counted as a resource) in addition to what is left (conserved) from his SSI check? So, any direct financial contribution to him, will be viewed as an in-kind contribution?

        • Mary Beth

          I can’t edit a question when it is posted, but I want to add that my initial question was not about finding a representative payee but geared more towards if an SSI recipient becomes hospitalized, who would make health care decisions. I can see that this is outside of this forum, since SSI is not paid to those hospitalized long term.

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Mary Beth,

            If the person in question is still competent, he or she can appoint a health care representative to make health care and treatment decisions. Many states have advance directive forms that include such a designation and/or an estate attorney can help draft the forms.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Mary Beth,

          Any money or financial instruments (stocks, etc.) you give your brother directly or as a deposit to his bank account is income. If you pay for his shelter expenses or food, the help is in-kind income. Resources are what he owns includeing all monies carried over from the previous month (assets owned on the first minute of the first day of the month) including SSI left over from the previous month.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • KAREN BURKE RIOS

    Hello,

    My sister receives disability and is in the process of changing her insurance to Medicare but does not want or can’t afford a supplemental insurance plan. If she is hospitalized and has an outstanding balance, can her personal Roth IRA or home be at risk by the hospital or doctor as receipt of payment for any outstanding balance owed.

    Thank you for your insight.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Karen,

      I do not have the legal knowledge to answer your question. I suggest that you or your sister consult with an attorney about her medical debt.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jessica

    I have an question I get ssdi $941 monthly and my kids get $94 each there’s 3 and 2 of them receive ssi monthly 759 that’s including the $94 so there dad is there payee they live with him and I live separated in my own place with my toddler she get her 94 so my income is $1035 if I happen to become my kids payee with their income and going to get decrease their dad no longer wants to be representee for them he wants to work and make more then he can monthly what’s going happen to me. Can i change my ssdi to an ssi case because how are we going to libe because rent and utilities are $1500 what am I going to do.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jessica,

      Please see my response of earlier today to your first post.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jose

    So I have 2 kids on ssi and the also get ssdi from mother around $94 each I was ask how many cars I have I said I have 2 one use minivan from dealer for about a year now and one pickup truck months old with a bad transmission problem and I was ask to bring value of my cars and Im upset and I explained I pay for these cars with my money I worked for and know I’m collecting unemployment and I wish no long to be payee they mom will be payee for them what’s going happen to her ssdi she gets monthly for her and baby girl around $1035 a month and the older kids $759 each what’s going happen now.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jose,
      If the children live with you, your income and resources (assets/what you own) are considered in determining the children’s financial eligibility for SSI. Changing the payee will not have any effect on how your children’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is calculated. However, if the disabled children’s mother becomes payee, it will not affect the family’s Social Security benefits.
      Your children each have a $2,000 resource limit. You and your wife together have a $3,000 resource limit. The vehicle with the higher equity value (the sales value less what you owe on the vehicle) will be excluded (not counted) when your resources are added up. If the car with the lower equity value combined with your and your wife’s other assets exceed $3,000, the excess will be split and counted against the each of the children’s $2,000 limit. Given that the truck’s value is likely low, having two vehicles may not affect their benefits. (As an aside, you do need to report that you are receiving unemployment if you have not already done so.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jasmine

    So I have an question I collect my ssdi for about 4 yrs now my 2 kids 17,15 are collecting ssi there father was their payee I don’t live with them we reside in Florida and I recently put myself as they new payee because dad doesn’t want to be payee anymore and want s to move back to pa so I wanted to know if there ssi is going to affect my check because they have ssi and if is can my son take reponsiblity for his check at age 17yrs I’m disabled and we need our income rent is $1000 light $313 water $100 not including Internet please reply I’m scared now I’m going to be homeless because benefits are going to be lower. Thank u

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jasmine,

      Your children’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits will not affect your Social Security Disability (SSDI). However, when the children live with you, depending on how high your Social Security is, your SSDI might have an effect on your children’s SSI. You can use the formula in the article “What Are Deemed Income and Resources and How Do They Affect an SSI Application for Children?” under the SSI tab on the navigation bar at the top of this web page. Alternatively, you can ask Social Security to do a calculation for you before you make the living arrangement change. (If you really meant your children are getting Social Security dependent benefits from a parent’s earnings record, then your SSDI will not decrease their benefits.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • mitchell

    Hi, I get disability every month on the first and I have 3 children and I receive foodstamps and I am trying to get out of this rut in my life by becoming a partner in a small business with a friend. Will I stop getting disability if I am a partner of a c-corp, even if I dont get paid for a while until the business grows?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mitchell,

      If you go into this partnership and you are going to perform any services for the business (do any work for the business of any kind), you need to report the work even if you do not draw a salary. Be prepared to describe the duties you will perform, how many hours a week you will work, and the physical and mental requirements of the job.

      This is needed because you are receiving benefits based on the inability to perform substantial gainful activity (SGA). If the hours and duties you work in the business would earn $1,130 or more gross per month if you were receiving a wage from another employer for the same work, then the work activity could affect your benefits because it would demonstrate you have the ability to perform SGA even though you are not being paid.

      If your work is going to be very part time, the partnership and work may not have any effect on your claim. Even if the unpaid work is the equivalent of SGA, you might be entitled to a Trial Work Period (TWP) during which benefits would continue. You can learn more about TWPs and other work incentives in Social Security’s Red Book. The Red Book is available online at http://www.ssa.gov.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jr

    I am 100%Disabled Veteran that purchased a home and I am Tax exempt but my wife claims me on her income tax every year. Can my wife claim the purchase of that home on the next year’s income tax return ?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jr.,

      Your question is a tax question, so I suggest that you talk with the IRS or a tax accountant.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lisa

    Hi. My mom receives SSDI and SSI (she is deaf). The landlord of where she pays rent, wants to give her the house, no charge. The house is free and clear. Will this affect her benefits in any way? Or is she better off paying rent?

    Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lisa,

      I assume that you are saying that the landlord is proposing to put the property in your mother’s name. My response is based on that assumption. The gift of the property will not affect your mother’s Social Security Disability (SSDI). It will not affect her Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as long as she lives in the property because it is the gift of an excluded resource so it does not count either as income or a resource. She does need to report the ownership. She also has to pay the property taxes and utilities herself; otherwise, the payment will count as income and her SSI will be reduced or terminated because someone is paying for her shelter costs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tasha Boyar

    Dear Ms. Derochie:

    I have been disabled for several years and I am receiving SSDI and SSI. My daughter is my Representative Payee and I live with her, contributing 50% of rent and utilities. My daughter will be graduating from college soon and may be moving with me to a higher end apartment where my contribution to rent and utilities will be less than 50%. Of course, if we move, we’ll notify the Social Security. The question is whether I am going to lose my SSDI, SSI, Medicare and Medicaid?

    Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tasha,

      Not paying your share of shelter and food expenses will not affect your SSDI or Medicare. Your SSI will be reduced or terminated depending on how much subsidy you receive from your daughter in your new residence. The difference between your share and what you pay will be counted as income for SSI up to $245. If you lose your Medicaid due to losing your SSI, you may qualify for Medicaid under different criteria other than SSI entitlement. If Medicaid does stop, you can look into assistance with your Medicare premium at http://www.medicare.gov.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Tasha Boyar

        Dear Kay:

        Thank you very much for your time and help. My Mom and I decided to look for cheaper apartments.

        Thank you again.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Tasha.

      • Tasha Boyar

        Dear Kay:

        Would you kindly specify what it means: “The difference between your share and what you pay will be counted as income for SSI up to $245?”

        Thank you.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Tasha,

          Your share of shelter and food expenses (if you share food) is the total expenses divided by the number of people in the household. If your share is $450 and you pay $350, you are receiving $100 in-kind (non-cash) support and maintenance and your SSI will be reduced by $80 ($20 exclusion applies if you have no other income). In a second example, if your share is $450 and you are paying $150, the difference between the two is $300, but your SSI would be reduced only by one third, which is about $245.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Tasha Boyar

            Dear Kay:

            Thank you for your kind help. You are amazing!

            Thank you,
            Tasha

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Tasha.

  • Jerry

    My mother is 66 and is receiving only RSDI. If my siblings and I want to help her out financially occasionally (for travel to see family, extra spending money, etc.) by having her open a bank account and allowing us to deposit money so she can have the flexibility of using a debit card, will this affect her RSDI eligibility/amount?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jerry,

      Any help you give your mother will not affect her Social Security retirement benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Teresa

    I am 54 years old and have been on Social Security Disability for 5 years. My father passed away last year. But his house was put into my name before he passed. If I sale the house. Will it affect my disbility benefits?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Teresa,

      If you receive Social Security Disability (SSDI) and not Supplemental Security Income (SSI), sale of the house will not affect your benefits and does not have to be reported.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Linda

    Hello,
    My husband and I would like to buy a house soon but don’t know if we can. Our son receives SSI for his disability. My husband works with a monthy income of about $2000. And currently, I am a stay at home mom with our 3rd child. He is the father of all our kids and is listed with Social Security. Our question is can we buy a house and how do we try to save for a down payment. Seems like we can’t due to the fact we can’t have any income over $3000 a month. Please advise.
    Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Linda,

      You might look for a home that is for sale as a “rent or lease to own.” If you or your husband is a veteran, the VA does not require a down payment for a home loan. If you are in a rural area the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) also has no down payment programs. There may also be some Housing Authority program home ownership programs that could work for you. You can save up to $5,000 (including regular pay-check money that carries over on the first)–$3,000 for you and your husband and the excess will count toward you son’s $2,000 limit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Linda

        Our son is 6yrs old. I thought I understood that the total income for the household can’t be above $3000.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Linda,

          The $3,000 refers the resource (asset) limit, which is the amount of countable assets that a disabled child’s parents who live with the child can have before part of the assets count toward the child’s $2,000 resource limit. The amount of allowable income varies depending on whether the income is earned (work) income or unearned (non-work) income and on the number of parents and non-disabled minor children in the household.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Linda

            Thank you so much. I now understand.

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome.

  • tammy

    Hello,
    my husband 64 year and me 62 year and both get SSI AND SSA ,three years ago we bought a house with help of my son and daughter. they were working and live in the same town , My husband and daughter names on the title of the house , then my daughter wanted to get her higher degree of education and needed a little help of my son , My question is if we sold the house and get some money of it ,can we gave the check to my son without loosing the bebefits of SSI AND SSA ?

    thank you
    Tammy

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tammy,

      If you and your husband give away money from the sale of the house and the amount given away would have made you ineligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the amount that you give away will make you ineligible for a while. One possibility is to investigate whether, if the property is sold, the title company can part out to your husband and part out to your daughter based on their respective percentages of ownership.Then she could give your son the money rather than you. This likely would only be possible only if the ownership of the house was established in such a way that each of them does not have full ownership.

      Another option might be to get a second mortgage or line of credit on the house; however, you would, of course, have an increased cost of shelter so that might not be advisable.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • tammy

        Dear Kay,

        Thank you very much for your reply.

        My Regards.

        Tammy

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Tammy.

  • Susan

    My adult son is developmentally disabled, and living in a DDS group home on SSI now for almost 10 years. I just applied for retirement benefits on my husbands record and will receive one half when I turn 66. Now I am being told that because my son is on SSI he is now eligible for our retirement benefits,and the state is required to reduce my benefits by about $400.00 each month because we are applying. My husband has filed and suspended and will not collect until he is 70 4 years from now. Can they do this, penalize us for having an adult child who is disabled?

    Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Susan,

      When your husband filed the application, he made it possible for his dependents to draw benefits and that means all his dependents including your disabled son can receive benefits. The amount payable to dependents is split among them. Your son would be eligible for those benefits whether or not he was receiving SSI. The only difference is that the SSI program requires him to apply. The reason that he must apply is that SSI is a last resort benefit that is payable only if other benefits are not payable or other benefits are low enough to allow SSI to supplement them.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Angie

    My mom and my brother receive ssi from my dad. But my mom also recieves income (help)for the same brother because he has severe down syndrome. They both live with me. Shes seperated from my dad. She is helping me get a 2017 car. It will be in both our names. Im putting the down payment and monthly payments. She also just got an older model car but its worth 8 thousand and will make her own payments. Will any of this effect any of her or my brothers checks?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Angie,

      The family’s Social Security dependent benefits paid on your father’s earnings record will not be affected by car ownership. If your brother is age eighteen or over and gets Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits in addition to Social Security dependents, what your mother owns does not affect his SSI benefits. If he is a minor and gets SSI, then the equity value of the car that you and she would buy together would count toward her $2,000 resource limit and her excess resources, if any, would count toward your brother’s resource limit. Equity value is the car’s market value minus the amount owed on it.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • trish

    my son had a hearing for disability and it looks like he may get it. its been 2 1/2 years since he applied. my question is if he gets it how long does he have to wait to get medicare. Do the 2 years he waited count as the 2 year waiting period and also does medicare go back 1 year to pay medical expenses he incurred during that time

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Trish,

      All months of entitlement count toward the twenty-four-month waiting period for Medicare. Premiums will be withheld from your son’s back pay beginning with the first month he was eligible for Medicare. Once that is processed the medical providers can submit claims for services performed the first month he was eligible up to present.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Diane

    My son receives ssi disability and his daughter receives ssi because of the death of her mother. Can my son use part of her monthly social security check to make his car payment and the utilities for their house after her needs have been met?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Diane,

      Your son can definitely use some of his daughter Social Security dependent benefits (which is not SSI), to pay the utilities and mortgage or rent and her food. He could use some for the car payment if the car is providing her with necessary transportation, but payment of her shelter needs with the money, instead of the car payment, is a more clear-cut appropriate use.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • pj

    My wife has been receiving ss disability for years. Somehow, we never realized that she could be receiving benefits for our 5 children. Are our children elgible for retroactive benefits based on her initial disability approval or will they only start receving benefits now that we apply for them?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear PJ,

      Dependents benefits are limited to six months of retroactivity. In order not to lose benefits, start the application before the end of the month. The application form is available at https://www.socialsecurity.gov/forms/ssa-4.pdf. Fill it out and take it to a Social Security office before the end of the month. As for a receipt. However, before doing this, I suggest that your wife call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to find out the amount of her Primary Insurance Amount (her benefit before reduction for Medicare or taxes) and her Family Maximum Benefit (FMB). If they are the same, no dependent benefits are payable.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • veronica

    Hello..I have a question I’m a single parent of 4.im currently receiving ssi benefits for one of my child.my question is that if by any chance I give back my baby daddy a second chance for my babys..he was thinking about buying a house .if he adds me to the ownership of the house would that affect my benefits of my child and the one that is pending. .my baby daddy works and has a annual income of 23000..

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Veronica,

      Please tell me the following. Then I will be able to respond.

      1. Will you be living with your child’s father in the house you mention?
      2. Is he the father of your disabled child?
      3. Will you be getting married to him?

      Thank you,
      Kay
      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • veronica

        Yes I will be living in the house mention …he is not the father of my daughter receiving the ssi but he is the father of my other daughter that is pending on the ssi benefits. ..if everything goes smoothly and my child father comply with his comenient of being a father. .

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Veronica,

          As long as you live in the house, having your name on the title will not affect either of your children’s SSI.

          The SSI of your daughter who is already getting SSI and who is not your boyfriend’s child will not be affected by your boyfriend’s income. Her living with him will not affect his SSI as long as he pays his share of mortgage, property taxes (and property insurance if the mortgage holder requires it) and her share of shelter utilities (not phone or cable) and food. Her share would be one fifth of the total of those listed expenses.

          If the child with the pending claim is approved for SSI, her SSI payment would be reduced by about $364 from the maximum of $733; that is, her benefit would be about $369.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Roseann

    Would collecting rent, for space/rooms in your home, affect your SSDI? Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Roseann,

      Social Security Disability (SSDI) is not affected by rental income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Roseann

        Thank you for your answer. I was also wondering if the SSDI discount we receive, for our real estate property tax, would be affected. Thanks.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Roseann,

          No, the property tax discount would not affect the amount of your Social Security Disability benefit.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Rose

    I have the opportunity to sell a provisional patent for $5,000 and receive a percentage of profits as royalties. I am on ssdi. I am trying to decide if I really want to do that if it will effect my disability benefits since there is no guarantee of dollar amount that the royalty payments would be. And wondering if the original $5,000 would affect disability benefits also.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rose,

      The money you receive for the patent–both the initial sale and the royalties–will not reduce your Social Security Disability benefits.

      The work that you performed to invent the item that you can patent will be evaluated to determine whether you have performed substantial gainful activity (SGA) and, if so, when the work was performed. If you invented the item that you are about to sell before you became disabled, the royalties will not be considered work earnings for the purpose of determining whether you are performing substantial gainful activity. If you did the work after becoming disabled and entitled to benefits, then the period of time in which you invented the item may count as SGA months. However, if you worked in it for a year after becoming disabled the compensation may not rise to SGA. If it is determined that you performed SGA, you would have the right to a nine-month Trial Work Period followed by a thirty-six month Extended Period of Eligibility.

      As you can see, there is no simple answer to your question of whether you should sell the patent or not. I suggest that you read the Red Book to learn about Social Security’s return-to-work incentives. It is available at local offices or online at http://www.ssa.gov. I also recommend that you discuss the matter with a Social Security claims representative (not a service representative) to find out how future royalties would be handled if they were higher than $1,090 even though you were not doing anything any longer to earn them. Be prepared to say when you invented the item.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Rose

        Thank you for your answer. I invented it (just a random thought actually that turned into a product in my mind) a year ago in April. I have been disabled for 5 years. I can see that it is not a simple answer. I will take your advice.

  • Daina Davies

    I have been receiving SSD since 2009 I was told that I did not have to file taxes even though I have a minor child. My daughter has gotten a part time job and just got her W2’s do I have to file them under my name or does she, is only 16 and I get dependant SSD for her
    Will this mess up my SSD payments with her working?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Daina,

      Your daughter’s working will not affect your Social Security. If she is getting Social Security dependent benefits, she can earn $15,720 a year before their is any effect on her benefits. For an answer to your tax questions, please contact the IRS or a tax accountant.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Missy

    I am on a ssi I am getting my inheritance from 20 yes ago on mineral rights am I gonna lose my sis and medicade?? Really all of it is spoken for a new car remodeling house so money is gonna be pretty much gone but where’s that gonna leave me

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Missy,

      I recommend that you make an appointment with a Social Security claims representative to find out whether you can use the money to remodel your house and buy a car and go back on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as soon as the money is spent or whether there will be a waiting period for a period of time that you could have used the money for normal food and shelter costs and didn’t.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • I receive a few months on my SSI and now I am receiving SSDI. Well, my question is do I receive a lump sum for being disable and when will it take affect

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mary,

      I need more information to answer your question. On what date did you apply and what date did Social Security establish as the date your disability began?

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      S

  • v

    I have a question my dad came down to live with me and he gets SSI disability and food stamps. He buys and makes his own food. He also buys his necessities, phone and his car insurance, I pay the rent, water, cable and internet. I also pay for his copays when he goes for testing and copays on his medicines. Can I claim him on my taxes?

    • v

      almost forgot he pays half of the electric bill

    • v

      he pays for half of the electric bill

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear V.,

      Your question is a tax question so I suggest asking the IRS or a tax accountant.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • James

    If im covered under my dads insurance, will me getting disability effect that? He has great coverage and i dont want to lose that but i still want to get disability. Im about 80% disabled.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear James,

      If by your “dad’s insurance” you mean his Social Security Disability benefits, your being eligible on is account will not reduce his benefits. For you to receive benefits on your father’s account you have to be under age eighteen (under nineteen if still in high school) or have to have become disabled before age twenty-two and be unmarried. Additionally, your father has to be receiving benefits himself. Another possibility is that you might qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Latoya williams

    hi my have been receiving ssi for him being deaf I also have 4 other kids I just started working I reported me working for 4 months now cause I have other kids to see about what will happen with my son benefits??

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Latoya,

      If your earnings were so high as to cause a reduction in your son’s benefits, the reduction should have taken place by now. It is possible that your having four other children that there will be no reduction. I suggest your check with Social Security to find out whether your earnings reports have been processed and your earnings posted to our child’s record. Just a note: keep reporting the earnings monthly even if they don’t cause a change.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Kathryn

        Hello Kay,
        My wife and I are looking to move in with my mother and sister in law. They both have disability and medical through the state. We are all splitting the bills and have separate parts of the house. But want to know if we move with them do they lose the disability check and medical because we have our own income?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Kathryn,

          If your mother and sister-in-law receive Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Medicare, your living with them will have no effect on their benefits and does not have to be reported. If they are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and they each continue to pay their share of rent or mortgage and shelter utilities (not phone or cable) and their share of food or buy their food separately, your living with them will not affect their SSI benefits. However, they need to report the change in living arrangements. Both SSDI and SSI are federal benefits. If they are getting benefits from the state they live in, check with the state office that is providing the assistance for the impact of your living with them.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • chris slavik

      If you are getting social security disability monthly income of 900 a month then inherit $30000.00. One time payment how will effect your ss benefits ? Thanks

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Chris,

        Income, other than workers compensation and some government pensions, does not affect Social Security benefits so an inheritance has not impact on Social Security benefits.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • chris slavik

          Thanks my step son is 100 percent disabled and had to hire a lawyer to get his social security disable benefits several years ago and his real dad passed and left him the money and wanted to make sure this 30000.00 would effect anything, thanks Chris

          • Kay Derochie

            You are welcome, Chris.

  • Johnell Soileau

    I am a 76 year old mother of 2 handicapped sons aged 58 & 59. My question is, can I write a will leaving my home to my sons. They are both on SS & SSI .I worked for 30 years to pay for my home so they would have someplace to live when I’m gone. Now – some one tells me that leaving the house to them could greatly reduce their SS & SSI income checks. Is this true? They are unable to work & need someplace to live. Have I worked all these years for nothing? I am very upset as we come from a very small family & they have no one to guide them when I ‘m gone. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Johnell,

      You can will the house to your sons and it will not affect their Social Security benefits because gifts, inheritances, and what a person owns do not affect Social Security benefits. Their SSI will be affected in the month of the inheritance because they will have received the gift of shelter in that month. After that one month, the house will not affect SSI eligibility as long as they live in it because a home that one lives in is not a countable resource.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ali

    Hi!
    I received SSI benefits and I have home. Can I will to my spouse and children by write will or give away to them?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ali,

      How your will is written does not affect Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Whether you or your spouse owns the home is the same for SSI. I believe giving the home you live in, an excludable resource, may not affect benefits, though you should double check this with the Social Security Administration. However, if you give the home to your children and you continue living in the home and don’t pay market value for the rent, your SSI will be reduced each month.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Michelle

    Hi your my last resort before I throw in the towel so I hope you can help. I am a 52y F that lives in southern CA who’s husband filed for divorce after 33 years of marriage. 8/30/13 I had a fall at home and broke my lot hip r/t exhaustion weight loss because my husband cheated and walked out after 30 years. I fell two after getting out of the hospital and had a spiral fracture of the or femur and destroyed my new hip, I had to do it one more time and that was 11/21/13. My Mom came to live with me after my husband left while I was working full time as an RN and was able to provide her with a caretaker while I was at work. Due to some other work I did for a short time I only received 5 months of state disability. I filed for SSDI 1/15, have had a worthless lawyer and fur to my doctors follow up documentation, at least that’s what I’m thinking, I was denied my appeal, even though they are telling me I have no nerve damage yet have severe neuropathy now with constant swelling, my leg is almost an inch longer, I am in s wheelchair 50% of the time and have chronic pain. I was living off my moms social security of 1500 a month to pay a $1000 mortgage, and all other household expenses. Sadly she passed away the end of Oct 2015 and I am totally alone now. I only have $4200 left to pay off my house then it’s mine in the divorce. My husband pays my electrical bill and that’s all he has no extra money and lives paycheck to paycheck. My credit score of 863 has plummeted as I now have about $18000 in credit care debit which I never had before, I was always very financially responsible and ahead on all our bills. I am now paying the mortgage with the credit card and robbing Peter to pay Paul but they are all almost maxed out, one is already at $7000. I looked up how long I will take to see a judge and have a hearing and it says about two years. I can’t survive 2 months yet alone two years. Is there anyway I qualify for welfare to help with bills and food stamps for food? I don’t know what else to do except join my parents the future looks so bleak and miserable without a light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you very much for your time it is greatly appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Michelle,

      The only thing I can think of to help your current situation is to take in a couple of roomers to cover the mortgage and, if you haven’t already, apply for SNAP (food stamps). The wait for a hearing date is usually twelve to fifteen months and then another couple months for benefits to start if you are approved. If you don’t now have an attorney, request a copy of your claim file and check to be sure all the information about your medical conditions is in the file. If you have an attorney ask the attorney to go over the evidence in the claim file so you can tell the attorney if anything is missing. You might also get statements from relatives and/or friends you have witnessed your limitations.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Nannette

    My son is on ssi for a neurologicall disease. I would like to give him a car to use for medical appointments and going to the grocery store when necessary nearby. The value is approximately 4000.00. I have taken him in the past but is getting more difficult because of my own health. It would be his only car. We live in Tennessee. Will this affect his ssi benefit if I gift it to him?
    Thank you!
    Nannette

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nannette,

      Because the car will be excluded as a resource, the gift of the car will not be counted as income for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If he receives Social Security, except for workers comp and certain public pensions, income and resources do not affect his payment amount.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • sara

    Hello. I am currently living in the state of florida. I have aspergers syndrome but i am fully capable of driving a car, i work part time and go to college. I am thinking about applying for ssi or ssdi for adult children(my father is disabled) i am wondering if someone could explain how it would all work that is familiar with florida laws. My mom doesnt want me to because she says that they will take away my license and i wont be allowed to drive. Also my car is in my name, i dont know if that would have anything to do with it. I make 11.00/hour and i work a total of 16 hours a week. I am a full time student.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sarah,

      I do not know whether you are disabled as defined by Social Security law; however, you can own a car and drive and still receive disabled adult child and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits. You alos appear to be financially eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) based on your income. If you are under age twenty-two and a student, the amount you are earning will not affect your SSI benefit amount. If you are age twenty-two or older, your earnings are high enough by themselves to reduce your benefit but not high enough to disqualify you.

      Sincerely
      Kay

      • Tom Williams

        Dear Sarah,
        My parent have a house they are both on ssi when the house is pay off are they allow to gift the house to me or add me as a benefiary for the house ?

        • Tom Williams

          I mean dear Kay

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Tom,

          If your parents are getting SSI (Supplemental Security Income) giving you the house they live in will not directly affect the SSI payments; however, if they do not pay your market rate rent for continuing to live there (or their share of the expenses if you all live there), their SSI will be reduced. If they receive Social Security Disability (SSDI), whatever they do with the house will not affect their SSDI benefits. Either way they can will the house to go to whoever they want after their deaths.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • sandra

    i found out that i got approved for ssi, but now here the problem. my husband owns a house but we do not live there as it not safe. i am renting another house to own so with house only being in his name put me over resource for ssi. because i have go in reveiw assets and update information because it been two years waiting get approved .
    thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sandra,

      If your husband owns the house outright or his equity in the house puts you over the resource limit, then you will not be approved. However,your husband could put the property up for sale and you could ask for provisional Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments pending the sale of the property. Once the property sold, you would have to pay back the SSI. Another possibility is that if you also applied for Social Security Disability (SSDI) and were approved medically for it and you are insured for SSDI, you could just let the SSI claim go and receive only SSDI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Chase

    I’m on SSI 3 years for pretty bad disability but I can drive some a couple days a week & need a car for doctors etc.

    I only get just over 700 a month income so rent is first thing out. Am I allowed to buy a car which means I will then own one car while on SSI? A used car that is 4000 dollars not counting tax etc. I have tried to save up some cash most months on SSI going without food some to save toward car but now am fearful if I buy car like from my mother who can’t just give me one that I lose SSI will get very ill or homeless. Very scared but in need of car not knowing what to do. Any help I am very thankful for any answers.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chase,

      You can either buy a car or receive one as a gift and receive SSI. Because the car is an excluded nonliquid resource, the gift of a car will not affect your SSI. You do need to report the car on your next redetermination of eligibility. The Social Security regulation reference is SI 00815.550 Receipt of Certain Noncash Items, just in case this is questioned when you report it.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Chase

        Thanks so much Kay. I have been so worried yet in such need for used car. I live on a hill hard to even get to a bus so it felt like am poor, ill with real disability but like if I got a car from mother or something I’d lose even little SSI then end on streets. I feel better now. Thanks again so much for your answer even the reference number.

        Chase

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Chase.

  • Lindsey

    I have been married for almost 4 years now, and have applied for SSI (because I do not have a “relavent” work history). My questions are: If my husband makes over $1,100 a month, does that mean I can’t get it at all, even though we only have one car and live with his Mother and step father (I wasn’t told that when I went in for my application); and will I only get back pay from my date of application, or will I get it from my “onset” date (I stopped working in 2011)?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lindsey,

      Assuming your husband’s income is work earnings, you may qualify financially, especially if your husband pays your share of shelter and food. With four in the household, your share would be one-quarter; so your husband would have to pay one-half to cover his and your shares. If he is paying less than half, you likely will be charged with in-kind (non-cash) income from your in-laws. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits begin to accrue the month after the month of application unless you applied on the first of the month in which case benefits begin to accrue the month of application.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Karen

        Kay,
        I had a bad accident a few years ago and am fully disabled. I rent a room in someones home for $250 a month. The money I receive from SSI doesn’t cover my very basic needs. I have been referring patients to a doctor who has been giving me a referral fee for each patient referred. I also receive money from a friend who stages houses using my furniture. I’m concerned this will affect my disability but don’t know. Do I have to report that as income? I think both the doctors and my girlfriend want to 1099 me at the end of the year…what should I do? Very concerned my benefits will be cut off and can’t take that chance.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Karen,

          Your question asks about SSI benefits but you posted it under a Social Security article, so I am uncertain whether you receive Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you receive Social Security only, the income you describe, which appears to be unearned income, will not affect your Social Security. (If your are actually working making phone solicitations to get the referrals that might be considered earned income and would have to be reported for Social Securit even if was low enough you were still considered disabled.) Supplemental Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, if you receive SSI, will be affected by the income if it has been more than $20 a month if regular or more than $60 from one source if irregular and infrequent. Depending on how much you are receiving for the rental of your furniture and the referrals, you might be eligible for some SSI. You need to report the income whether or not a 1099 is issued.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Nina

    Hi! I have a quick question. Both my sons receive SSI benefits due to their disibilities. They are only six years old. Both have autism and one has a severe neurological issue. I recently applied for In Home Support Services (IHSS) for my some with the severe issues and got approved. Will the income I make through IHSS affect how much I get for my boys through ssi, or will it not count as their income?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nina,

      The IHSS payments are not countable income to either you or your son.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Anne Stinnett

    Hi,

    My daughter has Down Syndrome and is now 22. She is not working and I provide 100% of her support. She started receiving SSI benefits several months ago, but is receiving only two-thirds of the maximum amount, because she is receiving her room and board from me. My question is…this seems counter-intuitive, because she gets a third less because she gets free room and board, which I provide, but we all know it’s not really free. Is there a way to allocate some of her funds to help offset the cost of supporting her?
    Also, I am the payee, however I have not withdrawn any funds because I’m not sure what is allowable, or how to do it. I previously set up a separate account in my name where I thought her checks would automatically be deposited. Only the first check went into that account, and subsequent checks went into a debit account that I didn’t even know was opened. As I read the rules for withdrawing funds from that account, it seems I am limited in the number of times I can withdraw the money, and there will be a fee. I have a checkbook for the other account that I set up in my name for her SSI checks, but it appears that her first check is the only check that will be in there.

    What are the rules in terms of what the money can be spent on, and what record-keeping details must I keep and to whom does the accounting go? Also, is there a way to deduct a couple hundred dollars a month for her share of our household expenses?

    Thanks in advance. I have looked for answers online, but have not had much luck in finding any definitive answers.

    Best regards,
    Anne Stinnett

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Anne,

      You can set up a bank account with the title “your daughter’s name by your name, representative payee.” You will need your payee appointment papers and your daughter’s social security number to set up the account. Once you have the account set up, you can give the information to Social Security and ask them to start payment into the account. Once you start getting the benefits into the new bank account, you can cancel the DirectExpress card.

      You can read about payee responsibilities at https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10076.pdf. You will be asked to account to the Social Security Administration once a year. You can view a sample reporting form at https://www.ssa.gov/payee/NewGuide/ssa-6234exhibitB.pdf.

      If your daughter pays her share of the rent or mortgage, shelter utilities (not cable and phone), and food, her benefit will increase two months later to $733. Her share is the total of those costs divided by the number of people in the household.
      I suggest that you keep a simple log of everything purchased–whether goods or services–and keep the corresponding receipts. Basic needs are to be paid for first, so you can use part of the money for housing and food costs. I suggest writing a check off her account to yourself each month to document what she pays for housing and food.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Eric Washung

    Hi Kay,

    I am mentally disabled due to OCD, depression and anxiety. I’ve had them for years and am unable to work as a result. Some days, I just have no energy and I don’t sleep well.

    I have applied for a disability support program run by the government, which only allows me to have about $5000 in assets. However, I have a total of $27K that I’ve earned, won and saved.

    I gave almost all of the money to a family member who has it in a bank account in her name, but had to lie to the disability worker to qualify when she asked me where that money went.

    If I had the money in a registered disability savings fund or in locked funds it’d be acceptable, but the way I went about doing it is illegal. I know a lot of people do this, and I don’t plan to use the money unless absolutely necessary as it’s my security blanket, but it is technically fraudulent.

    I don’t know whether to cancel my application or not.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Eric,

      What you describe is fraud and if you are found out, you could be prosecuted. It might be in your best interests to withdraw your application and apply again when your assets are below the limit. In the meantime, if you have worked enough in Social Security taxed work, you may qualify for Social Security, which does not limit what you can own.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Eric Washung

        True, but the money would be allowed if it was in a disability savings plan with the government. However, I didn’t know that at the time.

        They allow up to 100K in this type of savings plan.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Eric,

          Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal welfare program so it assists only people who have very low income and assets. Accordingly, there are sanctions that prohibit payment after giving away funds to gain eligibility. Your moving the funds from accessible to non-accessible instead of supporting yourself with them might result in your action being treated the same as giving away the money and cause ineligibility up to as much as three years.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Ryan Taylor

    My son receives ssi for being disabled,he is 10 yrs old has been receiving it for @ 7yrs , I inherited some land from my father when he passed away 7 yrs ago and ended up selling it just a few years back, the land was sold for $24,000.Also around that time I had a camper which I had paid a loan off from and sold for $4,500,this was both reported to ssi,I put $15,000 of this money down on purchasing a home for my family last year now ssi states that they have overpayed my sons ssi for the last couple years and he owes @ $16,000 due to the income taken in from this and have cut his monthly payment down from @580.00 a month to $120.00 a month ,is this right? Just doesn’t seem fair to him or us since my wife(not courtshiped) ,his mother isn’t working right now and I am the only income for our family..anything we can do..thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ryan,

      Your son was overpaid due to your income in the form of the property inheritance in the month you received the inheritance. After that he was ineligible due to excess resources (things that you, his mother, and he owned) As long as you owned the $24,000 property and were not living on it, your son was not eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments because the resource limit for you and his mother is $3,000 and your son’s resource limit is $2,000. $21,000 of the value of the property ($24,000 – $3,000 allowable for parents) is deemed available for your son so his resources were $19,000 over the limit. (Conditional SSI can be paid while you are trying to sell the excess resource but only for nine months and only if you signed an agreement to dispose of the property before the conditional SSI was paid. The conditional payments would have to be repaid as soon as you sold the property.) The cash from the sale of the property was also a countable resource to the extent that you still had part of it on hand the month after the sale closed.

      You can request a waiver of repayment. For the waiver to be approved, you have to establish that the overpayment was not your fault and that you cannot afford to repay. If you have any proof that you reported the inheritance and the sale and the car transaction timely you might have a chance of approval. Given that your son has been receiving SSI for seven years, your challenge will be to establish that you were not aware of the resources limits and didn’t know your son was being overpaid. If the waiver is denied, you can request that the monthly overpayment collection be reduced to a lower figure.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Marisela Perez

    Hello,
    My question is that I am going through a bad separation. My husband took my car and I was left car less. My mom receives ssi for my brother. I went to get a car and I did not qualify. My mom did getting the car in her name only. I was the one that gave the down payment and I will be doing all the car payments. Will this affect her? Do I need anything to proof this? It will be automatically taken off my bank account not hers. I am technically just using her name to get the car. My mom needs this income badly I don’t want it to affect her in any way. Help?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Marisela,

      The car you are buying is legally owned by your mother. If it is the only car she has, the equity value of the car will not count toward the resource limit and your payments to the lender will not count as income to her. Usually it is better to have the more valuable car excluded; however in her case, it may be better to have the car you are buying be the excluded car, regardless of the comparative value of the two, because otherwise your payments on the car may be counted as income to her. The second car, if she has one, will count toward her $2,000 resource limit ($3,000 if she’s living with her spouse or the child’s father). Any excess equity value will count toward your brother’s $2,000 resource limit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • michael wiscombe

    I was wondering if SSDI would effect me if I started flipping wholesaling properties to invest. Thank You

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Michael,

      Whether or not “flipping properties” is considered earned income would depend on your participation in flipping them. You might consult with a certified tax accountant to find out how the income would be reported to the IRS. If the income is treated as earned, depending on how much you are earning from the sales, your benefits might continue, at least for a while, under Social Security’s return to work incentives. You can learn more about the incentives in the Red Book, available from your local Social Security office or online at http://www.ssa.gov.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Edward McDonald

    Hi:
    I’m on the verge of receiving SS Disability and I took early retirement @62 because of my disability. Now, I am due to receive a divorce settlement that could be as much as $30,000. How will that affect my benefits.
    Thanks,
    Edward

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Edward,

      Your benefits will be changed from Social Security reduced retirement to the higher Social Security Disability rate. The divorce settlement will not affect your benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • If my mom sells me a car for $2, 800 will it affect my ssi

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Diane,

      If you receive Social Security Disability (SSDI), what you own does not affect benefits. If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), buying the car will not affect your benefits as long as you have only one car. If you have more than one, the equity value of the car (its market value less what you owe on it) will count toward the SSI $2,000 resource limit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Carole Irwin

    My SSI was reduced because I am staying with my son, his wife and 2 children until I can get on my feet again. The money was taken for “food and shelter. If my son wrote a letter to SS stating I am paying ‘room and board’, can their children lose their state funded medical? (NJ family care.)

    Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Carole,

      I don’t know whether the state will consider the room and board as rental income or as you paying your share of expenses, so I don’t know the answer to your question. When your son’s family is recertified for the medical, they will probably have to declare what you are paying. Even if it is counted, it may not cause ineligiblity.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dawn Mains

    My husband and I have full legal custody of 2 grandchildren, 9 & 5. Both ate Austic and both receive SSI. We also have an adult son who is deaf and he to receives SSI. My husband is the only with an income from employment. We have been considering purchasing a home (we currently rent) and moving my elderly parents in with us as they are in need of more and more help. Both of them receive social security and my father also receives a pension.
    Will making this move together affect our children’s SSI? Would my parents income count towards household income once we are living together? My father is 86, my mother is 75.
    Thanks for your help
    Dawn

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dawn,

      Your parents’ income will not affect the minor children’s or your adult child’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. However, if your parents contribute to household expenses (mortgage, shelter utilities, and food) and as a result the children do not pay their share, their SSI would be reduced because they would be receiving in-kind (non-cash) support from their grandparents. With seven people in the household, each of the SSI recipient’s share is one-seventh of the total costs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Dawn Mains

        Thank you for your quick response! I’ve been worrying so much about this. I just wanna be able to help everyone without hurting the income situation!
        Thanks so much!
        Dawn

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Dawn.

          • Juana

            Hi I have a question, My father recently started receivings SSI suplemental will my husband income affect the amount that he is receiving thank you

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Juana,

              Neither your income or your husband’s affects your father’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Shelby hill

    Hi My question is I am applying fo SSI and I am waiting for my hearing its been almost 2 years..My Mother n Law wants to purchace me a car but the car be in my name around 5000. I need reliable transportation to get to all my Drs apps..I however own 2 other vehicles that are broke down and the value of both together are less than 2000…Also my husband who I am separated from but not divorced is getting ready to purchace a home for 16,000…Can my name be on the deed of house???so I am intitled to half..My name doesnt have to be on the home..Im really concerned about the car situation…All my appts are out of town

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shelby,

      If you are applying for Social Security Disability (SSDI), what you own does not affect your benefits. If you are also applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the car your mother-in-law purchases for you will be excluded. The two other cars’ value will be added to any other resources you have and count toward the resource limit. (Note that you could also sell the cars you are not using.)

      If you name is on a house that you do not live in, the equity value of the house (it’s value less what is owed on it) will count toward your resource limit and may make you ineligible for SSI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Sarah b

        Hi, I’m going to be turning eighteen on the 24th. I want to start saving money and get my first job. My mom receives SSI, just under 800$ a month. If I get a job, will it affect her monthly payment if I wait till after I the 24th? I really want a job. (I love with her)

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Sarah,

          Your income will not affect your mother’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Bret

    A. I am currently a teacher at a Christian High School, performing duties as a American Sign Language teacher. I am receiving SSDI benefited due to disability with legs and being profoundly deaf. With a given salary of about $16,000, I have been given a contract of $7777.00 a year, with the said left amount $8,233 was to go as a gift to a student from me but was not to be claimed by me or it would hurt my SSDI pymnts. This student is to be in this school for this year and two more years till she graduates. The way it was written, was $7777.00 was to be paid in 24 equal payments to me with $50 per pay check to be paid to IRS and Franchise Tax Board. Now, the contract previously written was done incorrectly, stating that the school has not been paid for this student’s tuition and payment to me on bi-weekly basis has ceased.
    Is there a way that the school can cover the student’s tuition and be paid my portion to help in Medicare out of pocket costs since I am in the donut hole?

    B. Another question I have: I have been forgiven in regards to my student loans due to my disability. Received a 1099-C from the educational loan agency that the amount of about $52,000 is earned income. Resulting in about $11,000 in taxes owed to IRS. I strongly DISAGREE with the set of circumstances that occurred. I was attending SFSU and acquiring a Visually Impaired Credential. After acquiring 42 units, the California Teacher’s Commission made a ruling that all teachers are to pass the a Reading and Phonetics requirement. I took the class twice and could not pass the phonetics portion of the test due to being deaf. I asked the California Teacher’s Commission if there was some other class that could be taken to meet this requirement? Response was: no, if you cannot pass then you cannot get credentialed. With that information, had no choice but to go into caregiving which only paid minimum wage and then I became disabled in this field. In this given scenario, how can IRS claim that the given $52,000 be claimed income? It should be the IRS going after SFSU to get payment since they discriminated me in the process! They benefitted in me going to the school there, NOT me. I have not utilized, benefitted or earned any income from my schooling there. Can you guide my thinking on this? Thx!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Bret,

      You need legal and/or tax advice for answers to your questions. Also, I am not sure that what you set up with the school was legal as related to reporting your true earnings to the Social Security Administration. It seems to me that you have been hiding your real earnings ability bu donating part of your earnings.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Bret

        In response to your answer…when attending SFSU, I was not disabled. I was studying to become a visually impaired teacher, nothing to hide. Being discriminated against since I could not pass the phonetics test, I had to give up teaching. This is where I accumulated the educational debt. This ended in 2009. I got injured in 2011. Applied for debt forgiveness in Feb. 2012 and approved in May 2012. Was sent the 1099-C while being disabled. Was on temporary disability while awaiting results. Finally my SSDI was approved on May, 2013, been receiving benefits since.
        I will check with persons you have suggested for answers. Thx!

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Brett. Thank you for clarifying.

  • eric

    Hello Kay,

    Can I purchase investment properties in a llc? Instead of using my personal name to purchase the property I use a business llc for protection from any lawsuits that may occur.

    Will the llc affects my ssdi? When I purchased properties in llc and have property management in place to do the work, I will be earning it passively.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Eric,

      I believe that Social Security will not consider the income from the LLC to be earned income (work) as long as you don’t provide services to the LLC. However, you should make an appointment to discuss this with a Social Security claims representative (not a service representative).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • eric

        Thanks Kay

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Eric.

  • Ada

    Hello there,

    I won a car on the radio worth $39,000 and I am giving it to my mom as a gift. She receives $500 from SSD. Audi is preparing the documentation and asked me if I would like to put the car in my mom’s name to assist with the income tax that I will have to pay on the car. That would really give me a break financially but I want to make sure it will not affect her SSD checks. Can you assist me please?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ada,

      The gift of a car will not affect your mother’s Social Security Disability (SSD). If she also receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and already has a car, the value of the least valuable car will count toward her $2,000 SSI resource limit until she sells the second car.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Veronica

    My daughter receives child disability for having an unspecified chromosome disorder, epileptic, developmental delay, non verbal autism. I just got notice that my VA compensation was approved at 50% disability service connected.
    Will my daughter lose her benefits because of this?
    I currently work and make $2630.00 before taxes a month.
    It looks like with dependents and spouse i will be getting roughly $1000.00 a month from the VA.

    • Veronica

      Forgot to mention Texas is the state

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Veronica,

      Your additional income may reduce or terminate your child’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. To work up an estimate, you can use the formula in the sample calculation in the article “What Are Deemed Income and Resources and How Do They Affect an SSI Application for Children?”, which can be found under the SSI tab on the navigation bar of this website.

      When using the formula, separate out any portion of the $1,000 VA compensation that is a named (designated) amount for each child from the portion of the benefit that is yours. If there is a single children’s increment, divide that among your minor children and plug those figures into the income slots for your children including showing it as your disabled child’s income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Guadalupe Cantu

    Hi, my son receives disability payments due to the autism spectrum disorder, he is now doing better in school And I wanted to get a job. My question is, how much income can I bring in without affecting his ssi payment?? We are a family of five, four children and myself.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Guadalupe,

      With three non-disabled children under age eighteen and one parent, I think you can earn in the range of $3,400 gross a month before his benefit would be affected; however, it would be best to have the Social Security Administration do a calculation for you. Also, be aware that you have to report if your child has recovered from his disability because if he has he is not eligible for benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tina

    Hello, I am applying for SSI and am currently on ABD…I am soon to be receiving an inheritance…how will this affect my claim…and can I put some of the money in a bank account for my daughter for college in her name and not get into any trouble with social security? Also I want to buy a car and what is the maximum amount I can purchase a car for? I am only getting approximately $20,000 give or take s couple thousand…thank you!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tina,

      If you are applying for Social Security Disability (SSDI), the inheritance will not affect your benefits and you can do anything you want with it. (You posted your question under a Social Security article.)

      If you are applying for SSI (Supplemental Security Income), the inheritance will be income in the month that you receive it. You can use the entire amount to purchase a car and not have it affect your SSI. If you put money in an account in your daughter’s name, you will be giving it away and the amount given away will likely make you ineligible for a few months because you could have used it to support yourself in those months.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Tina

        Thank you so much for answering my questions! I appreciate it so much! Sorry for commenting under the wrong post!

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Tina, and that’s okay.

      • Christy

        Dear Tina

        My parents received ssi and they own a home that they live in, but they really can’t afford it,they still have mortgage on it, but don’t want to sell the home. They want to give the home to their children as a gift will that effect their ssi?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Christy,

          I think that it is possible that giving away an excluded asset will not affect their eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), but they should check with the Social Security Administration. If they receive Social Security Disability or retirement, giving away the home will definitely not affect their Social Security benefits.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • sicknick

        What if you invest it in your sons business?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Sicknick,

          Please provide some context for your question so I can try to answer. Are you receiving Social Security or SSI benefits? Will you be performing any services for the business? How will you be paid for your investment?

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Chell

    Hello,

    My mother wants to pay cash for a new car and place both her name and my name on the title. I would then be responsible for making the payments directly to her over a period of 8 years. After the 8 years her name will be removed from the title and I would be the sole owner. We would be drawing up a written agreement stating this.

    I receive S.S.I. and I am uncertain if this falls under their rules of purchasing. Will they understand that it’s being done this way to get me a car payment that can work within my budget?

    What are my options as far making a legal agreement with my mother that is clearly defined and understood by social security?

    Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chell,

      One approach would be for your mother to put only her name on the title. Then once she has gotten the title from the Department of Motor Vehicles, you and she could sign a bill of sale that indicates that you will buy the car from her for a certain amount total price and at a certain amount per month. You might even have your and your mother’s signatures notarized. Like a car dealer or bank, your mother would keep the title until you paid off the car, but you should be able to register in your name by showing the bill of sale to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You should check this last point with DMV. You would then report to Social Security that you are buying a car and, if they want to see it, show them the bill of sale.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • sharon

    I have applied for ssi my son helps me with 300.00 for bills will this affect my social security benefits he only help till I get approved

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sharon,

      If you are approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI), help from your son will not affect your benefits. If you were approved for SSI (Supplemental Security Income), the $280 of the $300 you get from your son will reduce your benefit. If in the future, after being approved, you have enough income to cover your own expenses, your SSI can be increased.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Susan

    I have recently been approved for SSDI. I am a licensed realtor, but not doing any real estate other than I have my personal home for sale and it was under contract, the deal fell thru after 3 1/2 months and the buyer forfeited his EMD to me as the owner/seller, I’m not sure if this money from the earnest deposit will be considered income to me, but if it is will it affect my SSDI?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Susan,

      You need to check with the IRS or a tax accountant to determine whether the earnest money is taxable income. As far as its relationship to Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits, as you describe your situation, you are not working and you are selling your home as any home owner might. If that is the case, the income is not earned income will not affect your SSDI and does not have to be reported to the Social Security Administration.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ali

    In addition to my other post, in case it wasn’t clear. I would be replacing the car I now own with a newer car. I’m hoping to be able to do this before my ssi is approved. I understand that I can have 1 car, but does it matter that it’d be new? As I stated I’ll have a car payment either way.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ali,

      Please see my response to your first post. It does not matter whether the car is new or not. The income you have while your claim pend including income used to make a car payment will be considered in determining your SSI payment amount.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Ali

        Thanks for answering so quickly. It will be ssi because I don’t have enough work time in for Ssdi. I have no income right now, I’m lucky enough to have a friend that I’m staying with till I get through all of this. It’s my friends apartment so they pay all bills having to do with living here. I have a little bit of money saved from my last job but it won’t last much longer. That’s why I’m looking to get another car before I’ve no money left. When the money that I have is gone my friend will be helping to pay my bills till I get ssi, how will the help with my bills effect my ssi payment amount if at all? Also I plan on moving into my own apartment once ssi is approved & rent will go according to my income. Will the payment amount change because my living arrangements will change,I’ll be going from living with someone to then living on my own?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Ali,

          If you have more than $2,000 left, you will not be eligible for SSI in the months you have excess resource. One vehicle doesn’t count toward the limit. Getting free housing will result in a reduced SSI payment probably of $488 per month. When you move to live alone in government-subsidized housing, if you pay your reduced rent and utilities yourself, your benefit can go up to $733 a month in federal SSI. If you live in a state with an SSI state supplement, there could be an additional small supplement.

          If your friend pays your “bills” directly to the person or entity owed, the assistance will probably not count because payment of the bills does not provide food or housing. Any cash given to you counts as income.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Ali

            I only have $800.00 left right now that I wanted to use toward the new car. Would I be better off waiting to get the car till I’m approved & awarded (not back pay but,the money that I will receive from time of application till approval)? When I move I will be paying all my own rent, utilities and bills. I live in NYS, is this a state that has a supplement? Also, yes my friend would be paying my bills directly to the entity owed not giving me the money. Thank you again for taking the time to answer all my questions and give me some peace of mind.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Ali,

              You will have to decide whether or not it is better to change cars now or later. New York does have a state supplement. When you start to pay all your own rent, utilities, and food, your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can go to the maximum two months later if you have no other countable income.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Ali

    I just recently started the process for ssi and assume it’ll take awhile, up to 2 yrs at most is what I being told. If I purchase a new car anytime between now and when my ssi is approved will that hurt anything concerning my ssi in any way. I have 1 car now but would like to get a newer car before I’m approved so that I know I have a reliable vehicle. I’ll have a car payment either way.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ali,

      If your application is for Social Security Disability (SSDI), purchase of a car will have no bearing on your claim. If your application is for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), trading in your car for another car will not affect your claim as long as you pay for the car yourself and do not receive money from someone else to make the purchase.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kelly Behen

    Hi — Kay this is an amazing list of Q&A!!! Now that I’ve read through it I still have questions. I live in Alaska and receive SSDI. I own property w/incomplete house (from outside it looks complete but inside not finished – I’m building out of pocket) There are a couple of small cabins I would like to rent out for maybe $300 a month each to help pay off the home equity loan & finish the interior of the house. I don’t understand “passive income” which from some of the answers above it seems that is what rental income is. How will that affect my SSD? I’ve not been able to get through to SSA on phone or in writing — even the State Public Assistance or Independent LIving Center doesn’t seem to know how this could affect my benefits. Thanks in advance.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kelly,

      I suggest that you discuss the proposed rentals with your tax accountant. If the income would correctly be reported as passive rental income and not as a business that you are running, then it is likely to be treated as passive income as related to your Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits, rather than work income. You do not say whether you are living in the unfinished house. If not and you are doing the carpentry, etc. to finish it to sell or rent, then you might have a business that is earned income.

      Note that you can have some work income without impacting your SSDI benefits through a nine-month Trial Work Period, which is applicable when gross wages or net self-employment reach $780 a month, and the Extended Period of Eligibility. You can learn more about these work incentives in Social Security’s Red Book, which is available at local Social Security office or online at http://www.ssa.gov.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Amar

    Dear Kay,

    My father is 66 and started receiving ss income a few months ago. Now he is having even more health problems and will under go heart surgery again soon. also he has diabetes and skin disorder. Is there a way for him to get more money ?… ie: file for disability? or something. Is that possible?… so that he does not have to work even the allowed amount of hours anymore.

    May God reward you for all your good work,
    Amar

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Amar,

      Disability benefits are paid only to those who are younger than full retirement age, so your father would not be eligible for disability benefits. If his Social Security benefit is less than $753, he might be eligible for federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) based on his age, depending on how much he is earning. (His Social Security could be higher if he is living in a state with an SSI state supplement. If you tell me the state I can let you know.) Also, your father might investigate whether he would be eligible for SNAP assistance (formerly called food stamps) if he were not working.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Beth

    If my daughter recives ssi not ssd and I am approved for ssi as her will this affect her or the ones I will be reviving benefits. Please reply to email I’m very concerned.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Beth,

      Your SSI and your daughter’s SSI will not affect each other.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Eric

    Hi, I am on worker compensation and ssdi. I think the workers compensation is going to offer me a lumpsum. Will it affect my ssdi?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Eric,

      Not always, but often, a workers compensation lump sum will prorate out lower than the monthly workers comp you have been getting. If that is the case and if your SSDI has been reduced for your workers comp, your SSDI could increase. When you get the lump sum, take the paperwork to Social Security so the calculation of your claim can be reviewed.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Marlene

    My son is on SSI and has recently went and got a car that he now owes for its in his name along with lean holders. will this hurt his check?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Marlene,

      If you son made the down payment and is paying for the car himself, it will not affect his Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit. One car is excluded from counting as a resource.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Michelle Bustamante

    My father is collecting SSDisability and we are moving in my parents’ bsmt. My Son has Disability also. Will any of their benefits decrease?

    • Kay Derochie

      Your father’s Social Security Disability (SSDI) will not be affected by your living in the house. Your son’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will not be affected if his SSI is either used to pay fair market rate for rental of the basement or to pay his share of the rent or mortgage and the shelter utilities (not phone or cable) and food (if you purchase and share food with your parents). The second option would come into play if you and your son are in the same household with your parents. With four in the household, our son’s share would be one-fourth of the referenced expenses.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Lois Shuck

        Hi, I receive ssi and my husband has applied for a VA pension based on his age and our income. My ssi will not affect his VA. Will hius VA affect my SSI?
        Thankyou,
        from Idaho

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Lois,

          Because VA pension is a public assistance, needs-based program, I believe that your husband’s VA pension will not affect your Supplemental Security Income; however, I suggest that you double check this with the Social Security Administration. (Note that if he were to receive VA compensation for a service-connected disability, the VA comp would be considered in determining your SSI payment amount.)

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Lisa

      I am receiving Veteran’s Compensation at 100%. I received a lump-sum and have $10,000 in the bank. I have applied for SSDI and if approved will the money I have in the bank from the VA affect the SSDI amount I might receive.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Lisa,

        Your assets will not affect your claim for Social Security Disability (SSDI). Eligibility is based on having enough work that has been taxed for Social Security and on being disabled as defined by Social Security law.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Chang

    My wife check when and bought a new car for 23000 but she had her dad co sign for her but when she got home and look at the paper work it had her dad as the buyer and her as the co buyer but my wife name is the only on the title. But the payment book only had her dad name in it will this affect his ssi benefit

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chang,

      If your father-in-law receives Social Security Disability (SSDI), the auto transaction will not affect his benefits. If he receives SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and his name is not on the title and he didn’t pay any money for the car, likewise the transaction will not affect his benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Mary

    My 25 year old daughter lives in California. She receives SSDI based upon my husbands earnings and Social Security (he is retired) and her disability. She also receives MediCal and Cal Fresh (food stamps) benefits. We want to help her move into an apartment in a safer area of Los Angeles but it would require us given her a few hundred dollars to help pay the rent each month, as her rent would be higher than her income form SSDI. Would we be jeopardizing her MediCal and Cal Fresh benefits by giving her money each month for rent? Thank you for your help.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mary,

      You’ll have to check with the MediCal and Cal Fresh administrative offices for the answer to your question. Note that there may be a difference between paying the extra amount to the landlord and giving her cash to pay the rent.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Becky

    My husband and I are both on disability due to different accidents. If we receive royalty checks on a proposed gas well will that money affect our disability income? Also, if a pipeline is run across our property and we are compensated for that either by contract or by Eminent Domain with either affect our disability? Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Becky,

      If you and your husband are receiving Social Security Disability benefits and not not Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and you are not performing work services to receive the royalty or land-use payments, the income will not affect your benefits.

      If you are receiving SSI, the royalties or rental income will be income that affects benefits. Compensation through Eminent Domain could affect your SSI benefits if it gives you assets above the $3,000 SSI resource limit for couples.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Randy Kitchen

    I am a high school teacher and a pastor in a local church. My income is between 50 to 60 thousand dollars a year, and we are a single income family. I have a son who is 10 years old with autism, and I would like to apply for SSI for him but am afraid that I make to much money. Does my income interfere with us getting him on disablity?

    Thanks,

    Pastor Randy

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Randy,

      If you have only one child (no non-disabled children), your income is too high for Supplemental Security Income benefits for your disabled child. If you are married living with your spouse and you have two non-disabled children, your child might qualify financially, depending on the amount of your assets and whether you also have unearned income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Carlos Vanputten

    Good day. I am looking to purchase a home as a first time buyer. I am currently married. My wife and I were married through our religious institution in the eyes of God. We are not legally married as far as the state is concerned. I am gainfully employed. My wife currently receives $980 a month from Ssdi and her 6 year old is a dependent receiving an extra $500. If she were to be a cosignor on a mortgage application to boost our preapproval amount, would that affect her or the child’s benefit in any way?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Carlos,

      Purchasing a home together, have no effect on your wife’s or her child’s Social Security benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Aarin I Andujo

    Hi,my dad co-signed and put $2,000 down for a vehicle for me.will this affect my Ssi payments ?! Its the only car I have.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Aarin,

      If your father paid the $2,000 directly to the business or person selling the car, the payment may not affect your benefits. I recommend that you report the acquisition of the vehicle and your father’s down payment to Social Security Administration and find out for sure. If he gave you the money, the $2,000 caused you to be ineligible in the month he gave it to you and you have an SSI overpayment.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Esmer

    If my father receives an SSDI check and he gives/gifts me his home so I can take care of taxes and bills will that affect his SSDI check.
    He would still live there but I would be responsible for everything concerning the home since it would be my home.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Esmer,

      Please double check with your father that he receives Social Security Disability (SSDI) and not Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Property taxes and bills don’t affect an SSDI benefit, so he may really be receiving SSI. If he is receiving SSI and you are not living with him and you pay the utilities and property taxes, your payments will affect his SSI, regardless who owns the house.

      SSI law on disposal of resources is complex, so before transferring the property to you as gift or at less than market value, he should consult with an SSI claims representative (not a service representative) to find out the exact impact such a transfer would have on his future eligibility.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Brian

    Hello,

    My soon to be brother in law is wanting to co-sign on a vehicle for me, will that affect his benefits at all?

    Thank You,
    Brian

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brian,

      The kind of benefits your soon-to-be brother-in-law receives and some other factors determine the effect, if any, co-signing the loan would have. If he receives Social Security, there will be no effect. If he receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the effect will depend on whether he is legally a co-owner of the vehicle or is just securing the loan; if a co-owner, how the ownership is written up; the equity value of the vehicle; and the amount of other assets he has. If he is receiving SSI, he should get the particulars on whether he would be a co-owner on the registration (and title once it is paid off) and then talk with the Social Security Administration to find out the potential impact.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • David Kryanak

      Hello Kay, I am receiving ssi benefits. However, my father and I decided to get my mother a used car for her upcoming bday. While in another state with a friend ,I came across a used vehicle that was a good deal for her. I,didn’t want to pass up the car and head home and loose out on the deal. So,I called my dad and he said use your credit card and purchase it for cash. So I had no choice than to purchase the car that day in my name. We had to wait 3 week to get the out of state title. Upon getting the title my mother and I had to transfer the title in our state so the car can be hers as a gift. So, legally she is the owner of the vehicle now. I am wondering how would this effect my ssi or would it be a transfer of a resource?

      Thanks

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear David,

        You said that you get SSI, but you posted your question under a Social Security Disability (SSDI) article. If you receive SSDI, the car transaction will not affect your benefits.

        If you receive SSI (Supplemental Security Income), whether and how it affects you depends on the circumstances. You do not say whether you have a vehicle of your own. If you do and you kept the second car from one month to another, the value of the least valuable vehicle will count toward your resource limit of $2,000 on the first of the month after you bought it. If you do not have a car of your own, the car was an excluded resource while you owned it.

        Usually, when you give away an asset, the “lost” value of the asset makes you ineligible for a time; however, perhaps if the car was excluded, giving it away might not affect your benefits. The best thing to do is to report the transaction to the Social Security Administration and let them make a determination.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Dave

          Thank you Kay. I do own another vehicle in my name. However, I really didn’t own the second vehicle as it was transferred as soon as the title hit Ohio the state I live in. I had just picked up the car for my mother. I am on SSi ,so now I really own one car . I did call SSA and they said as long as the second car is not in my name I should be ok. So I guess I really didn’t own the second vehicle, maybe just during the title transferring part .for 5 minutes.m There was no money involved on my behalf to keep. At worst case scenario, if my benefits were temporarily disabled because of this (which I don’t think they would be) due to the circumstances, I would file an ” undue hardship ” and could keep my benefits .

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Dave,

            Thanks for the information. Your plan, if one is needed, seems like a good approach.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • diane

    My son receives ssi and my mother left him 5000.00 . Will that affect his SSI? I think she has it in a trust for him.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Diane,

      If the money is in a trust, whether or not it will affect his SSI depends on how the trust is written. Take a copy of the trust to the Social Security Administration so that that they can make a determination. If it is countable income, it will be income in the month it was received. You could use part to buy an irrevocable burial plan within SSI limits, repay the SSI overpayment for the month of receipt and any month he was over the resource limit, and save $2,000 total for future emergencies or needs (if he has no other assets including deemed assets from you.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tracy

    I own a business, sole proprietor, but only net $2000-5000 a year. Do I have to close the business to qualify for ss disability?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tracy,

      Your situation does not have a simple answer. Your activity in the business including the number of hours you work a week will be considered in addition to your earnings to determine whether you are performing substantial gainful activity and, therefore, not disabled. If you have a medical condition that keeps you from working more than you are, I suggest that you file an application without closing the business. If you are denied because of your work activity, then you can decide whether or not you want to close the business and apply again.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • John P. Schroder

    My Daughter is 16 & receiving Benefits through my S.S. She wants to work. Will this affect her Benefits? Also is she allowed to have a checking & or a savings account, to save for college?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear John,

      Your daughter can earn $15,720 a year and not lose benefits and she can save any amount for any purpose.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Erin

    I currently receive ssdi my son also receives benefits because I am disabled. I would like to save his money after covering his monthly expenses for him. Is there a limit on how much cash he can have in his bank account? I am his representative payee on his bank account. My concern is once he has saved over 200 will he no longer receive his monthly benefit? Will my bank account balance affect his benefits if I have over 2000 now? I have been saving my back pay for disability and have a large tax refund. In addition to saving money every month. My next question is because of my disability my parents and I have discussed purchasing a large home for all of us and including my 80 year old grandmother. My grandmother receives retire based off her deceased husband’s benefits. My father is also on workman’s comp and ssdi. So if my son father and grandmother are all recieving benefits except my mother are we able to save money in our savings for a down payment for a home and not loose our benefits? Will we all be able to share a home? My father grandmother and I depend on my non disabled mother to help us it makes sense for us at this time to all.live under one roof if possible.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Erin,

      There is no limit to the savings you can have while receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits nor is there a limit to the amount of your son’s money that you can save, for example, for future education. You can all save up and pool your funds to buy a house, though if you use your son’s money for the house, you need to put his name on the deed along with everyone else’s.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jdicia Iowa

    I am wondering before I was disabled I was an inventor and there is a business that wants to license my invention. And that they would pay a royalty to me. Is that considered earned income? Or will VA and SSDI look at it as passive income since others are doing the work and I would receive royalties. or even though I cannot stay on task to work 40 hrs a week and only once every few years get a creative spark would I put myself at risk with my SSDI and VA rated 100% IU P&T.

    Or if this is going to be a big problem. Is there another way? Could I license my invention to my wife royalty free and then she could sub-license my invention to the business and she could pay self employment taxes if that is what needs to be paid? I her name not mine?

    Your advise and answer would be very good to know, do not want to lose SSDI & VA IU if the first scenario would cause them to think I am capable of SGA when I am rolled up on ball with depression and PTSD for sometime weeks on end.

    Thanks

    Jdicia Iowa

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jdicia,

      If you invented the item before you became disabled, the royalties from a current lease might be considered passive income with regard to your Social Security Disability (SSDI); but I cannot say for sure. You need to talk with a claims representative (not a service representative) about it. If the royalty does count and is paid out all in one month, the earnings might not affect your benefits because they would be treated as earnings for one of nine Trial Work Period months during which you can receive benefits.

      You need legal advice regarding licensing the invention to your wife to avoid the royalties associated from it as counting as yours to find out what you are suggesting is legal in terms of Social Security law, VA law, and possibly tax law.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ramon

    Hi, my wife is receiving SSDI and we are trying to rent our house through a real property management, the property is under our names, will it affect her social security disability income? Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ramon,

      If your wife is receiving SSDI (Social Security Disability) and not SSI (Supplemental Security Income), renting out your property will not affect her benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Eric

    Hi I receive workers compensation pay and ssdi , will collecting passive income affect my workers compensation and ssdi?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Eric,

      By passive income, I assume you mean rental income or some other investment income or business income from a business in which you do not provide services (work). If so, the income should not affect your Social Security Disability (SSDI). It probably doesn’t affect your workers comp either, but you should check with the the Social Security Administration and the workers compensation administrator to be sure.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Eric

        Thanks Kay

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Eric.

  • Alexandra

    I have a son who is on SSI. If I won a new vehicle, would that affect his benefits?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Alexandra,

      The value of the car will count as income in the month you received it and he will be ineligible that month. Thereafter, if you have no other vehicle, the care will have no affect on your son’s eligibility. If you have another vehicle, the equity value of the vehicle will count toward your $2,000 resource limit ($3,000 if you are married and living with your spouse). Any excess value about your resource limit, will count toward your son’s $2,000 resource limit. Be sure to report the vehicle right away and be prepared to repay the overpayment for the month you receive it. You can ask to have the overpayment collected by partial withholding of your son’s monthly checks or if you can’t afford to repay, you can request waiver based on not being at fault–you didn’t know you would win–and being unable to repay.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • laura

    I’m still waiting on receiving information on getting disability, bit I do have some questions. 1) I guess I’ll get ssi because I never worked, so my monthly check will be about $700,, and my back $ about $20,000. Can i keep the back money in the bank and still receive my monthly check?

    I will be working with hud to clean up credit and buy a home with the back $ am I allowed to do that?

    2) I’ve been separated for 4yrs from my husband and he has not giving me any support at all…I plan on using the money to get a divorce,,if I get alimony it would be about $700 to $1,000 a month.. Will they lower my monthly ssi check?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Laura,

      Supplemental Security Income (SSI) back pay begins to count as a resource nine months after receipt. SSI back pay of more than $2,199 is typically paid in three installments six months apart. The first two are limited to $2,199 with the remainder paid in the last installment. Because you are attempting to purchase a house, you might be able to successfully petition to have the entire amount released all at once.

      All but $20 of your alimony will be countable income for SSI. If you receive $753 or more, you will be ineligible for federal SSI. Some states have an SSI state supplement that you might be eligible for if your alimony makes you ineligible for a federal payment; however, none are high enough to allow payment to someone with $1,000 unearned income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Alfredo

    My friend is applying for ssd & ssi, His son is going to college and one of my friend’s client gave to his son year tution, $3,000.00. If he open a account in his name, (he is 17). It affect my friend benefit?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Alfredo,

      Your friend’s Social Security (SSD) claim will not be affected regardless of where he stores the money. If your friend puts the money in an account with his own name on it in a manner that he legally owns the money, the deposit will affect his Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim in the month it is deposited. If the money remains in the account and he is not married and living with his spouse, he will have assets over the resource limit the following month. The resource limit for a couple is $3,000, but if he has any other countable resources, he will be over couple limit as well. The bank may have some suggestions about how to set up an account showing it belongs to a minor, but an adult has control. Or, the simplest would be for his son to open a savings account in his own name and put the money in it.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • pat

    Hi
    My brother lives with me and 2 yrs ago had a stroke, how do i go about applying for disability for him? And is it best for me to file for him or do i need to be his power of attorney to file for him?
    He definetly can not do this himself.. To transport him and for him to wal is a difficult task for him.please advise?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Pat,

      You can file an application for your brother and should start the application before the end of the month to avoid possible loss of benefits. You can start the application online and complete most of it by mail. Information and tips about filing a claim can be found in the articles posted under the “Apply SSD” tab at the top of every page on this website.

      I suggest that our brother appoint you to represent him in his claim and put that appointment on the application. Be sure to print and keep a copy of the application. If you prefer to file in person, as hard as it might be, it would be good to take your brother to the Social Security office because the representative will see his limitations and note his or her observations on the form that will be reviewed by the person who makes the decision. If he is denied, be sure to appeal.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • pat

        Kay,
        Thank you Very much, you have been very helpful.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Pat.

  • wendy

    What if you want to be a self-published writer/author, because you can’t work. How would it effect your disability?
    Due to the fact that royalties could or couldn’t be from 100 to 1000 dollars a year, maybe more, maybe less, but truly unknown.
    And even more so, you just want to write great stories and put them out in the world.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Wendy,

      If you receive Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits, you must report if your sell your writing because you will have received income from an activity that, depending on the circumstances, may be categorized as work and all work needs to be reported because you are receiving benefits based on being unable to perform substantial work. Earnings that are unpredictable are estimated and estimates can be changed any time during the year. If you are receiving SSI, likewise, depending on the circumstances, the royalties will be treated as either earned or unearned income to calculate your SSI benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Cristian

    My father has a house lot under his name and I believe he’s receiving SSDI and own a house he live in. He want to give me the lot as a wedding gift will that afect his SSDI and or any kind of help he might have thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cristian,

      Giving you a gift of property will not affect your father’s Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefit. Just double check that he is getting SSDI and not SSI. It is likely that he is getting SSDI because he would not be eligible for SSI if the lot, which he doesn’t live on, is worth more than $2,000 (or $3,000 if he is married and living with his spouse.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jamie

    My question is, my children receive ssi because they both have disabilities, if I inherited money will that affect their income?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jamie,

      Depending on the amount of the inheritance, your children may be ineligible in the month you receive the inheritance. Whether or not they are eligible in following months will depend on the value of your assets including the amount of cash and bank account you have on hand on the first of each month.

      You can have $2,000 in countable assets ($3,000 between you and your spouse if you are married living with your spouse). The excess above that amount is split between your two SSI-eligible children and counted toward their resource limits ($2,000 each). If you inherit a large sum and use it to purchase an excludable resource such as a house to live in, certain life insurance policies, or a vehicle (if you own only one at a time), the excess resources will not count the month following the month in which you convert countable resources to non-countable resources.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • sarah

    and the home that my mother in law lives in is not even worth what is owed on it it is owed about 90,000 and it is only worth 75 thousand now in the market

  • sarah

    I also forgot to say that I am living with my mother and father in their home and they are asking me to pay rent

  • sarah

    I have a question can I receive SSI payments for my 7 year old autistic son I own two homes with my husband that I’m separated from and my name is on both the homes I do not live in either one of them I cannot afford to. He lives in one and his mother lives in the other I receive no income from these homes and I also do not have any other income my mother in law just pays the house payment and no more than that I also do not received any child support from the children’s father if I can’t receive SSI payments can I receive payments from SSDI for my autistic son thank you for your time

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sarah,

      If half (or even all, depending on how the deeds are written up) the equity value of the two houses is more $4,000, your son is not financially eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) even if the houses are your only countable asset and he has no assets. Your child can receive dependent benefits from your Social Security record only if you are disabled or retired (age sixty-two or older) and receiving Social Security benefits yourself.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Cynthia

    Hello Kay,

    My husband was recently diagnosed with a early onset variant of Alzheimer’s and is now disabled. We did not qualify for SSDI and He is in the process of applying for SSI. We no longer own our own car and have been borrowing his Mom’s extra vehicle which is a 2010 Ford Escape. She would like to gift us the car so we have reliable transportation to and from doctor’s visits and other necessary things. Will this affect him being approved for SSI and will it affect benefits we already receive such as food stamps and Medi-cal.

    Thank you,
    Cynthia

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cynthia,

      The value to the car may count as income for the SSI program in the month it is received or it may not because it is an excludable resource. Either way, a one-time gift would not keep him from being approved and eligible in other months. I suggest that you check with the Social Security Administration. For answers about the effect on food stamps and Medi-Cal, you would have to check with the offices that administer those benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • linda

    i receive s.s. and s.s.i. if my son pays a down payment on a car for me but i make the monthly payments and the loan is in my name because i have the good credit can this be done? my son will also give me the monthly payments. his credit is not good but mine is. how can i do this?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Linda,

      If your son makes a down payment on a car purchased in your name, the down payment will be income to you in the month that the payment is made. Each month that he gives you the money for the monthly payments, that money will be income and will affect your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ruth

    I have two questions. I am 54 and on SSDI.
    First, can I take a lump sum distribution from my non government pension without it affecting my benefits.
    Second, can I invest that money in a business and be part owner, not be an employee, but receive distributions from it which will be reported to IRS on a K1 and not have it affect my SSDI benefits?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ruth,

      Your pension distribution will not affect your Social Security Disability (SSDI). If you do not perform any services for the business and you are shown as a shareholder only on the Schedule K-1, it is possible that your income from the business will not be considered earned income from work activity and will not affect your status of being disabled. I suggest that you take an example of the K-1 as it would be completed to the Social Security Administration and talk with a Social Security claims representative (not service representative) before you invest just to be sure.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Ruth

        Thank you Kay.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Ruth.

  • katie johnson

    my daughter was receiving Social Security benefits from her disability and then benefits stopped when I got married they said that my husband income was too high so that dropped her benefits completely well I am now getting divorced and I was wondering if I can get my daughter back on them Social Security benefits where my soon to be ex husband is no longer in the household and we’re not receiving his income.
    Thank you signed help my daughters

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Katie,

      If your daughter has been ineligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is the disability benefit payable to a minor child (not Social Security) for more than twelve months, you have to file a new application for her and get a new medical approval. If she has been ineligible for less than twelve months (count through the month you were no longer living with your ex), you can just report his moving out and benefits will starta gain calculated only on your and your daughter’s income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Bert

    I’ve been disabled since 2010. I’ve written a book and want to sell it using Amazon. Will this affect my disability? Thank you for your time.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Bert,

      Income you receive from a book that you wrote is likely to be treated as earned income. You need to report the income and the work activity that created the book because all paid work has to be reported when you are receiving disability benefits.

      If you are receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI), as long as you remain eligible your benefit amount will not change because you are working. If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), there will be a one dollar reduction for every two dollars you earn above $85 a month ($65 if you have other income). You can learn about SSDI work incentives in Social Security’s Red Book, which can be found on http://www.ssa.gov website.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Bert

        Kay Derochie, I’m not sure what you mean by the work activity of writing my book. I wrote it and only me. I paid no one to do it and no one paid me so all I have to do if I sell it on Amazon is to let SSA know if and when I get paid for it right? thanks again

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Bert,

          The work activity I was referring to is the time and effort you put into writing the book. If you self-publish and realize a profit from the book or sell it to a publisher and get royalties, the income will may be considered a form of self-employment income. So, yes, you do need to report to Social Security when you start to sell copies of the book so that they can evaluate whether the writing of the book is work activity as related to your disability or unearned income. The determination as to kind of income is made on a case by case basis. You may also want to talk to a tax accountant or the IRS to get guidance on how to report income from the sales of the book. You can read more about this at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.11/handbook-1113.html.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Bert

            Thank you

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Bert.

  • Foenix

    My husband got verbal approval on his Disability application last week- we do not have the award letter yet. We know little about how this works since we never expected to be in this situation. We are hoping the award letter will give us more information, but they said it could take 60 days to receive that…
    He was a self-employed contractor before his injury. Now one of our sons wants to take over the business, doing all the actual labor, but will need someone to take photos and handle the paperwork/computer end of the business. Would my husband be allowed to do that part of the work and still keep his disability payments? Would he be allowed to still own the company, or would it have to transfer into our son’s name? The equipment is owned by my husband, as well- can he retain ownership and just let the boy use the equipment?
    I appreciate your response.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Foenix,

      If your husband has not recovered medically and has already been disabled for more than twelve months, initially his work could be applied to a nine-month Trial Work Period (TWP) during which benefits are paid. For the thirty-six calendar months following the end of the TWP, benefits would be paid only in months that your husband is unable to perform Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA).

      Rules for determining whether self-employment work activity is SGA are more complex than for individuals working for wages. Whether or not your husband’s “taking photos and handling paperwork/computer” in his business is SGA will depend on the number of hours he works per week, the compensation he receives for his services, whether the services are essential to the business, and possibly on how the business is structured (corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership). To get an idea of how such work could affect his claim, he needs to talk with a Social Security Claims Representative (not a service rep) about whether the planned work would be SGA. He can learn more about SSA’s Ticket to Work and other return-to-work incentives in The Red Book available on http://www.ssa.gov.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • nicole

    my 2 year old son is on SSI his grandmother gave us $1000 for Christmas do I need to report that and we also sold a vehicle do I need to report that we only got $450 we also sold a car trailer we only got 500 for it

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nicole,

      You need to report the Christmas present because it is income. The gift will affect your son’s benefits resulting in an overpayment. The size of the overpayment will depend on for whom the gift was intended. You say the money was given “to us.” If it was for you and your son, you will be asked how much was for each of you so it would be good to clarify this with your son’s grandmother.

      Selling the car and trailer, which is a conversion of resources from one type to another, probably will not affect you son’s benefits, but you do need to report it. The cash you received for them counts toward your $2,000 resource (asset limit). If all your assets went over the limit because of the sales, then the excess would count toward your son’s $2,000 resource limit. If he doesn’t go over the resource limit, the sale of the assets won’t affect his benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Eric

    Hi, I’m on ssdi and I would like to know if I want to sell my rental properties will it affect my ssdi?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Eric,

      How you handle your resources does not affect your Social Security Disability (SSDI).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Eric

        Thanks Kay one more question. One of my family members informed me a few months ago that I have unclaimed money from a property that i lost to property taxes and was sold at the auction. I would like to know will it affect my ssdi if I pick up the unclaimed money from the county building?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Eric,

          If you are receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI), not Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the money owed you by the county will not affect your benefits.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Eric

            Thanks

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Eric.

  • T. J. Gilmore

    Hi.
    I’m trying to buy a house, and my mother, who receives Soc.Sec.,SSI, and Medicaid, is willing to co-sign the mortgage to increase my income enough to purchase the home.

    My question is, if she is only on the mortgage itself as co-signer, yet not on the deed as co-owner, will she lose any of her benefits?
    She must have her Medicaid , and certainly I wouldn’t want her to lose her SSI either.

    If being a co-signer but not owner will cause her to lose those benefits, would she be able to retain them if she is actually on the deed, yet lives there?
    (She will be living there eventually, but at this point has a small apartment in a retirement building.)

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear T. J.,

      Double check with the mortgage holder to be sure your mother’s name will not be put on the deed. If it is not on the deed, her Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits should not be affected because she will not have ownership interest in the house. Later if she moves into the house and her name is put on the deed at the time she moves in, ownership of the house will not affect her. Receipt of the house may count as income in the month her name is put on the deed. If that is the case, she would lose her SSI for that one month and possibly her Medicaid for that one month. (It is, however, possible, that because the house would be an excluded resource with her living in it, it would not count as income when received.)

      If she shares the house with you and pays half the mortgage, power, heat, water/sewer and garbage and buys her own food or pays for half the food, her SSI will not be affected by living with you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • M. W. Gregory

    I wanted to add more detail to my post here above:

    I am getting conflicting information all over the internet in this matter.

    I currently receive SSDI benefits of roughly $18,000.00 per year and permanently disabled in serious ill health. I was blessed to have received an additional $21,000.00 this past year in 2014 from unexpected mineral royalties for the first (and probably last) time ever. I know I need to report the income to the IRS for taxes this year. Understandable.

    I was told these royalties would NOT affect my SSDI since it was passive or unearned income by a Social Security Administration person a few years back. Is this still true? Someone told me that the laws have changed and that they consider mineral royalties EARNED income now! I heard that they will take away my Medicare and my SSDI now over this! OMG!

    I cannot find anything on their site that will help me. So hard to navigate there. I am concerned! Please Help! Thanks!!!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear M.W.,

      Please see my response to your prior post. My understanding is that the mineral rights royalties are passive income assuming you did not perform any services related to the receipt of the royalties and that they don’t affect Social Security benefits. Nonetheless, I suggest that file your tax return with the assistance of a knowledgeable tax attorney so the royalties are handled correctly in terms of your taxes and that you go to the Social Security Administration to be sure that the income does not affect benefits. Take the 1099 you received with you to document the type of income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • M. W. Gregory

    Hello, I currently receive SSD benefits of roughly $18,000.00 per year and permanently disabled. I received an additional $21,000.00 this past year in 2014 from mineral royalties for the first time ever. I was told these royalties would NOT affect my SSD since it was passive or unearned income by a SS Administration person a few years back. Is this still true? I am concerned!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear M.W.,

      If you receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, your royalties will not affect your benefits because the royalties are not work earnings, workers compensation, or a government pension.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Sue

    My adult son receives SSDI. I would like to give my son a new car as a gift, will this affect his benefit if I put the car in his name?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sue,

      If your son receives SSDI (Social Security Disability) based on his earnings record and not Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is a financial needs-based benefit, giving him a car will have no effect on his benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Diana Howell

    Good evening. I have a question. I’m on disability for muscular dystrophy. When my husband passed away 12 years ago, his company provided me with small survivor benefits of $30.00/month. However, they just sent me a letter to offer a lump sum payout of $5,800, with 20% to be deducted for federal taxes. Although I could greatly use this money, I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize my disability payments. FYI, I currently receive $1,703/month and as well, get my property taxes waived because I’m wheelchair bound. Thank you in advance for your assistance.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Diana,

      Given the amount of your disability benefits, I assume that you are receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI). If you are receiving SSDI, receiving a lump-sum survivor benefit will not affect your disability benefit unless the company paying the survivor benefit is a public entity (government agency, public school, etc.) and your husband’s wages were not taxed for Social Security when he was working.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Amanda

    I have a question.
    I have a disabled child, she is just 3 months old. I am in the process of filing for SSI for her. I am also disabled and receive SSDI benefits. I am also in the process of selling my deceased fathers 1/3 of my late grandparents house which i will receive a third of the selling price of the house (around$65k is my share) will that affect my newborn in getting approved for SSI benefits? Thanks in advance!!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Amanda,

      First, if you receive SSDI, you can apply for Social Security dependents benefits for your child based on dependency, not disability. As far as the SSI goes, your child probably is not be eligible for SSI now because you have a property ownership share worth $65,000. Declare the ownership on the SSI application and explain where the house is in the sales process. If your daughter is financially ineligible now and you use the money from the sale to buy a home of your own to live in, the house you live in will not be a countable resource and will not affect your child’s eligibility for SSI beginning with the month after you buy the house.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tere

    Hi,
    My mother is currently receiving SSI and SSDI, I been wanting to buy a house and have her help me cosign for it. Will this affect her monthly payments in any way?

    thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tere,

      If you mother does not live in the house, having partial ownership of the house could cause her to lose her SSI. Her half of the equity in the house, together with any other countable assets she has, will count toward the $2,000 resource limit for SSI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Bud

    Hi,
    My mother in law moved in with us a little over a year ago and she is receiving SSDI and has no other income. It looks like we will be able to claim her as a dependent.
    If we do that, will this affect her SSDI benefits?
    She will turn 65 this year.What about when she turns 65 and her benefits turn form ssdi to SS retirement?
    Thank you very much!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Bud,

      Please check with the IRS to find out whether you are qualified to claim your mother-in-law as a dependent. Claiming her as a dependent, if you can, will not affect her Social Security. Your mother-in-law’s Social Security Disability benefits will change to Retirement benefits when she reaches full retirement age, which is sixty-six. Her benefit amount will stay that same if she did not take early retirement before disability. She should apply for Medicare three months before her sixty-fifth birthday if she is not already eligible for Medicare.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • shelly

    I just received a diagnosis for my 7-year-old son- autism, ADHD, and sensory issues. I am a single mother with two boys. My oldest- no disabilities. Gross monthly wages are $3122. Is this too high to receive SSI benefits for my son. It may sound like a good income but after taxes, I’m taking home around $2000 a month and more than half of that goes to my home.

    Thanks for your response.
    Shelly

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shelly,

      Your income is below the limit for a child to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) with one parent and one other child in the household. Your child will not receive the maximum SSI, but some will be payable if he is approved medically and he may qualify for Medicaid also.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Anna

        My son receives SSI benefits. Can I own a second car as long as it is under the 3,000 resource limit?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Anna,

          If your child’s father or stepfather is living in the household, the countable resource limit is $3,000 total for both parents. In addition, your son has a $2,000 resource limit. If you are the only parent in the household, your limit is $2,000.

          If the second car and all your (or your and your child’s father or stepfather’s) other assets including cash on hand are below $2,000 ($3,000 for a couple), none of the parents’ resources will be deemed to be available for the support of your son. If the value of all parental assets is above the parental limit, the excess will count towards your son’s $2,000 limit.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • VICTOR

    I am receiving SSDI…Will selling my Mineral Royalty Interest in an oil well, for a Lump Sump of money, affect my monthly benefit…? Thanks a lot, Victor

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Victor,

      You can handle your assets any way you wish and it will not affect your Social Security Disability (SSDI).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Renee

    There is a thing called special needs trust. The trust can be funded by outside party. So, if u inherit or are awarded injury lump sum it can be legally filtered through the special needs trust and u can continue to receive benefits. There’s particulars about how the trust needs to be written so seek professional counsel. This could be an option but no one tells us this. If general workers really feel they have no opinion on our benefits why do they leave things out and not disclose information ???

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Renee,

      Thank you for sharing the information about special needs trusts. The idea behind them is that they cannot be used for regular shelter or food costs. For that reason, the trust likely would not count for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) resource calculations. Depending on how the withdrawals were handled (direct payment to providers versus cash to the SSI beneficiary), withdraws from the trust might or might not count as income. Trusts and SSI law related to them is complicated, so if you have a special needs trust and receive or have applied for SSI, it’s best to report the trust to Social Security for a determination.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tim

    I receive SSD and live together with my brother. he just had a stroke and has been in the hospital for the last 2 months .

    i receive $2600 from him that i deposited to my bank for bills will that affect my ssdi ?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tim,

      Your receiving money from your brother to cover household expenses will not affect your Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefit. However, if your brother is not going to return to live with you, then it might not be appropriate for you to accept money from him to continue to pay for housing that is not his and won’t be again, especially if he is not mentally capable after his stroke.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Tim

        thank you

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Tim.

  • Advice would be greatly appreciated please – I have been trying to find some answers for a long time. Before my husband and I marrie, my husband’s mother passed away leaving a large some of money to my father-in-law. My father-in-law bought a house ($250k) outright for my husband, although left the deed in my father-in-law’s name only. Fast forward, we are now married with young children living in the house. I have become disabled and receive disability check and our children (whom are under 18) also receive pay as well for having one disabled parent. My husband works on and off (laid off, summer employment ) but does not make that much. His father-in-law wants to put the house in my husband’s name completely before he retires but I am worrying about what kind of tax implications this would mean for our family but more so, will I lose my disability payment? Will our children? The house would not be going in my name – this arrangement was decided before we were together many years ago. Will this affect Medicare? I’ve been losing so much sleep worrying about how this may affect us. Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Alice,

      Your husband receiving the house will not affect your Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits or the benefits of your child. Your benefits are based on your work history not on what you own or your husband owns.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jennifer

    I receive disability benefits and so does my son. In May I received a letter from Social Security saying that based on my husbands income there was an overpayment on my son’s benefit. They were cutting his disability payments in half and we owed them more than $2000. My husband made more this year so I am afraid that they are going to cut my son’s disability payment further. My husband and I are going through a divorce and my son lives with me full time. Can Social Security cut my son’s benefit based on my husbands income. I have had one person from social security say that they can and one say that they can’t. I am so confused

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jennifer,

      Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments are calculated on a month-by-month basis. If your husband has moved out of the household and your son lives with you all the time, your husband’s income no longer affects your son’s benefits the month after your husband left the household. That will not change the fact of the overpayment if it occurred when you were all in the same household. Earnings have to be reported every month. If the earnings were reported on time and you can’t afford to repay, you can request a waiver of repayment based on not being at fault in the overpayment and financial hardship. You need to present proof of when your husband moved out such has a his rental agreement at his new address.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jennifer

        Hi Kay,

        We do not receive SSI just SSD. I receive disability payments and my son receives benefits based on my disability. They are saying that my sons disability payments are based on my husband income which doesn’t seem right to me as I paid disability taxes through my previous jobs. I would think his SSD would not be affected by what my husband makes especially because my husband no longer cares for him.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jennifer,

          I wonder whether your husband is now receiving Social Security and the Social Security Administration is trying to say that your child’s benefit is based on a combined family maximum, which is based both your and your husband’s past earnings history. If this is not the case, then there is some misunderstanding and you need to go to Social Security to get a clarification.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Lisa Ricketts

    If you own 2 homes (one you live in & one that’s stayed in the family for decades but brings in no income) can this prevent me from receiving disability benefits? From what I’ve gathered I’d be eligible for SSD because of the quarters I’ve worked and my age.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lisa,

      Your assets including property do not affect your eligibility for Social Security Disability. If you have the quarter of coverage to be fully and currently insured as of the date your disability began, you will be eligible for benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Sean

    My father gets ssi and I would like to know if it be ok for him to co sign for me on a new vehicle . My credit score was too low so I need a co signer.

    • Sean

      Oh I forgot to add that my father already has his own car but I just want him to co sign for me.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Sean,

        I saw this post after my response of a few minutes ago to your first inquiry.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sean,

      If your father receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and not Social Security, his co-signing could have a negative effect on his benefits, especially if he already owns a car. He can own one car and not have it count. Either the value of his own car or the equity value of the second car, whichever was less, would count toward his $2,000 resource limit. As the equity increased, at some point he would be ineligible. Also, if it was not the excluded car, when he signed it over to you, he would be giving away a resource, which could make him ineligible for SSI for a while. If he gets SSI, I recommend talking to Social Security about whether your making the car payments would affect his benefit check. I don’t think it would, but he should check.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • sean

        Thanks for your response Kay . Would ssi even know about the leased vehicle ? I mean do they get a dmv report ? Also is it considered an asset even if it’s a lease ? There’s no equity as you don’t own the vehicle . It’s kind of like a rental and if anything at all there would be a negative equity cause we all know as soon as you drive a car off the lot it’s not worth what you just paid for . Thank you again for all you do to help us here .

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Sean,

          If a leased vehicle has no equity for the lessor, then it is not a resource and there is not need to report the lease. If, hypothetically, the leased vehicle gave the lessor some equity, then legally you would have the responsibility to report it and failure to do so would be fraud if the ownership had an effect on benefits being paid.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Armando.S.

    I receive ssi, I have 2 vehicles which are in my name and are not worth much….which I reported to ssi ….now my son is 19 years old and needs a car for local college , so if he is given a car by his grandfather ,will it affect my ssi ? Or our next option if he buys a car from his grandfather will it affect my ssi also? Or if he bought a car from dealer and put money down as down payment to a not so expensive car ,will that affect my ssi also? We all live in same household …it was to my understanding that I can have 2 cars but now my son needs his own and my vehicles are not so dependable for his safety to use back and forth ….thanks for your time ……..Armando

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Armando,

      Your adult son’s income and assets do not affect your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits and do not have to be reported to the Social Security Administration. If you son starts contributing to shelter and food expenses and pays more than his share, his excess contribution could affect your benefit. His share is the cost of shelter and food divided by the number of people living in the household and sharing expenses.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • brenda jacson

    Are there family income limits for ssdi adult child over 18? Can I work a part time job of 500.00 a month and still get benefits on my record for her?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brenda,

      There are no family income limits for a person receiving Social Security Disabled Adult Child benefits. As long as you remain eligible for Social Security (or you die) and your adult child remains disabled and unmarried, your work earnings will not affect his benefit. Typically earnings of $500 a month would not affect your Social Security benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dean

    My mother receives monthly SSDI payments and is about to receive a large royalty payment (~25K) for minerals (oil) taken from under her farm by a national gas company. Will this affect her SSDI payments? It is understood the taxes will still need paid but I believe this payment is considered unearned income and will not affect her benefits.

    I do believe however, if after she reaches 65, and her benefits revert to SSI from SSDI, any future payments at that time would affect SSI. It is so hard finding correct information on the SSA website.

    Please advise and thank you.

    Kind regards,
    Dean

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dean,

      I understand you to say that your mother receives Social Security Disability (SSDI), not Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If so, when she reaches full retirement age, which is age sixty-six or higher, her benefit will be converted to Social Security retirement, not SSI. If she is receiving SSDI, her unearned income will not affect her SSDI benefit and will not affect her retirement benefit. (Worker’s comp can affect SSDI and certain government pensions can affect SSDI and Social Security retirement, but no other unearned income does.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Danielle

    We are currently receiving SSI for my autistic son. We currently have 2 vehicles, one that is leased that my husband drives to work and then a second vehicle which I use to transport our kids. I made them aware of this at time of application and we were still approved. We owe far more on this 2ND vehicle than it is worth. Is that why we were still approved? We are looking to trade this vehicle for a bigger van, we need the space. Our options would be to possibly take our tax return (a few thousand $) and use that as a down payment and trade for something used, or lease a new van. My question is how will this affect SSI. Is a leased vehicle counted as an asset? Would we be ok to buy/finance a van so long as we could not sell it and make a profit (ie. We would owe more on it than the blue book value)? I don’t want to do anything to make us lose the SSI.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Danielle,

      I do not know how the Social Security Administration treats leased vehicles when evaluating two vehicles. Please see my prior responses. The only thing I can add is that the value is based on the equity in a vehicle or its retail value if sold to a private individual, whichever is less.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Yolanda Quimby

    My brother wants to buy me a home, to lessen my constant struggle to pay my rent, bills, etc. Will this gesture effect my disability payment.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Yolanda,

      If you receive Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits, your brother buying you a home will not affect your benefits. If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you will be ineligible in the month the property goes into your name because its value will be income. If you move into the home the same month, you will be eligible again the following month. If you move in later, you will ineligible until the month after you move in because while you don’t live there the house is a countable resource of excess value.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • cecilia arellano

    Hi, our van that we use to transport my daughter on ssi just broke down so we had to go look for a good reliable vehicle , we traded in my husbands truck that we still owed 20000 for a new van, we financed that car. The dealer gave us a good deal for a second car with affordable payments and we accepted since we would only have one vehicle and my husband would need a car to get to work. My question is would having 2 cars loans affect our daughters ssi?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cecilia,

      To be eligible for SSI, your daughter’s resources (assets) must be $2,000 or less. If she has no assets, then your and your husband’s assets over $3,000 count toward your child’s $2,000 limit. One vehicle will not be counted as a resource/asset. The value of the second vehicle will count toward the limit unless you can establish that both are needed for medical and work–that one vehicle won’t do the job. Your next step is to visit Social Security and explain that one vehicle is needed for medical transportation and the other for employment and explain why one can’t be used for both. If your daughter is confined to a wheelchair so a van is necessary for transport to school, also mention that.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kay

    Thinking about applying for SSI, I live with my boyfriend for about 18 years, and the company he works for provides health insurance for me at no cost. Will having this health insurance prohibit me from qualifying for SSI, and will they count my boyfriend income?

    Sincerely, Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kay,

      You are probably getting health insurance because you and your boyfriend ave registered as domestic partners or at least signed forms for your boyfriend’s employer saying you are domestic partners. Getting health insurance as a domestic partner does not directly affect your eligibility for SSI. It does, however, raise questions about your relationship as related to SSI law. If your state does not recognize domestic partners of different genders, then probably the SSI program will not require counting your boyfriend’s income in determining your financial eligibility for SSI. If your state does recognize such relationships, then his income might count. I suggest that you visit a Social Security office and discuss your and your boyfriend’s relationship with them.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Angel

    I was receiving ssi and my husband inherited a home from his deceased parents social security found this out and cut my check off due to the amount the home was worth how ever my husband now gets social security and I thought you could have more than one home one car etc,in you’re name when drawing Social security can I get my check back since he’s now been approved neither home is in my name his only,,will we have to divorce to get my check back or sale one of the homes??

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Angel,

      Owning multiple properties does not affect eligibility for Social Security Disability or Retirement. Owning a second home can make you ineligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) because generally only the home you live in can be excluded from countable resource. The second home counts toward the $3,000 asset limit for a couple. However, if your husband rents out the second house, it might be excluded (not counted) because it is income-producing property. The income from the rental would be considered in determining your financial eligibility as related to income limits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Michelle

    Hello,
    My husband and I both receive Social Security Disability.
    Recently where I had been employed,( the business closed).
    they are giving us the funds from our Pension plan.
    Due to some sort of mix up, some of the money from the pension
    was contributed AFTER taxes.
    If we receive this after tax money will it affect our disability payments?

    Thanks!
    Michelle

    • Michelle

      Oops! Forgot to add we are both under age 62

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Michelle,

      If you are receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI), your pension plan distributions will not affect your Social Security benefits unless they are somehow part of a government pension plan based on earnings not taxed by Social Security. If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the distributions will be income and the plan’s assets might be countable resources. If you are getting SSI, report the distributions to Social Security.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Matthew

    Hello. I’ve been receiving SSI for about 2 years and 3 months. I am financing a vehicle, because I need it for transportation to medical appointments, etc. It is the only car I have. Do I need to report my financing a vehicle to Social Security? Will financing a car affect my SSI amount or will lose it?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Matthew,

      If you are paying for the car entirely by yourself, buying and financing a car will not affect your SSI benefits. Save all the paperwork and declare the car and its financed purchase at your next redetermination of eligibility interview.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Henry

    I’m receiving SSDI and wanting to perform a few hours of work. When and how do I report this work? How will this work affect my current SSDI benefit?
    Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Henry,

      If you work and earn less than $1,070 gross per month and don’t have the ability to earn more than that, your work should not affect your benefits. You should report the work when you stop, when you go over $1,070 a month if you do, and when you stop work. I complete discussion of Social Security’s work incentives can be found in the “Red Book” on Social Security’s website, http://www.ssa.gov.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lucrecia Ordaz

    Hello Kay,
    My Daughter Is Currently On Ssi She Is 1 1/2 She Is disabled For Being Born With A Birth Defect. My question Is What is the income Me And Her father And her 2 brother and sister are aloud to make? Together we r a family of 5 .

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lucrecia,

      To determine Supplemental Security Income (SSI) income limits for your family, please see the chart on Social Security’s website at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi/text-child-ussi.htm. If you have both earned and unearned income, ask Social Security to do an estimated calculation for you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Brandie

    My son receives SSI as a result of being shaken as an infant. If my mom were to give me a house as a gift, will this affect the amount he gets each month?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brandie,

      You son will not be eligible for SSI in the month in which the house is transferred into your name. If you and your son live in the house, he will be eligible again the following month.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Debbie

    My 17 year old son receives benefits through my social security disability. If he gets a job, how will that affect his benefits (or mine)?

    Thanks,
    Debbie

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Debbie,

      Your son can earn up to $15,480 a year before his Social Security dependent benefits are reduced. Earnings above that amount cause a $1 reduction for each $2 earned.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Eric

    My mom wants to gift my brother, who is on SS Disability benefits (NOT SSI), $350k. Will this effect his SSD?

    Also, my Mother has a large life policy that my brother wants to maintain (paying the loan interest and premium to keep policy active). Is it OK if he is on SSD but using his assets to pay for someone else’ expenses? If it matters, he will use the interest that the gifted money creates to pay for her life policy expenses.

    Thanks, Eric

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Eric,

      Your bother free to handle his finances anyway they want.The only types of income that can potentially affect Social Security disability benefits are work earnings,some government pensions, and workers compensation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • May

    Dear Kay,
    I have a 34yr old sister who has social, mental, and emotional disabilities. She has been in and out of state institutions for testing of all sorts. They have diagnosed her with bi-polar sczyophrenia, with anti-social behavior. She has had all these symptoms since childhood. She is currently on medications, which help. A disability application has been filled out for her, all the proper medical references and information sent also. It’s been two years, with no sight of any benefits or help for her. Some of her medications are very expensive with one being $600 a month, plus her living care expenses. Family has exhausted funds for their own families to help. Why is it taking so long for my sister to be seen as an adult in need of care by disability?
    Sincerely May

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear May,

      I assume from what you wrote that your sister’s claim is waiting for an appeal decision. If she does not have an attorney, she would get a lawyer who is well versed in Social Security disability law to assist her with the appeal. She should obtain an experienced Social Security attorney. She does not have to pay any legal fees up front and she will pay attorney fees only if she is approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount her attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from the retroactive award at the time they send her back pay to her. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • val

    I recently was awarded SSDI payments and have never stopped doing a few hours of consulting work every month as I described on my initial application. Do I still need to report my income every month for the previous months earnings? This isn’t a new situation or change in hourly fee either as I previously reported–just a continuance of what I’m able to do. The amount is well under the $1070/month SGA and has always been SE income; I’m 58 yrs old and am not going to improve in my disability.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Val,

      Keep good records of your self-employment including your tax returns so that if you are asked for proof of your work earnings in the future, you will have it readily available to show that your work was not substantial.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • may

    Sorry, I missed a word in my question. It’s supposed to say: will that affect my sister-in-law’s ssdi payments?

  • may

    My brother and sister-in-law still have a mortgage on their house and would like to rent out their currrent house. Will that my sister-in-law’s ssdi payments?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear May,

      If your sister-in-law is receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI), not Supplemental Security Income (SSI), she can do whatever she wants with her property and it will not affect her benefits. If she is receiving SSI, the rental profit would count as income in determining her eligibility, though the property might not be counted as an asset because it is income producing.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Bernard Williams

    I got hurt on the job they me paperwork saying my right foot and leg left me per minut partial disabled Which mean my foot is 20% and my leg is 30% will I qualify.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Bernard,

      Social Security does not determine disability by percentages. If you are age fifty or over and cannot do any kind of work you have done in the past, you will qualify for benefits. If you are under age fifty, you must be unable to do any type of work that you are qualified to do even if you have not done it before. I suggest that you file a claim to get a formal determination.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • steven

    please reply to this e-mail here had a typo on the other…thanks

  • steven

    steven is inheriting over a million dollars why is ss still sending paychecks he does not want them too anymore? thank you very much for any reply…

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Steven,

      If you are receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Social Security disabled adult child benefits, your inheritance does not affect your eligibility for benefits because Social Security benefits are earned benefits based on taxes paid into the Social Security system. If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you need to report when you receive the inheritance and your SSI benefits will stop. You will be asked to refund the SSI you receive for the month in which you receive the inheritance.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Stan

    If my mother loans me 30k from the equity in her home will that effect here eligibility for SSDI Benefits? I would be repaying the loan directly to the bank.

    Thank you in advance.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stan,

      Your mother lending you money that you repay will not affect your mother’s Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits. If she is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), then the loan would have to be documented and reported to the Social Security Administration with proof that the repayments were going directly back into the equity of the house.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Karen Fauley

    My boyfriend is legally blind and has been for the past 23 years. He is just now trying to file for disability benefits with Social Security. Will the fact that he has money in a trust (from inheritance) being held for him affect his ability to get these benefits? As of yet, he has not received any money from this trust.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Karen,

      If your boyfriend has worked and is insured for Social Security Disability (SSDI) or qualifies for disabled adult child’s benefits on a parent’s Social Security record, his trust account will not affect his eligibility. If he is applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the effect of the trust on the application will depend entirely on how the trust is written up. If he is applying for SSI, he needs to take a copy of the trust to Social Security to be reviewed in relationship to laws governing SSI resource limits.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Clara

    My 13 year old autistic son receives SSI. My oldest child is heading to college. Will his much needed part-time job income affect the SSI?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Clara,

      From your question, I assume that you (and possibly your child’s father if in the household) have some income that is considered in determining your son’sThe Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility and that some of that income has been allotted for the support of your older child. My response is based on that assumption.

      The SSI program has some work incentives built into it, so your older child’s work might not affect your son’s SSI. I suggest that you make an appointment with Social Security to report a possible change in family income. Then ask the claims representative to provide a calculation based on the amount that your son may be earning.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Liz

    I am legally blind and receiving SSDI. I have been out of work for 10 months. I am looking to accept a new job which will pay close to my SSDI amount (which will give me SGA). Will I loose my SSDI completely? Is there a sliding scale? I know there are special rules for those of us who are blind, but I cannot find out how they are applied. I know that with SSI there is a calculation that is done but I am not sure what can be counted and what cannot be.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Liz,

      Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits are not paid on a sliding scale related to work earnings. Either you are eligible in a month or you are not.

      You can find detailed information about Social Security’s work incentives in their “Red Book,” which is available online at http://www.ssa.gov or upon request at a local SSA office. The Red Book explains trial work periods and the extended period of disability, and continuation of Medicare provisions.

      I need more information to respond to your other question.

      1. How many months, including back-pay months, did you work while getting SSDI?
      2. How many months in 2011 did you earn $700 or more? In 2012, $720 or more; in 2013, $750or more?
      3. If you worked more than nine months, did you work at the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level in any months after the first nine months of work?
      3. If so, how many?

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      Kay

  • Steve Doudna

    My brother was a self-employed chiropractor who broke his neck in a 4 wheeler accident and is paralyzed from the neck down. He has a wife and 5 children. Will his SSD or his wife and kids SSI benefits be reduced if I give them monetary gifts? Thanks.

    • Kay Derochie

      If the family are all receiving Social Security benefits from your brother’s earnings record and because he is getting SSD, then monetary gifts will not affect their benefits. On the other hand, if his wife or children are receiving SSI (Supplementary Security Income) as you wrote, then cash gifts and paying for shelter or food for the family could affect the SSI benefits. (Note that SSI is paid only to disabled individuals, not to dependents of a disabled person.)

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Twana

    My sister is completely disabled that twill not change, been that way for over 30yrs. Why do I have to fill out an Annual Review for her and list my income also. I do not remember my mom ever having to do this when she keep my sister before she passed.
    Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Twana,

      The law requires representative payees to provide an accounting once a year. This is for the protection of the disabled person and a deterrent to fraud. (I am certainly not suggesting that you would be fraudulent!)This has been the law since longer than your sister has been disabled, although you were not aware of it, your mother had to have been making reports also.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Freddie

        I have had a hip replacement and I am on California state disability. I am also receiving FMLA sick pay from my company. Do I have to pay my disability back.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Freddie,

          Are you asking a question about Social Security benefits or about having to repay California SDI back because you are receiving sick pay? If the latter, you need to contact the SDI office to find out. If you are asking about repaying from Social Security Disability benefits, I do not know if repayment of SDI is required. Again, I suggest contacting the SDI office.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Dion

    If I publish a book and earn income from it, will it effect my SSD payments? Just a thought. Thanks.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dion,

      If you are receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) and not Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the money earned from writing and selling a book will not affect your payment amount, but any work activity has to be reported so that Social Security can evaluate whether you are disabled. If you are still disabled, your payment will remain the same.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Adam

    I am on SSD. My sister received a large amount of money from a relative. Will my benefits be affected if she gives me money as gift, and put it in my checking account. So far she has given me about $3000. I am not on SSI.
    Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Adam,

      Gifts of cash do not affect your Social Security Disability (SSDI) eligibility, which is based on your earnings record and the fact that you are disabled. You do need to report work activity and work earnings, workers compensation payments, and certain public pensions. Other than that, your finances have no bearing on your SSDI eligibility.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Renee

    My brother will soon inherit $50,000. Can you tell me how this will impact his benefits. I was told that he can “spend down” the money on approved purchases. Thanks in advance!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Renee,

      If your brother is receiving Social Security Disability (SSD), his inheritance will not affect his SSD benefits. If he is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), he will not be eligible for SSI in the month that he receives the inheritance and will have to repay that month’s benefits. After that he will remain ineligible until his countable resources (assets) reach $2,000 or less. Some resources that are not countable include a home in which he is living, one vehicle for transportation (as long as it is not a very high value luxury car, and irrevocable life insurance. Other expenditures that would not be counted as resources would be medical appliances he might need, ordinary clothing, and ordinary housewares.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Suzann Fulbright

        What is considered a very high value luxury car? Is there is list of models? Would that include any new car? Can you lease a car, does that count as owning a car? How do you get around being forced to buy a junker under $5,000 and ending up with a lot of expensive repair bills?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Suzanne,

          I don’t think there is a list of cars that are too expenses to be excluded from assets for the purposes of determining eligibility for Supplemental Security Income. There is no prohibition on buying a new car. If you avoid later models of expensive makes such as Mercedes, Lexus etc. you should be okay. The basic idea is that you are allowed to own a vehicle to meet transportation needs but the government won’t pay you a public assistance check so you can spend your resources on a luxury car instead of supporting yourself by paying for your own basic needs with the excessive amount of money spent for transportaton. You might check with Social Security to see if there is a specific value limit. Leasing a car is not owning it, so leasing would not have an effect on eligibility.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

          • Isabella

            I applied for ssi for my 2 1/2 year old with autism and I was denied because I am buying a car but it isn’t in my name yet or payed off!?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Isabella,

              A person can own or be buying a vehicle as long as you have only one, so I don’t understand the denial. Can you give me more information about the denial. Were you denied for excess resources or excess income? Is someone else is giving the money to buy the car? In whose name is the car?

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Isabella

            Oh, it is not a luxury vehicle it’s an older 4 runner and my husband owns a 4 door 2004 infinity in his name. They said they can only take one car off but I told her we don’t have the car in our name and we don’t own it yet. Did she make a mistake?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Isabella,

              I didn’t see your second post when I responded to the first. The equity value of the least expensive car (its value less what you owe on it) counts towards your and your husband’s $3,000 resource limit even if you are still buying the vehicle and the lender still holds the title. The only exception would be if you and your husband cannot share a car for some reason; in other words, you cannot take him to and from work on days you or your children have a medical appointment that cannot be reached by public transportation.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Terri

    I have a friend that receives disability checks for having MS She just divorced and is going to receive 1200.00 per month allimony which I know won’t be affected. But she’s also getting a lump settlement of 20,000 a yr for 5 yrs. Will that affect her monthly pymt

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Terri,

      If your friend is receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI), none of her alimony, either monthly or lump sum will affect her disability benefit. If she is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), her monthly alimony will make her ineligible for SSI disability benefits.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Curtis

        Hello I’m 16 and soon to need money andy mother is on ssi will that affect my mothers check???

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Curtis,

          I believe that there is a typographical error in your post, so I’m not sure what you are asking, but I will take a guess and answer that your income does not affect your mother’s SSI.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Curtis

            OK what I was meaning is my mother is on SSI and I’m needing a job, and I’m wondering if that will take away from my mother’s monthly check.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Curtis,

              Your working will not affect your mother’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If your family is getting food stamps or government-subsidized housing, you might see some change in those benefits so you might need to contribute part of your work earnings to the family to replace any reduction in those benefits.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

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