Slepian Smith, PLLC

What you should know about countable resources and SSI

Supplemental Security Income is crucial financial aid for individuals who are, disabled or blind and have extremely limited financial resources.

In order to determine if you or your family member qualifies for SSI benefits, the Social Security Administration will need to examine the value of your resources. In this post, we will examine what this involves.

Resource limits

As noted by the SSA, SSI benefits are only available to individuals with $2,000 or less in countable resources. The limit for couples is $3,000.

If you have resources in excess of this limit, you may not be eligible for SSI benefits. Understand, too, that the resources of parents can count as resources for an applicant if he or she is under 18. This is called deeming and it reflects the fact that a portion of a parent's resources is typically available to a child.

What resources count toward the limit?

Resources that can count for SSI include:

  • Cash
  • Vehicles
  • Savings bonds
  • Land ownership (that you do not live on)
  • Life insurance policies worth more than $1,500
  • Property retained as an investment or because of its value

What resources do not count?

Resources that generally will not count for SSI include:

  • Your home
  • One vehicle that you use for transportation
  • Household goods like furniture and appliances
  • Personal effects including pets and wedding or engagement rings
  • Items with educational or cultural importance
  • Certain amounts of federal benefits and educational expenses

A comprehensive list of the resources that do and do not count toward SSI can be found on the SSA website.

Managing your resources and your SSI application

Eligibility for SSI depends heavily on the calculation of countable resources. As such, it is important for you to understand how to manage your resources if you wish to collect SSI. This can be complicated, but discussing your options with an attorney - as well as any other matters related to SSI - can help you take steps to secure the benefits you need.

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