What are the resource limitations for SSI?

In a recent blog post, this blog highlighted the ABLE act. In that post, we explained that Congress had passed the ABLE act as a way for certain people to avoid the resource limitation restrictions put in place by the Social Security Administration for eligibility for SSI.

Under the ABLE act, people will be able to save money and assets for disabled family members without effecting SSI eligibility. This may lead some to ask — what are the resource limitations when trying to qualify for SSI?

According to the SSA, if a person wants to qualify for SSI, the person cannot have more than $2,000 in resources. For couples, the resource limit is increased to $3,000. The SSA defines resources as any personal property, cash, life insurance policies, cars or cash. Additionally, anything that can be sold for cash or used for shelter or food, is considered a resource.

Furthermore, the SSA also considers something called deemed resources. Deemed resources are property that belongs to the parent, spouse or parent’s spouse of the SSI applicant when the person is under the age of 18. In these cases, if the applicant lives with both parents then any property over $3,000 is deemed to the child. If the child only lives with one parent, the child is deemed to have access to any property over $2,000.

Under the SSA rules, however, there are certain resources that are not counted for SSI purposes. These include the home where the applicant lives, household goods, one vehicle, burial plots, energy assistance and certain grants. Additionally, certain benefits for blind individuals and other disability resources may not be included.

When people are trying to apply for SSI, they need to make sure they know if they qualify. While this blog post cannot give specific legal advice, an attorney may be able to help people get a fuller understanding of the eligibility requirements and the application process.