Which financial resources are excluded when calculating SSI?

We often discuss the fact that pursuing Social Security disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income can be so frustrating because of the medical requirements that must be met. It is true that meeting the medical eligibility requirements can be a frustrating and complicated process, but it is just one part of the process.

Even if you believe you are eligible for benefits, you still need to take steps to help or allow the Social Security Administration to calculate the amount of money you may be able to receive. If you are pursuing SSI, for example, your financial resources will play a critical role in determining if and how much support you may receive.

In order for you to be eligible to receive SSI, your financial resources cannot exceed a certain amount. This limit is set at $2,000 a month for one person or $3,000 for a couple. If you have financial resources that exceed this number, you may not receive SSI.

Not all financial resources will be counted toward that limit, however. There are several types of resources that will not be part of calculations to determine eligibility; these exceptions include:

  • Your home and the land on which your home sits
  • Personal effects
  • One car
  • Small life insurance policies
  • Certain types of financial gifts or scholarships set aside for educational purposes
  • The first $2,000 of a parent’s countable income if you live with a parent or the first $3,000 if you live with two parents
  • Some trusts
  • Certain resources that assist in or are essential to self-support

Your other financial resources including additional cars and property, bank and savings accounts, goods which could be sold or traded, and cash will all count toward the financial resource limit. If your resources exceed that $2,000 or $3,000 limit, you may not collect SSI.

Calculating your financial resources can be extraordinarily difficult to do without the help of someone familiar with SSI and the legal process of seeking benefits. While the official calculation and decision will ultimately be made by the SSA, an attorney can help you assess your situation and make a plan to pursue the appropriate benefits.