How your assets and income may affect your eligibility to receive Supplemental Security Income benefits.
Current income and assets do not affect one’s eligibility to receive Social Security Disability benefits (SSDI) because it is paid for out of workers’ tax contributions.
If you do not qualify for SSDI benefits but are suffering from a disabling condition, you may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is another federal program but works differently than SSDI. SSI is need-based program for those individuals with little to no income and low resources.
How much can you own in assets and still qualify for SSI? As of 2013, the cap on income and assets for an individual is $2,000 and for a couple is $3,000. However, there are certain assets that do not count towards an individual’s and couple’s assets. For example, the house that you live in and the car you drive for transportation will not count toward your amount of assets.
Also, the Social Security Administration (SSA) calculates the income limit for SSI program based on the federal benefit rate (FBR). Currently, the FBR is $710 per month for individuals and $1,066 for couples. Therefore, to qualify for SSI, your countable monthly income cannot exceed the FBR. The SSA only counts a portion of your monthly income when determining if you are eligible for SSI benefits. This can make it difficult for you to figure out whether your income falls under the SSI limit. Speaking with an attorney can help you determine if your income and assets fall within SSI limits and whether you are eligible to receive SSI benefits.