What you own in the way of assets and other financial resources, including money on deposit in the bank, may affect your ability to qualify for or continue to receive Social Security disability benefits. It really depends on the source of the disability benefits.
The Social Security Administration has two distinct disability programs that pay monthly benefits to people who meet the medical and financial criteria to qualify for benefits. The Social Security Disability Insurance program is for those individuals with an earnings record at jobs or through self-employment that was subject to payment of Social Security taxes.
Individuals who have not worked long enough to qualify for SSDI or who did not pay into the Social Security Trust Fund by paying taxes on their earnings may be eligible for benefits through the Supplemental Security Income program. Each program has its eligibility requirements as far as bank accounts and other assets, so whether you already get Social Security disability benefits or are applying for the first time, it pays to get help from an SSD lawyer at Scully Disability to avoid problems. In the meantime, here is a look at how money in the bank can affect your claim for disability benefits.
The Social Security Disability Insurance program
You must be disabled and “insured” to qualify for benefits through the SSDI program. An insured individual is someone who has a qualifying work history, which means they worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes on the income they earned from a job or through self-employment.
The duration of the work history required to qualify for SSDI depends on the age at which you first became disabled. If you become disabled at a young age, the duration of your work history need not be as long as someone whose disability starts when they are older. As an example, the usual requirement is that a person has 40 work credits to qualify for SSDI with each work credit the equivalent of $1,470 in earnings. However, a worker who becomes disabled and before 24 years of age needs only six credits to qualify for benefits. An SSDI lawyer can review your work record to determine whether or not you qualify for benefits.
Assets and financial resources do not affect the ability of a disabled person with sufficient work history to qualify for SSDI. Money in the bank would not be a factor affecting eligibility regardless of the amount.
Supplemental Security Income and bank deposits
Need is a key factor in determining eligibility for SSI. The program imposes restrictions on the income and financial resources you may have available. Resources are assets that you own, including items such as:
- Land and the structures built on it, such as a home.
- Motor vehicles.
- Life insurance policies.
- Personal property.
- Cash on hand.
- Bank deposits.
- Stocks and bonds.
- S. savings bonds.
Essentially, anything that can be used to pay for food or shelter is a resource.
The value of the resources you have available cannot exceed $2,000 for a child or an adult. Couples may have resources with a total value that does not exceed $3,000. Some resources do not count toward the SSI limits. For instance, the value of a home and the land it is on do not count as resources provided you use the home as your principal residence. If you sell the home, the money you receive from the sale becomes a resource unless you use it to acquire a new principal residence.
Money in the bank counts as a resource, so it counts toward your $2,000 or $3,000 limit. However, you should discuss money in the bank with an SSI lawyer because special rules may apply in certain situations, such as money deposited in the bank after the sale of a principal residence.
The money you receive from the sale of a home used as a principal residence does not count toward the resource limits for SSI even if you deposit them in the bank. The deposited funds retain their status as an excluded resource as long as they are used within three months to purchase another home that you intend to use as your residence. However, any portion of the money that remains in the account after acquiring the new home counts toward the resource limits.
Deemed resources and money in the bank
Money in the bank account of another person can affect your eligibility for SSI benefits under certain circumstances. Through a process referred to as “deeming,” the resources of a spouse, parent, or stepparent may be considered when determining eligibility for SSI. For example, a portion of the money a parent has in a bank account can be deemed to a child applying for SSI benefits.
An SSD lawyer can help
A Social Security disability lawyer from Scully Disability combines knowledge of the law and regulations and years of experience to handle all matters pertaining to SSI and SSDI from initial applications to appeals. Contact them today for a free claim evaluation and answers to your questions and concerns.