Can disabled homeowners qualify for monthly Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits? Yes, provided they meet all other program eligibility requirements. Applying for SSI disability benefits can be confusing — especially with so many different income limitations and countable assets involved.
Resource Limits for Individuals and Couples Who Qualify for SSI Disability Benefits
SSI is a need-based disability assistance program meant to help those with the lowest income and available financial assets. The Social Security Administration (SSA) refers to anything you could reasonably exchange for cash as “countable resources.” In order to qualify for monthly SSI disability benefits in 2022, individuals cannot have more than $2,000 in countable resources. If you’re an eligible couple applying for SSI disability benefits, that resource limit increases to $3,000. Now, you’re probably wondering how the value of your home affects your ability to qualify for SSI disability benefits. In nearly all cases, you can own your home and still qualify for SSI disability benefits. However, your combined household income must also be less than $1,350/month in 2022.
What Assets Don’t Affect Your Ability to Qualify for SSI Disability Benefits?
The SSA won’t count everything you own towards your maximum resource limits when reviewing your SSI disability benefits claim. Generally, the SSA doesn’t consider your primarily residence, the land it’s on and one vehicle for household transportation as countable assets. Here are some examples that fall under the SSA’s home exclusion rule in determining an applicant’s SSI disability benefits eligibility:
- Mobile homes, shelters or other related buildings or structures sitting on land owned by the applicant, their spouse or other dependent relative (child, parent, sibling, grandparent, etc.)
- Houseboat which applicant owns or shares the title for and holds an equitable ownership interest in
- Home built on land that is concurrently by an applicant’s immediate family member or spouse
Generally, as long as you intend to return to your primary residence, it’s covered under the home exclusion rule. But as with most things, there are always exceptions. If you’re temporarily institutionalized in a nursing home, hospital or other care facility, your home’s still excluded if your spouse or dependent relative currently lives there. For claimants who move due to domestic violence, your home’s still excluded until you set up a new primary residence. For a full list of home ownership exceptions, visit the SSA’s website.
Important Notice for Disabled Workers Applying for SSDI (Which Is Not SSI)
The SSA administers another program specifically designed to provide benefits for disabled workers through Social Security disability insurance (SSDI). The SSDI program pulls beneficiary payments directly out of disabled workers’ Social Security tax contributions made throughout their employment history. Since SSI payments come from a different fund, the SSA doesn’t consider countable assets in determining SSDI eligibility. So, owning your home (regardless of its value) has no impact whatsoever on approving or denying your SSDI benefits claim.
You May Qualify For Legal Assistance
If you still have questions, we’re here to help. A Social Security advocate or attorney has the right knowledge and experience needed to improve your odds of winning benefits. A legal professional can help file your SSI benefits claim or appeal an unfavorable decision from the SSA, if needed.
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