RESOURCES & SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME
What are Resources?
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), the term resources refers to money and other items that an individual may own and in turn can change into cash funds. The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides a list of sample resources that includes cash, bank accounts, stocks, U.S. saving bonds, land, life insurance, personal property, vehicles, deemed resources, and anything else an individual owns that could be converted into cash and used for food and shelter needs.
It is important to remember that the limit for countable assets/resources is $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple. There are certain items that do not count toward the resource limit, some examples include one vehicle, the house in which an individual resides, specific trusts, or up to $100,000 in an eligible ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) account. To get a better idea of which items are countable resources and which items are not countable resources visit the Social Security Administration website.
What’s the Appropriate Action to take If I Want to Sell a Resource?
If an individual is selling countable resources that placed him/her over the resource limit, he/she may still be able to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) during the time that he/she is attempting to sell a resource. However, once the resource is sold, the individual must pay back the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits that were received for the timeframe in which the individual was in the process of selling a particular resource.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) terms the above description as conditional benefits. However, in order to be eligible for conditional benefits an Agreement to Sell Propertymust be signed, submitted to the Social Security Administration (SSA) office, and the Social Security Administration (SSA) must approve the agreement before any conditional payments start.
Why Can’t I just Sell a Resource?
If an individual on Supplemental Security Income, his/her spouse, or any other co-owner of a resource transfers (gives away) the resource or ends up selling the resource for less than its actual worth may trigger ineligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for up to thirty-six (36) months.
Before individuals take any action that may jeopardize their benefits, It is highly urged that they contact their local Social Security Administration (SSA) Office on what would be the best course of action or speak with their attorney.