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Understanding the limited resource requirements for SSI

Government benefits are critical to people with disabilities who are unable to work as well as their families. This support makes it easier for people to afford the basic living essentials every person should have and seek medical care for their conditions.

However, not everyone is eligible for the various types of benefits available. For instance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can be an option for people who are blind, disabled or older than 65. To qualify, though, you must meet the resource limit criteria.

What is a resource limit?

A resource limit refers to the amount of financial resources a person has. If you are an individual, you cannot have more than $2,000 in countable resources, which we will explain more below. The limit increases to $3,000 in countable resources for couples.

Is everything a countable resource?

To determine whether you are within the resource limit, the Social Security Administration will consider your countable resources. This includes:

  • Cash
  • Property, including land
  • Anything that could be used for shelter or food
  • Stocks and U.S. savings bonds
  • Personal property
  • Life insurance policies with a value of more than $1,500

However, there are resources that do not count toward the limit. Noncountable resources include:

  • Your house
  • Any one vehicle you or someone in your household uses for transportation
  • Household goods
  • Burial funds up to $,1500
  • Burial plots
  • Property used for a business or trade

Why are these limits in place?

Unlike other benefits programs, SSI is a needs-based program. This means it is reserved for the people who need the support most.

That said, it is important to understand that there may be other options available for people with disabilities who exceed the countable resource limits. If you are in this situation, you may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), for instance.

Knowing your options and familiarizing yourself with the various eligibility requirements for SSI and SSDI can help you pursue the benefits you need.

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