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Can selling off assets impact SSI benefits?

On Behalf of | Dec 19, 2022 | Social Security Disability

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may provide needed assistance to those struggling financially due to an inability to work.

Unfortunately, it is possible to do things that can endanger a person’s ability to receive these benefits. It is important to understand what these actions are, so as to avoid them.

What are your resources?

The Social Security Administration talks about assets and potential issues with transferring them. First, define resources in this equation.

Resources may include the money in a checking or savings account. It may also include cash, or things that can get sold or turned into cash in some way. This may include stocks, bonds, vehicles or property.

Some assets do not count toward SSI. Burial funds, a vehicle used for transportation, the personal home of the individual, and life insurance of under $1,500 do not count.

For SSI benefits, a person must have less than $2,000 for an individual, or $3,000 for a member of a couple. Reducing resources in an attempt to fit under this limit could end up with a person finding themselves in hot water.

Giving away or selling resources

Giving away or selling resources for less than their actual value could also work against a person. Depending on the worth of the resources sold or given away, Social Security may bar a person from receiving SSI benefits for up to 36 months.

However, it is possible to legally transfer resources without risking SSI benefits. This includes selling things for market value. Be aware of the fact that even putting funds into trusts could result in potential issues, though, and take care with major financial transactions during this period.


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