When you cannot work, receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can give you the financial boost you need to get through these tough times.
However, it is possible to take actions that may result in these benefits getting revoked. This can include transferring assets.
What are your resources?
The Social Security Administration discusses resources and how to handle them with SSI benefits. The first step: defining your resources. Cash counts as a personal resource, along with any money stored in a savings or checking account at a bank.
Resources may also include anything that a person can sell for cash or turn into cash in some way. This can include real estate, vehicles or bonds and stocks.
However, some assets do not count toward SSI. This includes the primary transport vehicle, a personal home, burial funds and any life insurance worth $1,500 or less.
Endangerment of SSI benefits
The resources counted for SSI cannot have an excess worth of $2,000 for individuals or $3,000 for couples. If you try to reduce your resources in order to make the cut, it could spell out some major trouble for you.
Social Security could either revoke already existing benefits or deny any future ones if you sell or give away any assets for less than it is worth. Depending on the value of your resources, you may end up barred from applying for benefits for up to 36 months.
Thus, it is better not to finagle things in an attempt to get greater or more immediate access to SSI benefits, as it could very well backfire.