How much cash or money can I have in the bank without affecting SSI disability eligibility?

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Question

How much cash or money can I have in my bank account and still collect SSI?

Answer

Social Security disability (SSDI) and SSI disability are two separate disability benefit programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). There are important distinctions between the two programs. Individuals who apply for Social Security disability are able to do so because their record of work activity has allowed them to become "insured" for SSDI benefits. Because SSDI is this type of benefit, a person's assets have nothing to do with their potential eligibility to draw and collect SSDI. In other words, whether you have $50 or $50,000 in the bank makes no difference to the SSA.

SSI disability is different in this regard. SSI is a need-based program. What does that mean? It means that a person's "resources," or assets, are taken into consideration. Currently, to receive SSI (after being determined to be medically disabled according to the SSA's rules), an individual cannot have more than $2,000 in countable assets. What are countable assets to the SSA? Well, it's easier to define what these are by pointing out what they are not. Countable assets do not include the house you live in and do not include your primary automobile. However, additional real estate would be counted and so could additional automobiles. All cash, money in bank accounts, and savings are also counted toward the resource limit.

In answer to your question, if you had no other countable resources, you could have up to $2,000 in the bank and still be eligible for SSI. For more details, see our article on which resources are included in the SSI asset limit.

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LA-NOLO5:DRU.1.6.5.20141022.29090