Selling Assets to Qualify for SSI Benefits

The Social Security Administration (SSA) puts a cap on the amount of assets someone can have and still be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits. Someone who is in the position of needing benefits might need to sell off some assets to be eligible for benefits. Someone who is not well-versed in selling assets might not know how to proceed with this process. Following are some easy and legal ways to sell assets if you are in need of disability benefits.
The SSA’s assets limits for eligibility for SSI is $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for married couples.
What counts as assets or resources?
Not all property counts as an asset or resource. Example of assets include:

  • Cash
  • Checking or savings accounts
  • Real estate other than the home in which you reside
  • Vehicles other than the primary one driven
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Retirement funds

Conditional payments program
The SSA created the conditional payments program to help people with too many resources sell their assets to qualify for SSI benefits. Disability applicants who enter this program are allowed to receive SSI benefits for up to nine months while they are trying to sell excess real estate and for three months for those who are trying to sell personal property. An extension may be given if the applicant can provide a valid reason as to why the personal property was not sold in that time.

  • If you are trying to sell real estate, the SSA will contact you every three months to make sure you are trying to sell the property. You will be required to let them know of any offers you received and will have to provide a valid explanation as to why any offers were denied.
  • Personal property that can be sold to reduce your assets include jewelry, clothing, additional cars, and savings bonds. You will not be required to sell engagement or wedding rings.

Spending down
Spending down is simply the process of spending the excess money one has on a monthly basis to reach the minimum allowed resource limit. The funds must be spent the same month they are received. If the amount exceeds the minimum limit, the applicant will need to pay back the overage. Timing is important in the spending down process. People doing a spend down need to keep in mind that the spending needs to be done in the same calendar month and not within 30 days.
Receiving SSI disability benefits in Cleveland sometimes require you to sell some of your assets to gain eligibility. Thankfully, there are easy, legal ways to go about it. If you have questions regarding disability benefits and your assets, contact an SSI disability attorney in Cleveland today.