Financial eligibility is one of the threshold requirements for SSI. That is, in addition to being 65 years of age or older, blind, or disabled, the person seeking SSI must also have limited income and financial resources. The Social Security Administration defines “income” as money earned from work, monetary benefits from Social Security, unemployment, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and even workers compensation benefits. Free food and housing is included in the analysis. The income that the Social Security Administration counts will cause your SSI benefits to be reduced.
There are some forms of income that are not counted. For example, income tax returns are not counted. The first $20 earned in a month is not counted. The Social Security Administration also does not count the first $65 of earnings per month or one-half of earnings over $65 per month. Loans that must be repaid do not count. Neither does food nor shelter from non-profit organizations. Social Security does not even count scholarships or educational grants.
The financial resources possessed or available to an individual will also reduce the amount of one’s SSI benefits. While all assets are not counted, most are factored into the calculation. Some examples of assets the Social Security Administration will take into account are case, stocks, bonds, land, insurance, motor vehicles, and personal property. For the most part, any asset or resource that can be converted to cash is factored into the analysis.
The limits on financial resources as determined by the Social Security Administration are $2000.00 for an individual and $3,000.00 for a couple. In general, the more income counted by the Social Security Administration, the less your SSI benefit will be. If your counted income exceeds the limits, then you are not eligible for SSI.