August 23, 2019

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Does owning a home hurt my SSI eligibility or benefits?

The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is a need-based program that specifically targets individuals who have little income and few assets. Persons who wish to apply for SSI benefits must meet certain income and asset criteria.

To apply for SSI benefits, you can possess only $2,000 in assets if you are single. If you are half of a married couple, you can only possess up to $3,000 in assets.

Homeownership and Supplemental Security Income Benefits

If you own a home, then automatically you possess more than $2,000 in assets as a single person. Fortunately, the SSA excludes your home from the assets that are considered to determine if you qualify for SSI benefits. Under the home exclusion provision, your home is not considered an asset that will deny you any eligibility for benefits.

However, certain conditions apply. First, you must own the home to have the home excluded from your assets. That means that you must hold the title to the home. You can also qualify if you jointly share the title with others.

Additionally, the home must also be your primary residence. There are no restrictions on the type of home that can qualify for the exclusion. For instance, you could live in a mobile home or a trailer. You could even live in a water boat and qualify for a home exclusion.

The home exclusion provision also does not take into consideration the value of the home. The home can be of any value. While including the value of home, the SSA will include not only the value of the land but also any other buildings and structures that are on the property, like a garage.

Establishing Homeownership for Exclusion

The SSA will require documentation to confirm that you solely own the home or share equity in the home. You may be required to present certain types of documents.

  • Property deed
  • Tax assessment notice
  • Property tax bill
  • Recent mortgage statement

All of these documents must mention your name as one of the owners of the property. If you jointly own the house with another person, you may require a statement from the other person confirming that you own equity in the home. Additionally, you may need to furnish invoices for home maintenance or repairs that you completed.

LaVan & Neidenberg® P.A. are disability lawyers in Florida who can help those pursuing SSI benefits to acquire them with as little hassle as possible. If you need help navigating the government’s myriad rules and restrictions, not to mention paperwork, then give us a call to begin work on your case today: (888) 234-5758.

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