Q: I'm 38 years old and have been approved to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits. I was surprised to learn that my payment will be reduced because I live with my mom. Why's that?
A: SSI is a needs-based program, so any other income you receive — including non-monetary income such as help with your bills or other expenses — can have an effect on your benefit payment. Your SSI payments may be reduced if you are receiving food, shelter or monetary assistance.
If you move, or if the situation in your mom's household changes, be sure to contact Social Security. For more information, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi.
SSI and savings
Q: I am trying to save up for a truck. I have $1,200 in the bank now and need a little more. How much cash can I have in the bank without affecting my Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility?
A: The resource limit is $2,000. Unless you have other valuable resources, this means you could save up to $2,000 before you would become ineligible for SSI.
We generally do not count your primary car, the home you live in or certain amounts set aside for burial expenses as resources.
In some cases, if the vehicle you're saving for is part of a plan to return to work, you can have higher resources — but Social Security would need to approve your plan in order to exclude those resources. For more information, you can visit our webpage about SSI at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi.
This column was prepared by the Social Security Administration. For fast answers to specific Social Security questions, contact Social Security toll-free at (800) 772-1213.