Policies That Make SSI Stop or Start

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This page is only for SSI.

For SSDI, please don’t read this page. You will give yourself a million headaches for no reason.

Here’s a list of things of regulations for SSI and things that will make an SSI check stop (or start!)


CARS FOR SINGLE PEOPLE

Stop: Owning two vehicles

Start: Owning one vehicle (note: you are allowed to sell a car and spend the money. Do not give away a car)


CARS FOR MARRIED PEOPLE

Stop: Owning two vehicles (one each)

Start: For a married couple: owning one vehicle total (note: you are allowed to sell a car and spend the money. Do not give away a car)


MARRIAGE

Stop: Being married to someone who has too many assets (cars, houses, money)

Start: Divorce and financially separate

Start: Legally separated and financially separate

Start: Not divorced but living separately and financially separate (proof required)

Start: Spouse had money in the past, but spent it (note: do not give money away)


MONEY

Stop: Having too much money ($2,000 if single, $3,000 if married)

Start: Put money in an ABLE account

Start: Put money in a pooled special needs trust

Start: Bought a house (you are allowed to own one house if you live there)

Start: Paid down the mortgage

Start: Bought furniture or appliance

Start: Modified or renovated home

Start: Bought a computer, software or books for education

Start: Paid off credit cards, medical bills, (note: are you sure you want to do this?)

Start: Paid off student loans (note: are you sure you want to do this?)

Start:  Also note: money in a pooled trust or ABLE is protected from creditors

Start: Bought ordinary household items

Start: Bought a car (note: married couple can own one car total)

Start: Bought a funeral space of burial fund (up to 1.5k)

Start: Bought something for yourself or your spouse (note: do not buy something of value for another person who is not your spouse)

Start: Gave money to your disabled child – any age (Child must be legally disabled. Do not put your name or your spouse’s name anywhere on a bank account for money that belongs to your children)

Start: Spent money doing something (i.e. travel or medical treatment)

Start: Spent money in some other way (note: you are allowed to spend your money however you wish, but do not give away money and do not buy valuable gifts)

SSI will only start if all checks have cleared and your bank account is down below the limit by the last day of the month (limit = 2k if single, 3k if married). Also, of course, SSI will only start if you contact Social Security and tell them you want to update your information and have an interview for SSI.


LIVING WITH ANOTHER PERSON

Stop: Living with someone and Social Security determines that this arrangement is like a marriage. (If this person has income or assets).

No effect: Living with someone to share expenses and Social Security determines that this arrangement is not like a marriage.


CHILDREN

Stop: Your name is on your children’s bank account

Start: You do not put your name anywhere in any way on your children’s bank account

Start:  The money is in an irrevocable account or trust, not a regular bank account

Start: The grand total for all bank accounts for you, yourself, and your children all adds up to under the limit by the end of each month (limit = 2k if single, 3k if married)


OTHER

Stop: You are doing some of things: Things that Make SSI Go Down and your check went down so low it vanished!

Start: You stop doing those things


I’m Happy My Check Didn’t Change

Don’t be happy. Social Security can take months or years to make a change, and by that time they may say you owe them thousands of dollars! If there is a change in your life, it is best to notify Social Security right away. Also, makes sure to follow all the rules and make any changes you need to right away. Don’t wait. 


I’m Sad My Check Didn’t Change

Don’t be sad. Social Security will not change your check automatically. If you have had one of the changes listed above, your check doesn’t just magically go up. You have to contact Social Security and make the magic happen.


Be Careful

If your SSI check stops for 12 months in a row, you may find it difficult or impossible to get it back.

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