This page is for people on SSI. If you are on SSDI, please ignore this page. There is no resource limit for SSDI.
SSI has a resource limit. This means if you have too much money or too much stuff, you won’t qualify for SSI. If you are already on SSI, it means your SSI will stop and you may owe some money back.
Many of the rules on this page will also apply to Medicaid. Please check the regulations for the Medicaid program you are in to confirm.
What Kind of Money and Stuff Counts?
Some stuff counts and some stuff doesn’t. Some money counts and some money doesn’t. If you are wondering if your money and stuff counts, check out: What Counts as a Resource for SSI?
How Much is Too Much?
The number will change depending on the circumstances. Here’s some more info on the How Do I Know if I’m Over the SSI Resource Limit?
Am I Allowed To Save Money?
🌷 If you stay under the resource limit, you can save money in any way you want. As long as you are under the resource limit, your savings will not affect your SSI.
🌷 If you go over the resource limit, your SSI check will stop. But wait! Money saved in certain ways will not count towards your resource limit! Here’s more info on: How Can I Save Money While on SSI?
Am I Allowed to Spend Money?
It depends if the money is income or resources.
🌷 Income is any money you receive this month. You can spend your income any way you want. It’s yours. Even though you can do whatever you want with your income, you probably want to start by spending it on food, rent/mortgage and utilities. If you don’t pay for these three things, or don’t pay the correct amount, your SSI check may be greatly reduced. Learn more about
🌷 Resources is any money you received last month (or any time earlier) and saved. Social Security has special rules about resources. You can spend your resources any way you want, but there are a few important things to know: How Can I Spend Money While on SSI?
🌷 You should not give away income or resources. This is called “transfer of resources” and can cause problems. More information on transferring resources is on this page
What Happens if I Have Too Many Resources?
🌷 If you are not yet on SSI, there is no point in applying right now. If at any point in the future, you are under the limit, you can apply then. If you are over the limit, make sure you do not give money away. Social Security will consider this “transfer of resources” and it may make you ineligible for up to three years.
🌷 If you are already on SSI, you may be cut off temporarily and/or you may owe some money back. You may also have some options. Learn more: Options If You Go Over the SSI Resource Limit
🌷 If you ever go over the resource limit, Social Security may want to check to make sure you did not give away the extra resources or try to hide them. If this happens, make sure to keep your receipts so that you can show them what you did with the money (in case they ask). If you get an overpayment notice, take a look here: How To Handle a Social Security Overpayment Notice
You should also be careful before adding your name to anything that does not belong to you: Such as a business, house, bank account, or credit card. If you add your name, Social Security may consider that that resource now belongs to you.
How to Stay Out of Hot Water with SSI – All SSI regs
How to Survive on SSI – Financial survival, life survival, the whole shebang
SSI Policy Manual on Resources – Long and confusing. Only read this if you really want to know all the nitty gritty.