What Are My Options For Saving Money While Receiving Social Security Disability?
Are you currently receiving Social Security disability payments, or are you planning to apply for benefits in the near future? You may know that there are important eligibility distinctions between Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, but both SSDI and SSI require you to have a disability that prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity. In other words, you cannot be able to engage in meaningful work. If you can engage in substantial gainful activity, then you will not be eligible for SSDI or SSI payments. Yet the two programs are quite different in terms of determining eligibility based on your assets, and having a savings account could limit your ability to continue receiving disability payments in some circumstances. Our national disability benefits attorneys can explain in more detail.
SSDI Recipients Can Maintain Savings Accounts
Your eligibility for SSDI payments is not based on your assets. Rather, in addition to eligibility based on your disability and inability to engage in substantial gainful activity, your SSDI eligibility is based on your work record. The payments you receive are then based on your earnings prior to your disability. As such, maintaining a savings account will not impact your eligibility for SSDI payments, and you can maintain a savings account with as much money in it as you want or can.
However, it is important to know that earnings that go into your savings account could affect your SSDI eligibility. You can maintain a savings account with past earnings, or with gifts or inheritances, for example, but earning money while receiving SSDI benefits could impact your eligibility for payments.
SSI Recipients Will Need to Consider Specific Types of Savings Accounts
Unlike SSDI recipients, eligibility for SSI payments is based on your assets. The Supplemental Security Income program is designed for disabled people with limited assets. Accordingly, having a savings account with substantial assets could affect your eligibility to continue receiving payments. Generally speaking, SSI recipients cannot have more than $2,000 in a savings account, or $3,000 for a married couple. However, there are some exceptions. The following types of accounts can allow SSI recipients to save more than $2,000 and to continue receiving SSI payments:
- Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) savings account, which can allow a person to have up to $100,000 in savings before it becomes “countable” for SSI purposes;
- Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS) account;
- Individual Development Account (IDA), which can allow you to save for specific purposes, such as for education or for buying a home; and
- Certain types of trusts.
Before you open any type of account while receiving SSI payments, it is important to seek advice from a lawyer.
Contact a National Disability Benefits Attorney
Do you have questions about savings accounts and disability benefits? Whether you need to know more about how an open savings account could impact your eligibility for disability benefits or you have questions about other SSDI issues, one of the experienced national disability benefits lawyers at the Law Offices of Stephen Barszcz can assist you today.