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Savings Limits and Social Security Disability

Savings Limits and Social Security Disability

Whether there are limits on the amount of money you can have in a savings account and remain eligible for disability benefits through Social Security depends on which kinds of benefits you receive.

As long as you have a qualifying disability under the law, your prior work history determines your eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). You have to work long enough to earn a specific number of work credits before you become disabled. As a result, there are no limits on the amount of money you can have in a savings account and remain eligible for SSDI benefits because financial need is not part of the disability determination process.

Although SSDI does not limit your assets, if you receive substantial income from unearned sources such as investments or interest, or your spouse makes additional money from work, you will be taxed on a portion of your SSDI benefits.

If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), on the other hand, you are far more limited in how much money you can have set aside in a savings account. SSI is a disability program designed to help financially destitute individuals, and you need to fit within strict financial parameters to qualify for benefits.

To be eligible for SSI benefits, therefore, you cannot have more than $2,000 in assets as a single person or more than $3,000 if you are part of a couple. For purposes of SSI, any money in a checking or savings account counts toward this asset limit.

If you became disabled before turning 26, and you have established an ABLE account, you can have up to $100,000 in the account, and that money will not be considered an asset that could make you ineligible for SSI benefits. If you have more than $100,000 in your ABLE account, the amount in excess of $100,000 will be considered an asset and count toward SSI’s resource limit.