How does property I need to self-support impact SSI benefits?

| Jun 13, 2019 | Supplemental Security Income

Supplemental Security Income is for those who are limited in their income and resources and have a disability. While this might seem simple, there is also nuance and various rules that allow New Jersey applicants and recipients of SSI benefits to have resources they would otherwise not be able to have if it falls into a certain category. Being disabled, 65 or older or blind and having limited income and resources are the basic requirements for SSI. If, however, the counting of the resources is problematic, the person can have some of the resources excluded if they are needed for self-support.

Just because a person is receiving SSI does not mean they cannot earn income and have resources. The resources must be within a certain limit to get the benefits. The value allowable for the resources if it is for self-support is different from regular resources. This is true whether it is for business or not. The following can be excluded: liquid property or non-liquid property that a person can use as part of a business or trade, and any non-liquid property that a person can use as an employee. These can be excluded and there is no limit.

If it is property that produces non-liquid non-business income, it can be exempt if it has a maximum value of $6,000 and produces a net return of a minimum of 6% annually of the equity value that has been excluded. If it is non-liquid non-business property, it cannot have an equity value that goes beyond $6,000, and it must be used to produce items that are necessary for the person’s daily activities like land for food he or she is consuming. Liquid non-business property cannot be excluded when resources are calculated for SSI benefits.

When applying for SSI benefits, there are various factors that will be considered as part of the process. Resources are a common concern and people might rush to sell or discard resources that could hinder their application. If the resources are eligible for exclusion, it is important for the applicant to know that. This information and more can be provided by a law firm that helps people with their Supplemental Security Income application. Calling for legal representation is a critical part of getting the benefits.