You can own a home and receive SSI

Q:  Can a person who owns a house and car receive Supplemental Security Income?

A:  Yes, depending on the details.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a low-income program for people at least age 65, and disabled or blind adults or children. Resource limits exist for SSI, with resources defined as items you own or can convert to cash including bank accounts, property and vehicles. There are income limits also. SSI is a very different program from Social Security, although people apply for it at Social Security.

Not everything you own counts as a resource. If you live in it, your home including the land it is on, generally is not counted toward resource levels. If you own the home but do not live in it, both home and land will probably count as resources. One vehicle usually does not count as a resource either. 

Maximum SSI monthly amounts in 2013 are $710 for an eligible individual and $1,066 for an eligible couple, reduced by other income including Social Security benefits. Resource maximums are $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple. Subject to the SSI income limits, people can receive both SSI and Social Security benefits because they are two different programs. 

As with a home or vehicle, other resources might not count towards SSI resource levels. Most household goods, some insurance and some burial funds usually are not included.

Not all income counts for SSI either. For example, portions of wage and self-employment income, pensions, and State or local assistance based on need are not counted. 

SSI information is at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pgm/ssi.htm and in SSA publication 05-11000, Supplemental Security Income.

To apply for SSI or ask questions, contact Social Security. Call the national toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or contact your local SSA office.

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