I am disabled, but I have money in a savings account. Should I wait until I’ve emptied this account before applying for Social Security disability benefits?
There are two types of Social Security disability benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Social Security Insurance (SSI). SSDI is available for people who have worked a specific amount of time and paid taxes toward FICA. Individuals may be eligible for SSDI benefits if they develop a disability that prevents them from working.
SSI is available to individuals who have never worked or have not worked long enough to qualify for SSDI. People who qualify for SSI have few assets and no income. There are strict limitations that the government regularly evaluates to determine whether a person can continue to receive SSI benefits.
If you’re not sure whether you qualify for SSDI or SSI, seek assistance from an attorney. Applying for disability is a complicated process, and you want to ensure that your case adequately reflects your disability.
Use the Morgan & Morgan contact form to schedule a free case evaluation.
Can I Have Any Assets If I Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits?
There’s a lot of confusion around Social Security disability benefits. Many people erroneously assume you can’t have any income or assets if you collect disability. It’s important to distinguish the differences between Social Security Insurance (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) when determining your qualifications.
Social Security Insurance
Your assets are only evaluated if you apply for Social Security Insurance (SSI). People who collect SSI have a disability that prevents them from working. In some cases, they may have worked for several years before qualifying for SSI but not long enough to be eligible for SSDI benefits.
Individuals who apply for SSI can earn a limited income each month before their SSI benefit decreases. Typically, that amount cannot be more than double their federal benefit rate, or FBR.
The FBR for 2022 is $841 for individuals. However, only half of their earned income counts toward the FBR, and the system allows small benefits that do not count toward earned income.
However, people who collect SSI cannot own certain assets worth more than $2,000. Assets include cash in hand, the value of their savings or checking accounts, and any investments or household goods. Thus, if you plan to apply for Social Security Insurance and have more than $2,000 in cash, you probably won’t qualify.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Individuals eligible for SSDI spent time working and paying taxes toward FICA. Qualification for SSDI based on time worked varies depending on your age. Individuals ages 31 to 42 need to earn 20 work credits to qualify for SSDI. Individuals older than 62 must have 40 work credits, 10 of which they earned during the prior decade.
People who collect SSDI may continue to receive unearned income through pensions, investments, cash gifts from friends, and other means. Their personal assets, such as the value of their savings accounts, do not factor into their SSDI eligibility.
However, people who collect SSDI cannot engage in substantial gainful activity above a certain amount and continue collecting Social Security disability benefits.
If you suffer from a disability and wonder if you qualify for SSI or SSDI, it’s best to speak with an attorney. You must follow many rules to collect benefits, and navigating them is imperative to ensure you don’t experience delays in the application process.
Can I Receive Both SSI and SSDI Benefits?
Yes, in some cases, you can qualify for both SSI and SSDI benefits. However, you’ll need to meet the eligibility criteria if you collect both. Individuals who seek SSI benefits cannot have any cash assets with a value above $2,000, including in their checking or savings accounts.
Individuals seeking SSDI may have assets above $2,000. The Social Security Administration does not consider the value of assets when determining eligibility for SSDI.
If you begin an application for Social Security disability benefits, you are automatically considered for SSDI and SSI. It is possible to receive both after a careful evaluation of your case.
How Long Does It Take to Start Receiving SSI and SSDI Benefits?
The time to begin receiving SSI and SSDI benefits varies. SSDI requires a five-month waiting period from the date the disability occurred to start paying benefits. There’s also processing time. Your application may take several months to be fully approved.
An attorney at Morgan & Morgan can provide you with additional insight into the timing of your benefits.
Do All Disabilities Qualify for SSI or SSDI?
No, not all disabilities qualify for SSI or SSDI. To receive benefits, you’ll need to prove you have a disability that prevents you from working. Your doctor will provide supplemental information concerning your condition and long-term prospects for recovery.
Can I Collect SSDI If I Have Money in My Savings Account?
Yes, you’re still eligible to collect SSDI if you have assets like investments and cash in a checking or savings account. You’ll need to show that you meet specific qualifications, like a qualifying disability and inability to work. You must also have paid into FICA for a certain period.
Get Help With Your Social Security Disability Benefits Claim From Morgan & Morgan
Attorneys at Morgan and Morgan can help you with your Social Security disability benefits claim. We can help you determine whether you qualify and assist you in your application for benefits. Use our contact form today to schedule a free consultation.