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Supplemental Security Income (SSI) - Income and Resources

To qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a person must: 

  • You must earn less than a specified income level;
  • You must have limited resources; and
  • You must meet the definition of disability.

As to the Income Limitation for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the amount of income received in a month cannot exceed the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR).  As some states have a higher allowed income than the FBR.

The SSA does not count all income when deciding whether a person qualifies for SSI. Some examples include:

  • The first $20 a month of most income received;
  • The first $65 a month earned from working and half the amount over $65;
  • Food stamps;
  • Shelter from private nonprofit organizations; and
  • Most home energy assistance.

In order to qualify for SSI, one cannot exceed a set level of resources. A resource is any asset that can be converted to cash for support. Resources counted when deciding whether one qualifies for SSI include real estate, bank accounts, cash, stocks and bonds.

A person may be eligible for SSI if her resources are worth no more than $2,000, for an individual, and $3,000 per couple. If someone owns property he is trying to sell, she may be able to get SSI while trying to sell it.

The Social Security Administration does not count everything one owns in deciding whether someone has too many resources to qualify. Some examples of excluded resources include:

  • The home one lives in and the land it is on;
  • Life insurance policies with a face value of $1,500 or less;
  • A person's car;
  • Burial plots for the Claimant and members of her immediate family;
  • Up to $1,500 in burial funds for the Claimant and up to $1,500 in burial funds for her spouse; and
  • Household goods totaling $2,000 in value.

For other frequently asked questions about SSI or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), click here.

If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI, personal injury, EEOICPA, long or short-term disability, VA disability, Railroad Retirement Board disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation. We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611 or through our website. Our office handles claims throughout East Tennessee, including Knoxville, Chattanooga, Kingsport, Bristol, Johnson City, Morristown, Maryville, Rogersville, Dandridge, Tazewell, New Tazewell, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Loudon, Kingston, Halls, Maynardville, Crossville, Cookeville, Jamestown, Sweetwater, Lenoir City, Athens, Oak Ridge, Clinton, LaFollette, Lake City, Jacksboro, Bean Station, Cosby, Newport, White Pine, Mosheim, Wartburg, Sunbright, Pigeon Forge, Greeneville, Harriman, Dayton, Spring City, and Deer Lodge.

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The Law Offices of
Tony Farmer & John Dreiser

1356 Papermill Pointe Way
Knoxville, TN 37909

Toll Free: 888-861-1472
Phone: 865-223-6291
Fax: 865-584-1171
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