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Are my SSI benefits affected by property I need for self-support?

Oklahomans who are seeking or have already been approved for Supplemental Security Income through the Social Security disability program will undoubtedly be aware of the limits on resources to continue getting SSI benefits. However, various factors are considered with resources and SSI. Resources are items that the claimant can turn to cash.

The total value of items that the claimant can own is not allowed to go beyond $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple. However, if the claimant owns a business and needs various items to run that business, they might not be counted in the resources. Property that a person needs to achieve self-support will not count as a resource.

Examples might be for a person who owns a beauty salon and needs certain items that can be costly to run it. The same is true for a farmer, a gas station owner, a grocery store owner and more. Also excluded from resources are safety equipment, tools and uniforms. Government permits might be necessary to conduct the business and garner income. This too will be excluded from the resource calculation. Other property might be calculated or it might be excluded in part. If, for example, the property is used to cultivate land to grow and maintain food, it will be considered as integral to the SSI recipient and his or her family being able to eat.

Resources can be a confusing aspect of applying for SSI benefits. Sometimes, people might sell or donate items that they would otherwise have been allowed to keep because they do not fully understand the rules regarding what resources they can retain and what they will have to get rid of. Discussing the case with an attorney who is experienced with SSI Supplemental Security Income can help to explain facts about resources and assist in dealing with a claim.

Source: ssa.gov, "Spotlight On Property You Need For Self-Support -- 2017 Edition," accessed on April 24, 2017

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