Resources - what counts? (age 18+)

Even if you qualify as disabled, you can't get SSI if you have too much money or too many resources.

The less you have, the more likely you are to get SSI.

What counts as resources?

Resources, or assets, are anything you own. They are things that you could sell to pay for your living expenses. Fortunately, Social Security doesn't count the value of all of your resources and assets.

See these examples:

Image showing what Social Security counts towards the value of reasources and assets.'What Counts: Cash savings, Money in bank accounts, Stocks and bonds, Life insurance. Less than $2,000 if single, less than $3,000 if married. What doesn't Count: Your home, one car, Computers, Furniture.

Click the box below for more details:

These do not count as resources:

  • your home

  • one car or vehicle

  • personal and household items (furniture, appliances, TV, computer, wedding rings, etc.)

  • resources used for self-support (small business inventory, tools, equipment)

  • second vehicle if used at work or needed to get to work.

These do count

  • cash (wherever you keep it)

  • bank accounts (checking or savings)

  • real estate, other than the home you live in

  • second car or other vehicles

  • stocks and bonds

  • life insurance (cash value over $1,500)

  • pre-paid burial arrangements (value over $1,500)

  • certain other things you own and could sell to use for food or shelter.

These are called countable resources. You add them up to see if they are above the limits.

Heads up: 

  • This list does not include every resource that counts. You'll have to do the real SSI application to be sure of your total countable resources.

  • As part of the application process, you must give Social Security permission to contact banks and ask for your financial information.

What are the limits to qualify?

The resource limits for your family member depend on if they are single or married.


Image of a person with the caption 'Single, $2000' beside the image of two people, with the caption 'Married, $3000'

If your family member has more than these amounts, they won't qualify for SSI, regardless of disability or income.

 

Want help with the math? 

Click the links at the bottom of the page to download an Excel file that will add up your resources for you.

Image of an exclamation markNote: The worksheets in this Guide are only an estimate. You'll have to fill out the real SSI Application to find out for sure if you qualify. We'll show you how to do that. 

 

For more details, click here to go to the SSI webpage: Understanding SSI Resources. (It will open in a new tab or window on your screen.)

 

Sources: Social Security, Misilo (2013), Jackins (2010).

 

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