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What Counts As Assets For Supplemental Security Income?

by Brandon Selinsky / March 6, 2018

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based program for those individuals with low income and low assets. In order to be eligible for SSI benefits, a single individual cannot possess more than $2,000 in assets. Individuals who exceed the $2,000 limit are ineligible for benefits under SSI and should consider filing a claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

Is my Trust Considered an Asset for Supplemental Security Income?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will evaluate an individual’s resources to determine how much in assets they possess. The SSA defines resources as any cash, land, personal property, life insurance, or similar item an individual owns. The SSA will not deem the home you live in, the vehicle you drive, or basic household goods and personal effects as a resource for SSI purposes. In most instances, a trust will be deemed as a resource an individual possesses because trusts typically provide cash or income to the beneficiary it serves.

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When will my Trust Not be Counted as an Asset for Supplemental Security Income?


“The resource counting provisions of Section 1613(e) do not apply to a trust:

  • Which contains the assets of an individual under age 65 and who is disabled; and

  • Which is established for the benefit of such individual through the actions of a parent, grandparent, legal guardian or a court; and

  • Which provides that the state(s) will receive all amounts remaining in the trust upon the death of the individual up to an amount equal to the total medical assistance paid on behalf of the individual under a state Medicaid plan.”

SI 01120.203(B)(1)(a)

This means a trust will not be deemed as a resource for individuals who are 65 years or younger, are found disabled by the SSA, and have the trust established by the actions of their parent, grandparent, or legal guardian. If the trust contains language that provides for repayment of the services provided to the individual during their lifetime, the trust will not be counted as an asset for SSI purposes.

Do You Need Legal Advice from an Experienced Social Security Attorney?


It can be a challenge to navigate the SSA rules and regulations, but you don’t have to go at it alone. When dealing with such circumstances, it is to your advantage to seek legal advice from a skilled social security attorney. With such an advocate in your corner, you will push toward a positive outcome for your legal case.

Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC has demonstrated skill and experience dealing with SSDI, SSI, and related matters. If you need legal advice, please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance. You can reach the attorneys at Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC by phone at 866-476-4558 (toll free) and 303-534-1958 (toll) or online by completing a simple form on our website.  

Tags: Social Security Disability

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