Houston Social Security
Disability Attorney

Photo of David Dopkin
Photo of David Dopkin

How the home exclusion protects applicants for SSI benefits

On Behalf of | Jul 27, 2020 | Social Security Disability

In order to qualify for certain federal critical disability benefits, like Supplemental Security Income (SSI), individual applicants typically need to meet certain financial requirements along with having a qualifying medical condition. Their income must be below a specific level to qualify. There will also be a careful review of what assets they have, as there is a limit to assets as well.

If an individual has too many assets, they will have to liquidate those assets or spend them to support themselves before they can qualify for SSI benefits. The asset limit is incredibly strict, with a single person only getting to own $2,000 in total property and liquid assets. If the person applying has a spouse, that asset limit only increases to $3,000.

Some people who own their own homes may assume that homeownership immediately precludes them from qualifying for SSI benefits when they experience financial hardship because of a medical condition. Thankfully, the Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes that homeownership is one of the most important sources of stability. As such, they apply a home exclusion do those applying for benefits.

What is the home exclusion?

When it comes to the review of your assets and possessions to see if you qualify for Social Security benefits, you have the right to exclude certain assets. The home that you own is one of those assets. It will have to be your primary residence to qualify.

You can exempt a single dwelling unit, as well as the land attached to it from consideration regarding your total assets. You can own the property on your own or share title with others.

There isn’t a specific limit on the size of the property, the acreage or the value that a person can exclude from consideration. However, home furnishings and other assets can and will count against applicants.

Determining if you can receive SSI or other Social Security benefits often involves a lot of paperwork and planning. Getting help with your application and advice on how to protect yourself and your assets as you apply can be a wise decision for those struggling to navigate the SSA’s paperwork.