Your savings will not affect Social Security

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Farm Forum

Q: How much in savings can I have before Social Security disability stops?

A: Savings will not stop Social Security disability benefits. Your financial value does not matter for Social Security retirement, survivors or disability benefits.

Work is at the base of all Social Security benefits, not financial need. Requirements vary with benefit type but the person whose Social Security number (SSN) record is involved must have enough work for benefits to be paid.

When receiving Social Security through your own SSN, then your work record was used. If receiving benefits through another person, such as a child through a parent, then that other person had to have enough work.

What can confuse people is that the Social Security Administration is responsible for more than Social Security retirement, survivors and disability benefits. SSA also administers the separate low-income Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program for people over age 65 as well as blind or disabled children or adults.

People receiving SSI must stay below certain income and resource levels to remain eligible. Resources include savings and items of financial value that can be turned into cash. Not everything you own or all income counts toward these limits.

Unchanged for many years, in 2015 the total level of counted resources for an eligible individual is $2,000 and $3,000 for a couple. Some of the resources that do not count toward these totals are the house you live in and household goods, usually one vehicle, and some burial funds.

Reduced by other income, including Social Security, in 2015 the maximum SSI monthly amount for an individual is $733 and $1,100 for a couple.

Since Social Security and SSI are completely different programs, people can receive both if the separate requirements are met.

Savings or other resources will not stop Social Security benefits but they can end SSI. Learn more at www.socialsecurity.gov.

Based in Grand Forks, Howard I. Kossover is the Social Security Public Affairs Specialist for North Dakota and western Minnesota. Send general interest questions to him at howard.kossover@ssa.gov. Read his online articles at http://socialsecurityinfo.areavoices.com/.