Remember that SSI is based on need. Determining if a person has assets that can be easily liquidated to help provide support is part of the SSA need equation. Many, if not most, of the individuals you serve will not have countable resources, but it is important to ascertain whether they do. It is possible that an applicant has forgotten about certain assets or that the symptoms of illness have made it difficult to manage his/her assets. Be sure to explore whether or not the person has any assets.
Value of Resources
SSA regulations indicate that the total value of resources cannot exceed $2,000 for an individual applicant or $3,000 for a couple (as of 2019).
Uncounted and Counted Resources
SSA does not require applicants to determine the value of personal belongings, but certain other valuables are counted as resources.
- One car or truck if necessary for daily activities
- House in which the applicant resides
- Household goods of limited value
- Life insurance with a face value of less than $1500
- Burial spaces and expense funds up to $1500
- Bank accounts
- Other real estate
- Investments (stocks & bonds)
- Life insurance (face value more than $1500)
- Money or property given away, sold, transferred, or disposed of within 30 months of applying
- Burial spaces and expense funds with a value greater than $1500
Trusts are counted as resources. Trusts can be very complicated. Contact SSA to get help in sorting out trust information.
SSA-8000: Questions about Resources
The questions in this section pertain to the first day of the filing date month. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how questions about assets are worded.
#39 – trusts
#40 – vehicles
#41 – real estate, mineral rights, safe deposit boxes
#42 – cash and/or bank accounts, certificates of deposit, ABLE Accounts, or credit union
*Note that 42c asks for permission to obtain financial records for any financial institution. SSA will need to verify the applicant’s income and resources, in order for them to be eligible for SSI.
#43 – stocks, mutual funds, bonds, promissory notes, or other items that can be turned into cash
#44 – life insurance policies
#45 – recently acquired assets
#46 – estate assets or items acquired for their value as an investment
#47 – burial expense contracts
#48 – cemetery lots or repositories for burial (including crypts, caskets, vaults, urns, mausoleums, headstones, or markers)
#49 - recently transferred property or assets