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In some cases where a fully favorable decision is determined, individuals who receive Supplemental Security Income are granted Social Security back pay tracing to the month of application. This can amount to over a year’s worth of benefits depending on the length of the approval process.
But there’s a catch: you have to spend this money instead of saving it. If you keep it, it will affect your assets and consequently your SSI eligibility if it puts you above the $2000 limit of countable assets for the program. Fortunately, the SSA will allow you nine months to spend your back pay each time you receive a retroactive payment. After that point, your eligibility for the program will be reassessed and your SSI benefits may be cancelled.
There are many smart ways you can utilize this back pay without affecting your countable assets. These payments can give you the opportunity to reduce your debt, pay off outstanding loans such as your mortgage or auto loans, put down security deposits for wise investments (such as rentals) that don’t count toward your asset limit, stock up on basic necessities that will be sustainable over a longer period of time, make any necessary repairs to your property and much more.
We’ve been talking about the SSI asset limit a lot, as it’s very important for your eligibility. But there are certain exceptions in place that the SSA will not count toward your property, including houses/apartments/mobile homes, vehicles, household goods, clothing, the capital/resources to start a business, life insurance, future burial expenses and more.
If you or a loved one believe you may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income, contact us today for a 100% free and confidential legal consultation, either by phone or at one of our five West Virginia offices — in Parkersburg, Charleston, Logan, Huntington or Beckley – and Charlotte, NC. You can call toll free, 1.877.526.3457, or send us an e-mail for a prompt response.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law