Can a Tax Refund Affect SSI Eligibility?
If you are a loved one collect SSI (Supplemental Security Income) then you know that your income level and assets are a big factor in determining your future SSI eligibility. In fact, the SSA has very strict, although somewhat complicated, rules in place about how much a person is allowed to earn in a given timeframe, and how much a person can own. Because of this, you might be wondering how other types of income, like a tax refund, could affect your SSI eligibility.
What is the Income/Asset Limit for SSI?
Currently, the monthly limit for an individual receiving SSI benefits is $735, and the limit for couples is $1,103. However, not everything is considered “countable” as income. For this reason, it can sometimes be tricky to know what is and what isn’t over the limit.
In addition, when it comes to assets you own, certain things count, and certain things don’t. Technically, you can not own more than $2,000 (or $3,000 for couples) worth of resources, but there are several things that are exempted, including your residence, a single vehicle, small insurance policies, and certain household goods.
At the beginning of each month, you are required to report your income and assets to the SSA, which determines your future eligibility. But what if you receive a large amount of money in the form of a tax refund from previous work?
Will Tax Refund Affect SSI Eligibility?
The good news is that tax refunds and tax credits don’t immediately affect your SSI eligibility. This is because the SSA understands that this is money owed you, and most likely was earned during a time when you were working full time and not receiving benefits. So, it wouldn’t really be fair to penalize you for this money.
However, this isn’t without limits. Once you receive the tax refund, you have twelve months to spend it. After those twelve months, the SSA might determine that you are not in financial need (since you didn’t need to spend the refund, they argue, then you clearly don’t need extra money) and might then revoke your SSI benefits.
There are exceptions and exemptions to everything when it comes to SSA, however, and this is no exception. The bottom line is that the SSA can be complicated, and it’s best to get help from professionals. If you would like to speak to an expert who can help you with your situation, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.