The Arc Shares Important Information for SSI Beneficiaries

Closeup of Social Security card

The following message is from The Arc of New Jersey:

It has come to our attention that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has been doing some audits, on a random basis, of the resources (i.e., bank accounts and any other assets) of people who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) — and this includes people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) who receive SSI. As you probably know, individuals who receive SSI cannot have more than $2,000 in resources, and married couples cannot have more than $3,000 in resources. This resource limit is applicable when caregivers for individuals with IDD are submitting an application for SSI as well as in the future.

It is very important for family members and representative payees to check the bank accounts (and any other resources or assets) for persons who receive SSI on a monthly basis to be certain that individuals with IDD are not exceeding the allowable resource maximum.

Please note that there are three exceptions to the SSI resource limits:

1) An ABLE account: Deposits of up to $17,000 per year are permitted into an ABLE account. (See below for additional information.)

2) If an SSI recipient has received a back-payment from Social Security, then that individual is permitted to have up to nine (9) months to spend it down to $2,000.

3) The final exception is a Special Needs Trust (SNT) if it was prepared by an attorney with extensive experience in developing this type of trust. In order for an SNT to be acceptable to Social Security, it must be written in accordance with the Social Security rules and regulations.

ABLE accounts are special, tax-advantaged savings accounts for persons with disabilities. The acronym ABLE stands for “Achieving a Better Life Experience.” To be eligible for an ABLE account, the onset of the disability must have occurred before the age of 26. Deposits are limited to a total of $17,000 per calendar year. Having an ABLE account does not jeopardize one’s eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or NJ Medicaid. For information on NJ ABLE, see this website: Additional information on ABLE accounts is available from the ABLE National Resource Center: Finally, The Arc of New Jersey Family Institute has developed a fact sheet, which provides a helpful summary about ABLE accounts.