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U.S. SSI Program: Personal Resources and Enforced Financial Oppression

Published: 2013-04-22 - Updated: 2021-11-25
Author: Thomas C. Weiss | Contact: Disabled World (Disabled-World.com)

Synopsis: The U.S. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources. SSI benefits also are payable to people 65 and older without disabilities who meet the financial limits. People with disabilities on SSI are monitored from a financial perspective and treated as if they must live in poverty and viewed as a burden on society. The resources people who already face life with forms of disabilities are required to report to the Social Security Administration include cash, bank accounts, U.S. savings bonds, stocks, land, personal property, and vehicles.

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Main Digest

The SSI program through the Social Security Administration is one that places extreme financial limitations and hardship on people with disabilities. The program does this by placing severe limitations on the resources a person with disabilities can have, creating a situation that can only be compared to financial oppression. Due to the resource limitations associated with the SSI program, people with disabilities are required to consistently report a number of types of resources on a consistent basis to the Social Security Administration.

Other Disabled World Editorials Publications (128)

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources. SSI benefits also are payable to people 65 and older without disabilities who meet the financial limits. People who have worked long enough may also be able to receive Social Security disability or retirement benefits as well as SSI. Supplemental Security Income is a U.S. Federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes) designed to help aged, blind, and disabled people, who have little or no income, and it provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.

The resources people who already face life with forms of disabilities are required to report to the Social Security Administration include cash, bank accounts, U.S. savings bonds, stocks, land, personal property, and vehicles. Resources, from the Social Security Administration's perspective, also include anything else a person with disabilities owns that might be changed to cash and used for food or shelter or otherwise deemed as a resource. The Social Security Administration also pursues what it perceives to be, 'Deemed,' resources.

'Deemed,' resources involve a portion of the resources of a parent, spouse, parent's spouse, sponsor of an alien, or sponsor's spouse as resources that belong to the person who has applied for the SSI program. The Social Security Administration refers to this as, 'deeming of resources.' If a child who is younger than 18 years old lives with one parent - $2,000 of the parent's total countable resources does not count. If the child lives with 2 parents - $3,000 does not. The Administration counts amounts over these limits as a part of the child's $2,000 resource limit.

A child has clothing, toys, a bed, shoes, perhaps a power wheelchair and maybe even a cell phone or adaptive equipment. The resource limitations described by the Social Security Administration disappear rapidly in relation to a child with disabilities. Some children with disabilities use items such as an iPad or iPhone to communicate with others.

Yet the SSI program's perspective is that the value of a person's resources is one of the factors that determine their very eligibility for SSI benefits. If the value of a person's resources is over the limit allowed by the Social Security Administration at the start of the month that person with disabilities will be denied SSI for the month. If the person with disabilities decides to sell items in an attempt to reduce the amount of resources they have they might receive SSI starting the month after they sell the items. In a show of, 'compassion,' the Social Security Administration states a person with disabilities might be able to receive SSI while they try to sell items in order to reduce their resources and become further impoverished - but only in some circumstances.

Where adults with disabilities are concerned the countable resource are $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple. The Social Security Administration does not count certain resources, two of which involve burial, in relation to adults with disabilities. The resources the Administration does not count include:

Basically, the SSI program states that you can still live in your home and have a car. You can't have much in the way of insurance, burial anything, and you can still attempt to get an education maybe. You can keep your household cleaners, makeup, and aftershave. What about retroactive SSI or Social Security benefits?

Social Security Administration and, 'Installments'

When a person with disabilities is eligible to receive past-due SSI benefits, the Social Security Administration has to reimburse the State the person lives in first if they received any monetary Interim Assistance while awaiting a decision. If there are any remaining past due benefits that are large (try not to laugh), the Social Security Administration has to pay them in installments. The installment payments are made in no more than three payments - at six-month intervals.

One exception allows the first and second payment to be increased, but only because of certain debts. Two other exceptions exist - one of these exceptions is if the person is expected to die within a year. The other is if the person becomes ineligible for SSI and is likely to remain ineligible for a year.

The Social Security Administration does not count other types of resources for people with disabilities on the SSI program. Some examples include property that is essential to self-support, resources a blind or disabled person needs for an approved plan for achieving self-support (PASS), or money saved in an Individual Development Account (IDA). Other resources the SSI program does not count include:

Ask your local political representative if they are willing to live under these resource limitations. Then ask yourself why people with disabilities are subject to continuing review of their social status due to medical conditions that are often times no fault of their own. While you are dazed by the prejudicial treatment of people with disabilities in America, ask yourself why the employers of this nation continue to shun people with disabilities who are many times just as qualified for positions as non-disabled persons in this nation.

Enforcement of Poverty

People with disabilities who attempt to sell property or other resources that put them over the SSI program's resource limitation might be able to receive SSI while they do so... however; when they sell something considered to be a resource - they have to pay back the SSI benefits they received for the period in which they were attempting to sell the property or other resource. The Social Security Administration calls this, 'conditional benefits.' A person with disabilities has to sign a, 'conditional benefits agreement,' form and the Social Security Administration must accept that agreement before conditional payments can start. If a person with a disability, their spouse, or a co-owner gives away a resource, or sells it for less than it is worth, they may become ineligible for SSI benefits for up to 36 months. How long they remain ineligible depends upon the value of the resource they transferred.

In short - people who already face life with forms of disabilities who are on the SSI program are not allowed to do with their own property what they want to. They are not allowed to own anything beyond what the Social Security Administration's resource limitation dictates. People with disabilities on the SSI program are monitored from a financial perspective continually, treated as if they must live in poverty and viewed as if they are a burden on society.

Author Credentials:

Thomas C. Weiss is a researcher and editor for Disabled World. Thomas attended college and university courses earning a Masters, Bachelors and two Associate degrees, as well as pursing Disability Studies. As a Nursing Assistant Thomas has assisted people from a variety of racial, religious, gender, class, and age groups by providing care for people with all forms of disabilities from Multiple Sclerosis to Parkinson's; para and quadriplegia to Spina Bifida.

Disabled World is an independent disability community established in 2004 to provide disability news and information to people with disabilities, seniors, their family and/or carers. See our homepage for informative news, reviews, sports, stories and how-tos. You can also connect with us on Twitter and Facebook or learn more about Disabled World on our about us page.

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Disabled World provides general information only. The materials presented are never meant to substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Financial support is derived from advertisements or referral programs, where indicated. Any 3rd party offering or advertising does not constitute an endorsement.


Cite This Page (APA): Thomas C. Weiss. (2013, April 22). U.S. SSI Program: Personal Resources and Enforced Financial Oppression. Disabled World. Retrieved May 22, 2022 from www.disabled-world.com/editorials/oppression.php