Buying a home is always an intimidating and daunting task for any potential buyer. If a disability recipient can afford it, it will not affect their ability to receive Social Security Disability. SSI, however, has different rules and parameters.
Social Security Disability is a benefit for those who worked and paid into Social Security System over a prolonged period (generally) and earned 40 credits. You may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability if your spouse had paid into the system or you are the child of a parent who had paid. Social Security Disability can only be offset by worker’s compensation payments or state disability. A recipient of Social Security Disability can have a million dollars in the bank and own ten houses without it negatively impacting the claimant’s ability to receive the benefits. SSI is different.
SSI has an asset cap. SSI is for those who haven’t paid into the system. A recipient of SSI cannot have more than $2000 in assets ($3000 if married). Virtually everything counts as an asset. Money in the bank, life insurance, stocks, and bonds all count as assets. If a claimant’s assets exceed the allowable maximum, he or she will not be able to receive SSI.
It is important to note; however, there is an exception. Claimants who receive SSI are allowed to have one house and one car and still receive SSI. One house and one car will not be counted as assets. An issue arises when an SSI recipient exceeds the asset cap while trying to save for a down payment to buy a house.
Most SSI recipients who own a home obtained it before becoming disabled or inherit the house from a deceased relative. Bottom line: Those receiving Social Security Disability can purchase a house without issue. Those receiving SSI can buy a house but must be careful not to exceed the asset cap.