Money Mondays: What You Should Know About Saving Your Money
If you’ve used your Ticket, found a job, are keeping a budget and have started to save a little, you might still have questions about saving limits. In this post, we will share some ways you can manage your cash and benefits while saving.
The Saving Limit
If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you should make sure you are aware whether your total resources (for example, the total of your cash, checking and savings accounts, or stocks, bonds or IRAs) are within the program guidelines so that you can anticipate any changes to your cash benefits and avoid overpayments.
For example, if you receive SSI, the total for your countable resources cannot be more than $2,000 for an individual. You can own a home and one car for essential transportation, and the value of these items is not counted against the $2,000 resource limit. The limit is $3,000 for a couple. Remember, if you exceed cash benefit limits, your cash benefits will stop.
Certain assets are not counted when Social Security determines financial eligibility for SSI or your state determines financial eligibility for Medical Assistance. For a complete list of assets that are not counted, go to: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi/textresources-ussi.htm.
Ways to Save and Receive Benefits
There are ways to save money while you are collecting benefits and trying work. In past posts we shared information about Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS), and an Individual Development Account (IDA). Today we are sharing another option, a Special Needs Trust.
A trust is a legal arrangement regulated by State law in which one party holds property for the benefit of another. In certain situations, a trust can be set up for an SSI recipient.
A Special Needs Trust is a specially-designed account that can be very helpful if you receive need-based government benefits (like SSI, Medicaid or nutrition assistance). These programs generally have limits to how much you are allowed to save in your bank or credit union accounts and still qualify for assistance. If the Trust is created in the right way, the money in the Trust won’t be counted against these limits.
Since Special Needs Trusts can be complicated, here are some things you should know:
- A family member or friend may establish a Trust on your behalf.
- Family members or friends can deposit money into the Trust.
- A Trust can be used to pay for big expenses, like a trip to visit family, a new computer or a car.
- A Trust cannot be used to pay for regular, reoccurring expenses, like food, rent or utility bills.
- Social Security must approve the Trust.
A Special Needs Trust can be a good way to plan for your future. To find out more about Trusts, speak with a lawyer, financial planner, insurance agent, and your bank or credit union to understand your options with disability-related Trusts.
- Understanding Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Understanding Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Eligibility Requirements
- Spotlight on Trusts
Read more money savings tips and financial wellness at #MoneyMondays!