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What are the rules to transfer resources to get SSI benefits?

For those in New Jersey who meet the basic requirements to get Supplemental Security Income, there is also the matter of resources. A person who has too many resources available will not be able to get approved for SSI benefits. When applying for SSI benefits, it is essential to know how to deal with any excess resources. Fortunately, there is the option of transferring those resources until the eligibility requirements for resources are met.

The transfer of a resource means getting rid of it in some way. That can mean selling it or simply giving it away. If a person seeking SSI has cash that surpasses the amount they can have to receive benefits, they can give it to someone else to solve the issue. An applicant or the spouse of an applicant who gives away a resource for less than it is worth might result in ineligibility for SSI for as long as 36 months. This is contingent on the value of that which was transferred. Selling a resource for its worth eliminates the 36-month issue. However, the money that was accrued by selling the item could put person's resources beyond the amounts allowable: $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple.

Some applicants might want to place their resources in a trust. This is possible in certain instances. In others, it will make the person ineligible because the trust will be perceived as a resource. The trust's value might also put the person over the limit to receive SSI. Transferring resources also might affect Medicaid. Medicaid might refuse to pay for various costs related to health care if the SSI applicant or the spouse gives away a resource or sells if for less than its value. It is important to understand whether this will be a problem.

When seeking SSI benefits, resources are an integral factor in whether the person will be approved or not. Speaking to a lawyer who is experienced in all aspects of Social Security disability and especially SSI is imperative. Without legal assistance, mistakes can be made when trying to get rid of excess resources. Legal help is imperative.

Source: ssa.gov, "Spotlight on Transfers of Resources -- 2017 Edition," accessed on April 23, 2017

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