One common question that people considering applying for disability ask is whether owning a home will prevent them from receiving disability benefits.
The simplest answer is that typically if you own your home, your application for benefits can still go forward and you will not be denied on this basis alone.
Social Security understands that you need to live somewhere while your application is pending, and will not hold this against you.
However, on occasion, ownership of a home or other real estate can hinder a disability case.
But knowing when this is an issue requires understanding the difference between the two programs that pay out disability benefits – Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
SSD is an insurance program. Every time you get a paycheck, you put money into it. The purpose of this is to provide you some income in case something happens that prevent you from working.
As such, home ownership has no impact on whether or not you are eligible for SSD. You can even own a second home or a rental property and still receive SSD benefits. The primary concern is whether you are capable of working despite your impairments.
On the other hand, SSI is based on need and no past work is required to file an application for SSI benefits.
Each state thus calculates your assets and whether or not you own too much to pursue an SSI application.
Typically, if you own your home and live in it, this will not be included in the calculation. Other common assets, such as a vehicle and life insurance are also not included in this calculation.
However, if you have a rental property or some other second property or investment (including a savings account), this could prevent you from qualifying for SSI.
If you are concerned that may have too many assets to qualify for SSI, it is recommended that you speak with a disability attorney before starting your application.