What happens if I am on disability and sell a mobile home or other property?

I'm already on disability but my trailer house and maintenance have become very difficult for me. It's too much. I lease the lot it's on. I was wondering if I should sell it would it affect my disability funds or cause it to cease? I have medical bills and expensive auto repairs that need to be taken care of. I'm looking into getting into section 8 living if possible. Can you tell me the result of such a move would cause me in the long run. I'd greatly appreciate your input. Thx

It really depends. SSA runs two disability programs which are SSDI and SSI. The first, SSDI, does not concern itself with assets. This is because a person becomes eligible for SSDI as a result of work credits gained through their work activity. A person could have assets of over a million dollars and it would not make a bit of difference regarding their Social Security Disability check.

SSI is different. There is a cap on how much a person can have in countable assets, which is $2000 for a single individual and $3000 for a married couple. However, SSI does not count everything as an asset. For example, the main vehicle that you drive and your residence are not countable. The money that you keep in bank accounts which accounts for payment of recurring expenses is not countable. On the other hand, additional vehicles, or real property, or excess funds in bank accounts that are not slated for the payment of living expenses would be countable.

So, if you receive SSI disability, and not SSDI, selling your mobile home might only impact your benefits if you received an amount of money in excess of the asset limits previously mentioned. I would assume that if you did not put the money toward another residence, say as a down payment, or toward the purchase of a new primary vehicle, it might wind up sitting in a bank account as countable assets.

As I said, if you receive SSDI, this is not an issue at all.

You have to be careful regarding assets if you receive SSI because you could place yourself in the position of having an overpayment that must be repaid and having your benefits discontinued. If you do receive SSI, you may want to contact a local Social Security office BEFORE you sell your mobile home and get a first hand answer about what may or may not happen should you do this.

Good luck on your situation.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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