Overview of Disability

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SSDRC Disability Blog

Can you Buy a House if you are Collecting SSI Disability?

"I know a person who has been on disability over 20 years, she received a large settlement, used the money to buy land and build a house. She has been collecting SSI. Is this legal?"

Disability benefits that are awarded under either the social security disability or SSI disability program are meant to compensate for the fact that a recipient is no longer able to engage in work activity (past work or other work) at a substantial and gainful level. Obviously, if an individual could work and earn at least the SGA amount for a given year, they would be using that money to provide for their food and shelter needs.

Your question seems to be focusing on the fact that the individual received a large back pay amount. Back payments are simply awarded based on when a person filed for disability benefits, when their medical onset was established (EOD, or established onset of disability), and, then, how long their claim dragged on as a result of case processing and, most likely, multiple appeals. The process of attempting to win disability benefits can easily take years.

In this case, of course, if it is purely SSI disability only, there would be no other considerations such as the five month waiting period, or the two year waiting period for medicare (SSI recipients receive medicaid not medicare).

Now, how this individual chooses to use their back payment money may turn out be no different from how they use their monthly ongoing benefits. And, if their back pay amount is large enough, some might consider it wholly prudent to put the money toward securing a permanent residence.

Would real property count against an SSI disability recipient since SSI bars recipients from having more than $2000 in assets. Not in this case, if the property will be the primary residence of the individual. That would also be true for the recipient's primary automobile as well.

Everyone once in a while I come across a question like this and I have to wonder if the submitter really believes that a person on disability should not be allowed to own a home. In this case, what should the individual be compelled to do according to the opinions of others? Rent an apartment instead of own?

If the back pay is enough to secure a home of some type (which, for all I know, could be manufactured housing on a very small plot of land), would it not make more sense to buy? It would certainly be a way of avoiding rent, which, in many people's eyes, is just throwing money away on something you never own or have principal rights to.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

How to file for disability in Arizona
Will inheriting affect my eligibility to receive disability?
Someone to help with my Social Security Disability case
Social Security Disability SSI appeals deadlines
Kidney Disease and Filing for Disability
How to file for disability in kansas
Filing for disability with neuropathy
Should you get a Disability Lawyer before you File?
How long can you receive SSI or Social Security disability benefits?
How to file for disability in Oregon
How to get disability for degenerative disc disease
How much do you pay a disability lawyer and how are they paid?
SSI disability Application Requirements
What A Social Security disability determination is based on
Are you required to have an attorney at a disability hearing?

Information on the following topics can be found here:
Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

How to claim disability
Disability claim appeal status
How to get you Social Security Disability status
How does a person qualify for disability benefits?
How do you Apply for SSI?
How Much Income Can you Earn If you draw Social Security Disability?
Can you work if you get SSI?
How long will you get disability after an award notice?
If You Get Social Security Disability or SSI, Will Your Dependents Get A Check?
Social Security Disability denied
Time on a Social Security Disability Decision
How to apply for disability for a child or children
Denied Twice For SSD or SSI Disability, What Do I Do?
f I get disability will my children receive benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI - Retroactive Benefits Vs Back Pay Benefits
How long do you have To Be Out Of Work Before You Get Social Security Disability (SSD)?
How to file for disability and medical conditions
What Does Social Security Consider To Be a Disability?
When does social security consider you eligible for disability benefits?
Qualifying for disability benefits with the social security administration
How to get disability
Will I be approved for disability on my appeal?
How to appeal a disability denial