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Am I eligible for conditional SSI benefits?

A Tennessean who wants to obtain Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits needs to meet certain federal requirements. One of those requirements is based on a person's limited assets. To receive SSI benefits, an individual Tennessean must have no more than $2,000 in countable resources, or a couple may have up to $3,000 in assets.

Fortunately, a person with more assets than permitted may still be able to receive what are known as conditional SSI benefits as he or she is in the process of selling excess assets. For example, a person who owns real property may receive conditional SSI benefits for up to nine months while he or she has the property on the market. A person who owns personal property in excess of the permitted limits may be able to receive conditional SSI benefits for up to three months. Significantly, some persons may receive conditional SSI payments for even longer depending on their circumstances.

For a Tennessean to receive conditional SSI benefits, he or she must sign an "agreement to sell property" form. Additionally, an applicant for conditional benefits will have to demonstrate how he or she is actively pursuing the sale of his or her assets.

A person who qualifies for conditional SSI benefits will have to pay back benefits he or she received upon the sale of the asset in issue, either in whole or in part. But, he or she may also continue to receive SSI benefits following an asset sale.

If one has questions about obtaining SSI-related benefits and the possibility of obtaining conditional SSI payments as one tries to sell assets, they may find that an attorney can answer questions and provide much-needed guidance.

Source: SSA.gov, "Spotlight On Getting SSI Benefits While You Try To Sell Excess Resources - 2016 Edition," accessed on July 29, 2016

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