Published on: April 10, 2023
If you are disabled and unable to work, you may be receiving disability benefits from the Social Security Administration – or you may be considering whether or not you should apply. This is understandable, as being disabled can be stressful in many ways, not the least of which is financial. Depending upon your income and resources, you may seek different types of benefits. Sometimes, this means allowing the Social Security Administration to review your bank accounts. How often does this happen – and why? Let’s take a closer look together.
A Closer Look at the Criteria
The Social Security Administration provides two types of disability benefits, and the benefits for which an individual qualifies will be based upon their circumstances. Those two types of benefits include:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Benefits: These are benefits that the SSA pays to individuals who have a qualifying medical disability that has rendered them disabled for one calendar year or more, and who are "insured" – meaning that they worked a qualifying job for a sufficient length of time, through which they paid taxes into the Social Security system.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits: Unlike SSDI benefits, those who receive SSI benefits do not have to be “insured”. Instead, they must have income and resources below a certain threshold established by the SSA before they can be approved.
More specifically, those who are seeking SSI benefits must be able to prove that they meet the following conditions:
- Have a qualifying medical disability: To determine whether a medical condition might qualify as a "disability," the SSA will typically consult its "Blue Book" which is a listing of qualifying impairments and their various symptoms. If you can establish through sufficient medical evidence that you have a condition that satisfies the criteria outlined in the Blue Book, you greatly increase your chances of approval. If your condition is not outlined in the Blue Book, this doesn't mean you won't be approved – you may simply need more thorough medical evidence to establish eligibility.
- Can prove that the condition has rendered the applicant unable to work for at least one calendar year or more: In order to receive SSI benefits, a condition must be of a more long-term nature, that is, at least a year or more. If your condition does not render you disabled for at least a calendar year or more, you may instead wish to seek short-term disability benefits through another means. Various options may be available, and consulting with an attorney is always advised.
- Have income and resources below a certain level: For the year 2023, an individual who seeks to receive SSI benefits must have resources below $2,000. For a couple, the amount is $3,000. The Social Security Administration defines “resources” not only as money in a bank account, but also as investments, personal property, savings bonds, real estate, and anything else an individual owns that might be converted to cash and used to provide for day-to-day living expenses.
Why Will Social Security Check My Bank Account – And How Often?
Because SSI is based on need, the Social Security Administration will need to confirm your income and resources, which will include checking your bank accounts. This is because SSI is based, at least in part, upon recipients having limited income. If income and resources exceed the threshold established by the SSA, then an individual will no longer qualify for benefits. This is not the case if you receive SSDI benefits, which are based on your work history, and not your income level.
How often SSA will check your account isn’t necessarily standardized. There isn't a set schedule or a guaranteed timeline as to how frequently your accounts might be monitored. It could be once a year, twice a year, or only once every few years. Often, it will depend upon circumstances, and the schedule set forth by the SSA. To verify resources, the SSA uses an electronic system to check bank account balances and ensure that eligibility requirements continue to be met.
While this advice is intended to be helpful, it is certainly no substitute for the guidance of a knowledgeable and experienced attorney. Each person’s situation is unique, and you will want to be sure to consult with a lawyer about your particular circumstances. At Disability Experts, we’re here for you.
Disability Experts – Here for You
Suffering from a disability is difficult. There’s no question about it. It can create a lot of financial stress – but receiving the benefits you need and deserve can go a long way toward relieving that burden. At Disability Experts, we’re here to help you do exactly that. We know the best legal strategies to pursue on your behalf to help you assert your rights. We’ll fight for you each step of the way, and we’ll provide the expert guidance you deserve as you navigate this difficult process. If you’re ready to get started, we’re here for you. Give us a call today. We look forward to speaking with you soon.