Sunday, May 15, 2016

How might Individual Retirement Account savings impact future disability related income support?

Unexpectedly, #1 is working 20hrs a week in an unsupported employment situation. Not enough to live on, but it makes qualifying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as disabled more difficult. Not to mention health insurance. Or financial planning beyond my grave, such as supplemental needs trusts and 529 Able plans.

Life with a cognitive disability is much trickier than it was just a few years ago.

So now he’s paying social security taxes and he could put money in a personal IRA. But how would that impact any future SSI payments? The maximal bank balance on SSI is $2000, but does that include IRA assets?

The best explanation I found online is from the SSA, I think this is the key line: “…anything else you own which could be changed to cash and used for food or shelter …”. Since disability allows early withdrawals from an IRA any savings therein would not be sheltered.

So he probably shouldn’t start an IRA. Looking at the list of things that don’t count as material assets the main exclusions are either a vehicle (he doesn’t drive) or a home that one lives in (talk about a benefit that goes to the relatively wealthy) …

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