The following are some key SSI resource exclusions that will be important to transition-aged youth and their families.
Money Saved in an Approved Plan to Achieve Self Support (PASS) account.
- The PASS allows an individual to exclude income and/or resources that would ordinarily count against him or her to make them eligible for less SSI or no SSI.
- The income or resources set aside in the PASS must be used to support a vocational goal.
Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Account.
- An ABLE account allows an individual with a disability to save for future expenses, such as transportation, housing, or education costs without any impact on SSI, Medicaid or other federal benefits.
- So long as account distributions are used for “qualified disability expenses,” they are not counted as income.
- Up to $100,000 of the account balance is excluded and not counted toward SSI’s $2,000 resource limit.
- Because of the $15,000 annual limit on combined ABLE account contributions (any person or a trust can contribute), no SSI beneficiary is likely to have $100,000 in an ABLE account in the near future. However, this policy does protect SSI eligibility when an ABLE account goes to $5,000, $10,000, or more in deposits.
Grants, Scholarships, Fellowships, and Gifts Used to pay for Tuition, Fees, and Other necessary Educational Expenses
- SSI’s general policy provides a nine-month resource exclusion if money used within the nine months for tuition/other expenses for any college, vocational program, or technical school.
- If assistance is received under Title IV of Higher Education Act or Bureau of Indian Affairs Student Assistance Program, all financial assistance received is excluded from income and resources, regardless of use. The resource exclusion does not have a time limit, i.e., it is excluded regardless of how long the assistance is held.
Federal Income Tax Refunds for 12 Months after Receipt
- This includes any part of the refund that represents an earned income tax credit.