Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits from the Social Security Administration are financial support for eligible citizens, including those over age 65, who are disabled or blind or have limited income. SSI is based on need. For this reason, it needs to confirm your bank account information and need status. In short, yes, the SSI can check your bank account.
How often the SSI checks your bank account isn’t standardized. It could be once a year or once every six years. SSI could also check your bank account any time you go through a life-altering experience. Here’s what you need to know about SSI checking your bank account.
Does SSI monitor your bank account?
Does SSI look at bank statements? Yes, the SSI monitors your bank account in several ways, from your self-reporting to contacting financial institutions or automatic check-ins. If you haven’t yet applied for SSI, keep in mind that it will monitor your accounts and confirm self-reporting.
SSI recipients are required to self-report their income and assets. As of 2022, the SSI limits for eligibility were $3,000 for couples and $2,000 for individuals in total countable resources. But there are certain exceptions. For example, your home, vehicle, and household effects are excluded.
In addition to your name, birth certificate, Social Security number, citizenship status, living arrangement information, work history, and medical information, you’ll need to include your work history and proof of resources. This includes self-reporting bank statements, deeds, tax appraisal statements, stock and bonds, life insurance, land, vehicles, and any other assets of value that could be exchanged for cash.
Contacting financial institutions
The SSI will also contact your bank to confirm the information. Legally, your bank is required to provide the requested information to SSI to verify your self-reported information. As part of the application process, you must give SSI permission to contact any financial institution or request financial records from any financial institution about you.
The SSI can use access to financial institutions (AFI) to verify SSI bank account balances. The SSI may use technology to monitor your account, which can provide it with more current and up-to-date information on account balances and financial status.
Whose accounts does the SSI check?
The SSI can check the account of anyone receiving supplemental security income. It may also check the accounts of your spouse or any accounts you’re a co-signer on.
How far back does Social Security check your bank account?
Social Security can check your bank account and have full access to financial records. Your current financial situation in the months leading up to the application will be considered for eligibility.
Keep in mind that if you give away resources or sell an item for less than it is worth to reduce your resources below the SSI limit, you can be ineligible for SSI for 36 months.
How much money could disqualify me from Social Security?
If you have countable resources worth more than $2,000 as an individual or $3,000 as a couple, you will be disqualified for SSI benefits. Some income and resources are exempt.
The SSI considers income as anything a person can use for food and shelter. This includes cash and checks as well as gifts of food and shelter. The SSI divides income into the categories of earned and unearned income.
Earned income includes salary or wages, self-employment income, certain royalties, honoraria, and sheltered workshop payments. As an individual beneficiary, you must earn less than $1,767 per month in wages to qualify.
The SSI considers income that is not earned, such as pensions, state disability income, unemployment benefits, Social Security benefits, interest, and dividends as well as cash from family and friends. The more your countable income is, including unearned income, the lower your SSI benefit will be.
Types of income that don’t count toward Social Security
In some specific situations, income doesn’t count toward SSI. A few of the major categories include:
- The first $20 of monthly income
- The first $65 of earnings and half of the earnings over $65 received in a month
- The value of food stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- Income tax refunds
- Grants, scholarships, fellowships, or cash used for tuition and educational expenses
- Food or shelter that is received on a need basis from nonprofit agencies
- Students younger than 22 can earn up to $2,040 per month to a maximum of $8,230 per year
How does the SSI asset-verification program work?
You must report changes that may affect your eligibility for SSI or your benefit amount, including changes in assets or bank account information. The SSI also uses AFI, an automated process to verify bank account balances with financial institutions. This is also used to identify excess resources in financial accounts held by SSI applicants or recipients.
Can you lose SSI benefits if your income increases?
Yes, you can lose the SSI benefits if your income increases. But SSI offers work employment incentives and employment support designed to help disabled and blind SSI recipients work while minimizing the risk of losing SSI or Medicaid benefits.
What to do if you’re over your SSI limits
If you’re over your SSI limits, you’ll need to report that earned income to the Social Security Administration. If your income is more than estimated, and you receive more money than you qualify for, the difference in amounts is called an overpayment. In case of an overpayment, you’ll receive a notice asking for a refund of the overpayment within 30 days.
Final thoughts SSI bank account checks
Does SSI monitor your bank account? Yes, it can use an automated system to check bank account balances. How often does SSI check your bank accounts? That varies. It can be once a year, whenever there is a major life change, or more often. To stay in compliance, be sure to accurately report all your countable assets and income.
How much money can you have in your bank account with SSI?
As an individual, you can have $2,000 or $3,000 as a couple to qualify for SSI.
Can SSI see what you buy?
The SSI looks at countable resources. This includes items you own that could be a source of income if sold.
Does SSI track your spending?
The SSI does not directly track your spending, but it does track bank account balances and countable resources. This effectively can track your spending if you purchase an item that is a countable resource.