If I accept a property, will I lose my supplemental security income and my social security?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 22, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My question concerns supplemental security income and social security. A friend (living) wants to give me a house worth under $18,000. If I accept will I lose my Supplemental security income and my social security? Or do I need to spend that money right away? I reside in Wisconsin. Thank you

Expert Answers

Barbara Steinberg is the CEO and founder of BLS Eldercare Financial Solutions, which specializes in helping families pay for long-term care for their loved ones. A registered financial gerontologist, she speaks regularly on the topic of paying for long-term care and is a financial expert for Caring.com.

There is no resource requirement for Social Security, so receiving the house will not impact this benefit.

To receive SSI, an individual can have no more than $2,000 at the beginning of the month. You do not say whether or not you will be using the house as your residence. Owning the house you live in (and the land that it is on) does not count as a resource for SSI eligibility. So if you are planning to live in the house, it will not impact your SSI. If you intend to sell the gifted house, you have to notify SSI by signing an agreement to sell your property. You can continue to receive SSI for up to 9 months while you try to sell the property. Once the property sells, you will have to pay back the SSI you received during the selling period. If there is any money left after paying back SSI, that will count toward your resource limit of $2,000. You cannot received SSI until you are below the limit.