Will the money in my savings account prevent me from qualifying for government benefits?

Q: I have recently become disabled and unable to work. I have a substantial amount of money in my savings account, but it will not support my family for very long. I would like to apply for government benefits, but I’ve heard you can’t have a large amount of money in savings if you want to qualify. Is this true?

A: It sounds like you have worked, and I will assume you have obtained Social Security credits to obtain Social Security credit. If that is the case, the money in your savings account will not impact your ability to obtain Social Security disability benefits. If you meet the guidelines to obtain Social Security disability (which means your ability to work is significantly impacted by your disability), then you should apply to the Social Security Administration to receive your disability benefit. Depending upon your disability, you may have to wait up to 5 months from the beginning of the disability to be eligible for the benefits to start.

If you do not have enough Social Security credits to obtain disability benefits, then the money in your savings account will impact your ability to get a government benefit. In order to obtain Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the assets you can have are limited. These depend upon your personal situation, but if you contact our Protected Tomorrows Benefits Processing Center with the specific information, they will be able to assist you with the specific details for your personal situation. There are opportunities to obtain both SSI as well as Medicaid if you meet the guidelines.