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Asset Development: Options for SSA Beneficiaries. Ron Smith, MSW, CWIC Indiana Institute On Disability and Community 2853 East 10 th Street Bloomington, Indiana 47408-2696 812-855-6508. What is Asset Development?.

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Asset development options for ssa beneficiaries

Asset Development: Options for SSA Beneficiaries

Ron Smith, MSW, CWIC

Indiana Institute On Disability and Community

2853 East 10th Street

Bloomington, Indiana 47408-2696


What is asset development
What is Asset Development?

  • Asset Development is buying a home, investing in a business, learning a new skill or putting aside money in a savings account for emergencies.

  • Provides long term benefits.

  • Assets are economic resources: Assets are anything that can be turned into cash(minus the debt owed).

  • A home, a business, a car, a computer or a saving account is an asset.

  • Assets can also be human resources: Skills or education can be considered assets.

Why is asset development important studies show that having assets
Why is Asset Development Important?Studies Show that Having Assets:

  • Improves household stability

  • Creates orientation toward the future

  • Stimulates enhancement of assets

  • Enables focus and specialization

  • Provides a foundation for risk taking

  • Increases personal efficacy (and choices)

  • Increases social connectedness and influence

  • Increases political participation

  • Enhances the wellbeing of offspring

    (Sherraden, 2005).

Economic profile people with disabilities
Economic Profile: People with Disabilities

  • According to the U.S. Census, there are

  • 50 million people in the U.S. living with a disability.

  • More than 34% of adults with disabilities live in households with total income of $15,000 or less.

  • 30% of working age adults with disabilities do not have a checking or savings account. Unbanked.

  • Only 10% of people with disabilities own homes compared to 71% of those without disabilities.

  • Less likely to have retirement accounts or own a home.

  • More likely to be asset poor.

    Sources: The White House, Executive Summary: Fulfilling America's Promise to Americans with Disabilities. ( April 2001 and National Disability Institute

Existing mainstream programs for people with assets
Existing Mainstream Programs for People with Assets

  • Homestead Acts (not good for everyone)

  • G.I. Bills

  • Home interest mortgage deduction

  • Tax shelters for retirement savings

  • Individual Tax deductions

  • Business Tax deductions

  • Trusts

What can having assets do
What Can Having Assets Do?

  • Economic

    • Decreases individual and family poverty

    • Asset inheritance (interrupts intergenerational poverty)

    • Increase wealth and increase income

    • Economic stability and Financial cushion for emergencies

    • Provides more self direction for different areas of life

    • Leverage for additional access to the banking and loans

    • Increase ability to access skill training and education

  • Social

    • Expands ability to participate in community/networks

    • Increases mobility

    • Increases opportunities for children

  • Psychological

    • Increases ability to plan for future

    • Increases self esteem/self worth

    • Decreases stress and cognitive concern with survival

Concerns people have about asset development and benefits
Concerns People Have about Asset Development and Benefits

  • Will I lose my Social Security or TANF cash benefits?

  • Will I lose my Medicaid/Medicare healthcare coverage?

  • Will I lose my HUD subsidy?

  • Am I better off or worse off if I go to work?

  • How can I have assets when I don’t make much money?

  • How do benefits change if I have assets?

    Other concerns?

Federal and state benefit programs
Federal and State Benefit Programs

There are several federal and state benefit programs

that should be evaluated when going to work.

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (Title II)

  • Supplemental Security Income (Title XVI)

  • Medicaid

  • Medicare

  • HUD

  • Food Stamps

  • The Ticket to Work (ages 18-64)

Federal and state asset development programs
Federal and State Asset Development Programs

  • Social Security Administration

    Assets For Independence

  • Individual Development Accounts (IDA’s)

    Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority

    Self Sufficiency Programs

    Housing and Urban Development (HUD) local offices Development

There is a difference between ssi and ssdi
There is a Difference Between SSI and SSDI

  • Social Security –SSDI- (Title II)

    -Retirement Benefits - 62 or older

    -Disability Benefits - to those who can’t perform Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) ($860 per month for non-blind and $1450 for blind) and meet the definition of disability

    -Childhood Disability Benefits – similar to SSDI however paid to persons over age 18 who have a parent who was disabled, retired or deceased as long as their disability occurred before age 22

    -Dependent Benefits - to spouse and children of deceased, disabled or retired workers

    -Is not based on economic need

    -Dollar amount received is dependent on the level of contributions made into the program

    -Benefit varies from person to person

    -Includes Medicare health insurance (generally after receiving SSDI for 24 months)

    -Many SSDI recipients are also eligible for Medicaid (you must apply at the local Division of Family Resources)

  • Supplemental Security Income – SSI (Title XVI)

    -For individuals who demonstrate economic need and have a disability or are 65 or older

    -For children with a disability under age 18

    -Meet the income and resource tests.

    -SSI is gradually reduced as income increases

    -Based on the Federal Benefit Rate (the maximum dollar amount set by Congress that individuals or couples can receive in SSI cash benefits each month).

    -2005 FBR is $603 for a single individual, $904 for a couple

    -The maximum benefit amount received is calculated by considering:

    • Unearned income

    • Earned income

    • Living arrangements and in-kind support

    • Use of available work incentives such as IRWE, BWE and PASS

      -Many SSI recipients are eligible for Medicaid (you must apply at the local Division of Family Resources

Ssi work incentives
SSI Work Incentives

  • The Countable Income Formula

  • Student Earned Income Exclusion

  • 1619a

  • 1619b

  • Impairment-Related Work Expense for SSI

  • Blind Work Expense

  • PASS

    Fact sheets are available from:

Example: How SSI Changes with Work:Joey receives $228 per month in child support from his father. He also receives an SSI check of $395. Now with the help of his job coach, he just got a job in the community working at the local grocery store bagging groceries. His mother is wondering how his SSI check will change. Here is an example of how SSA will calculate his new SSI check.


Unearned Income $ 228.00

-General Income Exclusion (GIE) $ 20.00

=Countable Unearned Income $ 208.00


Gross Earned Income $ 250.00

- SEIE $ 0

= Remainder $ 250.00

- GIE if not used above $ 0

= Remainder $ 250.00

- Earned Income Exclusion $ 65.00

= Remainder $ 185.00

- IRWE $ 0

= Remainder $ 185.00

Divide by 2 / 2= Remainder $ 92.50

- BWE $ 0

=Total Countable Earned Income 92.50


Countable Unearned Income $ 208.00

+ Countable Earned Income $ 92.50

= Countable Income $ 300.50

- PASS $ 0

= Total Countable Income $ 300.50


Base SSI Rate: $ 603.00

- Total Countable Income $ 300.50

= Adjusted SSI Payment $ 302.50

Now lets look at how much more money is available for Joey :

Gross Earned Income $250.00

+ Unearned Income $228.00

+ Adjusted SSI check $302.50

= change in income $780.50

(Before his job he received only $623 per month.)

Example: Joey/SSI and Earnings

Work incentives help individuals in two ways
Work Incentives Help Individuals in Two Ways

  • Help individuals maintain or even increase their cash benefits until they are stable in employment.

  • Help individuals pay for services or items that they need in order to work.

The ssdi work incentives
The SSDI Work Incentives

  • Trial Work Period

  • Extended Period of Eligibility

  • Subsidy

  • Impairment-Related Work Expense for SSDI

    Fact sheets are available from Indiana works explaining these work incentives.

How ssdi changes with work
How SSDI Changes with Work

  • Social Security Disability Insurance is based on timelines to allow people to test their ability to work and become self-sufficient

    • First timeline: Trial Work Period

      • 9 months of earnings, an individual can earn any amount. When earning above the TWP amount ($720 in 2010) this counts as a TWP month.

    • Second timeline: Extended Period of Eligibility

      • 36 months of continued protection for the benefit check. If an individual earns over the SGA amount ($1000 in 2006), they are not entitled to the check, unless they are using other work incentives such as Subsidy or IRWE. After the EPE, if the individual is consistently earning over SGA, benefits will stop, unless other work incentives are used, such as Subsidy or IRWE.

Other important information about state and federal programs for workers
Other Important Information about State and Federal Programs for Workers

  • Property Essential to Self Support (PESS) for SSI

  • Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits for SSI and SSDI

  • HUD Earned Income Disregard

  • MED Works (The Medicaid Work Incentive)

  • Overpayment procedures

  • Earned Income Tax Credit

Benefits summary and analysis bs a
Benefits Summary and Analysis (BS&A) for Workers

  • For SSA recipients working or looking for work.

  • To request a BS & A, call the Social Security Work Incentive Planning and Assistance Program (WIPA) in your part of the state.

    Indiana Works

    Southern 1-800-206-6610 or 1-800-757-5834

    Northern 1866-646-8161 (+Indianapolis)

  • Purpose is to provide recipients the information they need to evaluate how earnings may effect their benefits.

  • Meet and review the findings.

A benefits summary and analysis bs a process
A Benefits Summary and Analysis (BS&A) process for Workers

  • Meet and do an initial benefits profile, explore thoughts on work, have releases signed.

  • Gather information/do research related to your benefits and work goals, send releases to Social Security for a BPQY.

  • Develop a detailed written analysis .

  • Have AWIC review and ensure all is correct (CWIC Certification Process).

  • Meet and review the findings.

Information websites
Information Websites for Workers

  • National Disability Institute

  • Virginia Commonwealth University

  • Social Security

  • Southern Indiana WIPA

Work incentives options for ssa beneficiaries

Work Incentives: for WorkersOptions for SSA Beneficiaries

Ron Smith

Indiana Institute On Disability and Community

2853 East 10th Street

Bloomington, Indiana 47408-2696

[email protected] 812-855-6508

Funded by the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant CFDA #93768