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Yes. If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) you can have a savings account. However, there could be limits on how much you can have in it, depending on which type of disability benefit you collect.
To be eligible for SSDI, you must have a work history and a medical condition that leaves you unable to work for at least a year or is expected to end in death. There are limits on how much you can earn from work while collecting SSDI payments but no restrictions on assets. You can have a savings account with as much money in it as you choose to save.
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That is not the case if you receive SSI, which provides cash assistance to older, disabled and blind people in financial need. The Social Security Administration (SSA), which operates the program, sets different (and considerably more complex) limits on income for SSI recipients, and also sets a ceiling on financial assets: You can't own more than $2,000 in what the SSA considers “countable resources” as an individual or more than $3,000 as a couple.
Certain assets are not countable, among them the home you live in, one vehicle you or someone in your household uses for transportation and a life insurance policy or policies with a total face value of $1,500 or less.
Money in a savings account, however, is a countable resource. That means you could be ineligible for SSI if your account contains more than $2,000 ($3,000 for a couple), or if it contains less but your total countable assets, including the savings, exceed those figures.
Savings options for SSI beneficiaries
The SSA makes exceptions for certain savings vehicles and programs designed for disabled and low-income people. Using them, some beneficiaries can have well over $2,000 in savings and keep collecting SSI.
Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE)
ABLE accounts provide a tax-free savings opportunity for people with disabilities that were diagnosed before they reached age 26. The first $100,000 in an ABLE account is not a countable resource for SSI. Any balance over $100,000 will be figured into calculating whether you meet the cap on assets.