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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    1

    Default Will Selling a Car Put SSI Benefits at Risk

    Hi. I am on SSI. I sold my car for $600. I read something on the social security website that says if you sell a resource for less than market value that you lose your SSI for up to 36 months. I don't know for sure what the market value of the car was, but the transmission was going out in it and it was losing oil somewhere, so I needed to get rid of it. Plus, I was about to be jailed for six months if I didn't pay $540 in child support arrears. I have been having a lot of financial problems. Would I lose my SSI? I have no other way to pay rent. Almost all of the money already went to the government.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    98,846

    Default Re: Will Selling a Car Put SSI Benefits at Risk

    To get a rough idea of market value, you can use a site like edmunds.com or kbb.com.

    I don't think this is going to be an issue. You've not indicated that you crossed the $2,000 threshold, you've not indicated that there is anything about the sale that would suggest that you were selling for less than its fair market value, and the odds that the SSA is going to investigate the market value of an old, failing, used car is pretty slim.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    OH10
    Posts
    17,019

    Default Re: Will Selling a Car Put SSI Benefits at Risk

    SSI wants you to report the sale of the car, let them know it was defective and you immediately spent most of the money paying child support. You should have no problem then. I have dealt with similar situations while acting as Rep Payee.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,045

    Default Re: Will Selling a Car Put SSI Benefits at Risk

    The market value of anything is what someone else is willing to pay you. Regardless of book value, appraised value, sentimental value, hoped for value.

    If you did give away money or property or sell it at less than the market value and SSI makes an issue of it, the most you can be penalized is the market value of the property given away or sold divided by the monthly SSI federal/state amount in the month of transfer/sale. This policy is designed to penalize people who decide not to use their own money or assets and ask for SSI money instead.

    If you give away a $600 car and your SSI is $710, then you would be ineligible for zero months since the $600 is less than an SSI payment. If you gave away $60,000, you would be ineligible for 36 months, the max penalty period.

    Don't worry.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Will Selling a Car Put SSI Benefits at Risk

    Quote Quoting Janke
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    The market value of anything is what someone else is willing to pay you. Regardless of book value, appraised value, sentimental value, hoped for value.
    The market value of something is what a buyer in a competitive marketplace will pay in an arm's length transaction. Third party tools and appraisers can both buyers and sellers get a sense of the market, and can help third parties detect funny business.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Will Selling a Car Put SSI Benefits at Risk

    let's say the car had a market value of $2100. That would make you ineligible for 3 months. correct? Do they stop payments (of the $710 ) for 3 months and then start paying again? Or do they just cut you off all together and make you appeal, or ask for reconsideration or re-apply after 3 months? what is they procedure? Thanks in advance

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    OH10
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    17,019

    Default Re: Will Selling a Car Put SSI Benefits at Risk

    Quote Quoting wing8lc
    View Post
    let's say the car had a market value of $2100. That would make you ineligible for 3 months. correct? Do they stop payments (of the $710 ) for 3 months and then start paying again? Or do they just cut you off all together and make you appeal, or ask for reconsideration or re-apply after 3 months? what is they procedure? Thanks in advance
    If you bought another car in the same month, for about the same amount, the money would be a wash and subject only to reporting. Your problem would be assets over $2000 unless you were a couple. Here is a link discussing it:

    http://www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi/sp...-resources.htm

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,045

    Default Re: Will Selling a Car Put SSI Benefits at Risk

    You are allowed to sell a vehicle when you are on SSI. You are not required to keep a broken down car. If you sell a car, you really do not have in increase in your net worth. The car was an excluded resource. The cash from the sale is a countable resource and is added to your other resources as of the first day of the next month to determine if you are over or under the $2000 limit.

    The market value is the amount that a disinterested buyer (a used car dealer, for instance) is willing to pay you. Or if you advertise it for one price and the only interested buyer offers a lower price, that is what the market value is. Market value is what the buyer and seller determine in the open market. Pure capitalism.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Will Selling a Car Put SSI Benefits at Risk

    It's currently in reconsideration. The value of the vehicle was determined to be $1595.00 by social security. They did not consider that the vehicle had a bad transmission as they were told. For reconsideration a repair shop receipt was submited for proof- which shows an estimate for repair is $1500.00 for a rebuilt transmission. The vehicle was given away because there was not money to fix it, tag it and insure it (the latter 2 are required to keep it at the residence)
    SSI stopped all payments and considered it giving away assetts. The vehicle was a liability not an assett. Do you think the est. to repair will get the reconsideration to be favorable?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    OH10
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    Default Re: Will Selling a Car Put SSI Benefits at Risk

    You did give away an asset wing8c. When you gave it away, they only have a determined value, because it was not disposed of in an arms length transaction. Even if the transmission was bad, the car had a scrap value. The difference between scrapping it and giving it away, was giving away assets. Your problem is proving it.

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