The Social Security Administration manages two separate disability programs. The first is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI); the second is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Each program has different eligibility requirements and different rules about income sources and the value of a recipient's assets, including real estate.
SSDI Home Ownership
SSDI is awarded to disabled individuals who paid enough in Social Security taxes to qualify for the program. While someone who is receiving SSDI is limited in how much money he can earn each month through work, there is no limit or restriction on the value of any of his assets, including his personal residence or other real estate that he may own.
SSI Asset Rules
SSI is a program administered, but not funded, by the Social Security Administration. SSI benefits are paid from general tax revenues. To qualify for SSI, a person must be disabled or over the age of 65, have a very low income and have few assets. As of 2010, a SSI recipient's total assets, not including their personal residence, must be valued at less than $2,000. If the SSI recipient receives income or support from other sources, her SSI benefit can be reduced.
SSI Personal Residence Rules
SSI recipients cannot own assets worth more than $2,000. However, since an SSI recipient's residence is not included in the $2,000 limit, a person can receive SSI and own his own home. However, other real estate owned by the SSI recipient, such as land and rental property, does count against the SSI asset limit.
Lainie Petersen writes about business, real estate and personal finance, drawing on 25 years experience in publishing and education. Petersen's work appears in Money Crashers, Selling to the Masses, and in Walmart News Now, a blog for Walmart suppliers. She holds a master's degree in library science from Dominican University.