Can You Buy A Car With SSI Back Pay?

Can You Buy A Car With SSI Back Pay?

Yes, you can use your SSI backpay for a car, but only if you meet certain conditions.

First of all, it’s important to know that if you are a recipient of Supplementary Security Income or SSI, then you are only permitted to own one car for the entire period that you are being given financial assistance. 

Can You Buy A Car With SSI Back Pay

If you already own a car, then you can still use your SSI backpay for repairs on your existing vehicle, or to make any modifications necessary for ensuring it is as safe and comfortable for you to use as possible.

So, you haven’t already got a vehicle – hooray! You’re eligible. However, you must have enough cash left over after meeting other requirements of your SSI first, and you must also adhere to the Social Security Administration’s established rules around spending backpay.

In order to make a larger purchase, you must first make sure you have ticked off the other requirements:

Step One – Current Needs:

Once you’ve got your money, the very first thing you need to do is ensure that your current needs, or anything that you require immediately, have been met.

This can be a lot of things: food, medication, rent, a security deposit, utility bills like heat, water, and electricity, basic home furnishing and clothes.

Step Two – Improved Living Conditions/Special Purchases:

After you’ve completed step one, you can use the rest of your money to improve your living conditions, as the beneficiary of your SSI. This can be interpreted in a number of ways, for instance:

– Attending physical, occupational, or mental health therapy
– In-home assistance or care, like housekeeping or a dog walker
– Getting a better quality of medical care
– Paying for things not covered by your health insurance e.g a hearing aid, reconstructive dental work or a motorized wheelchair
– Special education or training courses
– Modifying an existing vehicle in order to accommodate your disability, for instance, hand controls
– Trips to the beauty salon or hairdressers
– Having groceries delivered
– Entertainment – going to the movies, taking a day trip, having dinner at a restaurant

If you have enough money left over after covering your basic needs, then you can also use the remaining funds to fulfil a number of different Special Purchases. These include: 

A place to live – making a downpayment to buy a house for yourself, or to pay some or all of the mortgage on an existing house

Significant home repairs – when you’re lucky enough to own your own home already, the leftover SSI back pay can be used instead to make repairs to your house or improvements that would make accessing and generally living in the home easier, such as widening doorways, installing a wheelchair ramp, swapping countertops out for lower ones, renovating the bathroom with accessible shower, tub or toilet, or even adding a new security system

New home furnishings – even if you happen to live in a place with other people who will benefit, you can, in fact, use your backpay to buy new furniture or appliances for your home, as this constitutes making yourself more comfortable – that includes things like a television or 

A vehicle – but there are more specific stipulations when it comes to buying a car, so it’s important to explain them more thoroughly…

Moving on to actually using the SSI for buying yourself a new car, then. Whether you’d like to put down a full down payment or use your backpay to make monthly payments, however you’d prefer to pay for the car is fine.

As the beneficiary of SSI and the recipient of the backpay, you must be registered as the owner of the car, which is basically a given anyway because in many states purchasing a car for somebody else counts as illegal transfer of resources.

You must also be the primary user of the car, too; that’s not to say other family members insured on it can’t use it on occasion, but it must be your vehicle that you make use of on a regular basis.

Things only become tricky if you as the beneficiary are not going to be the primary driver because you will still be liable if whoever is driving you around at the time gets into an accident. It’s up to you to decide whether this is something you’re comfortable with.

Otherwise, you’re free and clear to get yourself a car, provided you have followed all of the rules and met all of the guidelines established by the Social Security Administration, as outlined above.

If you’re still not sure about whether you can use your SSI backpay to buy a car or not, or you’d just prefer to speak with someone in real life, then you can give the Social Security Admission a call yourself on 800-772-1213.

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