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Effect of IRA withdrawals on Social Security Income (SSI) ?

Anaheim, CA |

I have a rollover IRA account with 21k in it. I also have a Mercedes C300 that I still owe 12k and paying 682/mo on installment. I am receiving SSI and get 866 a month. it's hardly enough for me to pay bills let alone surviving on it. Can I take the money from IRA account and pay off my loan on the car to free up $682/mo on installment so that I can live on SSI. thank you very much.

Attorney Answers 3


I assume that ssa already us aware of your ira. You should not have a problem since an auto is allowed on ssi but to make sure you should talk to local office first.

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First of all, SSI (Supplemental Security Income) is a means-tested welfare program, and not the same as Social Security. Widespread confusion resulted from the fact that both SSI and Social Security pay benefits to the elderly and disabled, and both are managed by the Social Security Administration. Social Security is an insurance program for which workers pay premiums through payroll taxes and benefits are payable regardless of the other financial circumstances of the beneficiary. Owning the IRA would make you ineligible for SSI, but owning and using it does not affect your Social Security.

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This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.

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You need to clarify whether you receive SSI (Supplemental Security Income) or SSDI benefits because it makes the difference in the answer. SSI benefits are for people with low income and assets. The IRA would likely have made you ineligible for SSI benefits if you told Social Security about it. If you are truly getting SSI and have not reported your IRA to Social Security then the car issue is not the biggest problem you have. You should talk to a Social Security attorney in your area as soon as possible because you likely have an overpayment (and potentially a criminal fraud) issue.

SSDI benefits are paid to workers who worked long enough and earned enough to be covered for the program. There are no income or asset limitations. If you are receiving SSDI then Social Security does not care what you do with your car or IRA.

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