Social Security: Can the SSA Check Your Bank Accounts if You’re On Disability?

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The Social Security Administration can only check your bank accounts if you have allowed them to do so.

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For those receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the SSA can check your bank account because they were given permission. For anyone receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Social Security retirement benefits, the Disability Law Office stated that the SSA cannot easily check your bank account because “there is no limit to the assets one has in order to be eligible for benefits,” and permission may not be assumed.

The SSI program provides monthly payments to adults and children with a disability or blindness who have income and resources below financial limits. Benefits are also paid to individuals age 65 and older without disabilities who meet certain financial qualifications. 

According to the Code of Federal Regulations, to be eligible for SSI, you must give the SSA permission to contact any financial institution and request your financial records. The agency may also request permission from anyone whose income and resources the SSA considers as being available to you.

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For SSDI and regular retirement benefits, the SSA only requires that your earned income is below a certain threshold, which the agency receives from the IRS. Earned income is money made from the work that you do. Unearned income is money you make from other sources such as interest, dividends and capital gains.

If you receive disability benefits, the Social Security Administration categorizes your case into three categories: Medical Improvement Expected (MIE), Medical Improvement Possible (MIP) or Medical Improvement Not Expected (MINE). The category your case lands in determines how often your case is reviewed, per the Disability Law Office, and when the SSA may check your financial records.

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If you receive a denial of SSDI or SSI benefits, you can file a request for reconsideration which calls for a complete review of your claim.

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About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.
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