Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Accellerated Savings Accounts Don't Count Against SSI's Asset Limit of $2,000; $3,000 for a Couple

I am employed by Pacific Clinics of Southern California. We have approximately 12,000 consumers that we serve in four counties including Los Angeles.

Many of our clients live month to month with very little income – subsistence living, in fact.

The majority receive SSI – Supplemental Security Income. The maximum monthly payment from SSI for an individual in California, living alone with cooking facilities is only $830 a month.

So, saving any of that is, to most, at best, unlikely.  Conventional understanding is that any money over $2,000 violates SSI’s asset limits and the consumer becomes ineligible for SSI payments when the saved amount is above $2k. That is correct in most cases.

There is a special account, however, that is available qualified low income people called the Accelerated Savings Account.

SSI recipients who qualify for the ASA will not have those funds count against SSI’s asset limits!

Accelerated Savings Accounts are designed to help people with low incomes – disabled or not -- save money. United Way of Greater Los Angeles sponsors ASAs that pay 19.357% interest. That is an unheard of rate of interest in today’s economy.

The ASA account requires an initial deposit of $500. That money can come from any source. It often comes from the Earned Income Tax Credit that low-income workers receive from the IRS at tax time, whether they’ve paid taxes or not. (See my article here.)

After the initial deposit is submitted, the account holder deposits $40 each month for 15 months. The final yield is over $300, much more than standard savings accounts, CDs, etc., would accrue.

For more information or to sign up call any of the organizations by the numbers listed below:

Community Financial Resource Center                         323-846-1434
East LA Community Corporation                                   323-269-4214 x 228
Korean Youth Community Center                                   213-365-7400 x 228           
Long Beach Community Action Partnership                 562-216-4620
Mexican American Opportunity Foundation                  323-890-1555 x 1636
Valley Economic Development Center                          818-834-0577 x 201United Way of Greater Los Angeles                                                   213-808-6467

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