A Spend Down:
What is a Spend Down?
For an individual receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Medicaid, a “Spend Down” literally refers to spending excess money that he/she receives within a calendar month to maintain eligibility for public benefits. This is allowable because SSI determines a lump sum of money to be considered income only in the month received if it is spent within that same calendar month (SI 01110.600). In most states, that means that on the last day of the same calendar month that the funds were received the recipient can have not a penny more than the resource limit, which is generally $2,000 for an unmarried individual and $3,000 for a married couple. For example, if John Doe, an unmarried individual, is on SSI and receives $28,000 dollars on September 12th, he must spend down his total resources to $2,000 dollars before October 1st.
What Can a Recipient Spend Their Funds On?
Social Security Disability: Continuing Disability Reviews
A Continuing Disability Review is referred to as a CDR. The Social Security Administration (SSA) periodically reviews cases of Social Security Disability beneficiaries to analyze a beneficiary’s disability or blindness to decide if a beneficiary is still determined disabled and unable to work.
A Continuing Disability Review conducted by the Social Security Administration (SSA) is required by law to be completed about every 3 years or so. If the Social Security Administration (SSA) believes that a beneficiary’s condition may improve sooner than 3 years then a CDR would be conducted sooner. If a beneficiary’s condition is not expected to improve, his/her case will still be reviewed; however, not every 3 years.
In addition to reviewing a beneficiary’s condition, the Social Security Administration (SSA) also analyzes income, resources, assets, and living arrangements to make sure that a beneficiary still meets the specific non-medical requirements for benefits. This review is known as a redetermination.
What Occurs During a Review?
Supplemental Security Income &
William E. Lindahl, MBA, CLPF