Financial institution accounts include checking or savings, Christmas club, credit union, certificate of deposit, and money market accounts. They can be individual or joint accounts. We look at the title of the account to determine who has access to the money in that account.

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WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN INDIVIDUAL AND JOINT ACCOUNT?

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    An individual account has one person's name on the title and, usually, only that person can withdraw money from the account.

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    A joint account has more than one person's name on the title, for example, John Jones or Mary Jones, and all persons named can withdraw money from the account.

CAN I HAVE A JOINT ACCOUNT AND RECEIVE SSI?

Yes, but we consider the money in the account to belong to you even if you do not consider the money to be yours. If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and have a joint account with someone who:

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    does not receive SSI, all of the money in the account is considered yours; or

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    receives SSI, we assume that you both own the money in equal shares unless you can show us otherwise.

For a joint account, you have the chance to show us that some or all of the money does not belong to you. We call this a rebuttal. Your local office can tell you what you have to do to show that the money is not yours.

WHAT IF I HAVE AN INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNT, BUT I AM HOLDING MONEY FOR SOMEONE ELSE IN IT?

We consider all of the money in your account to be yours. If you receive benefits for someone else, for example, as a representative payee, or you are holding money for someone else in your account, for example, as a trustee, it is important that your account be titled to show this. Your Social Security office can tell you how you should title the account.

Example:

Mary Harris receives SSI. She also receives Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) for her daughter, Mavis. The monies from SSI and TANF are deposited into Mary's individual account. That account balance is $2,200.

For SSI purposes, Mary's share of that account is $2,200. When Mary contacts us, we advise her how to set up and properly title a separate account for her daughter, Mavis.


THIS INFORMATION IS GENERAL.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL 1–800–772–1213 (TTY 1–800–325–0778),
VISIT OUR WEBSITE (www.socialsecurity.gov) ON THE INTERNET,
OR CONTACT YOUR LOCAL SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICE.