How to budget with an asset cap?

I am on disability and this comes with an asset cap. If I have more than $2000 in assets then I can lose my health insurance.  I get $1000/month disability income. How am I supposed to budget like this? 

My minimum monthly expenses can be fairly low, but there are always unpredictable larger expenses that come up. For example, car repairs.  Also, I could switch some of my yearly payments into monthly payments, but this ends up costing more overall. Example, my phone bill can be paid for 12 months at a discount or monthly at a higher rate. 

I'm just at loss. How can I plan for the future when I'm punished for saving money? 

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    • Melissa
    • Routinely questioning every assumption I have about my budget, my spending, and my savings habits.
    • todays_mel
    • 2 wk ago
    • 1
    • Reported - view

    By assets do you mean that you are not allowed more than $2000/month in a banking account (savings and/or checking, etc)? So if you receive $1000 DI monthly, and you don't spend enough of it to reduce your accounts to less than $2000/mth, you get in trouble? Just want to make sure I understand your situation.

    I think my mom has to do this with her mother who is also on disability and in a care home, and she will lose any benefits similar to what you're describing. I can ask my mom how she handles those situations with her mother's income/finances and see if that will help. I think she holds a lot of it in cash... but obviously that comes with concerns to have cash lying around.

    Maybe purchase Visa pre-paid cards? I don't know if those are tracked per person in any way...

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  • By assets do you mean that you are not allowed more than $2000/month in a banking account (savings and/or checking, etc)? So if you receive $1000 DI monthly, and you don't spend enough of it to reduce your accounts to less than $2000/mth, you get in trouble? 

    Basically, yes. Stocks, bonds, etc. also count towards my assets which I have none of. 

    Yeah, there might be some things like pre-paid visa cards, but I'm wondering if there is a way to budget within these rules, not find a way to skirt the rules. 

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      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Sky Blue Violin - you can just add the pre-paid Visa cards as accounts in YNAB. The pre-paid card would be the "location" of the money, not the "job" of the money.

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    • Sky Blue Violin The ultimate answer here is, you can't plan for the future/save money above the asset cap AND stay below the asset cap without a work around, like the pre-paid visa cards or what not. 

      How strict is the asset cap? How is it being monitored?  Can you time it so that you can save up for those annual expenses and pay them out before you get audited for the asset cap?

      The other option is to plan on taking on debt, which would (I assume) reduce your assets, but comes with the increased costs of interest on the debt.  

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    • Fuzzball Meows  The ultimate answer here is, you can't plan for the future/save money above the asset cap AND stay below the asset cap without a work around, like the pre-paid visa cards or what not. 

      Fair enough. I was hoping their was a way to do it, but I guess magic isn't real :)

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    • Sky Blue Violin I don't know anything about disability and asset caps. But if the rule is "you can't have assets above x amount", then you either need to find a way to skirt the rule or stay within the rule. You can't do both. It's like the whole having your cake and eating it too thing. 

      The pre-paid gift cards seems like a reasonable solution to me, but I also don't know what the rules are. Is there a social worker or someone you can talk to about this? I know when hubby signed up for his disability income (which does not have any restrictions because of the type of income it is), he had a social worker walk him through the process, and we were told if he had any questions about it we could always go back and talk to her. 

      Depending on your age and location, there may also be community centers with elder services or disability services who could help as well. 

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