Social Security Disability Rules on Cars (Explained)

Social Security Disability Rules on Cars

Various people wonder how the social security disability works, and how their rules affect owning a car or owning properties generally.

After eligibility, can you get the benefits of social security disability and still own a car? What happens if you owned a car before the occurrence of the disability that has caused you to lose your job, or cost you’re your ability to have proper gainful employment?

Who are the people eligible for getting social security disability benefits? What if you hadn’t earned enough social security before the occurrence of the disability, can you still benefit from the program? What are the rules that have been entrenched in the social security disability program where it applies to cars? All of this, and more, will be answered in this article.

What is Social Security Disability?

Say Mrs. Bluestar had a very good job, paying a couple of thousands of dollars per annum. While working this job, she never defaulted on paying her social security fees, health insurance fees, and all the other statutory fees monthly, and then one day, on her way back from work, Mrs. Bluestar was involved in a ghastly accident that affected her spinal cord.

After spending a lot of money, the doctors conclude that she is going to spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair, this condition making it impossible for her to go back to her work, or for her to do any other work effectively.

Now, Mrs. Bluestar has lost her employment and is unlikely to get another employment elsewhere due to her condition. Seeing that she has enough credit – that is, enough money – in her social security purse, in the light of these events, Mrs. Bluestar is eligible for social security disability benefits.

Social Security Disability, then, is a disability that qualifies for the Social Security Disability Insurance program created by the government to give benefits to people who have been disabled and will be disabled for at least a year, or the rest of their lives.

As a result of that disability, they can’t be employed in proper, gainful employment any longer, but then have accumulated enough Social Security credits.

The disabilities that qualify for the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program are not just physical. They range from physical to emotional, mental, and even terminal disabilities caused by cancer, arthritis, etc.

You only qualify for this benefit if you have enough social security credits, you cannot continue the job you were earning from before, you cannot adjust to other jobs within your capability as a result of the disability, and the disability is expected to span at least one year, last till death, or result in death (as in the case of terminal diseases).

Then, for eligible people, who have applied for and are on the SSDI program, what are the rules they have to follow concerning owning properties and assets, especially cars? What are social disability rules on cars? Can you own a car or more than one car if you are approved for SSDI?

Differences between Supplementary Security Insurance (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

Although the two have similar workings and people tend to mistake one for the other, they are both different, and they operate with a different set of rules.

SSI is social security insurance that is determined by the age of the disabled individual who has zero or limited income opportunities. SSI is usually given to children who are not expected to have work experience or work credit.

SSDI, on the other hand, as stated before, is given based on the accumulated work credits of the disabled individual in question.

What are Social Security Disability Rules on Cars?

There are certain rules a person approved for SSDI must follow concerning owning cars while receiving benefits from the program. All of them have been listed and explained in this article.

Social disability rules on cars are:

1. You Can Own a Car While on SSDI

The social security disability insurance program allows beneficiaries to own a car even while receiving disability benefits from them.

Unlike buying a car may affect Medicaid, owning a car will not in any way, affect your benefits from the program.

One car will not be counted as a major resource that you have. So if you were worried about owning a car and receiving disability benefits, you need not worry anymore as owning one car can’t constitute part of the factors to determine your eligibility.

2. You are Allowed to Own More Than One Car

Many people mistake SSDI for SSI (Supplementary Security Insurance). The rule states that you are allowed to own as many cars as you want while receiving SSDI benefits from the government, however, for SSI, you are only allowed to own one car, just like recipients of Medicaid.

SSDI is not concerned about the number of assets you have, or the value of the asset that is in question. All SSDI is concerned about is your social credits, and whether it is enough to make you a beneficiary of the SSDI.

While on SSI or Medicaid, owning more than one car will not help your case and might question your eligibility for being a recipient of the benefits.

In cases involving couples, each couple is treated as an individual, that is, only one car is allowed per couple. This means that a married man and his wife are not entitled to one car each, but should share only one car betwixt themselves.

Regardless of the value of the car, you can own only one car while on SSI, but you can own as many cars as you want under SSDI.

3. You Can Purchase a Car With Your SSDI Check

Not only is it allowed to buy a car with your SSDI check, but you can also buy whatever type of car you desire. This means there are no limitations whatsoever where purchasing a car with your SSDI check is concerned.

Your primary assets, such as owning a home you live in, or the car(s) that you drive are not factors considered when applying for, or when you are already receiving disability benefits.

However, it is always advisable that you buy only what you need, and what is necessary, not luxurious items for the sake of it.

4. Receiving a Car Gift

Since there is no limit to the number of cars you can have on SSDI, You are allowed to receive a car gift whether or not you had a car before.

Even if you already have one car under SSDI, you can still go ahead to receive a car gift, not minding that such a gift will make you own more than one car. It is only if you are on SSI that you worry about not receiving a car gift since you already have a car, as it will put you at risk of flouting the rules of SSI and getting disqualified from the benefits.

Regardless of whether it is a gift, or you bought it with your money, or you bought it with the SSDI check, you are only allowed one car as long as you are a beneficiary of SSDI.

5. On Owning Two Cars

Although the general rule for cars under social security disability insurance is that you can only own one car, irrespective of the value of the car, there is an exception to the rule where a second car is totally necessary for the recipient.

Social security allows a beneficiary to have a second car if they consider it as a necessity caused by the disability.

They can also allow it if the disabled person is using it for a business that would put him or her in a better position and aid his or her disability.

Can I Buy a Car with my Child’s SSI?

Yes, you can buy a car with your child’s SSI, if buying a car will help your disabled child live easier.

If you do not have a car at all, and you realize that buying a car will put your disabled child in a better position and help convey him from place to place, easier than it would have been if you had no car, then you can go ahead to buy him a car.

However, it is important to note that you can only buy or own one car under SSI.


The rules that the Social Security Agency that disburses and confirms the eligibility of recipients lay now must be thoroughly adhered to, else your rights to the benefits can be revoked, and you might be additionally penalized.

Concerning cars, you must note that, while on SSDI, there are no limitations to the type of car you can buy, when you can buy it, the number of cars you can have, etc., however, it is a different case when you are receiving benefits from SSI. Under SSI, you are only allowed to one car. The rules are different for both programs, even though they are similar.