Your Resources & Income

In addition to your immigration status, CAPI looks at your resources (the things you own) and income when deciding if you can get benefits.

The limits on how much you can have and still get CAPI are generally the same as they are for the federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Like SSI, CAPI does not count all of your income and resources. If the amount that they count is less than the limits, then you can get CAPI benefits.

Resources

CAPI's countable resource limit is $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for couples. CAPI does not count certain things, like your house and one car, when figuring out if you are under the resource limit. Click here for a list of resource exclusions.

Also, if your disability began before you turned 26, you can open an ABLE account, where over time you can save up to $100,000 and not have it counted by CAPI. Learn more about ABLE accounts.

Countable Income

Income limits are used to decide if you can get CAPI benefits and also how much you will get. The process is similar to SSI’s countable income calculation, and includes earned, unearned, and deemed income. (For a detailed look at how SSI counts income, see DB101's SSI article.)

CAPI compares your countable income to the maximum CAPI benefit amount a person in your situation can get. If your countable income is greater than the maximum benefit amount, then you can’t get CAPI benefits. For most people, the maximum possible monthly CAPI benefit is $943.72 for an individual and $1,582.14 for a couple. If you're blind, the maximum is $1,000.23 for an individual or $1,733.19 for a couple. The maximum for a child under 18 with a disability is $848.15. (Note: Maximum benefits amounts also depend on your living situation. Click here for a table listing current CAPI benefit amounts.)

If you’re single and you have $990 in countable income, you can't get CAPI because $990 is more than the maximum CAPI benefit ($943.72 for individuals).

If your countable income is less than $943.72, then you can get CAPI, and the difference between the two amounts is your benefit amount. For example, if you qualify for a maximum of $943.72 from CAPI and you have $300 of countable income, you’ll get a $643.72 benefit. The amount you’re eligible for is called a payment standard and is based on your living arrangements.

Responsibilities

It’s important that you report any changes in your immigration status, income, resources, marital status, living arrangement, and sponsor information. Plus, at least every 12 months CAPI will ask you to fill out a "redetermination" form showing that you continue to qualify to get CAPI.

If CAPI finds out that you didn't tell them about any changes or misled them, they will say it was an overpayment, and make you pay back any extra money. There are ways to not have to pay back an overpayment, but it's better to avoid them instead. Lying or withholding information can also make you lose your CAPI monthly benefit.