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Life Insurance

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at ssa.gov.

2159. Life Insurance

2159.1 Is life insurance considered a resource?

Life insurance is a resource if:

  1. You own it; and

  2. It has a cash surrender value.

For example, burial insurance and most kinds of term insurance have no cash surrender value. These are not resources.

2159.2 Can life insurance with a cash surrender value be excluded from resources?

Life insurance that has a cash surrender value and is owned by you (or your spouse) is excluded from countable resources if the total face value of all policies you own on any one person is not more than $1,500. However, if the total face value of such insurance is more than $1,500, then the total cash surrender value of the insurance counts as a resource, unless it is designated as funds set aside for burial. (See §2161.)

Last Revised: March, 2001


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