Can you Buy a Home while Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits?

Submitted by Shane on Tue, 11/16/2010 - 14:16

Many people who receive Social Security Disability benefits wonder if it is possible to own their own home, or if they will be stuck renting for the rest of their lives. There are many preconceived notions about people who receive Social Security Disability being unable to qualify for a mortgage. They fear that they do not have enough income or that the fact that they are on disability and not employed will get in the way of qualifying for a mortgage loan. This isn't necessarily the case. Many people who receive Social Security Disability benefits can qualify to buy a home and there are programs in place to help disabled individuals qualify for a mortgage. If you are receiving Social Security Disability benefits and you want to purchase a home of your own, there are some things you need to know.

Your Credit Score and Income

No matter what type of mortgage you are applying for, lenders will look at your credit score and income when determining whether or not to approve you for a loan. That does not mean, however, that you will not be able to purchase a home if your credit score is less than perfect or if your income is limited to your Social Security Disability benefits. There are programs in place for disabled individuals to help overcome the obstacles of imperfect credit and limited resources.

Programs to Help You Buy a Home

If you are receiving Social Security Disability benefits, there are programs that can help you purchase the home you need. The Fannie Mae Community HomeChoice program provides assistance to disabled individuals who want to purchase a home but have limited income. Even if your credit rating has suffered, you may qualify for a home loan under this program when receiving Social Security Disability, depending on your Monthly Benefit Amount (MBA). Fannie Mae can also provide you with a loan that will allow you to make improvements to the home you buy if those improvements are directly related to your disabling condition.

Another program that you may want to look into is Section 8. Many people assume that Section 8 assistance is only for renters, when in reality the program can also help you purchase a home. If you qualify for Section 8 and your local Section 8 office participates in the home ownership program, you can receive assistance in making your monthly mortgage payments, making home ownership more affordable.

Habitat For Humanity is another program that can help people who receive Social Security Disability enjoy the benefits of home ownership. The program is geared towards low-income families and provides low-interest mortgages ranging from seven to thirty years. In many cases you need to put “sweat equity” into the purchase of your home, but if you are unable to help with the construction of your home due to a disability you may be able to work out alternative arrangements. Habitat for Humanity programs are organized at the community level, and so eligibility rules may differ between local organizations.

Down Payment Issues

If you receive Social Security Disability and you are able to qualify for a mortgage program, you may be worried about coming up with the down payment for the purchase of your home. Fortunately, there are creative financing options available to help you meet your down payment requirements.

The Fannie Mae program discussed earlier may require a down payment of as little as $500 when you are receiving Social Security Disability. For other programs you may want to consider “sweat equity” options or you may want to offer full price for the home if the seller is willing to “gift” the down payment.

When receiving Social Security Disability, you can also look into grants or gifts for your down payment needs. Some programs, such as the IDA program, allows you to save money towards your down payment and will match part or all of the money you put into the IDA account to be used for the purchase of a home. So if, for example, you have saved $1,000 from your Social Security Disability benefits towards your down payment, the matching gift would be $1,000, giving you a total of $2,000 to put down on your home purchase.

Making Ownership a Reality

If you are receiving Social Security Disability and you want to purchase a home, there are resources out there to help you do it. Many organizations want to help those who are on Social Security Disability realize the dream of home ownership. Look into the programs mentioned above and see which ones you qualify for. If you use one of the programs to purchase a home, you can start putting part of your Social Security Disability benefits towards owning your home instead of putting rent in your landlord's pocket.

Additional Resources 

Blog comments


In reply to by Tess (not verified)

Hi Tess,
You may want to contact the housing authority in your state, they may be able to provide you with resources for financial assistance.

Fri, 07/07/2017 - 14:26 Permalink
Susan (not verified)

Thank you so much for all of this information. I will begin my research today to find out what programs I may qualify for. I will send you feedback as I go through the process. Thank you again, Susan.

Thu, 07/13/2017 - 14:17 Permalink
Bridgette (not verified)

I am on ssa and ssi.i have no credit because i pay everything with cash im currently renting a room in someones house but would like to rent a apartment or house very much.i would love it if someone could help me as i have physical and mental disabilities.thank you

Sat, 07/22/2017 - 00:55 Permalink
Cynthia (not verified)

I'm on SSDI. My Dad was in a business where he flipped houses and he had a home that he wants to do a Quick claim deed on over to me if it were legal (I mea since I'm on SSDI). I would not actually be paying for anything the home. It would be a gift from my parents. Can they do that? I get $1140.00 after evrything is taken out of check each month. I live in Georgia and have heard different stories of if its legal or not. Can you help me out. I don't understand why they don't let us folks have a home if someone gives us one. I am single and have no children and nobody will be living with me when something happens to my parents. I can't afford living on that amount of money alone. Please help me find the correct answer. I hope you will help me find some links to look at because I have searched the internet high and low and can't find an answer. Thank you so much for your time and help. Cynthia

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 08:37 Permalink
Carol (not verified)

I am on social security disability and own a home. I am in dire need of a roof and some inside work due to the roof leaking so bad. I cant get NO help from anywhere!! I called all orginizations and they are out of funds or my credit is too poor. And it makes it even worse when i tell them i am on social security disability. Then, i get is you dont make enough money each month to qualify for any type of loan!

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 13:42 Permalink
Julie shirah (not verified)

I get SSI I REALLY need to move I live with my aunt I need to move but I need help I don't have a down payment and i need help paying the mortgage I don't have a lot of money I don't get a lot from SSI but I do want to purchase a house instead of renting one is there any help out there available to me

Sat, 07/29/2017 - 13:53 Permalink
Nancy ortiz (not verified)

Idk what everyone is talking about im surching for the info and its all negative cant be done i recently got my ssi approved and would like to by a home nothing expensive only what i need that i can get out of renting hell and i have gone to the websites that are givin and like how the heck do u apply or get to speak to sumone as far as i have read it doesnt look like it can be done this is all a lie disapointed i really needed this

Thu, 08/03/2017 - 02:56 Permalink

In reply to by Nancy ortiz (not verified)

Hi Nancy,
I'm sorry to hear about that! You may want to contact your state's housing authority, they may be able to help you with this.

Thu, 08/03/2017 - 12:02 Permalink
Michelle Renee… (not verified)

I lost my home to a loan modification scam. I had it for 26 years and it got sold as a foreclosure. Where do I start to rebuild? I am 51 years old and on SSDI. Please help!

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 01:24 Permalink

In reply to by Michelle Renee… (not verified)

Hi Michelle,

I am so sorry to hear that.You may want to contact your state's housing authority. Organizations like Habitat for Humanity may be able to help too. Wishing you nothing but the best.


Fri, 08/11/2017 - 09:01 Permalink
Sharon Chappel (not verified)

Your information is very helpful my kids are all grow I am now on social security I've worked all my life my last job 30yrs before being on social security I would love to one day buy my dream house and Forster's kids show love and encourage good behavior to them so that one day they will become accomplish a better life and become a mark to this great nation and not a negative.
Thank you so very much.
It never hurts to dream guess I been a dreamer all my life.
P.S.God bless
Sharon Chappel

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 13:18 Permalink
Mey (not verified)

Thank you for this information. How about buying a new car? My parents were always told since they're on disability that they are not allow to buy a car or a house or else it will affect their income. Can someone clarify this for me.
Thank you.

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 19:06 Permalink

In reply to by Mey (not verified)

Hi Mey,

You may want to reach out to the SSA just to double check. That's always the best way to go about things.


Mon, 08/21/2017 - 09:21 Permalink
Victoria Santiago (not verified)

I've been told if get a house while having ssi that when I pass on the house will go to the government and not my kids by any chance do you know if that's true? Thanks.

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 10:46 Permalink

In reply to by Sio (not verified)

Hi Sio,
owning a home would affect neither, however you may want to check in with the SSA regarding how you benefits would be affected if you buy a home.

Wed, 08/30/2017 - 11:18 Permalink
Amy (not verified)

Hello, I'm hoping someone can help give me direction in how to get a mortgage while on disability. My credit score is 720 and I have about $20,000 I can put down. Last year I talked with a mortgage company through Wells Fargo and they would not approve me to buy a town home for $125,000. I never got a straight answer as to why I would be denied. It sound from this article that I can possibly be pre approved for a mortage but who can I turn to? I don't trust to just talk to anyone in another state about this and was wondering is there anywhere that I can physically go here in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. I pay $1400 a month rent for a two bedroom small town house and everyone says I can get a mortgage but I don't know where to start. Any help and information would be so appreciated. My lease is up and I would sign a month to month lease at $1500 if I knew this would work. Otherwise I fear I will need to sign another year where I am and keep throwing money down the drain. Thanks again!!

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 22:28 Permalink

In reply to by Amy (not verified)

Hi Amy,
You may want to contact the housing authority in Pennsylvania,
they may be able to help you find funding for a home.

Wed, 08/30/2017 - 11:26 Permalink
Terri (not verified)

I am alone and have been recieving SSI for 10 years and will be on till I die. I also have a section 8 voucher which have had for long time also. My credit is in tact. Can you please assist me with all imfo about purchasing a small home as I know nothing about it at all? Thank you for any and all assistance. Sincerely, Terri

Sat, 09/02/2017 - 09:01 Permalink

In reply to by Terri (not verified)

Hi Terri,
You may want to contact the housing authority in your state about this, they may be able to help you further in this matter.

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 16:44 Permalink
Patricia Winston (not verified)

I'm in the process of getting pre-approved for a home, an I have a disable sister that get ssi an ssa benefits...will that effect her benefits in any way.

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 12:34 Permalink
Benjamin Kendall (not verified)

My mother is going to purchase a home, but wants to put it in my little brother's name. He has autism but was never put on disability. He is 22. My mother was wondering if she were to buy the house outright, would she be able to finally put my brother on disability and put the house under his name?
Thank you

Thu, 09/14/2017 - 14:40 Permalink
Lauren (not verified)

I'm still awaiting a decision from the judge on my appeal but my son's also awaiting a decision on his too. My son is 4yrs old and I'm almost 29. I guess my question is I wrote down ur info on Fannie mae and section 8 and h4h. But do you know if we are allowed to buy a new car (used actually) but new to me and newer in year. Because my car keeps breaking down its unsafe for my son to be in. Do u have any info on that? I plan to use the lump sum since I was denied 2 years ago. Thanks

Sun, 09/17/2017 - 17:49 Permalink

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Hi There,

You are able if you are on SSDI. However, I would recommend speaking to someone at your bank regarding whether or not you can buy if for someone with low credit.

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 08:57 Permalink
V.Vandiver (not verified)

If someone has purchased a home out right and want to sell it to me can I do this and not hurt my benefits?

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 14:35 Permalink

In reply to by V.Vandiver (not verified)

Hi there,
That may not if you are receiving SSDI benefits, however if you're receiving SSI benefits you may want to consult your local SSA office.

Mon, 09/25/2017 - 14:52 Permalink
Savannah Morris (not verified)

I am disable and I receive a SSDI and have always wanted my own home I have been staying in public housing ever since I was 21, I just want to do better for myself staying in public housing wasn't forever, it was until a person can do better. And I have tried for years to buy my own home and I was discriminated against by Section8, and some Real Estate Company. Now I am trying again, I got the faith that I will get what I what I want in spite of my disability.

Thu, 10/05/2017 - 18:02 Permalink

In reply to by Chaya (not verified)


With any specific questions on how to spend your Social Security income, it is always best to double check with the SSA first.

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 09:36 Permalink

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