Q: My mother receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. She may have to enter a nursing home later this year. How does this affect her SSI benefits?

A: Moving to a nursing home can affect your motherís SSI benefits, but it depends on the type of facility. In some cases, the SSI payment may be reduced or stopped. Whenever your mother enters or leaves a nursing home, assisted-living facility, hospital, skilled nursing facility or any other kind of institution, it is important that you tell Social Security. Call Social Securityís toll-free number, 800-772-1213 (TTY 800-325-0778). We can answer specific questions from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. We also provide information by automated phone service 24 hours a day.

Q: Are there limits on what I can own to be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

A: The SSI program counts real estate, bank accounts, cash, stocks and bonds toward the limits on what you can own. You might be able to get SSI if your resources are worth no more than $2,000. A couple might be able to get SSI if they have resources worth no more than $3,000. If you own property you are trying to sell, you might be able to get SSI while trying to sell it. Social Security does not count everything you own in deciding whether you have too many resources to qualify for SSI.

For example, we generally do not count: the home you live in and the land it is on; life insurance policies with a face value of $1,500 or less; your car; burial plots for you and immediate family; and up to $1,500 in burial funds for you and up to $1,500 in burial funds for your spouse. Learn more about SSI at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi.

Send questions to Robert Fenn, Social Security Administration, Second Floor, Federal Building, 2 S. Main St., Akron, OH 44308. Fax: 330-375-5616 or e-mail: Robert.Fenn@ssa.gov.