Social security - how do I verify the SS monthly income amount?

6 Replies

I have a pair of tenants applying to lease a property that are on social security.  They have shown and given copies of letters that show the monthly benefit amounts.  They seem real but I am not sure.  All benefits are put onto a debit card each month (not a bank account that I can request statements from )  My question is - how do I verify the benefit incomes indicated are the benefit amounts?  Each tenant (unmarried couple) makes enough income to meet my 3x rent policy.  There is proof of a small pension as well.  They couple is looking for a long term property to rent and every thing else seems to check out.  Is there a place I can verify the SS benefits?

Any assistance is appreciated.  Thanks!

Good question. Have you tried contacting the Social Security Admin for answers?

Kudos,

Mary

Hello Dan,

Any chance you ever found an answer to your question? I have an older woman who applied with income being a pension check and social security and  I was wondering the same thing. Thank you.

Stephanie

SS benefits can be TEMPORARY or PERMANENT based on retirement S.S or disability. A key is to know which one is in place. 

If temporary they might have applied for permanent for disability for example but that can take years unless an expedited emergency situation occurs.

You can get verification of income from S.S. You want to get it direct so that nothing is manipulated or unaltered.

It's been awhile since I did this so you might have to get written approval before S.S will release this information to you.

No legal advice given.

   

Those receiving SS benefits can get a "Letter of Determination" of benefits from the SS office. 

For those with a bank account ask for 3 months bank statements, the deposit will appear as a Govt. Deposit in the same amount on the same date (might be a day off).

You can obtain a Verification of Income and Benefits from the SS office, have the applicant fill it out and sign it. Mail it (might take it in to them) and include a self addressed return envelope. Usually comes back in a few days.

They can also check on benefits on line, have them log in and you can look at the benefits they are entitled to while they sit in your office.

I'd not really question their letter, they know that's how they verify their income as they may not have enough to file taxes. Their credit report is more important and if they are good there, obviously they paid debts on time. The other verification is your Rent Verification to a past landlord, if they paid as agreed they probably have income.

Note that Disability income that has been recently qualified for can still require future determinations (annually) so if they are say 9 months into their benefits you might get a current Letter of Determination. If they have gotten past a 3 year hump or they are 60 years old or older, reviews are less likely as they are pretty much past that. 

Sounds like the OP got some good tenants. Good luck  :)  

They should have a case worker or at lest be able to provide you with a contact number of someone at the SS office so you can verify the income they claim.

As others have mentioned, SS income comes in different forms and you will want to get that verified as well.

You could most likely have them call the number on the card, and listen to the last few deposits made.

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.

By signing up, you indicate that you agree to the BiggerPockets Terms & Conditions.