The Social Security disability program is a system of paid-in disability insurance that allows workers to collect monthly benefits if they are completely disabled and unable to work. Social Security may make use of your bank account information in the process of evaluating a claim or paying benefits.
Qualifying for Disability
Social Security disability is not a means-tested program. To qualify, you must have a minimum number of work credits, in the form of Social Security payroll taxes paid in to the system. You also, of course, must have a proven disability. However, your assets are not limited. You can own property, and have an unlimited amount of money in the bank, and still qualify for disability.
For that reason, Social Security does not need your bank account information to process a disability claim. For Supplemental Security Income, however, the agency may ask for your bank account number to investigate your assets and resources. SSI is means-tested, and your resources are limited to £1,300 if you are single, and £1,950 if you are married, in cash, property, and in-kind benefits such as free rent provided by a friend or relative.
If you are receiving SSI benefits, and Social Security conducts a routine investigation into your resources, the agency may request access to your bank account information. If it finds your resources exceeding the limit, it will suspend your benefits; if it finds a systematic attempt to hide or disguise assets, it can charge you with fraud.
Social Security is moving to electronic payment of benefits, and ending the use of physical checks sent through the mail. If you win a disability or SSI claim, the agency will request your bank routing and account numbers to make monthly payments directly into your bank account. As of 2011, this remains an option, but the agency will make EBT payments mandatory in the future.