Does Inheritance Affect Disability Benefits?

September 11th, 2011

Hank, in Long Beach California, asks “My mother just passed away and I received an inheritance. Will this affect my Social Security Disability benefits?”

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are not impacted by assets, inheritance, or other unearned income. Your SSDI benefits are based upon your work history and the amount of taxes you paid into Social Security. Only income that is earned from working, can affect your SSDI benefits once your Trial Work Period time has been met.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is affected by your assets, inheritance, and other income (earned or unearned). SSI is a needs-based disability program and has requirements regarding income and assets. If your income and assets are over a certain amount than you will not be eligible to receive SSI benefits until your assets are again less than the allowable amount.

So, if you receive an inheritance and are currently receiving SSDI, then you are okay, and will continue to receive your SSDI benefits as you normally would. However, if you received an inheritance and are currently receiving SSI benefits, then you will need to report that money to the Social Security Administration, and you will not receive SSI benefits while your assets remain over the allowable amount (in 2011 that amount is $2000 for individuals, and $3000 for a married couple)

If you need to apply for disability, appeal a denied claim, or if you have a hearing scheduled for a SSDI or SSI claim, the best thing you can do to improve your chances at winning your claim is to hire an experienced disability attorney. Click here for a free consultation with an experienced disability attorney in the Southern California area (San Diego, Riverside, Los Angeles, etc…).

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