Does Inheritance Affect Social Security Benefits?

Does Inheritance Affect Social Security Benefits?

When someone is living on a fixed income, such as from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program benefits, things can become stressful if something happens that could impact their benefits. Many people who are on SSDI have a misunderstanding of how these benefits work and are often confused about when their benefits could be lost. For instance, many SSDI benefit recipients often want to know if getting an inheritance will negatively impact their SSDI benefits. Does inheritance affect social security benefits? Here’s the information you need to know.

Will An Inheritance Negatively Impact SSDI Benefits?

The short answer here is no. SSDI benefits are not based on financial need. Rather, SSDI benefits are based on past income that you have earned and whether you have generated enough qualifying work credits in order to be eligible for SSDI benefits from the Social Security Administration. If you paid into the SSDI system enough during your job history, then you are likely eligible to collect disability benefits from the SSDI program if you become disabled or sick and cannot work anymore. There is only one source of income that could affect your SSDI benefits: wages earned from any work that you do while simultaneously collecting SSDI benefits.

Working in and of itself does not necessarily render you ineligible for SSDI benefits. You may be eligible to work in a limited capacity so long as your earnings from your work are limited to a small amount of income. When you engage in work while on SSDI, it is considered substantial gainful activity. If you earn more than a certain amount of income per month due to your substantial gainful activity, it brings into question whether you are disabled such that you require SSDI benefits in the first place. As of 2017, those who are receiving SSDI benefits may only earn up to $1,170 per month due to substantial gainful activity.

An Inheritance Will Likely Affect Your SSI Benefits

On the other hand, if you are a recipient of Supplemental Security Income (SSI),  an inheritance will likely adversely affect your SSI benefits. In fact, you may even lose your SSI benefits completely depending on how much your inheritance is worth. SSI benefits are based on financial need. If your inheritance eliminates your financial need, then you may be rendered ineligible for SSI benefits. Anyone who receives SSI benefits has an obligation to report any change in their financial circumstances to the SSA, including if the SSI recipient is the beneficiary of an inheritance or other windfall.

Contact An Experienced Disability Benefits Lawyer

It can be tough to make ends meet when you are disabled or have a medical condition that prohibits you from working enough to earn a living wage. Fortunately, there are government programs that are designed to help those individuals who are disabled to get the financial support they need. If you need assistance applying for disability benefits, contact an experienced disabilities law attorney today. At the Klok Law Firm LLC we work hard to ensure that disabled individuals get the benefits that they need.  

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