Will an inheritance stop my disability benefits?

What affect can an inheritance have on my disability?

Social Security administers two disability programs: Supplemental Security Income disability (SSI) and Social Security Disability (SSDI). SSI eligibility hinges on income and resource limits, while SSDI is based upon your earnings prior to becoming disabled.

If you are receiving SSDI, an inheritance will not stop your disability benefits because your eligibility is not dependent upon income or resource limits.

Conversely, SSI is a need based disability program for those who have not earned enough to be entitled to SSDI. This program has income and resource limits that affect your eligibility. An inheritance would be considered a resource and any resource over $2000 may stop your SSI disability benefits.

It is important to report an inheritance immediately to avoid any potential overpayment of SSI benefits. Dependent upon the amount of the inheritance, your benefits may be stopped for a significant period of time. If you are out of pay status due to having too much in assets, i.e. resources, for a period of longer than a year, you may have to qualify for SSI disability again.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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