A question about getting disability and receiving a personal injury settlement

"If you get disability, do you have to report a personal injury settlement?"

I am a former disability examiner meaning that I made decisions on claims. This type of question would have to be answered by someone who actually was involved with income issues, such as a field office claims representative. My pat answer is that a person should report any and all income and/or new assets they receive to their local social security office. The last thing a person wants is to get an overpayment assessed against them, or even worse, a fraud investigation started. Regarding overpayments, I have seen many many people innocently get into trouble with being overpaid because of a failure to report income or assets. The best policy is to report.

How a personal injury settlement would be handled I personally would not know. As an aside, Social Security Disability is not concerned with assets at all. It is an earned benefit so your assets do not affect your eligibility. For SSI, assets do affect your eligibility. To receive SSI, a person cannot have more than $2000 in countable assets.

Here are some related pages on the site:

1. Working while on Social Security Disability and Not Reporting

2. If I Apply For Disability And Go Back To Work, Do I Need To Report This?

3. How important is reporting income for those who currently receive disability benefits?

4. What Income Will Affect Your Disability Benefits?

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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