If I receive an inheritance, will I lose my disability payments?

Will inheriting affect my eligibility to receive disability?

Someone asked the question "If I receive an inheritance, will I lose my disability payments?"

Depending on the stipulations set forth in the inheritance, this is how it would be processed. If it is just a basic inheritance, it will not be a problem for Social Security Disability beneficiaries, because the title II program does not care about assets in any sense. However, if SSI is involved, it gets more complicated because with SSI a person is not eligible to receive benefits if they have at least $2000.00 in countable assets. Say he inherited $2000.00 in cash. The money would be counted as income the first month the inheritance was received and as a resource until the money is spent.

So what does that mean? It simply means that after the first month of receiving the inheritance, any amount the person has that is in excess of $2000.00 will make them not eligible to get SSI. It also means that once the individual has spent money on legitimate things (remember to keep receipts), down to under $2000.00, which is the asset-resource limit for an individual (for couples, the limit is $3000.00), the individual can receive SSI again.

The best advice, of course, for someone who has received an inheritance is to contact their local social security office so the issue of the inheritance can properly be addressed. The last thing a person wants to do is be charged with an overpayment.

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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