There are several criteria that a person who wants to apply for Social Security disability payments must meet. Those criteria are related to the person’s income-earning potential. However, they do not include his income from other sources, like inheritance.
A person who has received an inheritance is not automatically disqualified from Social Security Disability Insurance payments if he is currently receiving payments under the program. If you are currently receiving disability payments and receive an inheritance, there will be no effect on your benefits.
That is because the Social Security Disability program is not based on your unearned income like inheritance, but rather on your income-earning ability. To be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, you must prove that you are incapable, because of your disability, of engaging in substantial or gainful employment that could help you earn a living. If you meet these criteria, you qualify for disability payments, and that status does not change even when you receive an inheritance or there is any other change in your financial condition. Social Security payments are not dependent on the overall financial condition of a person.
However, if you are currently receiving payments under the Supplemental Security Income program and have received an inheritance then there may be a potential impact on your benefits. The Supplemental Security Income program is primarily designed to pay benefits to people who have a financial need for these benefits. That means that when you receive an inheritance there could be an effect on the benefits that are available to you through the program.
M. Stanley Whitehead is a Houston Social Security disability attorney, representing people who want to claim disability benefits, or appeal a denial of their claim.