There are a lot of misconceptions around Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and how monetary inheritance and endowments can affect it. Read on to find out the truth about inheritance and Social Security disability income.
Defining Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)
First and foremost, let’s define what SSDI is. It is not a form of welfare. SSDI is a disability program for those who have worked and earned Social Security credits but are unable to work due to injury or illness. SSDI benefits are only available to those with severe, long-term disabilities.
SSDI is funded through payroll taxes. You can earn up to four Social Security work credits a year that go towards SSDI. The amount of work credits you need to qualify for SSDI depends on your age and when you became disabled. The amount of monthly Social Security disability benefits you can get is based on your earnings record.
Qualifying for SSDI is based on work credits and proof of a disabling condition that prevents you from working. Receiving SSDI is not affected by how much money you can have or receive by inheritance.
Defining Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSDI is often confused with Supplemental Security Income (SSI), but it is very different.
SSI is a form of welfare. Those receiving SSI benefits did not earn the amount of Social Security credits necessary to be eligible for SSDI. SSI has nothing to do with work history, and is solely based on financial need.
To be eligible to receive SSI, you must have $2,000 in assets or less and a very limited income. Couples with $3,000 in assets or less and a limited income also may qualify for SSI.
Therefore, because SSI is a form of welfare, it restricts the amount of assets and inheritance you can receive. The Social Security Administration counts any type of in-kind support as income. This amount of money is subtracted from SSI payments.
Other Circumstances When Inheritance Can Jeopardize Benefits
It can be hard to know if you will need assistance or benefits later down the road. Inheritance can sometimes interfere with receiving certain forms of government aid – including housing allowance, food stamps, and Medicaid.
If you are left an inheritance that the government deems enough to cover care costs, then you may be denied aid from state programs. To keep this from happening, inheritance can be left in a Special Needs Trust or a Pooled Trust. Funds in these trusts can be accessed to supplement governmental benefits but will not replace them.
M. Stanley Whitehead is a trusted Houston disability denial attorney. He has helped clients across the United States to fight unfair Social Security disability denials. If you were wrongly denied benefits, contact us today at (713) 993-7311.