How can I collect my inheritance and remain on SS disability??

My Dad left me $200.000 when he passed. Some people tell me that they know people on SS disability that can collect their inheritance. They say that when people on SS disability work (for instance) they are allowed to make $1000.00 a month and it will not affect their SS money. Well, some say that if they are ok getting $1000.00/month, why can't a person get their inheritance the same way at $1000.00/month too/ without losing their many needed services. Sincerely, Patti

Attleboro, MA -

Attorney Answers (4)

E. Alexandra Golden

E. Alexandra Golden

Probate Attorney - Needham, MA
Answered

As the other attorneys note, there's a big difference between SSDI and SSI. If you are SSDI, the receipt of the inheritance would not affect your benefit; however, your MassHealth benefit could be impacted. If you get SSI, you need to set up a special needs trust right away to protect the inheritance. A special needs trust must be established by a parent, grandparent, guardian/conservator or the Probate Court and must be approved by Social Security.

Contact a local elder law attorney for assistance -- this is technical stuff and not something you can do on your own.

E. Alexandra "Sasha" Golden is a Massachusetts lawyer. All answers are based on Massachusetts law. All answers are... more
Joseph Jonathan Brophy

Joseph Jonathan Brophy

Probate Attorney - White Plains, NY
Answered

Many people, even beneficiaries, do not understand the difference between Social Security disability (SSD) and Supplemenal Security Income (SSI). SSD is an insurance program, paid for by payroll taxes. It is not means tested, so you can keep collecting no matter how much money you have. SSI is an assistance program. It is means tested, so if you have more than a couple thousand dollars. you are ineligible. Medicare goes with SSD, and is not means tested. Medicaid goes with SSI and it is means tested. If you are on SSD you don't need to see a lawyer. If you are getting SSI you should see an elder care lawyer to work out a strategy to keep your benefits as much as possible.

Any opinions stated in response to Avvo questions are based upon the facts stated in the question. Responses to... more
Paula Brown Sinclair

Paula Brown Sinclair

Probate Attorney - Twin Falls, ID
Answered

Social Security is an insurance program, for which workers pay premiums through payroll taxes. Those insurance benefits are not in any way affected by other fortunes of finance. Assuming that your disability benefits truly are through the Social Security program, you can receive your inheritance without jeopardizing your benefits. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a means-tested welfare program that provides benefits for the disabled who have low income and little in assets. it is similar to Social Security in several ways, is administered by the Social Security Administration, and is often confused with Social Security (even by attorneys who should know better). If you are receiving SSI disability benefits, the inheritance will eliminate eligibility until it is spent down for your care. The $1,000 monthly income limit on earnings is a measurement of ability to perform "substantial gainful activity" which means the earner is not disabled.

Best wishes for a favorable outcome, and please remember to designate a best answer.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.
Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.

Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.

Estate Planning Attorney - Largo, FL
Answered

You need to meet with medicaid attorney to shift assets around to keep them exempt.
This is the job of a medicaid attorney to protect assets and maximize government benefits.

The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of... more

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