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My mother in-law just settled a lawsuit that paid her over $7000. She received a letter canceling her SSI money. is this allowed

Philadelphia, PA |

She gets $621 in social security and they knocked her down over the years to $39 in SSI. She fell out front of her neighbors house and fractured her ankle on a damaged curb. Her house is in bad shape and settled the case and received a settlement for $7,575. They are stating she is no longer able to receive the benefits. Can they do this?

Attorney Answers 2


Social Security is an insurance program where workers pay premiums through payroll taxes. Social Security eligibility is not affected by other financial fortunes. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a means-tested welfare program for people of low income and few assets. If it was your mother's SSI that was terminated when she received $7,000, that result would be correct because her $7,000 would exceed the $2,000 limit on countable resources. When she has spent her settlement down to under $2,000, she should be able to reestablish her eligibility and start SSI benefits again.

Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, 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.

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YEs. SSI is need based, and assets over $2000 prove that in SSA's mind you no longer "need" the help. Keep receipts for where the money was spent and file a new claim in the next few months and she should get back on SSI fairly quickly.

The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information. The information provided by this is general advice, and is not legal advice. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. You should not take any action that might affect your claim without first seeking the professional opinion of an attorney. You should consult an attorney who can can ask all the appropriate questions and give legal advice based on the exact facts of your situation. The general information provided here does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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