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Will a personal injury settlement affect my Social Security Disability?

Atlanta, GA |

I am 55 yrs old. I am on social security due to my severe arthritis. Will a personal injury settlement affect my disability?

Where can I place it if I need it for my medical/personal care?

Please advise

Attorney Answers 6


  1. Best answer

    the social security disability should not be affected by an injury settlement. however, there will probably be a medicare lien on the settlement and there may be what is called a medicare set aside for future medicare payments of medical bills. your lawyer will handle of that.


  2. A personal injury settlement is supposed to compensate you for injuries as a result of someone else's negligence, to try to Put you back" to where you were before the injury. Assuming that you were on disability before, and that the settlement and treatment from the settlement put you in a better position than you were before the accident (making you able to work again), I would not think that the settlement would affect your Social Security benefits. You may want to contact the SS office in your area to discuss it further, or locate an attorney in your area that specializes in these types of disability claims.

    Good luck to you.

    Disclaimer- The information you obtain at our web-site or through postings on such sites as this is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for specific advice regarding your individual situation. Any response given here is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.


  3. A portion of your personal-injury settlement will, if applicable, need to be used toward the future care of the subject injury. Your attorney should have advised you about whether or not you will/currently need to set up a trust or set aside. If you do not plan properly, your personal injury settlement may, in fact, affect your social security. Speak to your attorney. Good luck.


  4. It depends on which type of Social Security disability benefits you are receiving.

    If you are on SSD (also known as SSDI) benefits then any personal injury settlement will not impact your SSD benefits.

    If you are on SSI (Supplemental Security Income) disability benefits then any settlement you receive will be counted as income to you in the month received and as a resource in subsequent months until spent down per Social Security rules. To avoid this, the funds would need to go from the other party to your attorney or a trust attorney who then puts the funds into a Special Needs Trust - the rules for these trusts are tricky and Social Security has very specific rules about how they are set up and administered - so if you need one of these be sure to consult with an attorney who has experience with them so that it is done correctly.

    A special needs trust also may help avoid some of the Mediare issues identified by my colleagues - again consult with an attorney experienced in these matters.

    Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by Brian Scott Wayson as general information, not legal advice, and use of this information does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you have questions about your specific situation, please call an attorney.


  5. Mr Wayson's answer raises a good point. Other than \Medicare, your PI settlement will not likely have any effect on your benefits if you are getting SSD. If you are getting SSI, however, the settlement will absolutely have some impact for some number of months, depending on the amount of the settlement.

    Talk this over with your PI attorney. If your attorney does not know, find a local attorney who also handles Social Security claims who should be able to help you.

    Good luck to you.

    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.


  6. If you are receiving SSDI, not SSI, then you can have as much money in a bank account as you want without reducing or terminating your SSDI T2 benefits. Personal injury settlements/payments do not affect or offset SSDI T2 benefits. To insure T2 benefits are not subject to garnishment it is a good idea to keep these funds segregated from other funds via direct deposit. Your Medicare is either active now or will be after 24 months of active payments. Look into a Medicare supplement policy. If Medicare paid medical bills, the PI settlement must contain a Medicare set aside to reimburse Medicare and account for future medical bills attributable to the accident. An agreement must be reached between the insurance company, you AND Medicare. Once reached, if bills exceed the Medicare set aside, even if from the personal injury, Medicare will cover them.