Will receiving a settlement in a class action suit affect a person's SSI benefits?

Asked over 1 year ago - Philadelphia, PA

A 48-year old male has physical and mental disabilities for which he is getting SSI benefits. He expects to receive a settlement in a class action suit because of the effects of his taking the drug Avandia--such as 2 heart attacks and congestive heart failure. Will the settlement he receives affect his receiving SSI benefits?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Clifford Michael Farrell

    Contributor Level 19

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If he is getting SSI and not SSDI, then yes. All assets - money, cash value life insurance, extra cars - and injury claim settlements too - are included as an asset.

    The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should... more
  2. Gerald Gregory Lutkenhaus

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, unless this is properly placed in a special needs trust it will disqualify him from SSI since a recipient of SSI cannot have more than $2,000.00 in liquid assets.

    This response is meant to be information only and should not be considered to be legal advice. This information is... more
  3. Timothy Allan Berger

    Contributor Level 10

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As the other two answers note, if the settlement puts him above the asset limit for SSI, he would no longer receive benefits.

    As Mr. Lutkenhaus notes, if a special needs trust could prevent his disqualification. You need to be proactive and get the trust set up ahead of time so that the settlement funds can go directly to the trust when they are disbursed.

    I recommend contacting an attorney who is familiar with setting up special needs trusts. Good luck.

    This response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. It... more

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