If you actually receive funds, that may interfere with SSI but not SSDI. It would be income in the month received and would continue to be a problem if your funds stay above $2000 for the months afterward. You may have options for setting up a special needs trust or you may be able to spend down quickly to minimize the problem but in any event this needs to be discussed with your attorney or an experienced local elder law attorney should be able to assist.
It is impossible to give specific answers to questions without meeting and fully discussing all of the potential issues that may not be addressed by your question. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information and are not legal advice. Only after a thorough personal consultation could specific legal advice be given. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. To enter such a relationship you and I would need to consult in person and form a mutually agreeable written contract of engagement. The answer(s) provided in this forum is intended to educate you and point to issues for you to raise in a consultation with a lawyer of your choosing who is appropriately competent in the field of law that your question concerns and who is duly licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where you live and/or where the events giving rise to your question occurred. You should not take any action that might affect your claim(s) without first seeking the professional opinion of a licensed attorney. There are often strict deadlines for filing suit, responding to a suit or making an appeal and you need to personally consult with an attorney to make sure that you understand and meet those deadlines.
Your SSI is needs-based, with strict limits on what income and resources you may have. As such, yes, a large cash award would likely make you ineligible for SSI, and likely, Medicaid. Your SSD, however, would not be impacted, nor would your Medicare, if you have.
You may want to consult with a lawyer to handles Special Needs Trusts and can also advise you on excellent ways to spend any award down (if necessary), but in a way that you can take advantage of for years to come, such as using the money to buy a home (uncounted resource).
I agree with the other two attorneys that have posted. You need to be very careful on what you spend this award money, as well as when you spend it. SSI asset rules are very strict; however, those same rules do not apply to SSD. I have added the Elder Law tag to this question in hopes that you might get an Elder Law attorney to step in and offer some guidance on the Special Needs Trusts. I think you should find a local Elder Law attorney (sometimes listed as Estate Planning attorneys) and consult with him or her about the Special Needs Trusts. I would ALSO meet with a Social Security attorney to get guidance on maneuvering through the marking Social Security waters. Best of luck!
I am an attorney licensed in Missouri, but represent clients in Social Security cases throughout the country. Statements I make on Avvo are for general information only, and are not legal advice and are not intended to be legal advice. You should consult an attorney to discuss the details of your specific matter for individual legal advice.