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Will a Judgement award affect my SSI

Sherman, TX |

I won a large Award from an Arbitration case I was the plaintiff in. Will I lose me SSI and or SSD?

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Attorney answers 4


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.

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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).

Good luck.


No impact on SSDI. If you are receiving SSI, you need to have a Special Needs Trust set up to shelter such an award so you can continue to receive SSI.


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.

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