Can an Inheritance Affect Your SSI Benefits?

By Michelle Shvarts
Principal Attorney

Receiving an inheritance should be a good thing, but it can become a problem if you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits in Los Angeles. The issue is, an inheritance could result in you suddenly having too many resources to qualify for SSI. An inheritance which pays out monthly income could also push you over the income threshold and prevent you from qualifying for SSI. 

The loss of SSI benefits could be devastating, so it is important to plan ahead if an inheritance is going to be left to a disabled SSI recipient. A Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer can provide assistance in protecting access to essential disability benefits. 

When can an Inheritance Result in a Loss of SSI Benefits in Los Angeles?

If an inheritance is given directly to an SSI recipient and pushes the recipient over income or resource limits, this can lead to disqualification from SSI coverage. However, an inheritance can be structured so this does not happen. For example, the creation of a special needs trust and transferring the inheritance into that trust could provide the best answer.

The money form the inheritance which is owned by the special needs trust can be used to provide for the supplemental needs of the person who is disabled. It should not be used to pay rent or to provide gifts that are cash equivalents (like gift cards) or benefits will be in jeopardy. Contact a Los Angeles disability lawyer to find out more about the rules and for help making sure you do not accidentally jeopardize your SSI benefits.

About the Author
Ms. Shvarts is the managing attorney for Disability Advocates Group. She opened Disability Advocates Group to assist individuals who became disabled and unable to work to obtain the benefits they need and deserve.  Ms. Shvarts and the rest of the team at Disability Advocates Group are dedicated to assisting individuals obtain Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.