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Will inheritance affect my Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments?

Continued eligibility for Social Security Disability Benefits is dependent on many different factors. These include your ability to work, your living situation, and any income and resources you have earned. However, the two disability benefit programs—SSI and SSDI—vary. What may disqualify an SSI recipient may not disqualify and SSDI recipient. Today we will be answering a question about the effect of inheritance on a person’s Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

If you have a question that you’d like us to address in a future blog post, please leave it in the comment section below or contact us through Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. Today’s question is:

Will inheritance affect my SSDI benefits?

If you are a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipient and receive an inheritance, it will not affect your benefits. SSDI is not a needs-based program and is not contingent upon your unearned income—including inheritance.

The only income that may potentially affect your SSDI benefits is any wages that you earn through employment. If you engage in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA), your monthly payments could be lowered or eliminated as a result. In 2014, SGA is considered to be earning $1,070 or more in one month. If you begin working while receiving SSDI benefits, then it is necessary to report this income to the Social Security Administration (SSA).

However, if you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits and have recently inherited funds, your benefits may potentially be affected. This is due to the fact that the SSI program is based on financial need. Any income, earned or unearned, can affect your benefits. Therefore it is imperative to inform the SSA of any changes to your income. You have up to ten days following the end of the month in which the change occurred to report the change.


a friend is receiving SSI for disabilities, she may inherit a small house with 3 acres it sets on which she is living in now. she will receive no money just house and land it sits on will this affect her SSI payments, will land and house have to be survaded?

Hi Elizabeth. This will likely affect her payments. She should contact her SSA office and let them know about the inheritance. They will be able to give her a better idea of how it will impact her monthly payments.

No it should not affect her SSI. I have a relative in the same situation and his is not affected as long as he lives in the house and does not receive any monies per the attonery we consulted.

Hi Keleka,

This may not be necessarily true for everyone. If the inheritance increases the total asset value to more than $2,000, she may become ineligible for SSI. This is why many couples lose their SSI payments after moving in with a partner. It would not affect her if she received SSDI.

what if a person applies for SSI and is awaiting an award from a divorce settlement of over 100,000 does this person still qualify for the benefit

My father passed away leaving .5 acres with a home, the heirs are ten siblings which we each own a tenth. He had no money, A lien was put on the property going through probate. I paid off the debt to keep the property in agreement noon else wanted any part of it. Now my sister who is on SSI refuses to sign a quit deed because she was informed she needs to be disinherited from the inheritance. however the probate is closed. Is it not wise for her to sign the quit deed to transfer her shares to others in the family?

I receive SSI and SSA I am supposed to inherit some money, around 10.000. How will this effect my monthly checks? Also does a person stay on SSI and SSA the rest of their life or can they be moved to SSDI or when I turn 62 does it turn over to SS?

My husband is on SSDI (age 58) and is scheduled to receive proceeds from the sale of his Dad's home. Will the proceeds affect his SSDI benefits?

Your inheritance will not affect your SSDI benefits because the SSDI program is not a needs-based program and is not contingent upon your unearned income - including inheritance.

Having been on long-term disability for almost ten years and no probable cure, I need to know if this future inheritance should come lump sum or a form of monthly "allowance". Is there a better way for this to be handled for my long-term benefit? Everything is in a trust which may play into the matter. Thanks! steve alcorn

My cousin who lived in ma received ssi, her mom pass away 20 years ago and she inhered a house in Puerto Ricowith with her sister, the house still under her mother name, they renting the house and getting rent, now the house have 6 apartment and are rented, how this affect the one who gettin ssi. I thing they going to transfer the house under their name. I thing the sister in PR did not disclose this to SSI because they are commuting fraud are not reporting this to SS.

You should report them. They are most definitely committing fraud. It's people like your cousin who are bankrupting this much needed program!

Hi there, It may affect your SSI benefits. I would recommend contacting your local SSA official to find out how a land inheritance would affect need-based benefits.

Hi there, I am honestly not sure if he can refuse an inheritance and have it not count as income. I would recommend contacting your local SSA office to find out.

my son has m.s. and is on ssdi. upon my death, my retirement is set up so that he receives a check every month thru my previous employer. will this affect his ssdi, in other words will his check from my retirement account count as income that could affect his ssdi. the reason i ask is that while on ssdi, his medical pays many thousands every month for his medication and he cannot afford to lose it, regardless of the new checks he will get upon my death.

Hi Stephen,

I don't think I have a solid answer for your specific case. If your son is on SSDI his benefits shouldn't be affected by additional survivor benefits, but you can read more about them here. I'd recommend contacting your SSA representative to find out more information on the mater though. Best of luck to you.

My mom is currently receiving SSDI, my dad is coming into an inheritance and is wondering if it will affect my mom's SSDI

Hi Kaity, Inheritances do not affect SSDI benefits, as SSDI payments are work-based, not need-based.

My mother receives SSDI benefits and is set to receive mineral royalties for about 5K lump payment for oil taken from under the family farm by a large oil company through a gas lease. Is this considered unearned income that will NOT affect her SSDI benefits? It is very hard to find information on the Social Security Administrations website on this topic and the web has conflicting information. Thank you.

Hi Dean, I also do not have a solid answer for you. Inheritances do not affect SSDI payments, but I have no idea if your situation would count as an inheritance. I'd speak with a SSA representative in your area to learn more.