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

Submitted by Daniel on

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, or Twitter. 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 2024, SGA is considered to be earning $1,550 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.

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Blog comments


In reply to by Julie (not verified)

Hi Julie,

Hi Julie,

I am sorry to hear that. If you are on SSD then your husband's income will not affect your benefits, however if you are on SSI it could.


Wed, 06/28/2017 - 09:18 Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

My mother in-laws tolls me I

My mother in-laws tolls me I can not inherent money because they will keep my inheritance ous this true

Wed, 06/28/2017 - 10:56 Permalink
Kenneth Pate (not verified)

My mother recently passed. I

My mother recently passed. I am her only survivor. I plan to sell her house. I am retired. I would like to know if the money from the sell will affect my social security benefits and about IRS? Thank you

Wed, 06/28/2017 - 16:06 Permalink

In reply to by Kenneth Pate (not verified)

Hi Kenneth,

Hi Kenneth,
I'm sorry to hear about that! On a more positive note, it would not as the SSA does change benefits due to inheritance for those receiving retirement benefits.

Wed, 06/28/2017 - 16:51 Permalink
Sarah Thomas (not verified)

My moms brother left her an

My moms brother left her an inheritance. She hasn't did anything yet.My mother receives ssi monthly. She doesn't want to lose her benefits. She 72 yrs.old. what should she do now. Thanks.

Fri, 06/30/2017 - 09:21 Permalink
Antiquejunkie (not verified)

Why would my Disability all

Why would my Disability all of a sudden drop after receiving since 2009? I lost my Mom last year and inherited Her home in which has cost me as much as when living in section 8 for 6 yrs. Now after 1 1/2 year's of Her death and going thru 4 months of probate losing 60k. I get my automatic pmt to see has been reduced by $286. Does anyone know why this would happen? It's the weekend and cannot call to find out and really bothering me Badly. Please advise if possible? Have not received a letter or nothing.

Sat, 07/01/2017 - 19:59 Permalink
Caril (not verified)

If I inherited stock from a

If I inherited stock from a family member do I have to report it and can I still file for a medical disability because of health and unable to work alot?

Thu, 07/06/2017 - 21:54 Permalink

In reply to by Caril (not verified)

Hi Caril,

Hi Caril,
You may still be able to file for disability, however if you're applying for income-based benefits you may not qualify depending on how much you had inherited in stocks.

Fri, 07/07/2017 - 08:24 Permalink
Dan (not verified)

Do I need to report money

Do I need to report money from an illness insurance policy?

Mon, 07/10/2017 - 14:23 Permalink
Rachel Byrd (not verified)

I live in government house

I live in government house and get help paying my Medicare and prescription drugs and my parents home will be sold to one sister. Can I give her my part.

Mon, 07/10/2017 - 15:25 Permalink

In reply to by Rachel Byrd (not verified)

Hi Rachel,

Hi Rachel,

I would recommend speaking to a Medicare representative regarding your matter.


Tue, 07/11/2017 - 12:21 Permalink
Nicole (not verified)

I need major help please, I

I need major help please, I received an inheritance of over $2,000 I'm on ssi but I wasn't aware I had to report it to SSA because I signed the check over to my mother for money that I have owed her. I now received a letter in the mail stating they need to speak with me about my income and resources because the computer matching system with the IRS. I got the check back in 2015 and I'm just now receiving a letter. I had no idea I had to report it since it was being signed over and I never got any of the money myself. I'm so afraid I'm going to lose my benefits and be homeless :(

Mon, 07/10/2017 - 21:51 Permalink

In reply to by Nicole (not verified)

Hi Nicole,

Hi Nicole,

I am sorry to hear that. You might not lose your benefits though. Just be honest and transparent with them and make sure that going forward you report any additional income to the SSA. Wishing you nothing but the best.


Tue, 07/11/2017 - 12:22 Permalink
Nicole (not verified)

In reply to by Eric

Eric, thank you so much. I am

Eric, thank you so much. I am hoping if I am honest and tell them that I made a mistake and wasn't aware I had to report it since I personally didn't get it that they will not take my benefits from me because I made an awful mistake. My phone appointment isn't for two weeks so I'm freaking out until then. Thank you again.

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 13:36 Permalink
Christina Love (not verified)

Hi I currently receive SSI

Hi I currently receive SSI and SSDI. My father recently passed away and left me as the Benifiary for his Pension. I believe the lady told me I would receive 1200 a mo but don't know for how long or anything else until it all gets squared away. Will I lose my SSI and my Medical portion through social security? Thank you!

Sun, 07/23/2017 - 04:30 Permalink

In reply to by Christina Love (not verified)

Hi Christina,

Hi Christina,
You may become ineligible for SSI benefits, however you would not become ineligible for SSDI benefits as this would be considered unearned income.

Tue, 07/25/2017 - 09:02 Permalink
pam (not verified)

Both my husband and I are on

Both my husband and I are on SSI. My sister just passed, there was no will. but My nephew wants to give me her car. Will that effect my SSI?

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 17:29 Permalink

In reply to by pam (not verified)

Hi Pam,

Hi Pam,

If your nephew isn't drawing off either you or your husband's SSI then it shouldn't affect your SSI. However a good rule of thumb is that you should check in with the SSA first just to be safe.


Tue, 07/25/2017 - 09:16 Permalink
Lori (not verified)

I got a letter telling me I

I got a letter telling me I will receive additional funds with my ssdi because it owed my recently deceased mother. I inherited some money from my mom's estate. I'm confused. Are they taking away my ssdi and replacing it with the $60 they say they're sending me.

Wed, 07/26/2017 - 15:05 Permalink

In reply to by Lori (not verified)

Hi Lori,

Hi Lori,

I would recommend speaking to a SSA representative regarding this, but it doesn't seem like they would be taking your SSDI away.


Thu, 07/27/2017 - 09:13 Permalink
Dorothy (not verified)

My ex-husband has an ins.

My ex-husband has an ins. policy benefits to be paid to me, this was done in 1951. He is on Medicaid and in poor health. Will it be legal for me to collect on this policy.

Tue, 08/01/2017 - 18:34 Permalink
terry (not verified)

I am on SSDI and my mother is

I am on SSDI and my mother is selling some property and will be gifting me over 100,000 dollars will this affect my benefits

Wed, 08/02/2017 - 19:08 Permalink
Lookingfirinfo (not verified)

My friend will be receiving a

My friend will be receiving a$10,000 life ins due to death if her mother. I see she will lose a month of her SSI after reporting. To regain it must she spend it in that month? does she need receipts to prove its gone?

Mon, 08/07/2017 - 12:58 Permalink

In reply to by Lookingfirinfo (not verified)

Hi there,

Hi there,
Your friend may want to look into the different types of accounts that are protected from the SSI financial resource limit, she can do so by calling the SSA at 1-800-772-1213.

Mon, 08/07/2017 - 16:05 Permalink
Alia (not verified)

Hi I have a few life

Hi I have a few life insurance policies that total 1.5million that would go to my parents if I pass away.My mom receives ssdi and SSI.I know ssdi would not be affected and if I am right size won't ask for repayment of funds for money from SSI...however she would be disqualified from future SSI.What I don't know is if medical or Medicare could come after my mom for money they spent on her for her medical needs for the last 20years she has been disabled? Can they say hay you have a million dollars and we paid a million dollars in medical over the last 20 years so now we will take your money? Would the outcome be the same if the money was set up in a trust instead of a lump sum? Say she only gets like 15k a year from trust vs. 1 million dollars lump sum?

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 20:27 Permalink

In reply to by Alia (not verified)

Hi Alia,

Hi Alia,
They may be able to ask for money back in some circumstances, however, a special needs trust is exempt from the financial resource and income criteria so that may be the way to go. You may want to speak with the SSA regarding this.

Wed, 08/09/2017 - 10:45 Permalink
James (not verified)

How can i keep getting my ssi

How can i keep getting my ssi when my lawsuit come thru

Sun, 08/13/2017 - 08:50 Permalink

In reply to by James (not verified)

Hi James,

Hi James,

That's a question better for the SSA. However, you should report that income you get from your lawsuit to the SSA.


Tue, 08/15/2017 - 09:26 Permalink
Michelle (not verified)

Can a woman with 5 kids

Can a woman with 5 kids receive 60,000 from an automobile accident. Them buy a new car get plastic surgeries. She leaves her 5 kids at home 24/7 and has her brother live there who is has ties to gangs. I thought any money she obtained had to be reported

Mon, 08/21/2017 - 23:33 Permalink

In reply to by Michelle (not verified)

Hi Michelle,

Hi Michelle,
She may have done so, if you receive income-based payments, you would lose benefits for the months that you have that money, but after it's gone, you may still be eligible for benefits.

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 08:55 Permalink
Regina (not verified)

Hi I called a call from SSI

Hi I called a call from SSI today to inform me that my SSI will be terminated because I applied disability for my daughter who has inheritance overseas. Although she was denied as well but why me ? And we have not earned anything on the inheritance ?
I am really confused please help

Thu, 08/24/2017 - 02:16 Permalink

In reply to by Regina (not verified)

Hi Regina,

Hi Regina,
That sounds like a flaw in the system--You should call back the SSA as soon as you can! If you haven't received the inheritance and nothing else has changed, you should still qualify.

Thu, 08/24/2017 - 15:45 Permalink
Mia (not verified)

My sister is on ssi and

My sister is on ssi and signed her inheritance over to the executor and legal representative of our mothers estate per our mothers most recent wishes. She didn't have time to re write her will or change the benificiary, and in doing so, the money went into our mothers estate account so my sister is receiving nothing. Will this effect her ssi although she is receiving nothing. It was legally signed over through attorney and the bank.

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 14:42 Permalink

In reply to by Mia (not verified)

Hi Mia,

Hi Mia,
It may not affect her SSI as she would not be receiving income directly, though you may want to look into a special needs trust as that may not count toward the SSI asset limit. You may want to contact your local SSA office regarding this.

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 15:22 Permalink
L. F. (not verified)

I'd like to know if a

I'd like to know if a Christmas bonus counts toward gainful activity. Every December I receive a Merit-Based enhancement(Christmas Bonus) on payday. It is on a separate check stub. There are no hours of work listed on the stub. In 2014 my case manager said this would not count as income. Since then that case manager retired. Now my new case manager is saying that my Christmas bonus will count, as my income is being reviewed from 2105. This is the difference between me exceeding the income limit for December. If it is counted toward my SGA then I will have an overpayment every year in December. Can you send me a link to an official site, One that will provide this answer so that I can us it to present a proper argument?

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 19:04 Permalink
Gerri (not verified)

My brother need to sign up

My brother need to sign up for ssi he is 65 years
he is in my mother trust to receive 1/3 of two houses
he has no income can he inherited his percentage of property and live in one of the house's and still receive ssi .

Wed, 08/30/2017 - 19:41 Permalink

In reply to by Gerri (not verified)

Hi Gerri,

Hi Gerri,

Your brother can own one home of any value, but if he is a partial owner of multiple homes, he may not qualify for SSI.

Thu, 08/31/2017 - 08:44 Permalink
toni rosa (not verified)

will i lose ssi ssd medicaid

will i lose ssi ssd medicaid snap due to injury settlement of 15,000

Thu, 08/31/2017 - 05:18 Permalink
Tom (not verified)

If I'm currently on

If I'm currently on Social Security Disability right now and my girlfriend and I receive her fathers inheritance money will I still get benefits? medicare?

Sun, 09/03/2017 - 18:52 Permalink

In reply to by Tom (not verified)

Hi there,

Hi there,
If you receive benefits based on your income, you may become ineligible for benefits.

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 17:00 Permalink
mary (not verified)

hello, im on ssi and will

hello, im on ssi and will receive a sum from my uncle in the netherlands around $ 30.000 , do i need to report to ssi ? and if so whats gonna happen ? and can i get that money be send to one of my kids accounts ?

Sun, 09/03/2017 - 21:20 Permalink

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