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

Submitted by Daniel on Fri, 12/20/2013 - 12:52

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 2023, SGA is considered to be earning $1,470 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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In reply to by Sandy (not verified)

Hi Sandy,

SSDI Benefits are based on your personal work history and therefore any types of inheritance should not affect your benefits. If you are still concerned however, you can always give your local SSA office a call and they will be able to look at your specific case.

Fri, 09/06/2019 - 15:23 Permalink
Threasa Yonker (not verified)

I have a c opulent family members that are getting disability. I know life insurance inheritance does not count against it. My dad had stocks, bonds and an Ira. I know we have to pay taxes on those, so I want to be sure they do not loose any benefits due to their medical issues. Thank you for any help

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 18:43 Permalink

In reply to by Threasa Yonker (not verified)

Hi Theresa,

Benefits should not be affected by any kinds of inheritance as they are based on previous work history. If you are concerned, you can always call your local SSA office.

Fri, 09/06/2019 - 14:56 Permalink
Blanca (not verified)

If a person recieves Desability would an inheritance stop for rest of her life or just that month?

Sat, 09/14/2019 - 09:46 Permalink

In reply to by Blanca (not verified)

Hi Blanca,

If the inheritance puts the individual above a specific asset cap, they will not be eligible the entire time that they exceed that limit. There are some options to look in to in order to keep both the inheritance and SSI benefits. I would recommend contacting your local SSA office and letting them know the specific details of your case. They will be able to assist you in exploring some of those options.

Sat, 09/14/2019 - 12:34 Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

I receive SSDI. If I inherit a large some of money do I have to create a trust or can I just deposit the check and use the money at my discretion? Can the government come after the money for medical expenses I've incurred through Medicare all of these years?

Tue, 09/17/2019 - 20:29 Permalink

In reply to by Amy (not verified)

Hi Amy,

Disability is based on your own work credits and is not affected by things like income or assets. Therefore your benefits should not be affected.

Mon, 09/23/2019 - 17:22 Permalink
Mark (not verified)

My mom passed away and did not have a will I'm the only child if i get the house and Im on SSI will I get in trouble if I get her house.

Mon, 10/14/2019 - 14:17 Permalink

In reply to by Mark (not verified)

Hi Mark,

As long as you keep the SSA informed of any kinds of changes to your income you will not get in trouble. However, this could have an affect on your benefits. The SSA can consider inheritance a form on income, but there are a few exceptions. For example, if the house is also your residence this may not count. I would highly recommend calling your local SSA office and they will be able to look at your specific scenario and break down your options.

Mon, 10/14/2019 - 17:18 Permalink
Dita Marina Obert (not verified)

I may receive a small inheritance sometime in the future. At this time I am on SSI (Disability) and on Social Security (Disability), and have been since the middle of 2016. How would that affect me?

Wed, 10/16/2019 - 18:49 Permalink

In reply to by Dita Marina Obert (not verified)

Hi Dita,

The SSA does generally consider inheritance as income so it is possible that your benefits will be affected. We won't be able to give you a more specific answer because that would require looking at your assets and current income which we cannot do. However, the SSA will be able to give you a more precise answer based on the size of the inheritance. I would recommend making an appointment with your local SSA office.

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 12:53 Permalink
jacke (not verified)

jacke receives a social security disability check monthly . her father recently died . she is to inherit a substantial amount of cash . how will this affect her monthly social security disability checks as well as her medicaid?

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 00:58 Permalink

In reply to by jacke (not verified)


Disability benefits are based on her own work history and therefore should not be affected by any inheritance. Medicaid on the other hand is based on income and can be affected. I recommend contacting your local SSA office and they will be able to look at the specific amounts that are received and give a more precise answer on how much the benefits will be affected.

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 12:46 Permalink
Bettye park (not verified)

My question is thg hat I recieve a disability check and am getting a divorce. I'm getting money from a retirement from my husband in the divorce. Will this money affect my monthly check

Wed, 10/23/2019 - 14:31 Permalink

In reply to by Bettye park (not verified)


SSDI is based on your own work history and is not affected by income. Therefore your benefits should not be affected.

Thu, 10/24/2019 - 16:52 Permalink
Sandra (not verified)

I just received an inheritance of $15,000. How will this affect my SSI benefits? How much resources can I have in the bank?

Wed, 10/23/2019 - 16:03 Permalink
Crissy G (not verified)

If on SSI and receive an inheritance but immediately use inheritance to purchase home will it affect my ssi benefits?

Fri, 10/25/2019 - 01:52 Permalink

In reply to by Crissy G (not verified)


The SSA generally does not count your primary residence toward your asset cap, therefore it is possible that you will be able to remain on SSI. I would keep everything transparent and communicate with your local SSA office.

Fri, 10/25/2019 - 15:00 Permalink
Deborah (not verified)

I am on SSDI I am going to get a 25.000 inheritance. I need to know first since it unearned income do I need to notify SSI and how can I prove to them it was an inheritance ?
Thank you

Wed, 11/06/2019 - 08:16 Permalink

In reply to by Deborah (not verified)

HI Deborah,

I would still report it to the SSA! There should be documentation to show it was inheritance. You can call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 or visit a local office to find out what exactly they need.

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 16:57 Permalink
Francess (not verified)

If a person on SSI sells their home and gets a check for $55,000 will this affect their SSI and should they report it right-away

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 12:40 Permalink

In reply to by Francess (not verified)


The SSA will generally consider this an income for that month. However there are ways that you can work around losing your benefits. It is always a good idea to keep the SSA aware of the major financial transactions that you make.

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 16:24 Permalink

In reply to by Dan Aylward (not verified)

Hi Dan,

If you are receiving SSDI, then your inheritance will not impact your benefits. If you are receiving SSI, then they may be affected depending on the amount as SSI is a needs based program.

Mon, 11/25/2019 - 17:25 Permalink

In reply to by Rysha2071 (not verified)


The SSA will see this as income. It shouldn't affect SSDI, but can affect SSI. I recommend calling the SSA and explaining the situation to them.

Fri, 01/31/2020 - 14:44 Permalink
Mary (not verified)

I am receiving SSDI with extra help for prescriptions. If I inherited a small amount of money, would it affect the extra help that I get for prescriptions.

Tue, 02/04/2020 - 17:22 Permalink
Mark (not verified)

I receive SSDI benefits. When my dad died, he bequeathed some stocks to me. His broker told me that if I sell any, it will have to be reported as income. I need to sell some in order to have some necessary dental work. How will having that income affect my SSDI? One one hand, it is inheritance, but on the other hand, it is income!

Wed, 02/26/2020 - 09:10 Permalink
Rita (not verified)

Can a person on SSDI receive a gift from a parent to buy a home still receive his SSDI benefits. He has no other income and lives alone and never married. Once in a while he will find a part time job. But it doesn't last long. Thankyou,

Tue, 04/14/2020 - 10:34 Permalink
daniel smith (not verified)

I have a friend on dis, he just got 10,000 in a lawsuit will that affect his monthly income, an does he have to report it.

Tue, 07/21/2020 - 14:45 Permalink

In reply to by daniel smith (not verified)

Hi Daniel,

SSDI is based on the individuals previous work history and does not change based on income. Therefore his benefits should not change.

Thu, 07/23/2020 - 11:06 Permalink
Barbara jo (not verified)

I receive SSDI, Medicare QMB, Medicaid QMB, in a Texas. Unable to work. I get state aid for utilities. Will $30,000 inheritance interfere with these programs?

Fri, 08/21/2020 - 19:47 Permalink

In reply to by Barbara jo (not verified)


Inheritance will not affect SSDI. However medicare and medicaid fall outside of our area of expertise. I would recommend contacting an expert on medicare and medicaid.

Fri, 08/28/2020 - 13:25 Permalink
Dan Aylward (not verified)

On disability,came down to office and was told and read inheritance while on disability does not affect.thx

Fri, 08/28/2020 - 11:06 Permalink

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