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

Sgreen (not verified)

This is not strictly speaking

This is not strictly speaking an inheritance as my parents are still alive, however, my son is on SSI and my husband and I are divorcing, my parents are giving me a large lump sum to go directly as a deposit on a house for my son and I, so we will not have cash in hand. Will he lose his SSI because of this. (I earn $9/Hr)

Sun, 06/12/2016 - 17:15 Permalink

In reply to by Sgreen (not verified)

Hi there,

Hi there,
if your child is eligible based on your income and resources, your child may have a change in their benefits based off of the money given to you by your parents.

Mon, 06/13/2016 - 10:45 Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Bryan

Even though it is not cash?

Even though it is not cash?

Mon, 06/13/2016 - 22:11 Permalink

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Hi there,

Hi there,
even though a house or real estate is not cash, it is still a resource for the purposes of the SSA and they calculate eligibility based off of income and resources.

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 11:56 Permalink
Mary (not verified)

I receive ssi.and owe child

I receive ssi.and owe child support may possibly inherit small amount of money does money go directly to child support if so do I have to still let social security know as it will not be given to me

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 11:28 Permalink

In reply to by Mary (not verified)

Hi Mary,

Hi Mary,
Yes, you should let the SSA know, as they determine benefits based off of income, and that inheritance is considered income by the SSA.

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 11:57 Permalink
Elise (not verified)

Hi. I have a sister on SSI.

Hi. I have a sister on SSI. (there are 6 of us children) Mom is still alive. We currently have everyone split equally in her will. We are working on having it changed to protect my sister from losing her SSI's benefits. What is our best course of action? Completely keep her out of it as a beneficiary & establish some kind of trust? Would a trust keep her from losing her benefits? We want to ensure as she ages & may need special medical equipment, etc that her needs will be met.

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 19:33 Permalink
PWYoung (not verified)



Tue, 06/14/2016 - 20:03 Permalink

In reply to by PWYoung (not verified)

Hi there,

Hi there,
I am sorry for your loss.
Yes, you father should report that income to the SSA, as it would be considered income for the month it was received, and a financial resource for any subsequent months.

Wed, 06/15/2016 - 09:55 Permalink
Di (not verified)

In reply to by Bryan

His father is 90 years old

His father is 90 years old and receiving ssi and ssd, wouldn't he just be getting ss as he is way past retirement age. or is it because possibly that he never worked so he don't qualify for ss? Just wondering.

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 15:37 Permalink

In reply to by Di (not verified)

Hi Di,

Hi Di,
It is true that you would not be eligible for SSDI benefits past retirement age, but that does not affect eligibility for SSI benefits.

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 16:10 Permalink
Jem Harper (not verified)

I receive SSI and SSDI

I receive SSI and SSDI benefits. If my parent leaves me an inheritance of the family home and 100,000. Can SSI and SSDI take my inherited home and funds given to me by my parent ? What will happen to the benefits if I receive the home and funds ? I will be cut off of SSI but will I also be cut off of SSDI ?

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 17:28 Permalink

In reply to by Jem Harper (not verified)

Hi Jem,

Hi Jem,
If you receive these funds, you will lose your SSI benefits, but your SSDI will remain the same!

Fri, 06/24/2016 - 15:01 Permalink
Betty (not verified)

What happens if I am

What happens if I am beneficiary of my son life insurance policy, and I'm on disability.

Sat, 06/25/2016 - 19:11 Permalink

In reply to by Betty (not verified)

Hi Betty,

Hi Betty,
If you're on SSDI, then you should be all set as SSDI is based off of your work record and not income or resources.

Mon, 06/27/2016 - 15:24 Permalink
Susan (not verified)

If I am on SSDI, and I am

If I am on SSDI, and I am forced to accept easement money from utilities to install more lines, do I need to report that?

Mon, 06/27/2016 - 14:12 Permalink

In reply to by Susan (not verified)

Hi Susan,

Hi Susan,
No, as income and resources are not qualifying criteria for SSDI.

Mon, 06/27/2016 - 15:25 Permalink
deb (not verified)

My sister is receiving SSDI

My sister is receiving SSDI benefits. My mother passed away and 1/4 of her estate will pass on to my sister. I realize that inheritance is unearned income and hence doesnt typically impact SSDI benefits. However, to confirm, we had planned to put the money into a SPIA so that she will receive the payout over her lifetime. Does that change the situation at all?

Tue, 06/28/2016 - 16:59 Permalink
Michael Facer (not verified)

If receiving inheritance

If receiving inheritance while receiving SSDI benefits is ok...then why the rule of no more than 2,000.00 in a savings account? Where does inheritance money have to be deposited?

Sun, 07/03/2016 - 16:12 Permalink

In reply to by Michael Facer (not verified)

Hi Michael,

Hi Michael,
SSDI and SSI are different programs, and that limit is only for SSI recipients.

Tue, 07/05/2016 - 12:43 Permalink
ANGEL (not verified)

My mom is on SSI and is about

My mom is on SSI and is about to inherit $10,000 from the passing of her parents. She does not want to effect her SSI. She mentioned signing all money to her grandkids for college fund. Can that be done. If not what are her options. Please advise.

Tue, 07/05/2016 - 19:21 Permalink
karen (not verified)

my husband is on disabilty i

my husband is on disabilty i have a gift of a amount of money coming to me will it affect his disabilty

Wed, 07/06/2016 - 20:05 Permalink

In reply to by karen (not verified)

Hi Karen,

Hi Karen,
If he is on SSI, then the money may be considered income for the month that he receives it and a financial resource for any months after that.

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 09:53 Permalink
Michele (not verified)

My fiance recently got on ssi

My fiance recently got on ssi. He recently lost his mother and is awaiting and inheritance. Is there any way he can sign his portion to me and I can get it to avaiod ssi? Is there any way around a special needs trust? What exactly does a special needs trust allow? And will he be a blessing to spend as needed?

Fri, 07/08/2016 - 20:47 Permalink
John (not verified)

So if I am on SSI and land is

So if I am on SSI and land is put into my name but not sold does that affect payment of ssi benefits?

Sat, 07/09/2016 - 02:40 Permalink

In reply to by John (not verified)

Hi John,

Hi John,
Land may considered a financial resource, so it may affect your eligibility for benefits.

Mon, 07/11/2016 - 09:35 Permalink
Phil (not verified)

Hi, My Aunt is the recipient

Hi, My Aunt is the recipient of an inheritance (Over $50K). She has been on State Assistance and is receiving approximately $700/month and is on Medicaid. Can she "gift" the inheritance to someone else and not impact her ongoing benefits? If so, is there a time frame in which she must gift the money - 30/60/90 days?

Sat, 07/09/2016 - 18:45 Permalink
Shari Leatherman (not verified)

Hello I'm am currently

Hello I'm am currently receiving to checks Ssi and ass if I get a inheritance from my dad's estates which one does the inheritance effect

Sun, 07/10/2016 - 21:30 Permalink

In reply to by Shari Leatherman (not verified)

Hi Shari,

Hi Shari,
if your disability benefits and state assistance are based off of your income and resources, and inheritance may affect both of them.

Mon, 07/11/2016 - 09:38 Permalink
Shari Leatherman (not verified)

Hello I'm currently

Hello I'm currently receiving Ssi and Ssa my husband passed away 5 years ago I dint know which one would be affected by a large inheritance which one is considered disability Ssi or Ssa I'm confused what is ssdi

Sun, 07/10/2016 - 21:39 Permalink

In reply to by Shari Leatherman (not verified)

Hi again Shari,

Hi again Shari,
your SSI payments may be affected by an inheritance.

Mon, 07/11/2016 - 09:39 Permalink
natalie (not verified)

I am on ssdi and my car

I am on ssdi and my car broke down so my nepew said I can by his car and he will take payments it is worth 7,000. Dallers can I have it if I make small payments.

Thu, 07/14/2016 - 14:23 Permalink

In reply to by natalie (not verified)

Hi Natalie,

Hi Natalie,
We are not affiliated with the SSA, so we wouldn't be able to give you approval to buy that car. However, if you call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213, they can help you further regarding any restrictions on spending for your disability benefits.

Thu, 07/14/2016 - 15:32 Permalink
Cheryl (not verified)

My grandfather who passed

My grandfather who passed away more than twenty years ago I just have found out that I have an inheritance from him. It's under $10,000 my question is will it affect my SSI housing and food stamps. Recently my car blew up and I've been praying for some money to get a new vehicle. I am disabled can you tell me where to look for answers or give me an answer will it affect my benefits

Fri, 07/15/2016 - 08:50 Permalink

In reply to by Cheryl (not verified)

Hi Cheryl,

SSI is a need-based disability program meant for those who have little or no income or resources, therefore the increased influx of your income may cause you to loose your benefits/food stamps. I would advise you to call SSA at 1-800-772-1213 for more information. Hope this helps!

Fri, 07/15/2016 - 11:41 Permalink
mandy (not verified)

my grandma is 88 years old.

my grandma is 88 years old..lives off her ss check every month...she just lost a daughter last month to cancer...she received a letter from the school district that her daughter left her as beneficiary to her 401k plan...she is very confused and scared that she will lose her ss benefits if she cashes the check..we r not sure how much it will be yet but is there a limit to how much she can receive without it affecting her ss check or what should she do

Fri, 07/15/2016 - 21:29 Permalink

In reply to by mandy (not verified)

Hi Mandy,

Hi Mandy,
I'm sorry for your loss.
If your grandmother only gets SS Retirement benefits and not SSI benefits, she should be fine. If she gets SSI benefits, then that inheritance would be considered income for the month that she receives it and a financial resource for all subsequent months.

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 11:53 Permalink
Randy (not verified)

My brother is on SSDI. He

My brother is on SSDI. He keeps having to move due to landlords selling the places he is renting. It's making him sicker. He has diabetes since childhood. I want to buy him a place in Florida and put him on the deed because most places will not allow renters for the first two years and I won't be living there. Will this affect his SSDI benefits?

Tue, 07/19/2016 - 01:32 Permalink

In reply to by Randy (not verified)

Hi Randy,

Hi Randy,
It may not as SSDI benefits are based off of work history rather than income and financial resource limits.

Tue, 07/19/2016 - 09:11 Permalink
Beverly Bernard (not verified)

I recently came into

I recently came into inheritance 2 months ago. I get ssi for my son. Do I have to take him off ssi asap ? Will he still get his medical coverage?

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 21:28 Permalink

In reply to by Beverly Bernard (not verified)

Hi Beverly,

Hi Beverly,
This is an EXCELLENT question, and honestly one I do not feel comfortable answering, as your son's SSI could be at stake. I would highly recommend calling the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 to determine the best thing to do in this situation for your son. You may be able to defer the inheritance to make sure that your son keeps his health insurance.

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 10:47 Permalink
Teresa Breckenridge (not verified)

My ex-husband died over a

My ex-husband died over a year ago. He was a Ward of the State and living in a nursing home. The State took all his assets since he was on SSD. His Mother passed before he did and her Estate was not settled until recently. He was in her will. Does that money have to be turned over to the State or will our adult son be elligable for it?

Sun, 08/07/2016 - 19:27 Permalink

In reply to by Teresa Breckenridge (not verified)

Hi Teresa,

Hi Teresa,
I would not be able to say as we are not experts in estate law.

Mon, 08/08/2016 - 10:07 Permalink
jennifer (not verified)

I'm on ssi & medical

I'm on ssi & medical I have a lawsuit going on in stead of getting a big lump money but only let's say 2000 a month well I still be able to keep my ssi & medical

Sun, 08/07/2016 - 23:26 Permalink

In reply to by jennifer (not verified)

Hi Jennifer,

Hi Jennifer,
You may not stay eligible for benefits depending on your family size and marital status, for a single, childless person an income of over $733 a month may disqualify someone for benefits.

Mon, 08/08/2016 - 10:10 Permalink

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