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

Ann (not verified)

If someone leaves real estate

If someone leaves real estate property to someone on SSI, will that disqualify that person from receiving his only source of income his SSI Check. Will they be able to take the property from him?

Mon, 09/19/2016 - 14:56 Permalink

In reply to by Ann (not verified)

Hi Ann,

Hi Ann,
If that property is intended to be someone's primary residence, it may not disqualify them from receiving SSI. It may be a good idea to contact the SSA regarding this so that they can better prepare for a situation like that with you.

Mon, 09/19/2016 - 14:58 Permalink
Jeep (not verified)

My wife is currently

My wife is currently receiving SSI Disability benefits due to multiple medical conditions and no work history within the last 10 years. I lost my job two years ago due to health issues and have applied for SSDI benefits. I just found out that I am eligible to receive a lump sum from my pension plan with my former employer. Will my receipt of this lump sum disqualify my wife from continuing to receive SSI benefits?

Sat, 09/24/2016 - 02:55 Permalink

In reply to by Jeep (not verified)

Hi there,

Hi there,
That lump sum payment may affect her benefits because your combined income may be used for calculating her benefits.

Mon, 09/26/2016 - 13:59 Permalink
Rose M Sperrazza, (not verified)

Hello; I need an answer to

Hello; I need an answer to this question because I don't know what to do and if I am doing the right thing??

In April of this year, my Dear Uncle had passed and I, was named as a benifeciary to some money and I did not know of this and am concerned, I am on SSD and both my children are on SSB (I have Multiple Sclerosis) I was left an Inheritance of 12,000.00 and it was supposed to be split 3 way between us, the problem is, is that I live in a disability place, do I have to surrender the monies to them? can I deduct what is owed to my Children, they are getting ready for College soon?

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 14:48 Permalink

In reply to by Rose M Sperrazza, (not verified)

Hi Rose,

Hi Rose,
I'm sorry for your loss.
If you are receiving benefits based on your work history, that money generally would not affect your benefits. Additionally, I would not think that you would be required to surrender your inheritance to the care facility that you are in, as it's your money.

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 16:02 Permalink
Aleah (not verified)

I get SSI and I get a small

I get SSI and I get a small SS check from my father. He is alive but 100 disabled, when I graduated high school my SS from him was suppose to stop but it did not. I find out now that I will continue to get it because both him and I are disabled, can I stop this check

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 18:00 Permalink

In reply to by Aleah (not verified)

Hi Aleah,

Hi Aleah,
You may want to speak with your SSA caseworker about this, they may be able to clear this up for you.

Thu, 09/29/2016 - 13:05 Permalink
Dee (not verified)

I am on disability (SSI) and

I am on disability (SSI) and my grandmother has a car (worth maybe $8,000) that she may leave to me after her passing. Would that effect my benefits?

Sat, 10/01/2016 - 15:35 Permalink

In reply to by Dee (not verified)

Hi Dee,

Hi Dee,
It may if you already have a car that you use for transportation. If that is the case and you receive that car, then the value car may be counted as income for the month you receive it and a financial resource for the months after. it may be a good idea to contact the SSA to find out what the best way to ensure continued benefits would be in your case.

Mon, 10/03/2016 - 15:53 Permalink
Cher (not verified)

My mother left her home to

My mother left her home to myself and four siblings . My siblings all are on SSI or SSDI and receive either medi-cal or Medicare. Once they become home owners will they loose all benefits. Will living in the hem inherited to them help any?

Mon, 10/03/2016 - 02:46 Permalink

In reply to by Cher (not verified)

Hi Cher,

Hi Cher,
I'm sorry for your loss, it must be very hard for you. Generally, as they are using the home as their primary residence, they may not lose any benefits because of that. I would contact your local SSA office to let them know about this, they can give you the best advice as to how you can make sure your siblings keep their benefits.

Mon, 10/03/2016 - 15:55 Permalink
Jess (not verified)

My friend has been on ssdi

My friend has been on ssdi his whole life and his dad recently passed and left him as a beneficiary.He was told that whatever money he is left will be taken by the state can social security take his inheritance

Fri, 10/07/2016 - 18:31 Permalink

In reply to by Jess (not verified)

Hi Jess,

Hi Jess,
If your friend is on SSDI, then there is no limit to unearned income for him, which means he would not lose anything to the state. Additionally, if he's on SSI, then he may not lose it either. However, if he owes the SSA money, they may ask for that money back.

Mon, 10/10/2016 - 10:26 Permalink
Emerson (not verified)

My grandmother told me that

My grandmother told me that she was going to leave me 15 rental properties that she has in her will. The houses are in a LLC. and earn about 80,000 a year before taxes. I'm on SSDI. Can I hire a management company to keep the annual income or do I have to sell the homes. Will I lose my SSDI because she leaves me with the LLC. business.

Mon, 10/10/2016 - 04:21 Permalink

In reply to by Emerson (not verified)

Hi Emerson,

Hi Emerson,
I am sorry for your loss. On SSDI, you may be able to own a business, however you may not be able to be employed by it. So, in this way, you would be able to gain unearned income from profits from the LLC. It may be a good idea to check in with the SSA for some more details on this.

Mon, 10/10/2016 - 10:28 Permalink
Sue (not verified)

What if you're parents

What if you're parents left you over 90.000 and you get SSD

Tue, 10/11/2016 - 23:07 Permalink

In reply to by Sue (not verified)

Hi Sue,

Hi Sue,
If you're getting disability benefits based on your own work record, then there would be no change in benefits.

Wed, 10/12/2016 - 09:59 Permalink
Alma Rodriguez (not verified)

I receive SSI, medicaid and

I receive SSI, medicaid and Medicare due to a physical disability. I am 59 years old. My father past away and I am going to inherite his home. Home has low value. Will I lose any benefits if I accept to inherit the house.

Fri, 10/14/2016 - 15:00 Permalink

In reply to by Alma Rodriguez (not verified)

Hi Alma,

Hi Alma,
you may have a change in benefits for medicaid and SSI benefits if you accept the house, it would count as income for the month you receive it and a financial resource for months after that.

Mon, 10/17/2016 - 14:42 Permalink
Sheila Hedrick (not verified)

I sold my vehicle as I'm

I sold my vehicle as I'm no longer able to drive. Do I need to report this and to whom? Thank you;

Mon, 10/17/2016 - 15:04 Permalink
Linda Willett (not verified)

My husband is on Social

My husband is on Social Security Disability and we have two children under the age of 18 who are on Medicaid. Will my inheritance from my mother affect his SSD and/or Medicaid?

Wed, 10/19/2016 - 19:23 Permalink

In reply to by Linda Willett (not verified)

Hi Linda,

Hi Linda,
If your husband receives disability benefits based on his income, then that would affect his benefits. As far as Medicaid is concerned, you may want to contact the office in your state that handles Medicaid as they can give you specific information as to how that inheritance would affect your family's Medicaid coverage.

Thu, 10/20/2016 - 09:54 Permalink
Jeanie Kowalski (not verified)

I've been disabled for

I've been disabled for decades and am receiving SSDI and had an idea to try and write a book. But I was worried about permanently losing my benefits - ESPECIALLY my health insurance - if I managed to earn some money from what will probably be a one time occurrence - I doubt I'll be able to write more than one book. Could you please offer some advice on this? Thanks!

Sun, 10/23/2016 - 12:50 Permalink

In reply to by Jeanie Kowalski (not verified)

Hi Jeanie,

Hi Jeanie,
It would really depend on whether the money you'd make from the book would be considered earned or unearned income, if it's earned then you may lose benefits, however if it's considered unearned income, it may not affect your benefits.

Mon, 10/24/2016 - 10:51 Permalink
David (not verified)

I was declared disabled in

I was declared disabled in 2005 and have been receiving SSI since. In 1997 I was hospitalized at a Dallas County Hospital and operated on for a broken neck; my hospital bill was about $27K. Since I was indigent the county paid my bill. Now this month I'm 62 years old and SS placed me on early retirement. My 91 year old mother is willing me my condo plus a share of the sale of her house. Will Dallas County or SSI claw back any money from my inheritance? I've been told that I should at 62 decline any more SSI. I plan on selling my property where I currrently live since I would now own it and move to a different state. The valuse of the expected inheritance would be about $130K.

Mon, 10/24/2016 - 22:57 Permalink
Alison (not verified)


I am receiving SSDI benefits, for a year now, my uncle died, left my sister & I an inheritance of 115, 000 each. I put 75,000 in a 9 month CD will this affect my SSDI benefits/ Medicare?
Thank you

Mon, 10/31/2016 - 12:49 Permalink

In reply to by Alison (not verified)

So sorry to hear about your

So sorry to hear about your uncle. But your SSDI benefits will not be affected by an inheritance at all.

Mon, 10/31/2016 - 17:05 Permalink
Sammy (not verified)

I receive ssdi and get mass

I receive ssdi and get mass health. I will be receiving part if my mom's will. Did I need to declare this and will my health insurance become involved. Thank you

Tue, 11/01/2016 - 11:32 Permalink

In reply to by Sammy (not verified)

Hi Sammy,

Hi Sammy,
If you receive mass health based on your income, receiving your inheritance may affect that, it may be a good idea to contact the office that administers mass health to get some more information about how that would affect your benefits.

Tue, 11/01/2016 - 12:51 Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

I have a question my friend

I have a question my friend has applied for disability and her soon to be exact husband owes her 2/3rds of the house she had to apply for Medicaid which she now has now my question is if he pays her for 2/3rds of the house would she lose her Medicaid? Or can she buy a house and not lose her Medicaid? She's waiting for a discussion on social security she has worked for 10 years or more please let me know she needs her medicine but if she lost her Medicaid that would be terrible

Fri, 11/04/2016 - 14:57 Permalink

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Hi there,

Hi there,
Her medicaid eligibility depends on the guidelines of the state in which she lives, so I really could not say how the sale would affect her medicaid eligibility.

Mon, 11/07/2016 - 09:30 Permalink
Daily Bob (not verified)

My brother is on ssi,if he

My brother is on ssi,if he received a inheiretence from say my father and it was not put into a account in his name could I not buy him what he wants,like a house,car ect....?

Mon, 11/07/2016 - 08:43 Permalink
Diana (not verified)

I am on SSDI and no

I am on SSDI and no employment, I got a refund check from an utility company and deposited into my bank account. That check is a one time. Will it affect my benefits?

Mon, 11/07/2016 - 11:07 Permalink

In reply to by Diana (not verified)

Hi Diana,

Hi Diana,
SSDI does not have limits on unearned income, so that check may not affect your benefits at all.

Mon, 11/07/2016 - 16:18 Permalink
Jan (not verified)

How is it that someone can

How is it that someone can get disability cause they cannot read and write but she did work for 11yrs an got fired because of a drug test she failed. And for someone that can't read or write is on facebook all night . She sleep during the day because she is on so many narcotics,and likes to drink. But if you get disability because of not reading then the system is sorry. There are classes to teach adults but instead us who do work have to swallow it cause our taxes help get their paycheck. Yes some people need it, but this is not 1 of them.

Thu, 11/10/2016 - 14:21 Permalink

In reply to by Jan (not verified)

Hi Jan,

Hi Jan,
I'm sorry to hear about that! You may want to contact the SSA regarding this if you feel that this person is abusing and/or defrauding the Social Security Administration.

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 09:24 Permalink
tommy w (not verified)

my brother and i are both on

my brother and i are both on SSI disability in Indiana. Our mother just passed. my brother has been living with her for 6 years and continues to live there. when we sell the home, will it affect our SSI disability

Sat, 11/12/2016 - 18:04 Permalink

In reply to by tommy w (not verified)

Hi Tommy,

Hi Tommy,
It may affect your disability if you sell the home, the SSA may consider it income for the month that you receive the home and a financial resources for the months following that.

Mon, 11/14/2016 - 09:39 Permalink
Denise (not verified)

I receive SSDI

I receive SSDI
I stand to inherit a substantial amt. of money will that effect my benefits and or Medicare insurance in any way ??

Sun, 11/13/2016 - 17:56 Permalink

In reply to by Denise (not verified)

Hi Denise,

Hi Denise,
If you are receiving SSDI benefits based off of your work history, then you may have no change in your benefits.

Mon, 11/14/2016 - 09:40 Permalink
Donny (not verified)

I receive SSDI and I am on

I receive SSDI and I am on Section 8 Housing, I will be receiving an inheritance soon and my question is - will I be able to have a savings account with no limit.
Thank you,

Mon, 11/14/2016 - 10:04 Permalink

In reply to by Donny (not verified)

Hi Donny,

Hi Donny,
If you're on disability benefits based off of your income, then your inheritance may be considered income for the first month you receive it and a financial resource for the months after that.

Mon, 11/14/2016 - 10:20 Permalink
Marlena Goller (not verified)

Hi, I receive SSDI and SSI. I

Hi, I receive SSDI and SSI. I will be inheriting everything my father owns and I will liquidate it. I understand that I will be loosing my SSI from everything I have read. My question is, what happens in the future after the money from him is gone. Will I then be eligible to receive SSI again?

Thank You

Thu, 11/17/2016 - 21:56 Permalink

In reply to by Marlena Goller (not verified)

Hi Marlena,

Hi Marlena,
Your inheritance will be counted as income for the month you receive it, and it would count as a financial resource for every month after it. Once the money is gone, you may still be eligible to receive SSI.

Fri, 11/18/2016 - 14:56 Permalink
Cheryl (not verified)

My husband is on SSI, last

My husband is on SSI, last year I received 24000 from the sell of my Mom's house after she passed unexpectedly. I honestly didn't know I had to report this. SSI is stopping his benefits and medical. Is there anything that SSA accepts as ok for the money to have spent on? I'm unable to work myself and have been putting off applying for my SSDI mainly due to pride.

Fri, 11/18/2016 - 10:07 Permalink
Jamilee (not verified)

Hi everyone! I have a

Hi everyone! I have a question & I'm desperate for answers! I am getting ready to receive a settlement for an automobile accident. I receive SSDI, Medicare and Medicaid. Am I required to report my settlement to any of these places? If they find out about it will I lose any of the three listed? Thanks for any advice it is very much appreciated!!

Sun, 11/20/2016 - 10:50 Permalink

In reply to by Jamilee (not verified)

Hi Jamilee,

Hi Jamilee,
Yes, I would report this to the SSA, it may change your eligibility for Medicaid, but it may not change your eligibility for SSDI or Medicare.

Mon, 11/21/2016 - 09:59 Permalink

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