Will A Monetary Gift Affect My Social Security Disability Benefits?
Suffering a debilitating injury or learning that you have a disabling disease can be devastating, and you are likely worried about how you will be able to pay your bills. When you experience a disability, it is important to know that you may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program or through Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These programs sound alike because of their similar acronyms, but they actually have quite different requirements aside from the fact that both require you to have a disability. If you are planning to apply for SSDI or SSI benefits, you may be concerned that a monetary gift you recently received from a family member or close friend could affect your ability to receive benefits.
Indeed, many people who become disabled will have friends and family members who want to help. In some cases, a friend or family member might establish a “Go Fund Me” account or something similar to help you pay your bills while you are struggling with your disability. Can you still receive SSDI or SSI benefits? It depends, and our Harrisburg disability lawyers can tell you more.
You Can Receive SSDI Benefits Regardless of Any Monetary Gifts You Receive
When you are planning to seek SSDI benefits (also known more simply as SSD benefits), or if you are already receiving SSDI benefits, you should know that monetary gifts of any and all types will not affect your ability to receive Social Security disability benefits. While some benefits are based on your income or your economic need, SSDI benefits do not require you to have a lower income or an amount of income or assets below a certain amount.
After you apply for SSDI benefits, and while you are receiving them, your benefits amount will be based on income prior to your disability in that you will receive a portion of your prior wages up to a certain amount. However, eligibility for SSDI benefits is never determined by the amount of your current assets or income. Instead, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will determine your eligibility for SSDI benefits based on two key factors: 1) Do you have a disability according to the SSA, and 2) Did you work for a long enough period of time and for a sufficient number of hours such that you have the requisite number of work “credits” to be eligible for SSDI benefits?
While an attorney can discuss the specifics of SSDI eligibility with you, you should know that you do not have a reason to worry about accepting monetary help from friends or family members. Regardless of the amount of a monetary gift you receive, you will still be able to receive SSDI benefits, and the amount of those benefits will not be affected by the monetary gift.
Your SSI Eligibility May Change with a Monetary Gift
Supplemental Security Income payments, unlike SSDI, are based on an applicant’s assets and income. Having assets in excess of a set amount, or earning more than $2,040 per month (or $8,230 in a year) could result in your losing eligibility for SSI payments.
Accordingly, if you are currently receiving SSI payments or plan to apply for them, you should consult an attorney before accepting a monetary gift.
Contact a Harrisburg SSDI Benefits Lawyer
If you have questions about SSDI benefits, one of the Harrisburg SSDI lawyers at Ira H. Weinstock, P.C. can answer any questions you have and can assist you with your application.