Question about Inheritance and SSI

Discussion in 'Financial, Disability and Legal Resources' started by artyreader, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. artyreader

    artyreader Member

    I just posted this in more detail on the Fibromyalgia Board, and then I saw this board, so, I'll try to keep it concise.
    I have a dilemma: I just found out I may be getting $10,000 inheritance. I have been disabled for many years (SSDI and SSI). I eke out a very 'bare bones' existence on about $10,000 a year (just enough to buy food and rent a one room studio apartment--and only with the help of Section 8, otherwise I would be homeless!)
    I cannot afford a car, TV, cell phone, high speed internet, eating out, traveling, buying anything new, or even not new. What's worst is isolation from not seeing far-flung loved ones. I have $7,000 debt because of unexpected serious dental problems over last two years.
    With the inheritance I could pay off that huge (to me) debt (before the dental problems I had started to save some money but now it's impossible)but: How will it affect my SSI, Medi-Cal ?(Medicaid)as I have ongoing medical conditions and could not afford out of pocket doctor and medication costs and also my Section 8 small rent (I cannot afford even the cheapest of unsubsidized rentals--even renting a room in someone's home is much more expensive than the little place I rent with government help) With Section 8, if your income goes up, your rent goes up so, taking all this into consideration, I'm even wondering if I should accept the inheritance, which I badly need, but may cause me to lose more than I gain? I hope that wasn't too muddled? Thank you!
  2. caledonia

    caledonia Member

    I think as long as you spend it down it will be ok. With your amount of debt, that shouldn't be hard to do.

    You're allowed to have a car, so maybe the rest can go for a used car so you're not so isolated.

    To get an official answer you should call SSA and ask them about it.
  3. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    Suggestions, (1) find out about federal and state income taxes (if you have state income tax) involving inheritance and inheritance trusts before you spend anything down. Some inheritance is subject to taxes and you want to make sure you are fully clear and get that from a professional (not IRS). You want to make sure.

    (2) Go to your previous post and read the articles I posted about SSI and trusts. If you spend the money down and the inheritance you receive does not qualify under SSA's definition of their qualifying trusts, they can accuse you of receiving money and not notifying them, spending it, and a potential penalty could be for you to lose all benefits under SSD. These people at SSA play for keeps and it's advisable to play it safe and not spend it until you formally notify SSA and then have SSA's decision in writing that allows you to do that. SSI is very different than SSDI.

    [This Message was Edited on 03/16/2012]
  4. BlueSky555

    BlueSky555 New Member

    How sad; you have been through such a difficult time and still doing so. It's unfortunate that you have to worry about $10,000 inheritance. I agree that you do need to contact SSA but regretfully so.

    I wish you could just keep YOUR inheritance to yourself. I just wanted to let you know how sorry I am that you even have to go through SSA. Take care my friend and I wish you the best!

    BlueSky
  5. MicheleK

    MicheleK Moderator

    I'm curious caledonia, how did this situation work out?