Pioneer, CA asked in Civil Rights and Social Security for California

Q: mom recieves SSA and SSi and FS. She just recieved a 16,666.00 inheritence. How to legally keep w/out losing benefits

My mom is on SSI 163 month, SSA 513 month, part of legally separated hubs ssi 287 month and 153 in food stamps. Total ... She just recieved a cashiers check for 16,666.00 from my grandmas trust as she has passed away. Will my mom lose her benefits? How can we go around them legally so she can keep her benefits without being cancelled?

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2 Lawyer Answers

A: If the funds had not been given to your mother, but instead had been given to a trust that could help her, that would have avoided losing benefits. She will lose the $163 a month need based funds. She will continue to get the work based benefits. If she does not report receiving the funds, this may delay the ending of the $163 a month, but watch out! The SSA will find out eventually, and when they do, they will demand return of any funds received after she had the money. This is often a large lump sum a few years down the road when you might not be able to pay it.

Brad A. Thomas agrees with this answer

Susan Michele Schaefer
Susan Michele Schaefer
Answered
  • Social Security Disability Lawyer
  • Prattville, AL

A: Since SSI is a needs based program, the countable income and resources are very limited. For information about what is and is not counted start with https://www.ssa.gov/ssi/text-understanding-ssi.htm.

Social Security allows for a person receiving SSI to have a “special needs” or “supplemental needs” trust that is irrevocable and for the person's benefit. This type of trust has a trustee to manage money (or other assets) on the person's behalf. Generally, Social Security does not count the assets in this trust and the person continues to receive SSI. Here is some basic information about trusts https://www.ssa.gov/ssi/spotlights/spot-trusts.htm.

Consult with a disability lawyer in your area about establishing a “special needs” or “supplemental needs” trust for your mom.

Brad A. Thomas agrees with this answer

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