Do Holiday Cash Gifts Impact SSDI Eligibility?
Are you planning to apply for SSDI benefits, are you waiting to receive SSDI benefits, or are you currently receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits? If so, you might have concerns about how certain actions could impact your eligibility. In other words, you might be wondering: are there certain actions or decisions that could lower my benefit amount or prevent me from receiving benefits? And, more specifically, around the holiday season, you might be wanting to know: can receiving holiday cash gifts impact SSDI eligibility? In short, any money you receive will not impact your SSDI payments or eligibility, but it could impact Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. Our national disability benefits attorneys can explain in more detail.
Eligibility for SSDI is Not Based on Your Assets or Resources
Whether you are planning to apply for SSDI benefits or have recently applied, or you are currently receiving them, it is essential to know that eligibility — including ongoing eligibility — is not based on the amount of resources or assets you have. Moreover, the amount of your SSDI payments are not based on the amount of resources or assets you have. Rather, eligibility for SSDI benefits is based on: 1) medical evidence of a disability that is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death, and that prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity (or “SGA”), and 2) a sufficient work history that has resulted in the required number of credits to be eligible for SSDI.
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), “you must have worked long enough — and recently enough — under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits.” In general, you can earn up to 4 credits per year based on your wages (currently $6,560 per year), and you need to have 40 credits total to qualify for SSDI benefits. In addition, 20 of those 40 credits must have been earned in the last 10 years. There are exceptions for younger people who have not worked long enough to have the requisite number of credits. Then, monthly payment amounts are based on your own work record and income — the payments have nothing to do with how much you have saved, or how much money you currently have in your bank account or savings accounts, or in other assets.
SSI Can Be Affected by Cash Gifts
As you can see from the above, SSDI eligibility and payment amounts are not impacted by the amount of assets you have. You could receive a very significant cash gift from a relative or friend, and your SSDI payments would not be impacted. However, SSI is very different.
While SSI requires that a recipient meet the same definition of a disability as an SSDI recipient, SSI is based on assets and income, and it is designed for disabled individuals with limited resources. Accordingly, a cash gift could affect eligibility for SSI or the amount of the payment.
Contact a National Disability Benefits Lawyer Today
If you have been diagnosed with a disability and are seeking disability benefits, or you have any concerns about how certain actions could impact the current benefits you are receiving, it is important to speak with an attorney who can help. An experienced national SSDI benefits lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Barszcz can learn more about your circumstances and can provide you with the information you need. Contact us today for assistance with your SSDI case.