Certain types of income and gifts you receive may affect your Social Security disability benefits. Whether your benefits will be impacted depends upon the type and amount of the income, as well as the type of Social Security disability benefit you receive.

Below we briefly review how other income and gifts can affect both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

SSI & Income, Other Benefits and Assets

SSI is a need-based program, so the amount of income and gifts you receive and your assets will impact your eligibility. If you have more than $2,000 in resources ($3,000 per couple), you will not be eligible for SSI. Note, some items don’t count towards your resource limit, such as your home, car and wedding ring.

Income from substantial gainful activity and certain types of unearned income might reduce your SSI benefit or disqualify you. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will take the following types of income into account when determining your SSI eligibility:

  • Cash,
  • Gifts,
  • Earned interest from a bank account,
  • Lottery winnings,
  • Workers’ compensation,
  • Pension, and
  • Your spouse’s income.

Certain types of gifts or benefits are exempt from affecting your SSI benefits, however. When determining your monthly income, the SSA will exclude financial aid, educational gifts, scholarships, grants and the first $20 of income you earn each month.

SSDI & Income, Other Benefits and Assets

Unlike SSI, SSDI is not based on need. Therefore, your assets and resources do not affect your benefit. The income you receive from private resources, such as private pension and private insurance benefits will not affect your eligibility either.

However, any public disability insurance benefit paid by a federal, state or local government for disabling medical conditions that are not job-related, as well as benefits paid by workers’ compensation will affect your SSDI. Examples of public disability payments that will impact your disability benefit include the following:

  • Civil service disability benefits;
  • State temporary disability benefits; and
  • State or local government retirement benefits based on disability.

To still be eligible for SSDI, “If you receive workers’ compensation or other public disability benefits and Social Security disability benefits, the total amount of these benefits cannot exceed 80 percent of your average current earnings before you became disabled,” explains the SSA.

Disability eligibility is complex. Call a disability lawyer for help.

The SSA has complex rules for determining eligibility and calculating income. For questions regarding your benefits or help with your claim, call a disability attorney at Patton Brown Law in Winston-Salem. Contact us at 855-860-2150 for a free consultation.