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SSI and Inheritance??

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Senior Member
by setting up a special needs trust. Money in special needs trusts, which is managed by a trustee rather than being managed by you as the SSI recipient, can be spent only for specific purposes so the Social Security Administration may not count that money as part of your resources.
More information from the SSA website:


SSI is needs based if your income and resources are below the threshold. If you have income/resources above the threshold, the US taxpayer is no longer obliged to support you.

Another alternative is to disclaim your inheritance and not get it at all.


Almost no possible way. Unlikely that an inheritance would be excluded

Now, if the deceased had previously set up a special needs trust that meets all of the SSI requirements for exclusion (quite complicated)the money might not count, but it may cost thousands of dollars in legal fees, the lawyer may screw it up, and the trust will have lots of restrictions on how it is to be used. The beneficiary can establish their own trust, but SSI will count that money.

How much cash do you expect to inherit? How much real estate? How much other? There will be a 1099 trail that follows these transactions, so SSI will find out eventually, maybe a year or more after the money is paid out. By that time, the overpayment balance just keeps getting higher. It is amazing just what recipients think they can hide and get away with.

Is this life changing money? If you invest the principal, can you live off the interest and dividends? Or is this just a large lump sum that could be spent quickly on old debt and some new household goods? Or a new vehicle or even a house? How much money and what do you want to do with it (other than keep it and still get SSI)? Giving it away will create a period of ineligibility as well. That includes vague debts that you owe to everyone who ever helped you.

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