Can you keep your SSI, Social Security Benefits if you receive a Settlement of a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A primary question with regards to filing a lawsuit is whether a lawsuit impacts your SSI, SSDI or Social Security benefits. When considering such issues it is necessary to consult with a skilled attorney who is aware of the necessary petitions, filing requirements and other guidelines which need to be satisfied to avoid termination of your benefits.
If you receive any of the above mentioned benefits it is important to consider whether such benefits would be affected by the receipt of such a settlement. Generally, when you receive any type of settlement it will be conditioned on certain terms and conditions. Thus, it is important for your attorney to make sure that the terms of the settlement provide for the proper petitions which will allow you to receive the settlement without terminating your current benefits.
Generally the only benefits which are impacted as a result of such settlements are SSI benefits. Social Security Income benefits are “resource based” or “need based”. These terms mean that they are based on your current needs or resources, and such resources exceed the limits set by the social security office then your SSI benefits can be terminated.
SSI benefits can be critical for many recipients providing low to no cost healthcare at most hospitals in California. Recipients receive low cost healthcare, pharmaceuticals and life saving operations at little to no cost, so it is important for such benefits to remain intact. Additionally, any such reward would generally not be outweighed by loss of SSI benefits.
For those who are entering into a settlement negotiation or have been injured and want to know their rights it is important to consider the following avenues. First the money received can be spent down, which means spent within a short period of time upon receipt. However, this is not always a good choice for clients, since the window for spending the funds can often times be short and which can lead to making imp-prudent business decisions. A second option is the creation of a particular type of trust, known as a “special means trust”, which will allow for the injured party to retain the settlement proceeds and keep their SSI benefits.
While both decisions need to be given careful consideration and all legal issues need to be dealt with at the time of settling your case. It is important to discuss such issues with a qualified attorney at Downtown LA Law who understands the risks and benefits. Downtown LA Law 855-385-2529, call today for a free case evaluation.