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My sister has been on SSI for many years. She is going to…

Customer Question
My sister has been...

My sister has been on SSI for many years. She is going to inherit money from a cousin. How will this affect her status?

Accountant's Assistant: These retirement benefits are supposed to help us but they can be so complicated! The Retirement Expert will help you get the most benefits propertly. Please tell me more, so we can help you best.

She is allowed to have only $2000 but this inheritance is $22,500. Can she spend it, keep it, give it away? Will she face penalties such as having to repay any benefits?

Accountant's Assistant: Is there anything else the Accountant should be aware of?

She lives in low-income housing as well.

Submitted: 11 months ago.Category: Social Security
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Answered in 30 minutes by:
8/3/2017
Social Security Expert: lev-tax, Tax Advisor replied 11 months ago
lev-tax
lev-tax, Tax Advisor
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 33,140
Experience: Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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There are two limitations for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) qualification - income and assets.
As soon as she will receive inheritance - that amount will be considered her income - and she will not qualify for SSi in that month.

In following months - as long as her assets will above the limit you mentioned - she will not qualify for SSI on that basis.

She may qualify again after that amount is spent.

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Social Security Expert: lev-tax, Tax Advisor replied 11 months ago

If she gift all or part of her inheritance - that will be reported on her SSI application for 5 years.

If she fails to report inheritance - she will be ordered to pay back all overpaid amount OR any overpaid amount will be withheld for her future benefits.

There is no penalties.

She may however disclaim inheritance - and it will be passed to next-in-kind beneficiary.

Let me know if you need any clarification this matter.

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