Legal Question in Social Security Law in California

SSI status IF receiving inheritance

A friend, dependent on SSI for many years, now can possibly be the recipient of inheritance or a settlement in the near future. This unexpected money may be sizable enough to sustain him.

If he receives the hoped for money, he understands he will lose his SSI eligibility and associated medical coverage.

BUT....will he be able to keep the money? Or, does he have to pay back the government for years of SSI support?

Asked on 2/06/07, 5:13 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys


Re: SSI status IF receiving inheritance

Hello and Hooray! There is no reimbursement of past SSI payments. SSI is based upon "need" and is a form of federal welfare. When someone obtains assets $2,000 and above, then the eligibitlity can cease and ther are certain criteria for cessation and or continuation of other forms of coverage and benefits. Quite complicated but the "short" of it is no repayment of monies received when poor!


Mark Geyer

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Answered on 2/06/07, 5:54 pm

Vandad Moheban Moheban Law Firm

Re: SSI status IF receiving inheritance

Depending on the reason your friend is receiving SSI, there may be a way for your friend to keep her benefits, even if she is the recipient of an inheritence, using a Special Needs trust. Call me at 1.877.MOHEBAN for a free 15 consultation regarding this matter.

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Answered on 2/06/07, 11:26 pm

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