If you have a loved that may need government assistance for disability, it is important to understand how that help may affect your estate plans in Texas if you intend for them to inherit some of your assets. SSDI and SSI have different eligibility requirements and, therefore, different implications for your estate plan.
Social Security Disability Insurance Versus Supplemental Security Income
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federally funded program that pays benefits to disabled individuals who are unable to work as long as they have paid into the Social Security system enough quarters throughout their working life. On the other hand, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is designed for disabled individuals who do not qualify for SSDI because they haven’t worked the required quarters or have never worked at all. In other words, individuals with limited income or resources.
Things to consider when estate planning
The Social Security Administration requires applicants to meet certain requirements to qualify for either program. For example, there are limits on the amount of assets that an individual can possess while still receiving SSDI and SSI. If the beneficiary exceeds that limit because of financial gifts from a deceased person’s estate plan, they may lose eligibility for these programs.
How to plan your estate accordingly in such circumstances
It will benefit your heirs if you plan your estate to ensure you’ve adequately provided for them while protecting their eligibility for government benefits. A special needs trust allows you to provide assets for your beneficiary without directly transferring them. The SSA will not count the assets placed in the trust as resources or income when determining eligibility, and so your appointed trustee can use them to pay for additional expenses not covered by SSDI or SSI, such as medical care, housing costs, education and other necessities.
Disabilities can be very expensive to manage; sometimes, your resources may not be enough. Luckily, you can work your way around this and ensure that your beneficiary can still receive government benefits without sacrificing much of the help you want to provide.