Will a Coronavirus Settlement Affect SSDI Benefits?
As law firms begin to field new coronavirus-related claims, many claimants may wonder—will a coronavirus settlement impact eligibility for disability benefits?
Settlement Funds and Entitlement Benefits
If your client is receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits, then good news—a settlement will not impact access to their disability payments. Much the same, a settlement will not impact eligibility for other entitlement benefits, including Medicare and Social Security Retirement Income. However, in regards to Medicare, there is a caveat—if your client is Medicare-eligible, Medicare Secondary Payer provisions may necessitate the use of a Medicare Set-Aside to pay for future medical costs. If your client wants to ensure that the settlement proceeds will help provide long-term income tax-free income, a structured settlement may also be a consideration. If your client is filing a non-physical injury claim, there are also tax-advantaged options to consider.
Settlement Funds and Needs-Based Benefits
If your client receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI), then a settlement will likely impact their eligibility. Benefits including SSI, Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), subsidized housing, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are needs-based government benefits. In other words, eligibility is dependent on a demonstrated financial need. In most states, the asset threshold is $2000 ($3000 if married). A special needs trust (SNT) can be established to hold proceeds from a settlement, allowing an injured claimant to retain needs-based benefit eligibility.
Contact Sage for Coronavirus Settlement Options
Whether your client is receiving entitlement benefits, needs-based government benefits, or simply has questions regarding their coronavirus settlement options, we are here to help. Contact us today to learn more.