Question about SSI benifits and Insurance pay out

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forgeblast
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Question about SSI benifits and Insurance pay out

Post by forgeblast »

Hi folks my father passed away last October, we were left with some insurance which I claimed. My sister who is Special needs (EMR), was not left anything but we decided to give her half of the insurance we received in the form of gift cards...Monthly gift cards. We send her $100 a month in uber and visa debit cards which pays for her out of pocket medicine and lets her get to the grocery store and have spending money. We plan on doing this even when the insurance money runs out because she needs it and this small amount is something she can kind of handle.

She is horrible with money, hangs out with people who constantly take advantage of her(Has cosigned cars for people she thinks are her friends, has filed bankruptcy, has debts all over the place. She will NOT (I have tried for 20 years) sign any type of power of attorney etc to help her with her bills. She has very little concept of money and debt and will give anyone who asks money even if she cannot pay her rent etc. She is currently on ssi, and housing assistance. It took years and years for us to get her that.

Yesterday I received a letter saying my father had an annuity and we both had a share (which is surprising because he told us he was not leaving us a dime and only his new wife and her family....he was a pretty mean drunk on top of it all, so i really font need the condolences).
My share and they could not tell me my sisters I am guessing it was split 3 ways with his current wife getting a share too is about 105k.

That amount of money will knock her off ssi, it will be gone in a month and it will destroy her life.
What do I do? I am truly at a loss for what I can do to help her, The best thing is if she got a monthly payment but that might mess up her benefits too.
what do I do? I am truly at a loss. State is PA. Thank you in advance, the money is a gift but a curse at the same time for her.
tj
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Re: Question about SSI benifits and Insurance pay out

Post by tj »

I don't think internet randoms can help you.
terran
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Re: Question about SSI benifits and Insurance pay out

Post by terran »

tj wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 8:46 pm I don't think internet randoms can help you.
Agreed, it's probably time to get someone familiar with disability law involved. It might be too late to set up a 3rd party special needs trust (although asking about that would be worth it), so you should see if a self settled special needs trust is an option (this is what you'd use if you were disabled in an accident and received a settlement, so I don't know if it would work with an inheritance), or an ABLE account (if she was disabled before age 26).

Even the gift cards you've been giving her are playing with fire. The Uber ones are probably fine, but anything that's food or housing or can be used to purchase food or housing is "in kind support and maintenance" and would reduce her SSI by the amount given or 1/3 of her benefit (whichever is less) if the social security administration were to find out about it. It's great that you want to help, and there are ways you can, but you need to be careful with this stuff.

Edit: it just occurred to me that the Uber gift cards could be problematic too since I think they're doing food delivery now.
gtg970g
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Re: Question about SSI benifits and Insurance pay out

Post by gtg970g »

It's not what you asked about but wouldn't your sister qualify for Medicaid as a SSI recipient. Medicaid should cover prescription medications. She may also qualify for other programs which could be helpful due to her status as an SSI recipient. Lastly, if your sister was disabled prior to age 22 she should be able to go onto SSDI based upon her parent's income. This could increase her payment amount. You definitely need to talk to an attorney who specializes in Special Needs Law.
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forgeblast
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Re: Question about SSI benifits and Insurance pay out

Post by forgeblast »

Thank you folks, I contacted our attorney. I am also talking with people I work with who have a lot of contacts in the special education world. I truly appreciate the information.
Thank you.
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forgeblast
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Re: Question about SSI benifits and Insurance pay out

Post by forgeblast »

terran wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:03 pm
tj wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 8:46 pm I don't think internet randoms can help you.
Agreed, it's probably time to get someone familiar with disability law involved. It might be too late to set up a 3rd party special needs trust (although asking about that would be worth it), so you should see if a self settled special needs trust is an option (this is what you'd use if you were disabled in an accident and received a settlement, so I don't know if it would work with an inheritance), or an ABLE account (if she was disabled before age 26).

Even the gift cards you've been giving her are playing with fire. The Uber ones are probably fine, but anything that's food or housing or can be used to purchase food or housing is "in kind support and maintenance" and would reduce her SSI by the amount given or 1/3 of her benefit (whichever is less) if the social security administration were to find out about it. It's great that you want to help, and there are ways you can, but you need to be careful with this stuff.

Edit: it just occurred to me that the Uber gift cards could be problematic too since I think they're doing food delivery now.
Thank you didn't think of this.
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forgeblast
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Re: Question about SSI benifits and Insurance pay out

Post by forgeblast »

gtg970g wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 11:40 pm It's not what you asked about but wouldn't your sister qualify for Medicaid as a SSI recipient. Medicaid should cover prescription medications. She may also qualify for other programs which could be helpful due to her status as an SSI recipient. Lastly, if your sister was disabled prior to age 22 she should be able to go onto SSDI based upon her parent's income. This could increase her payment amount. You definitely need to talk to an attorney who specializes in Special Needs Law.
Thank you both my parents are deceased. My mother was handling all of this but my sister cut all ties for a while and burned a lot of bridges. When my mother died my father remarried quickly and wanted nothing to do with my sister. Its been stressful and difficult because there is little I can do.
terran
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Re: Question about SSI benifits and Insurance pay out

Post by terran »

forgeblast wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:53 am
gtg970g wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 11:40 pm It's not what you asked about but wouldn't your sister qualify for Medicaid as a SSI recipient. Medicaid should cover prescription medications. She may also qualify for other programs which could be helpful due to her status as an SSI recipient. Lastly, if your sister was disabled prior to age 22 she should be able to go onto SSDI based upon her parent's income. This could increase her payment amount. You definitely need to talk to an attorney who specializes in Special Needs Law.
Thank you both my parents are deceased. My mother was handling all of this but my sister cut all ties for a while and burned a lot of bridges. When my mother died my father remarried quickly and wanted nothing to do with my sister. Its been stressful and difficult because there is little I can do.
Talk to your lawyer (or ideally a lawyer who specializes in disability law) about this. As gtg970g says, if your sister was disabled before age 22 she's considers a disabled adult child and should therefore be able to qualify for 1/2 of the higher earning parent's benefit if they would be old enough if they were still alive. I'm not certain, but I think this would remove the asset limits since she'd now be on social security retirement instead of SSI. There might still be repercussions for other benefits though, and it doesn't really matter if 1/2 of the higher earning parents benefit is still less than her current benefit. See https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement ... ying7.html
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forgeblast
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Re: Question about SSI benifits and Insurance pay out

Post by forgeblast »

terran wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 8:00 am
forgeblast wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:53 am
gtg970g wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 11:40 pm It's not what you asked about but wouldn't your sister qualify for Medicaid as a SSI recipient. Medicaid should cover prescription medications. She may also qualify for other programs which could be helpful due to her status as an SSI recipient. Lastly, if your sister was disabled prior to age 22 she should be able to go onto SSDI based upon her parent's income. This could increase her payment amount. You definitely need to talk to an attorney who specializes in Special Needs Law.
Thank you both my parents are deceased. My mother was handling all of this but my sister cut all ties for a while and burned a lot of bridges. When my mother died my father remarried quickly and wanted nothing to do with my sister. Its been stressful and difficult because there is little I can do.
Talk to your lawyer (or ideally a lawyer who specializes in disability law) about this. As gtg970g says, if your sister was disabled before age 22 she's considers a disabled adult child and should therefore be able to qualify for 1/2 of the higher earning parent's benefit if they would be old enough if they were still alive. I'm not certain, but I think this would remove the asset limits since she'd now be on social security retirement instead of SSI. There might still be repercussions for other benefits though, and it doesn't really matter if 1/2 of the higher earning parents benefit is still less than her current benefit. See https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement ... ying7.html
Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!
humblecoder
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Re: Question about SSI benifits and Insurance pay out

Post by humblecoder »

I have a special needs daughter. I am not as far along on the journey as you are with your sister, but here are some thoughts:

1. Agree with others on looking into getting SSDI benefits for her. This could also qualify her for Medicare after a waiting period. Since SSDI is not means tested, that is one less worry vs SSI.

2. Is there some way that you can direct the funds into an ABLE account or Supplemental Needs Trust? That would allow her to receive the funds without impacting her SSI or Medicaid.

3. It sounds like she has some measure of independence but has trouble with decision making (financial or otherwise). Have you considered guardianship or conservatorship? That would allow you to manage her affairs and protect her from herself. However, given that she refused to sign a power of attorney, it is possible that she would challenge such action. If so, that could end up being a messy family situation to say the least.

EDIT: The ABLE account would also allow you to use funds for food/housing (i.e. the $100/month you give her for groceries) without running afoul of the In-Kind Support and Maintenance rules for SSI. There are some rules around that which you can read on the SSA website, but my understanding is that if it is withdrawn and spent in the same calendar month, that that is good. But please don't take my word for it. Read the rules and consult with an expert to confirm.
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forgeblast
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Re: Question about SSI benifits and Insurance pay out

Post by forgeblast »

Humble coder thank you.
I will definitely be looking at getting that set up.
She has a degree of independence, thankfully, but she is very paranoid that people meaning her family or I tried to have her work with a local agency, but she would only talk with them, not show them any of her debt or her accounts, will take her money.
Now if it was one of her friends she would have given them everything.
Stubborn is not a strong enough word.
We tried power of attorney, but she would not sign the papers, it was not a good situation.
I have a list of things to ask the attorney but I will definitely add yours.
Thank you so much I truly appreciate it.
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