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Got the Luck of the Irish? How Winning the Lottery Affects Your SSDI Benefits

By SSDA USA | March 11, 2018

The odds of winning the lottery are against you, but it could happen! If you do win the lottery, you might wonder how your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) will change. Obviously, if you’ve won hundreds of millions of dollars, whatever benefits you received will pale in comparison. You probably won’t worry about losing out. However, you can win smaller amounts as well. For example, winning $1,000 is certainly nice, but how that could affect your Social Security benefits could be very worrisome. Because of this, you’ll want to learn how lottery winnings and SSDI benefits affect each other.

Lottery Winnings and SSDI Benefits

The way SSDI benefits work is that if you experienced a mental or physical disability that prevents you from being able to work, and if you’ve paid your Social Security taxes while working, then SSDI will provide you with a monthly benefit payment. This payment isn’t the same for everyone. Instead, it’s based on what your income was. This means that you can qualify for SSDI benefits no matter what income bracket you belong to.

Although there are no income limits on being able to qualify for SSDI benefits, there are limits on how much money you can earn while you are on SSDI. This is because if you are capable enough to earn a certain amount of money, you won’t be considered disabled. This limit on how much you can earn changes year by year in order to keep up with inflation. This year (2019), non-blind applicants can’t earn more than $1,220 per month, and blind individuals can’t earn more than $2,040 per month.

However, only “earned income” applies to SSDI income limits. Unearned income, which includes any income earned from investments, interests, spouse’s income or lottery winnings, do not have any limits. This means that no matter how much money you win playing the lottery, your SSDI payments will remain the same. If you’re on Supplemental Security Income (SSI), however, then it will be affected.

Lottery Winnings and SSI Benefits

SSI is a bit different in that it provides supplemental income to disabled benefits who earn below a certain amount a year. SSDI is insurance, which you are paying for if you are paying Social Security taxes. SSI is a government welfare program. This means that the income limits are much more strict than those of the SSDI program.

In order to qualify for SSI, you have to have less than $2,000 in assets as an individual and less than $3,000 in assets as a couple. Individuals can make no more than $750 a month and couples can make no more than $1,125 a month. Unlike SSDI, this doesn’t just count “earned income.” This includes wages, money from investments, and lottery winnings. If you make over the limit, the Social Security Administration will take the amount that you went over and subtract it from SSI payments. This means that if you win a substantial amount of money playing the lottery, odds are you’ll no longer be able to collect SSI.

When it comes to lottery winnings and SSDI benefits, the amount you win should have no effect on your benefit payments. However, if you are on SSI as well, then there’s a good chance that you may no longer be able to collect those payments as a result of your lottery winnings. For more information on whether or not you qualify for SSDI payments, be sure to contact us anytime via phone at 602-952-3200 or by using our LiveChat feature. Consultations are free, so don’t wait; contact SSDA USA today!

This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, the information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.

Did you win the lottery? Then you'll want to learn how lottery winnings and SSDI benefits affect each other. Contact us 24 hours a day at (602) 952-3200 for a free consultation with Social Security Disability Advocates USA. ]]>