Will a Personal Injury Settlement Affect My Government Benefits?
Most government financial assistance programs that provide you with monthly income have strict financial eligibility requirements and limits. If you were involved in any type of accident while receiving financial assistance from the government, it is important to clearly communicate it with your personal injury attorney prior to reaching and disbursing any settlement offers and benefits. Without careful planning, your personal injury settlement can affect your benefits or even result in a loss of benefits for a period of time.
If you were injured in an accident while receiving government benefits, it is imperative to hire an attorney who can provide you with guidance. A knowledgeable accident lawyer will know what to do to avoid or minimize any adverse effects your personal injury settlement can have on your government benefits.
Better to Be Safe Than Sorry
Generally, personal injury settlements should not affect an individual’s eligibility for government assistance, such as Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Medicare. The reason is that these government benefits are based on the recipient’s work history, not income or financial resources.
Nevertheless, if you receive any of the following government benefits and have been injured in an accident, a personal injury settlement could adversely affect your benefits or even result in a lapse or termination of your benefits:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI): This type of government benefit provides financial assistance to the elderly, blind or disabled.
- Medicaid: This is medical coverage that is provided to the disabled and financially needy. In most states, individuals who are receiving SSI automatically qualify for Medicaid.
- SNAP Food Assistance. This type of government benefit provides low-income families and individuals with assistance in purchasing food.
- Subsidized Housing (HUD/Section 8). This program provides financial assistance with rent and housing costs.
Accepting a large lump sum payment from a personal injury case that results in exceeding the specific government benefit program’s income and resource limits could likely cause you to lose your needs-based government assistance benefits for a period of time. Similarly, if you gift away or donate part of your settlement proceeds, it may also result in a loss of your SSI and/or Medicaid benefits for some time. In some situations, the government may also have the right to seek reimbursement for any benefits you have received.
The Need for an Attorney
Most likely, it took a long time for you to go through the application process and to qualify for government benefits. You do not want to risk losing these benefits, even if you were seriously injured in an accident that was not your fault. As such, it is crucial that you immediately seek the assistance of an experienced attorney to prevent incurring even more losses after an accident.
Call Us Today!
The legal team at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas is dedicated to helping our clients reach the best monetary settlement for personal injury accidents. With years of experience and success, we can certainly help your case too! Call us at 1-888-848-5048 to schedule a free, complimentary consultation with our legal team today.