Q: My mother is 59 and has a dual defibrillator in her heart, very lucky she survived the two-day surgery. She worked in real estate over 30 years and due to her heart is now on SSDI. Many of the things she requires are either not covered or have a high copay. A friend from church encouraged her to do a medical GoFundMe, as she is currently skipping medicines and appointments the times she can’t afford her share. I have heard that people with SSI/Medicaid can be negatively affected by GoFundMe, however my mother is on SSDI and not on Medicaid. I worry for her health, but she is definitely more focused on not wanting to hurt her SSDI or hit tax concerns. Sincerely, a concerned daughter.
A: Income derived from a go-fund me account will not affect SSDI. This is because SSDI does not put a limit on unearned income or assets an individual has. Medicaid and SSI are different as they are means test program that look at all the assets and income of an individual. You should review all of the facts with an attorney and an accountant.
Q: I have been married since 1993. I have been on disability since 2003. Our divorce was filed in 2003 but has not been finalized. Can I get a portion of his 401k and keep my disability payments. (Swisshelm Park, PA)
A: It depends what type of disability you are on. Some benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid are “needs based” which means that the there are specific income and asset limits a person must meet to be eligible. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Medicare are based on age and/or disability status, are not needs based, and do not have the same income assets limitation in order for one to be eligible. You need to determine which one you are on and would benefit from a consultation with an elder law attorney. If you are certain you are on SSDI, you should be fine. If you are on SSI, an elder law attorney may be able to limit the impact your receiving the 401k will have by advising you how to shelter some of the 401k money and keep the benefits. It would be worth the consultation.