How Do the Lottery and SSDI Benefits Impact Each Other?
A lot of people applying for SSDI want to know if playing or winning the lottery will affect your SSDI status. Here’s what you need to know from our Memphis Social Security Disability lawyers about the lottery and SSDI benefits.
Can You Play the Lottery and Still Get SSDI Benefits?
This is a commonly asked question. People receiving SSDI want to know the answer before they take a chance on the lottery. Others enjoy playing the lottery and worry it might impact their SSDI application.
The good news is you can play the lottery and still receive benefits. Whether you’re in the process of applying or already receive SSDI, the lottery won’t impact your status.
SSDI works as an insurance program. If you’ve paid into the system through the taxes taken out of your paycheck, the benefits you receive are yours to spend as you like.
That said, I do have to offer a bit of personal advice. I am not only an SSDI lawyer—I’m also a bankruptcy attorney. And in that part of my work, I’ve seen plenty of people in my office who’ve lost their money to the lottery. For anyone on a fixed-income like SSDI recipients, I urge you to be extremely careful with the lottery or any other form of gambling. My general advice is to avoid it completely.
What Happens to Your SSDI Benefits If You Win the Lottery?
In general, lottery winnings don’t impact SSDI because they aren’t counted as work income. SSDI is meant to supplement your income if you become disabled. So the SSA looks at your work income, like part-time employment. Lottery winnings function more like a gift, and so they don’t keep you from receiving your benefits.
That said, you still need to report them, both in your taxes and directly to the SSA. The SSA doesn’t like to be caught off guard and might flag you if they notice large differences in your financial situation.
Winning the Lottery vs. Winning Your Appeal
In reality, it’s unlikely any of us will win the lottery. The statistics speak for themselves: you have approximately a 1-in-13,983,816 chance. To put it more plainly, if you bought a ticket every week, you could possibly win once every 269,000 years. And it’s far worse odds for the Mega Millions lottery.
So let’s focus on the present for a minute instead. If you’re disabled and need SSDI, that’s income right in front of you. Not only do you have better odds—you’ve actually earned it. SSDI is a program you’ve paid for already through your taxes.
Sadly, a lot of people get denied on their first try. They have 60 days to appeal, but some people just let that money disappear instead.
Don’t make that mistake. If you’re denied SSDI, we can help you strengthen your application and get a successful appeal. And what’s more, we don’t get paid a penny unless you do—and even then it’s limited to a fraction of your past-due benefits. Every dollar moving forward is yours to keep.
That’s no gamble.
So if you’ve been denied SSDI, don’t wait to get started. Contact me today at 901-327-2100 or fill out the form below.