Will the Fees I Earn as Trustee Affect my SSDI Eligibility?

 In Special Needs Planning, Trustee
substantial  gainful activity

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash


I am the trustee of an irrevocable trust. I am also on SSDI. Will my trustee pay be included as income. Will it affect my SSDI?


Probably not. Unlike Supplemental Security Income (SSI), for which eligibility is based in part on assets and income, there are no financial restrictions for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). Your benefits are based on your work record, or that of your parents if you became disabled before age 26. So, since you are receiving SSDI rather than SSI, any payments you may receive for serving as trustee should not be a problems.

There is, however, one potential catch. You must be disabled in order to receive SSDI. Disability is defined as the inability to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA). So the question is whether working as trustee and being compensated for this work is SGA. The Social Security Administration sets earnings limits for SGA each year. For 2023, it is $1,470 a month (or $2,460 a month if you are blind). So, as long as you are receiving less than $1,470 a month for serving as trustee or other employment, you should not have a problem.

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