Can You Have Investments While on SSDI?

Passive income sources like rental property profits and royalty payments do not count towards Social Security eligibility; however, having someone oversee the properties and perform maintenance can help avoid appearing like work on your part.

SSI beneficiaries are restricted from owning assets exceeding $2000; however, there are savings accounts and programs specifically designed to enable those with disabilities to save without impacting their SSI benefits.

Roth IRA

Roth IRAs are individual retirement accounts that allow investors to invest their after-tax earnings tax-free. Additionally, those receiving Social Security Disability payments can contribute up to their earned income into such an IRA.

Spouses of disabled individuals may contribute to an IRA in their name; however, the Social Security Administration may view this contribution as income and require them to spend down their IRA balance before receiving eligibility for Supplemental Security Income benefits (SSI).

Roth IRAs can help disabled individuals save for retirement, particularly as Social Security Administration limits how much income people can make from work. By having investment income saved away in a Roth IRA, an SSA cap on earnings may be avoided altogether.

Tax-Free Brokerage Account

A standard brokerage account allows investors to buy stocks, bonds and other investments while withdrawing cash as desired. There are various other investment accounts with various tax treatment. Some come equipped with unique advantages – retirement accounts or 529 education plans which help save for college expenses or ABLE accounts for disability expenses for instance.

Taxable brokerage accounts differ significantly from 401(k) plans in that they provide access to an expansive universe of investments ranging from individual stocks, exchange-traded funds and options – some providers even offer robo-advisors that assist you in building an affordable portfolio of diversification.

If a parent dies and leaves a taxable brokerage account to an adult child, that beneficiary receives an increase in cost basis when selling shares; that way, capital gains taxes only need to be assessed on the difference between current sale price and purchase price when selling them off.


An annuity is a financial instrument that offers regular payments of income in the form of payments. You have two choices for an annuity: fixed annuities offer set interest rates while variable annuities give you options to invest your principal into stocks and/or bonds.

Your eligibility for an annuity depends on what kind of income you have and how it interacts with Social Security Disability Income benefits (SSDI). While SSDI payments will have no bearing on Social Security retirement benefits, they could impact SSI (which provides cash assistance for blind and disabled people).

In general, the Social Security Administration (SSA) limits SSI recipients’ total countable resources to $2,000 per individual and $3,500 for couples. Any amount in a savings account counts as income. So if withdrawing money from your 401(k) vault pushes you over this limit, taxes must be paid; your Notice CP2000 from SSA will outline how much of it must be reported as taxable income and what needs to be accounted for in that tax bill.

Passive Income

Passive income refers to money you make without your direct participation. Examples of passive income sources can include rental properties, investing in private equity or venture capital funds, contributing to businesses that pay you dividends or profit-sharing income, royalties from books or songs you own or patents issued to you directly, contest prizes, tax-exempt trust fund payments or inheritance. Generating passive income requires upfront money and time investments but once established can produce long-term earnings without further direct involvement on your part.

Although passive income should be reported, most forms of it will not have an effect on SSDI benefits. You still must report it but this won’t change eligibility or monthly checks as the Social Security Administration doesn’t consider this work significant gainful activity.

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