Money from a lawsuit settlement can disqualify Public Assistance, rent subsidies and other government benefits.
Public Assistance or Welfare benefits are generally only available to individuals with no or low annual income and assets.
Therefore, a personal injury victim should work with an experienced attorney to structure the settlement payment(s) in a way that will preserve Public Assistance benefits.
A special needs trust can be established, and the settlement funds will be deposited into the trust. This prevents the cash asset and income from becoming a technical asset of the injured party. Instead, the settlement funds are held in trust, and monthly payments will be made from the trust to the beneficiary.
Income from Settlement Does Not Disqualify Public Assistance & Benefits
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This very question came up in the high profile case of Eric Garner, who was killed in 2014 by police brutality on a sidewalk in Staten Island. Garner’s surviving widow, Esaw Snipes, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the NYPD and the City of New York. In January 2017, the case reportedly settled for $2,000,000. Snipes will receive $500,000 now, followed by the remaning $1,500,000 upon resolution of paperwork in court.
Nevertheless, Garner’s widow is able to retain her NYCHA apartment at Fulton Houses in Chelsea. At the time of Garner’s death, she lived with him at their New York City Housing Authority apartment in Staten Island. After the high profile police brutality incident, NYCHA moved Snipes to the Chelsea Houses in Manhattan.
Under Federal law, Snipes can keep the NYCHA apartment and will not face a rent increase.
Settle Your Case and Remain Eligible for Public Benefits
Structure your settlement to comply with public assistance financial eligibility requirements.
Call our personal injury lawyers for a free case and settlement evaluation today.
We represent New York accident and injury victims in Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, NYC and beyond.