Post image for a web post by Patrick Farber about protecting plaintiff government benefits.

I’ve been getting calls from attorneys and injured parties asking whether settlement proceeds could jeopardize government benefits eligibility.

Will Lindahl at CPT Institute put together these guidelines.

  • If a plaintiff or family member is receiving government benefits, the plaintiff must notify the applicable state agency by registered mail of the impending settlement proceeds. If the plaintiff fails to notify the state, the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s family member receiving benefits may have benefits suspended for up to three years in California and five years in all other states.

  • Settlement funds distributed to a parent count against a spouse or minor children receiving benefits IF they live at the same address. Counting these funds (also known as deeming) DOES NOT apply if the injured party is living in a skilled facility. Settlement funds distributed to a minor DO NOT count against the parents’ government benefits.
  • Plaintiffs should confirm benefits that they or their family members are receiving by going to a local Social Security office or logging onto and registering for an online SSA account.

Contact Will or myself to discuss the options available so government benefits are protected even after receiving settlement proceeds. Will can be reached at 877-695-6444, or visit the CPT Institute website,

Pat Farber

CPT Institute is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charity that provides education and training to the legal and judicial community at no cost to attorneys.


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