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TDIU and rental income

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kevin4998

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I am about to purchase a home.  I would love to buy a duplex, so my costs are cut in halve at least.  (I say have, because the other halve would be going to a maintenance savings for the property) Problem is I am 100% due to TDIU.   I have read that this would be considered unearned income by Social Security and would not jeopardize my Social Security, but VA comp may be lost.  I also read that if it was managed by an outsourced individual that I would not loose my VA comp.  But, for myself that would mean I would need to hire someone (property manager) and that would probably reduce any beneficial income from the rental property.   I would rather just do it myself (if only a duplex).   I have come to far to lose my VA comp, but I would like to have a little extra hand with the mortgage.   Anybody have any real knowledge on this, such as have or is doing this that is on TDIU?  Thanks for any input!

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If the income provides "substantial gainful (employment)", then you have cause for concern.  SGE is defined as earing over the poverty level in the most recent 12 months, which is about 10,000 per year.  

There is a differnce between "investment income" where you can have an unlimited amount, and "earned income".    To be sure which that is, in your case, you should discuss it with a CPA or qualified tax professional and be prepared to tell them the degree of work you plan on doing yourself.  

If you go next door to collect a rent check each month, and maybe screen your tennants, and make decisions on move in's, that probably is not "earned income".  But, you you have an apartment home where you manage 200 units, and paint and clean each one, as well as do maintenance and repairs, then that would be earned income.  

Most people have to do some "work" to collect their disability, and that certainly includes VA.  It means you have to timely file applications, nod's, I9's, and attend c and p exams, as well as anything else VA requires you to do.  While I allege that can be a full time job with VA, along with the stress, the income you earn from disability is not earned income, even if you had to pour hundreds and hundreds of hours of labor into making it happen like I did.  

My advice is to go ahead and get a duplex, but check with your tax advisor on the subtle differences between earned income and investment income.  

I seriously doubt you would earn over 10,000 per year collecting rent, screening tennants, and even painting the property every 3 years.  

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Thank you for your response.   It would be either a one duplex or quadplex (VA home loans go up to quadplex, which i will be utilizing).   Basically that is about all i will be doing.  Maintenance and yard care would be done by someone I would hire (also why I would only consider collecting halve of the rent for myself and rest to home care).   Not that it would matter to the VA but I would also probably go through the VA housing people for veterans looking for home.   My concern is also partly that when I was first awarded comp it was based on my income as well.  I dont think that is the case now at that I am at 90% with TDIU 100%.   I have not worked since the day I filed for SS and VA comp which I did both at the same time back in 2011.  I hope this is all correct, it would be nice to have a home and mortgage that is partly taken care of and not just an added expense.  

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