Common Social Security Disability Questions
SSI or SSD;a little about the two programs. SSI, or Supplemental Security Income, or Title XVI, (all the same program) is a needs based program. It is for low-income people with few assets. Usually people who have little or no work history qualify for this. The advantage of this program is that you do not have the five month wait period you have with SSD and you usually qualify for Medicaid. If you worked, but had low earnings you may be eligible for both SSI and SSD.
SSD, Social Security Disability, or Title II, is based on what you paid into your FICA tax. You will need to have worked and paid taxes for 20 of the past 40 quarters – like working part time for the past ten years or full time for five of past 10 years. You will be eligible for Medicare after you have been collecting disability benefits for twenty four months. There is a monthly fee for this insurance and some people opt not to take it if, for instance, they are already fully insured on their spouse’s insurance. Another thing, people do not realize that they can have unearned income and stay on SSD even if you get an inheritance, win the lottery, collect private insurance. There are others ways to receive SSD benefits such as Widow’s benefits or Disabled Adult Child. Which brings me to mention when you are eligible for SSD, your dependent children may also receive benefits.
*Some sources of benefits will affect your benefits and some other benefits may be effected by SSD. Worker’s compensation, certain VA benefits, and some Long Term Disability are examples of this. SSD is effected by Workers’ Compensation may affect the amount of your monthly Social Security check, but Long Term Disability may be effected by your Social Security.
Q: Do I have to pay taxes on my back due benefits?
A: Maybe. Probably not. You will want to talk with your tax accountant, your combined family income must be considered as well as other factors.
Q: I work, but my child is disabled, is he/she eligible for benefits?
A: Maybe. First you must be under the income and resource levels they require. Children’s standard for disability is different than adults and therefore many firms do not take children’s’ cases, but I do.
Q: My doctor says I’m totally disabled, so is that an automatic win?
A: That would be too easy; there are many different standards of disability. Your doctor’s opinion of total disability may not meet the criteria that Social Security requires.
Q: I won, do I have to recertify?
A: Social Security does continuing disability reviews from time to time. A Judge may have suggested your condition should be reviewed in as little as one year. Expect in about three years they will ask you for a list of your current doctors and other information. You do not need to get your records, they will do that. I do advise that you keep going to your doctor’s to keep him informed of your progress, or lack of progress, so that he/she can accurately relay the information to the Social Security Administration.
Q: I started an application then returned to work for a while. Do I have to start my application all over?
A: I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve “reopened” prior applications for people who have done just that. Of course, there are guidelines and restrictions in this, however, there could be substantial benefits to be gained if you are able to do it.
Q: What if I want to return to work?
A: Believe it or not, totally disabled is not always totally disabled. If you are on SSD you are able to earn up to certain amount without losing your benefits. The government also allows you to work for a certain amount of time without earning in excess of that amount before you are taken off the rolls. SSI also has programs to return to work.
Q: Why did my friend win her case and I lost mine, when I have more things wrong with me?
A: There are a number or possible reasons. Considerations are age, education, documented medical records and doctor’s opinion, the list is endless. It could just be that your friend had me represent her.
Q: Shouldn’t I try on my own first and call you if I lose?
A: People do this, and I have represented many people at different stages of their claim. Sometimes, there is unrecoverable loss of benefits because the claimant erred being unaware of the consequences of their actions, or not knowing what the issue was. The real question here is how important is this to you.
This information is in no way to be construed as legal advice. Seeking professional services for your Social Security claim from a qualified representative or lawyer experienced in these matters is highly recommended. Navigating through the Social Security process can be very complex and has many variables, caveats, exclusions, contingencies, etc. Attempts at loosely outlining the “basics”, as I have here, fosters too many exceptions to be accepted as concrete information and your actual situation may not meet all the criteria to match this conclusion. While, every attempt has been made to provide accurate information rendered in this site, Mary Perry, Accredited Disability Representative, is not responsible for any errors or omission, or for outcomes resulting from this information. No part of this Web Site should be copied without the express permission of Mary Perry, Accredited Disability Representation.
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