I can’t live on the Social Security Disability benefit I am getting. Is there a way I can get more money from Social Security?

By / March 3, 2016 / After You’re Approved for Social Security Disability & SSI / 760 Comments

See how the Social Security Disability benefits you are getting can increase and how Supplemental Security Income may be a source of income for you.

Your Primary Insurance Amount
Your Primary Insurance Amount, which is called PIA for short, determines the amount of the Social Security disability benefit you are getting. Your initial PIA is based on your earnings before you became disabled. There are only two ways that your PIA can increase.

Cost-of-living Adjustments
The most widely known type of increase is a cost-of-living adjustment, called a COLA, which applies to all Social Security beneficiaries and which takes effect the December of the year in which there has been an increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. For example, in 2014 the Index rose 1.7%, so the December 2014 Social Security benefits, paid in January 2015, went up 1.7%. There was no increase in the Consumer Price Index in 2015, therefore, there was no COLA increase in benefits for 2016, but a COLA of .3% was paid in 2017.

Recalculation for Later Work Earnings
The second way that your PIA can rise is through a recalculation of your benefits to give you credit for your previously un-credited earnings. This recalculation is called an AERO recalculation. Here’s how an AERO works. When your benefits start, Social Security uses the earnings information they have available for you through the previous year. Later the money you earned during the year your disability began and your prior year’s earnings, if they were not available previously, are reviewed to see if the amounts you earned will increase your benefit. This recalculation is done automatically twice a year, once in March and once in October. If you are eligible for an increase because of any prior year’s earnings, you will be notified by mail approximately a month later. Your increase, including any retroactivity is included in your next benefit payment.

Other than these two types of increases, your Social Security benefit amount will remain the same, with one exception. If your basic benefit has been reduced for workers compensation offset and the offset stops, you benefit will increase to its unreduced level.

Supplemental Security Income
The Social Security Administration administers a second disability program called Supplemental Security Income or SSI for short. If the Social Security disability benefit you are getting is below the maximum income allowed to get SSI and your total income and resources are within SSI limitations, you may qualify for SSI disability payments to supplement your Social Security Disability benefit. For more information about qualifying for SSI disability, please view our article What Is Supplemental Security Income and How Is It Different from Social Security Disability?

I can’t live on the Social Security Disability benefit I am getting. Is there a way I can get more money from Social Security?
2.33 (46.67%) 3 votes

  • Dear Christian,

    Please clarify your situation so I can possibly respond.
    1. Were you self-employed and now want to file back tax returns to prove work credits for years where you failed to file previously?

    2. Please double check the kind of benefit you are not getting. I think you may be receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is not based on anyone’s earnings record. (If you became disabled before age twenty-two and your father is either getting Social Security or is deceased), you could potentially receive Childhood Disability Benefits on your father’s earnings record.)

    Thank you,
    Kay

  • Dear Jeannette,

    I suggest that you contact the Commission for the Blind to find out about resources for getting a guide dog.

    I do not know of any program that pays a flat $600 to blind individuals. If your Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefit is less than $972 gross before taxes or Medicare premium, you may be eligible for a federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or California SSI state supplement payment. You file an application for SSI at your local Social Security office.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Brandy,

    I suggest that you contact the Social Security Administration and ask for an explanation of how your benefit is calculated.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Leigh,

    You are receiving either Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Social Security retirement benefits, not SSI, which is Supplemental Security Income. The amount you are receiving is based on your earnings record and will increase only if there are general cost-of-living increases or if you work and your annual earnings are enough higher than the lowest year’s earnings in your past work history to cause an increase. If your medical and housing costs are very high, you might qualify for SNAP (formerly food stamps).

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tammy,

    If your husband received reduced retirement benefits before receiving Social Security Disability benefits, that could account for the reduction in benefits when switching to retirement for disability. The reason is that there is a permanent reduction in for taking early retirement. The reduction only applies to retirement and not disability benefits. If that is not his situation, I suggest that he contact Social Security to get an explanation of his benefit calculation.

    If you do decide to move and he will not be accompanying you, he could apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to supplement his Social Security. He could potentially receive $112 federal SSI benefit if the $623 figure is his benefit before reduction for Medicare premiums. He would also likely qualify for SNAP (formerly called food stamps).

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Elesha,

    Please clarify a few things for me so I can respond.
    1. Are you getting Social Security Disability or Retirement yourself?
    2. If so, how much is your benefit?
    3. How old is your son?
    4. On whose earnings record is he receiving a Social Security benefit?

    Thank you,
    Kay

  • Dear Beth,

    If the disabled adult is unmarried and became disabled before age twenty-two and has been continuously disabled ever since and can prove it and his father is receiving Social Security, he could receive Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB) from his father’s earnings record if the benefit is more than his own Social Security benefit.

    If that is not a possibility for him and his own Social Security is less than $755, he might be eligible for a federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefit, which is also administered by the Social Security Administration. If his income is $755 or not much more and hie state pays an SSI state supplement, he might be eligible for only the small state supplement.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jonathan,

    Here are some things other people have done: move to a small town or more rural area where housing is less expensive, rent a room in someone else’s home. Get a roommate to split costs. Other possibilities include the following: if you are not receiving SNAP (food stamps) for food assistance apply at your local office. Check with the Social Security office to find out whether your state offers an SSI state supplement and, if so, whether your income would allow the supplement to be paid. Apply for Medicaid. If you get Medicaid coverage, the Medicaid program usually pays your Medicare premium for you, freeing up some of your Social Security for other needs. Contact your power/heating utility company and phone company to find out whether they have any reduced rates for people who are disabled.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Ron,

    Please see my response of a moment ago to your first post.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Ron,

    Social Security Disability is not paid in reduced amounts due to work. Either you are eligible in a month or you are not. The answer to your question depends on whether or not you have used up your nine-month Trial Work Period (TWP). If not, your benefit will be paid. If you have used up your TWP and you are in the thirty-six-month period following the TWP, which is called the Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE), you are not eligible for any month in which you earn at or above the SGA level, which is currently $1,170 gross wages or self-employment . If you have used up the EPE, even one month of SGA will cause your claim to be closed.

    Note that I said “any month in which you earned” at the SGA level. If you got a fifth weekly paycheck or a third bi-weekly check and some of the pay was accumulated from work performed in prior months, you may not have earned $1,170 in any month even though your received that amount of pay or more in one month. Also note that gross earnings can be reduced for the purpose of evaluating SGA if you have Impairment-Related Work Expenses (IRWEs). You can read about IRWEs in Social Security’s Red Book, which is available online at http://www.ssa.gov.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear JJ,

    Social Security benefit amounts are based on the worker’s work earnings and on the Social Security taxes he or she paid on those earnings. The only changes that you can expect are cost-of-living adjustments in years that the consumer-price index increases. If your Social Security is less than $755 a month, you may qualify for a federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to supplement your Social Security. If your income is not a great deal over that amount and you live in a state that pays an SSI state supplement, you might qualify for a state supplement even with somewhat higher income. Application for SSI can be made with the Social Security Administration.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Justin,

    I recommend that you file an application right away. It takes two to five months for a new claim to be processed. You can put on the application the information you provided me including that you have been waiting for three months for the May 17 evaluation and that you would like the results of the evaluation considered for your claim. Information about filing a claim can be found in the “Apply for SSD” articles in the drop-down menu under Social Security Disability/SSI on the navigation bar at the top of this webpage.

    When you apply, ask your mother for an approximate age at which you were diagnosed with autism and list that age as the date you became disabled. If you had trouble in school or received special services at school because of autism, the school may still have those records and you could get a copy and submit them for your claim.

    When asked for work history indicate that you never worked more than three months at any job and always quit due to your mental conditions. Explain the best you can what was going on for you emotionally and mentally that you could not tolerate staying in a job. It is important to be as specific as you can. The short periods of work will likely be treated as unsuccessful work attempts. Depending on the total amount of work you’ve done and your earnings, you might be eligible for a small amount of Social Security Disability. Also, if you have a parent you is receiving Social Security or is deceased and you have sufficient medical records since before you were twenty-two years of age, you might be able to claim Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB), which are paid to disabled adult children.

    For short-term help, check with your local state or county social services to find out whether your state pays any kind of interim assistance while a Social Security and/or Supplemental Security Income disability claim is pending. Also contact any agencies in your area that provide homeless services to find out if there are any housing resources for you.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jovon,

    Do report that your roommate has moved out and that you are paying all the rent. Let them know that when you get your back pay, you will be using that for the utilities and your other expenses until your monthly SSI is increased and that in the meantime, your utilities will go unpaid. (Presumably you are getting SNAP benefits to cover your food.)
    If there was a month when you had the $490 SSI and the roommate and you paid part of the rent and utilities, report that also. Your SSI will go up two months after you stop receiving in-kind (non-cash) support and maintenance from the roommate or someone else.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Nikki and Kelly,

    The children are not eligible on your earnings record because they are not legally your stepchildren because you and their other parent are not married. For them to be eligible you would have to adopt the children OR marry their parent and prove that you were providing more than 50% of the children’s support when you became disabled or when you applied for disability.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Shawnna,

    As soon as you make the change, report it to Social Security. You will need to provide a copy of the lease, a statement from your roommate as to the amount the roommate is paying for rent and shelter utilities, and an estimate of what your shelter utilities will be. Shelter utilities are power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage. If you purchase food separately, that should be mentioned in the statement. If you share food, then the amount the roommate contributes to food should also be included in the statement. You will receive the SSI increase two months after the change. Note that if you get an increase but not to the maximum, you can use the increased benefits to increase your contribution to shelter (and food if applicable) and report that change to get another increase.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tamara,

    You can start claiming divorced spouse’s benefits at age sixty-two. If your former husband passes away before you, you can apply for disabled widow’s benefits at the time of his death. Currently, you might qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is also administered by the Social Security Administration. If so, you will also be eligible for Medicaid insurance that covers most medical services and prescriptions without co-pays or deductibles.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kimberly,

    To receive the maximum SSI of $735 you have to either be a renter in your brother’s home and pay room rent that is fair market value (FMV) for the type of room you rent and buy your own food or pay FMV for room and board (shelter and food) or pay your share of of shelter expenses and buy your own food or pay your share of shelter and food expenses.

    Your share is the total shelter expenses (and food expenses if you share food)divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax, and if required by the lender property insurance.

    Fair market value for food would reasonably be the maximum food stamp grant for one person, which is $194.00.
    FMV for room is the amount such rooms are renting for in your geographic area. Social Security law does not specify an amount required to be paying fair market value because the economy is different in every location. You can figure out a fair market rental rate by looking at ads for room rentals in your area and/or by choosing state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. It will not list rooms, but it will list studio or efficiency (one-room) apartments. A room in a house would probably cost about half of that amount.

    If you do not now have enough income and/or savings to pay either your share as a member of the household or fair market value as a renter, you could stop paying anything for a few months and save up your funds until you have enough to pay FMV or your share for two months. Then you and your brother can report when you start paying the share or FMV and two months later your benefits will be increased to the maximum. You should save in a bank account to prove you have the money available to make the payments.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Grisel,

    It is correct that $2,920 is your gross wages and the amount to be used in calculating your son’s benefits. With one parent and one ineligible minor child, I calculate your son’s benefit at $251 assuming that you are paying enough rent that he is not getting in-kind (non-cash) support and maintenance from his grandparents.

    When he turns eighteen, your income no longer counts. If you and/or your parents are providing his food and/or housing, his benefit is likely to be reduced by one-third, which is now a benefit of $490. Once he has his own SSI income and starts paying for his shelter and food, perhaps with food stamps, the amount can increase.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Grisel,

    Every time you have a change, there would be a new financial review so that could account for the frequent reviews. And, you will have another as soon as you report your new living arrangements with your parents.

    Based on exactly $30,000 gross wages per year ($2,500 per month average) and one non-disabled child under age eighteen in the household, I calculate a benefit of $467 a month. Although your family income went down with your divorce, the income exclusion for a second parent in the household also went away. Also, SSI is calculated each month separately, so if you are paid weekly and get a fifth paycheck every three months or are paid bi-weekly and get an third check every six months, then a monthly average amount would not apply. Some months more benefits would be due and some less; none would be at the average calculated. Perhaps the $294 is based on a month that had an “extra” paycheck.

    With regard to living with your parents, if you are renters in your parents’ household and you are paying fair market value (FMV) for room (and food if you share food if your parents provide food) or you are residents of their household and you and your son pay his share of shelter expenses (and of food if you share food with your parents), his SSI will not be reduced due to his living in someone else’s household.

    Your son’s share is the total shelter expenses (and food expenses if you share food) divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax, and if required by the lender property insurance.

    Fair market value for food would reasonably be the maximum food stamp grant for one person, which is $194.00.
    FMV for room is the amount such rooms are renting for in your geographic area. Social Security law does not specify an amount required to be paying fair market value because the economy is different in every location. You can figure out a fair market rental rate by looking at ads for room rentals in your area and/or by choosing state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. It will not list rooms, but it will list studio or efficiency (one-room) apartments. A room in a house would probably cost about half of that amount.

    Lastly, your income and assets will not be considered in your son’s SSI eligibility once he turns age eighteen. At that time he will be reevaluated to see whether he is disabled by adult criteria and his financial eligibility will be redetermined based on just his income and assets.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Brion Bey

    I am 21 years old currently not working i recieve around 524 monthly and this is not enough to cover my living expenses after rent, car insurance, etc. How can i get my benefits increased?

    • Dear Brion,

      If you are receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Social Security Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB), you can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to see if you qualify for a supplemental payment.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dear Joann,

    My guess is that you will probably not lose health insurance because you no longer have subsidized housing; however, to know for sure, you need to talk with the agency that determines eligibility for those programs.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Lyn,

    Your companion’s income and assets should not be considered for Medicaid eligibility; however, because you share food, his income as well as yours would be considered in determining eligibility for SNAP (food assistance). If you can get Medicaid, the Medicaid program will pay your Medicare premiums. If you are not eligible for Medicaid, there are some premium assistance programs for people with limited income that would consider only your income. You can learn more about them at http://www.medicare.gov. Look for “Get Help Paying Costs” under the Medicare Costs button.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Pat,

    While it is true that there has been governmental discussion of reducing Social Security benefits in the future, your benefits as you describe them are based on laws that have been in place for decades. Specifically retirement prior to full retirement age, which for you would be age sixty-six, results in a significant permanent reduction in benefits. It is also correct that to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, you must have worked and earned twenty work credits in the ten years before becoming disabled.

    One benefit that might be open to you if you have limited assets would be a small amount of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability, which does not have a work credit requirement for most people. Even though the benefit would be small–about $5–the SSI eligibility would give you Medicaid, which would cover your medical services and prescriptions. You can apply for SSI at your local Social Security office or call for a phone appointment.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Nancy,

    To receive the maximum SSI of $735, your daughter has to either pay room rent that is fair market value (FMV) for the type of room you rent to her and buy your own food or pay FMV for room and board or pay her share of shelter expenses and buy her own food or pay her share of shelter and food expenses. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax, and if required by the lender property insurance.

    From the information you provided, it sounds as if your daughter is part of your household, so paying her share would likely be the option that applies. When your daughter gets her back pay, she can use the back pay to pay her share or to pay FMV and then report the payment to Social Security. Two months later her SSI will increase to the maximum federal payment of $735.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Sheila,

    From your post, I assume that you receive Social Security Disability (SSDI). My response is based on that assumption.

    Social Security is either paid at the full rate or not at all. If you work and earn $840 gross per month and your health has not improved to the point that you are no longer medically disabled, you will be granted a nine-month Trial Work Period (TWP). During the TWP benefits are payable regardless of the amount you earn. During the thirty-six months following the TWP, called the Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE), you will not be paid any month that you perform substantial gainful activity (SGA), which is usually $1,170 gross wages or net self-employment income. If you perform SGA after the EPE, your claim will be closed. You can read about these and other work incentives in the Red Book, which is available online at http://www.ssa.gov and may be still be available at local offices. If you start work, be sure to report your work activity.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jerry,

    You can go back to court to try to get the court order changed for the future. You might also contact each creditor with a copy of the current court order showing your liability for the child’s medical care and at the same time making a written request for forgiveness of the debt because of your disability and financial situation. Provide a benefit verification letter to show your income and complete any requested forms to show your expenses to support yourself. Another option could be to file bankruptcy, but I don’t know whether you would be in violation of the court order if you did that.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Sandra,

    I am not able to help you with what you ask for. Please see my response of earlier today to your last post as well as my first reply regarding getting SSI. No one is guaranteed a benefit of $2,600. That figure ($2,687 to be exact) is the maximum Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefit and to get that amount a person has to have worked for a lengthy period of time at high wages.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Sandra,

    Please refer to my previous response to your first question for information about your potential eligibility for a small amount of Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI applications cannot be made online. You can call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to request either an office or telephone appointment to apply.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Sandra,

    You might be eligible for $1 Supplemental Security Income (SSI). That, however, would give you Medicaid and usually Medicaid will pay your Medicare Part B and D premium and provide prescription coverage. If you can’t get SSI and Medicare, try getting help paying your Medicare premiums through a Medicare savings program. Information is available at https://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/help-paying-costs/medicare-s. If you have not applied for SNAP (formerly called food stamps), you might consider that.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Rebecca,

    Your SSDI on your own earnings record would not be affected by marriage. If you are both receiving childhood disability benefits paid to adult children who became disabled before age twenty-two, your marriage would not affect those benefits because you are both disabled and receiving a form of Social Security disability benefits. If you and your boyfriend do not have minor children, t is quite possible that you would no longer be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). To know for sure, you would need to have a calculation done based on your exact figures.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Lisa.

  • Dear Lisa,

    Your daughter may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits. Also, when your husband applies for Social Security Disability (SSDI), he can apply for childhood disability benefits (CDB) for your daughter. CDB are paid to disabled adult children who become disabled before age twenty-two.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Dale,

    Just to be sure that we do not have a misunderstanding, I cannot judge whether the gift would affect your eligibility for a personal care assistant or home care nurse. It depends on the rules of the insurance or program that is providing them.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Sherry.

  • Dear Dale,

    If you both receive Social Security Disability (SSDI) and the income from the non-profit is a gift, it will have no effect on your Social Security benefit. If you are getting assistance in paying for the home health care and personal assistant, I don’t know what impact it would have. I suggest that you check with the agencies that provide them. (If the home health is paid by Medicare, the money might have no impact.)

    If you or your wife receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the gift will be countable income to reduce the SSI. Exactly how much the reduction will be depends on which of you is getting the SSI and how other income you and she have.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Sarah,

    It appears that you posted your question twice. Please see my response to your first post.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Mom’s Helper,

    Social Security is based on work history and earnings record, so it will not be increased. This means the only potential increase could come from Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

    I suggest that you check to be sure that the Social Security amount you are listing for your mother is the gross amount of her benefit before withholding for Medicare premiums and/or taxes or any garnishment. If it is not, it is possible that she is already getting the maximum Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The maximum the two benefits can be combined is $755 unless her state has a state SSI supplement. If the figures you gave are gross amounts, the next step is to find out from Social Security what besides the Social Security is causing the SSI to be reduced. That way, if income is being charged that she is not receiving, that can be reported to get an increase.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • Sarah

      Hi Kay, thank you for clearing that up. I was a little confused and had to relook at her benefits letter again. I had misread her letter. She is not receiving SSD. She is only receiving SSI and supplemental SSI. She is receiving supplemental because of her disability. The amount she received was her net amount after deductions. Could she still receive SSD for her mental disorder and if so will it affect her other two benefits?

      • Dear Sarah,

        I am still unclear about the benefits your mother receives, so it is hard for me to comment. The figures do not seem appropriate for her to be receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and “supplemental SSI,” which I would take to be a state SSI supplement. That said, if your mother has sufficient work history to be insured for Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI), she can file an application. If she receives SSD, her Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will go down.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Dear Nathan,

    Your disability benefits will not increase due to your back injury; however, if you claim comes up for a continuing disability review and you are still having problems with your back, list that problem as well as the conditions for which you were originally approved so that review considers all the medical problems you have.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Nea,

    Medicare premiums are set by law and are determined independently from cost-of-living (COLA) adjustments, and it is true that sometimes the Medicare increase is more than the COLA. Each year a letter is sent giving the new benefit amount if there is a COLA or the same amount if there is none and giving the amount of Medicare Part B premiums, so there is notice. (Part A requires no premium.)

    With regard to the overpayment, you mother can request waiver of repayment on the basis of the overpayment not being her fault and not being able to afford to repay (if both are true). If the waiver is denied, she can request that the overpayment be collected a much smaller rate per month.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Christina,

    I believe that underpayments related to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) redeterminations are limited to two years.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Alan,

    Unless you live in a state with an substantial Supplemental Security Income (SSI) state supplement, your Social Security of $895 is too high for you to receive SSI benefits. You can call 1-800-772-1213 to find out whether your state has a state supplement and, if so, what the income limit is for it.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Earl,

    I refer individuals to programs that I am aware of that fit their situation. I also explain the law so that they can understand their situations and make decisions that are appropriate for them. Some situations, unfortunately, don’t have a solution or a program to fix the situation.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Diane,

    Your benefits will not increase to help you purchase a home.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Erick,

    I suggest that you contact your closest Housing and Urban Development (HUD) office or other housing assistance office to see whether you would qualify for subsidized housing either in government-owned housing or in Section 8 housing, which is privately owned property with the landlord receiving a rent subsidy for renting to your for reduced rent. Typically, HUD requires you to pay one-third of your income for rent or for rent and shelter utilities. When you inquire, indicate that you need to move for medical reasons, which might place you higher on the waiting list. Once you move, you may also qualify for food stamps if you do not already.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Debora,

    Yes, you can move from state to state and still receive benefits. Be sure to
    1. report your new address right away
    2. leave a forwarding address at your old post office
    3. if your benefits are being deposited directly to a bank account and you want to change bank accounts, keep your old bank account open until you receive your first payment in your new account.

    These precautions will keep you from having missing benefits and/or not getting important notices.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Vicky,

    If you are expected to be disabled indefinitely, you may be eligible to have repayment of the loan waived. I suggest that you contact the lender to get information on how to apply for the waiver of repayment based on disability.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Ashley,

    The first thing to address is whether your mother is or has been eligible for a higher SSI amount. The maximum amount is $735 and the usual amount for receiving in-kind (non-cash) support from individuals in the same household is $490 ($488 in 2016). It would appear that Social Security is counting some other income or other income.

    To receive the maximum, your mother needs to pay her share of shelter expenses. Her share is the total shelter expenses divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax, and if required by the lender property insurance. These rules will apply when she is living with you also. I don’t have any additional ideas about housing, except to try to rent a room in a private home.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Michael,

    The first thing you need to do is find out whether your claim has been closed due to medical recovery or because you performed substantial gainful activity after the end of the Period of Extended Eligibility (EPE), which is the thirty-six, consecutive calendar months after the end of the Trial Work Period. Once you know the cause of the termination and overpayment, you will know whether you can perhaps successfully appeal and whether to appeal and/or request waiver of repayment of the overpayment.

    The EPE allows for payment for months that you do not perform substantial gainful activity (SGA), which you seemed to be aware of. The first month after the end of the EPE that SGA is performed, benefits are terminated and the claim closed. Part of the overpayment is likely from months that you went over the limit in the EPE and part probably is from your claim being closed after the end of the EPE.

    If you reported your earnings variations every month, you may be able to get a waiver of repayment based on not being able to afford to repay and the overpayment not being your fault, although you seemed aware that you could not get benefits in the EPE when your earnings exceeded a certain amount.

    If it is correct that your benefits terminated due to having performed substantial gainful activity after the end of the EPE (not medical recovery), you can request Expedited Reinstatement, which will pay six months of provisional benefits while the reinstatement review determines whether you are again disabled. If you apply for reinstatement, claim a disability date just after the last month you earned at least $1,170 (in 2017) or $1,130 in 2016.

    If your claim is reinstated, you will begin what is called an Initial Reinstatement Period (IRP), which is the first twenty-four (not necessarily consecutive) months of payment. During this time, you will be paid only for months that you do not perform substantial gainful activity (SGA). After the of the IRP, you are again eligible for a new Trial Work Period, Extended Period of Eligibility and Expedited Reinstatement.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Patty,

    Start looking for housing now. If you have trouble finding a place by March 1, you might try to look for roommate situations where expenses would be lower or room rentals.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Nicolas,

    Yes, food cost is one of the expenses that is calculated into the determination of whether you are receiving in-kind (non-cash) income from your fiance. You have falsified information given to the federal government in order to obtain benefits and could be prosecuted for fraud if you do not correct the record.

    Your fiance’s paying the phone bill does not affect benefits, but the free food does and if you are not paying your half of the electric bill, the difference between your half and the $30 you pay is also countable income. If, for example, food for the two of you is $200 and the electric bill is $80, your share of rent, electricity, and food is $715 ([$1175 + $200 + $80]/2). You are paying $605. Accordingly, in this example, your countable income from your fiance is $110 ($715-$605) and your SSI benefit should be $58 (or $377 if your current SSI is the $487 figure.)

  • Dear Sherry,

    If you have had no change in income, resources, or living arrangements, there is no reason for your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid to be terminated.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Lin,

    Applications and supporting documents can be done by phone and mail. When asked to attend a consultative examination, you and your husband could explain the transportation problem and ask the Social Security Administration to pay for the transportation, which they sometimes do.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Lin,

    Resources in more rural areas including small towns are less than in cities. The only thing I can think of is to share your problem with relatives and friends to see whether each would provide you with transportation up to once a month. If you could find three or four people who could do this, you could get to three or four appointments. I also note that you said that your GP’s office is in town, so perhaps you can take advantage of the dial-a-ride to see the GP and to go to the school for necessry child conferences.

    As an aside, is there any possibility that your child with the 504 plan is disabled. If so, you could apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability for him or her. If successful, it would raise the family income to free up some money to hire transportation.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Salvador,

    How much are you receiving now and what is the source of your income. That will help me answer your question.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Ian.

  • Dear Ian,

    If you do not have minor children or a student child under age twenty-two in the household and you are not paying child support, your income is too high for your wife to be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It is possible that your wife has enough work for a reduced retirement benefit at age sixty-two and/or Medicare at age sixty-five. Also, your wife can apply for Medicare at age sixty-five if you at that time are drawing retirement benefits.

    In the meantime, perhaps you can get insurance for her through your employer. If her insurance (not L & I coverage) stopped within the last thirty days, she probably has a personal enrollment period under your insurance policy.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Keith,

    You cannot get an increase in benefits due to additional diagnoses. Social Security does not pay differing amounts for differing degrees of disability. If a person meets the minimum criteria, full benefits are paid.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jesslyn,

    You did not work enough and pay enough taxes to be insured for dependent benefits. You might check with your state or county social services to find out whether your child is eligible for any public assistance benefits.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Artgrrrl,

    I recommend that you go back to Social Security and insist on correcting the record, which seems muddled. For you to receive the maximum $733 ($735 in 2017), you would have to have other income of $20 or less, no more, and you would have to be paying at least half of the rent and half of the shelter utilities, which are power, heat, water/sewer and garbage. If you have no other income or only $20 and your roommate is not paying the utilities, where does the money come from to pay them. Saving? Or are the utilities in arrears? (When figuring up the expenses to determine how much is half, count the utilities that are not included in the rent and not paid by the electric and gas assistance programs, which are usually excludable income.)

    As a side note: there is no need for your roommate’s contribution to be listed more than it is (besides not being true); in fact, it could be to your detriment. A second side note: if someone has been helping with the utilities in the past but will stop, you can start paying them with back SSI pay you receive. Once you report you are paying all the utilities on your own, two months later your benefit will increase to the maximum.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Nik,

    You said that the attorney already applied for you to receive benefits on a parent’s earnings record. For you to qualify, 1) at least one of your parents has to be deceased or has to be receiving Social Security Disability or Social Security Retirement benefits; and 2) you have to prove that you became disabled before age twenty-two.

    With regard to your second question, be sure that your attorney has all the information about the jobs you have performed since age twenty-two, especially how long you worked in each and why you left. This is important because if you prove you were disabled before age twenty -two, your having worked later could indicated that you covered for a while or that your were unsuccessfully attempting work while still disabled. (Note that if you are approved for Social Security Disability you may be able to have your student loan repayment waived.)

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Elaine,

    In your original post, you referenced needing to work to pay for medical care. In most states, SSI eligibility provides Medicaid insurance, which covers most medical services and prescription medications without co-pays. If you do not have Medicaid, I suggest inquiring at your local Social Security office. Hopefully you are reporting your work earnings because there is a $1 reduction in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for every $2 you earn above $65 gross a month ($85 if you have no other income including income deemed from your spouse).

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Elaine,

    I think that you may be receiving SSD also known as SSDI, which is Social Security Disability. Otherwise your disability benefits would be Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which in turn would give you Medicaid.

    If you are receiving less than $753 ($755 in 2017) in Social Security benefits and you stop working, you can apply for SSI, which will in most states give you Medicaid to pay for most medical care without a co-pay. Depending on the amount of your SSD and your work earnings, you might even qualify for SSI while you are working. If you are getting Social Security and it’s too high for SSI, check with your state or county social services office to find out whether your low income qualifies you for Medicaid based on criteria other than SSI eligibility and also whether you qualify for food stamps. (As an aside, be sure to report your work activity even though it may not affect your benefits.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear C.,

    I suggest that you contact your local state or county social services department to apply for a food stamp allotment under the SNAP program. Some communities also have non-profit organization that provide utility assistance for heating costs on a needs basis. Some utility and phone companies offer assistance in the form of lower charges for disabled individuals. While at the social services department, you could inquire about publicly subsidized housing in your area, although there’s often a long waiting list.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Salvador.

  • Dear Salvador,

    You asked whether you could increase your income. You are receiving Social Security childhood disability benefits (CDB). The benefit amount is based on your father’s earnings record and the number of qualifying survivors. Increases will occur only years that there is an increase in the consumer price index. For example, benefits will increase .3% in a cost-of-living adjustment, so your benefits will go up by $3.60. Other potential sources of financial support could include food stamps if your shelter and medical expenses take up a lot of your income.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tim,

    Just a clarification about benefit names: you are receiving childhood disability benefits (CDB) not SSDI, which is Social Security Disability benefits paid on one’s own earnings record. You can receive CDB benefits on both of your parents’ earnings records under a combined family maximum benefit (FMB). When your father files his retirement claim, you should apply for CDB on his earnings record at the same time. When your CDB goes up, your SSI will decrease or stop depending on the amount of your increased CDB.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Salvador,

    I need more information to respond. How much is your income now? What is the source? Are you receiving either childhood disability benefits (CDB) on your father’s Social Security earnings record or VA survivor benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits? Once I have this information, I will try to respond.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Maria Scheier

    How do I get a place to live being on ssdi? I’m tired of being cold without a home.

    • Dear Maria,

      Contact your local state or county social services office and inquire about government-subsidized housing. Be sure to indicate that you are homeless. You may be put on a waiting list, but in the long run you might get into an affordable apartment. In the short run, look for a room rental in a private house or apartment. Room rentals may be low enough for you to pay for housing with the income you have. If you don’t have all the money for a required deposit, you might be able to pay the deposit spread out over three or four months. You can find room rentals by searching the Internet for “room rentals and the name of your town” or “roommates and the name of your town.” Otherwise, you might think of people you know who are having a hard time financially; they might want to rent a room to help with their finances.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dear Maria,

    I suggest that you contact the Social Security Administration to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability. Be sure to say that you receive Social Security Disability (SSDI) now. You can request an appointment to file a claim by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Sabrina,

    Social Security and SSI will go up with payments delivered in January. This cost-of-living adjustment will be .3% To figure your benefits, multiple your SSDI benefits x .003. To get your new SSI rate, subtract your new SSDI benefit from $755.

    Benefits for individuals who are blind or legally blind are the same as for other disabled persons. The difference comes if you work in spite of your visual impairment. The Social Security benchmark is higher for substantial gainful activity (SGA). This means that you can work and earn $1,820 gross wages ($1,950 in 2017), which is a higher amount than for other disabled people. For both Supplemental Security Income (SSI)and SSDI, have more liberal impairment-related work expenses (IRWE) for blind and legally blind individuals that can be used to reduce gross earnings both for evaluation of SGA and for calculating countable earnings for SSI benefit calculation. More information about these work incentives can be found in the Red Book at http://www.ssa.gov.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Shawn,

    Based on the fact that your son has never worked, I’d say that the second check he is not Social Security but Supplemental Security Income (SSI) instead. SSI is a public assistance program for disabled and aged (over sixty-five) individuals who have very limited income and assets; it does not require having worked and paid Social Security taxes.

    If your Social Security is less than $753 ($755 in 2017) and you do not have other countable income or excess resources (assets), you might qualify for SSI benefits. (Some states have an SSI state supplement that allow somewhat higher income.) You can learn about SSI in the articles posted under the SSI tab at the top of this webpage.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Review

    Hello.if I applied for disability on 2015 and I started receiving benefits on 2016 will my 3 year review be on 2018 or 2019?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Review,

      Usually the review cycle is counted from the date that the approval determination was made. If the decision was made in 2016, then count three years from then.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Pia Wilson

    Hello,
    I was declared disabled for SSDI in 12/15. I have worked all my life & have two advanced degrees. I was shocked to learn that after Medicare part B deductions I would only receive $879. Before I relocated to GA I worked for a private agency making over $72k per year. I was told I was an “independent contractor,” however the employer maintained complete control & I also had to pay so many expenses out of pocket. I paid taxes yearly & on time.
    When I lost my job I applied for UI & was initially denied. The state did an investigation & declared that I had been misclassified & was actually an employee. I worked for 2.5 yrs for this employer & grossed between $117,000-$162,000 for the 2.5 years.
    I have retrieved the case file from the former state in which I resided with their investigation results, decision & earnings. I have ALL tax returns as well.
    This was 2005-2007. I am hoping if I present all the evidence that my SSDI will increase based on the astronomical amount of money I made that was not reported by the employer or counted. The employer was forced to pay 100% for me to receive unemployment & also some other tax penalties. What advice could you give & if approved, how much of an increase could these uncounted income add to my SSDI? I was a licensed clinical therapist, case manager & domestic violence group facilitator. I worked 2 full time positions and one 3/4 time position. I did not get paid overtime, but worked 12-18 hrs a day, 7 days a week.

    I am also a disabled Veteran. Thank you and please advise.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Pia,

      Your situation is complicated in that you filed self-employment tax returns that showed your work for the years in question as being self-employment. Presumably, you paid self-employment tax, which was reported to the Social Security Administration via an automated computer interface. It is possible that the tax changes and employer tax payments done later did not make it over to Social Security to correct your earnings record. Accordingly, yes, submitting a copy of all the documents together with a request for reconsideration of the calculation of your benefit amount could result in an increase, although I am unable to estimate how much. (If you are outside of your appeals period, you can still submit the documentation and request a correction to your earnings record.)

      Just a few details for you to consider when gather your documentation to appeal: You do not say whether you filed amended tax returns to change that employment to wages voiding the self-employment tax payments and correctly reporting wages. If you did, submit a copy of those documents as well as the rest of the documentation you mention. It is also not clear from what you wrote whether the employer paid the correct income tax and FICA (Social Security and Medicare) taxes for you when the tax investigation was done for unemployment benefits. I believe the employer will have to pay the FICA taxes for you to get credit for the earnings.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Juanna Jackson

    Dear Kay
    I am 47 years old widow since 1996,,I never remarried and do receive VA benefit for widow spouse,but I have worked since I was 16,I Have had Psoriasis,psoriatic arthritis and injured lower back pain.cannot stand ,or sit,or even late down for maybe a couple of hours.I can’t work since three years ago because my health has gotten worse, I applied for SSI disability and wony case.I see four doctors and I’m on a lot of medication because of my health condition ,I’m only receiving $245,00 a month…my back PAY was only $6,367,00 I cannot even PAY my doctors bills or even live off that amount and I’ve worked all my life till recently…yes I do get benefit from the military and have insurance but it isn’t enough to pay my medical care.Am I able to appeal to increase my monthly payments because I’m still struggling with living cost and doctors payments…my attorney got more money than I did..What can I do..I don’t get food stamps or anything else except $245.00 that only pays for one doctor bill if I’m lucky,feel its unfair I worked over 35 years in hard labor and don’t get but a low income to live off..What can I do?

    Sincerely
    Juanna Jackson

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Juanna,

      Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a public assistance program for disabled or aged individuals with limited income and assets. SSI benefits are intended to supplement other income, so probably you are receiving only $245 a month SSI because the SSI is supplementing your VA survivor benefits.

      Social Security, on the other hand, is a benefit earned through working and paying Social Security taxes. If you had enough work in the ten years before you became disabled to be insured for Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI), your SSD claim is probably still awaiting payment in the payment center. You can check on this by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • My wife was diagnosed terminally disabled a few years back. She has cancer and receives chemo once a week. She was receiving abot $330/ month in long term disability monthly payments from her past employer, along with ssdi monthly payments around $820/ month. As of August 2016, she no longer relieves her long term disability. Is she able or how do I find out if she capable of receiving a high ssdi monthly amount.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tracy,

      Your wife’s Social Security Disability (SSDI) will not increase because her long-term disability (LTD) is ending. If she thinks it is an error that her LTD is being terminated, she can appeal the LTD closure.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Sue

    I have been fighting SSA for 8 years now. One of their offices deleted everything I had coming to me. After 8 years I finally get a small back pay and my SSA retirement is $631 per month. I can’t live on that. HELP> I hear about others getting over $1500 to $2000 per month and I get nothing to talk about.

    Is this fair? I want to know if I can see an ALJ again to ask about this. I’m just heartbroken. Doesn’t seem fair.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sue,

      Your Social Security benefit is based on your earnings record. The more earnings over your lifetime, the higher the benefit. This means that people with higher lifetime earnings on which Social Security taxes were paid receive a higher benefit.

      To check that your benefit is the right amount, you can get a copy of your earnings statement to review to be sure that all your earnings are posted. If they are not, you can present proof of the missing earnings to your local Social Security office, not to the judge. To request an earnings statement, set up a “My Social Security” account online at http://www.ssa.gov.

      If your family income and assets are low enough, you may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to supplement your Social Security. You have not already applied and been denied for financial ineligibility, you can apply for SSI at your local Social Security office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Michael stadden

    Hello I get disability because I have epilepsy, I currently get $488 a month. Before I got it I wasn’t paying rent only a phone bill of $50 because I was living with family members and now I’m staying at my moms bf’s house and pay $250 for rent and I get only $117 in food stamps. Is there away I can get more than $488 from disability because they only give me the $117 once they found out I was paying rent I have yet to tell the new rent to my disability income if I do will my pay go up or stay the same

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Michael,

      If fair market value for renting a room in your area is $250, your benefits will be increased to $733. If the FMV is more than $250 but less than $517 a month, your benefits will increase but not to the maximum.

      FMV for room is the amount such rooms are renting for in your geographic area. Social Security law does not specify an amount required to be paying fair market value because the economy is different in every location. You can figure out a fair market rental rate by looking at ads for room rentals in your area. If you cannot find room rental ads, you can find rates for your state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. It will not list rooms, but it will list studio or efficiency (one-room) apartments. A room in a house would probably cost about half of that amount.

      If you do not have enough income now to pay your FMV, you could raise your rent somewhat to get a partial increase and keep doing that until you are paying the full FMV or as close as you can get. This will take a little while because the change in rental payment will not affect benefits until two months later.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jennifer Jones

    Question:I draw disability due to epilepsy and I started back to working in 2014 I’m still working slowly to see if my epilepsy will stay controlled. I haven’t noticed an increase in my check now that I’ve been working over 2 years. How can I see if it will increase?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jennifer,

      Your benefits will increase due to earnings only if you earn more per year in your recent work than your lowest annual earnings used to calculate your current benefits. If the earnings are high enough, your benefits will be increased automatically and you will be notified. If there had been an increase for your 2014 and 2015 earnings, you would have been notified by now because notification comes out in the fall.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • JEFF

      Im JEFF
      I get $164 on ssdi and $598 ssi
      I would like to increase my ssdi check
      How is that posible.im not sure if I request application for whidrow and pay a lum sum to ssa ,how mach they will ask and how hi I can increase the ssdi check

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Jeff,

        If you are receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI), except for possible annual cost-of-living adjustments, your Social Security cannot be raised because the benefit is based on your work earnings history. If you are receiving Social Security benefits on a parent’s earnings record, the amount might increase if others eligible on the account became ineligible; otherwise, the amount will not change.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • robert

    I receive $820 a month on ssi,and $194 in food stamps.I take cars of my 5 year old son by myself and am paying $400 month in rent.aside from everything else I have to pay how do I know if my getting the maximum or what else can ib

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Robert,

      If your benefit is Supplemental Security Income (SSI), it appears you are receiving the maximum federal benefit plus an SSI state supplement. If you are receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI), the benefit is based on your earnings record and it will increase only when there are cost-of-living adjustments as there is this year. (In January your benefit will increase to $822. You might check with the food stamp office to be sure that your child is on your food stamp grant; $194 is the current maximum grant for one person.)

      If you are receiving SSDI, check with Social Security to see if a small amount of Social Security dependents benefits is payable for your son. The easiest way to find out is to call Social Security at 800-772-1213 to ask whether your family maximum benefit is more than your own benefit. If it is, you can apply for benefits for your son.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Mary

        I have both disability but I don’t get a check for my ssi because I went to work but my ssdi check is only 666.00 and its went up just 50 this year its take more then 7 year to get $50 that all so what can I do because its very low and everything is going up in living I live in Arkansas Fayetteville

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Mary,

          I suggest that if you have not already applied for SNAP (food stamps) that you consider doing so. Another idea for making ends meet would be to take in a roommate if you have room to help pay for shelter costs.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Denise

    My dad applied and received social security 30 years ago. he also receives SSI and SSD in the total amount of $909.40 as of 9/2016.
    He’s lived in an independent living senior community for 30 years. He receives housing aid to help with his rent. He has Medi-Cal/United Healthcare for his health insurance, which is 100 percent covered when he needs medical treatment.
    Is it possible for him to receive an increase in Social Security benefits due to his decline in health and the need for increased financial support? he is now needing to go into assisted living very soon. I hate to “look a gift horse in the mouth,” We are so grateful he has received monetary support for so long. But now with assisted living looming in the very near future — it’s either assisted living or wait until he has an accident and needs to go into skilled nursing facility — he needs more help. We three siblings can help to the extent of our financial abilities, but is there any other help like increased SSI benefits?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Denise,

      Your father’s Social Security and SSI will not be increased because of his declining health; however, he may be eligible for Medicaid (MediCal) to cover the cost of assisted living that is above what he can afford. Usually, when Medicaid pays for assisted living, the person keeps $30 for personal needs and pays the rest of his income to the facility. Then Medicaid picks up the rest of the cost. To apply, contact your father’s local MediCal office. Note that there may be a specific form his doctor has to complete to certify the need for assisted living. It would be a good idea to start visiting assisted living facilities that accept Medicaid residents and that have openings or a short waiting list.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Looking for hope. We are from Texas. I have an aunt and uncle who are ages 62 and 63. My uncle receives estimated 600 SSDI, and my aunt another estimated 600 for Social Security early retirement. Both have several herniated disc. They are going through rough times. They live in a trailer home. I applied them for food stamps; in the process. Do they each qualify for SSI? Thank you for taking the time to read this.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Luis,

      The following estimates may not be accurate because I do not know the exact amount of your aunt and uncle’s benefits, but they will give you a general idea.

      With gross benefits before withholding for Medicare premiums of $600 each, your uncle could be eligible for $133 in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits if your aunt does not apply for disability benefits. He would also likely be eligible for Medicaid, which would pay his Medicare premiums if he has Medicare. Another source of financial help may be the one of the Medicare savings programs for paying your uncle’s Medicare premium now or in the future when he has Medicare. More information is available at http://www.medicare.gov.

      Here’s another possibility for financial assistance. If your aunt applies for and is approved for Social Security Disability (SSD/SSDI) based on her herniated disc, her Social Security reduced retirement would be changed to a higher Social Security Disability rate, possibly as high as $800.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Thank you for the speedy response. I will definitely look into it.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Luis.

  • I was approved for ssdi with my disability date being sept 2015. My benefits started in apr 2016. Should I have received a lump sum dating back to sept 2015 ?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lorrei,

      You have been paid correctly. Social Security Disability has a five full-calendar month unpaid waiting period, which for you was October 2015 through February 2016. Social Security benefits are paid in the month following the month they are paid for, so the benefit you received in April was your March benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ann

    Hello Kay, I receive 838.00 in ssdi before deductions and my child recieves 111.00 from my record, my question is why doesn’t she receive half of my benefit when the family max is 1257.00? Thank you so much.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ann,

      I have been unable to find the reference today, but it is my understanding that individuals with a low Primary Insurance Amount (PIA), which is the amount the disabled worker receives (in your case, $838), have not worked enough to earn a full 50% benefit per child. In that circumstance, the Family Maximum Benefit (FMB) would be paid out only if the worker had enough children to reach the FMB. I do suggest that you check with the Social Security Administration to be sure that my explanation is correct. If it is not, please let me know.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Bethany

    Hi, I am 20 and I receive 733, the full amount for ssdi. I have only worked 3 times in my life and I cannot work because I can’t stand or sit for long hours or I won’t be able to do anything for a few days. Will I be able to get ssi, I am confused on the difference and I receive SNAP but I need more money for rent.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Bethany,

      Your are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), not Social Security Disability (SSDI). SSI is a public assistance program for disabled and aged individuals who have low income and assets. SSDI is a benefit that is earned by working and paying taxes in a sufficient amount. At your age, you would need six quarters of coverage. Four can be earned per year. The dollar amount of gross wages to earn a quarter of coverage is listed below. If you think you might have sufficient work, you can file a Social Security claim. The benefit would likely be less than your SSI, but would result in the two benefits totally $20 more than you currently receive.

      2011 $1,120
      2012 $1,130
      2013 $1,160
      2014 $1,200
      2015 $1,220
      2016 $1,260

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Bethany

        I worked from 2011 to 2014 at one place.. are you saying I might only receive 20 for a total of 753.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Bethany,

          No, I am saying that however much your Social Security is, SSI will supplement it up to your getting $753 combined from the two benefits. For example, if you are insured for Social Security and your benefit is $400, your SSI will be $353 for a total of $753. I encourage you to apply for the Social Security even though the increase over all will be small because it is an earned benefit and the amount does not depend on living arrangements, other income, a spouse’s income, how much savings you have, etc. as SSI does.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Chuck

    Hi Kay,

    I am a 35 year old man with a severe hearing loss from birth. I have worked many jobs over the years but eventually stopped working because it became too stressful dealing with social settings.I went back to college but this was too stressful for me, as well. I started collecting ssdi in 2010, for 650 a month.

    I am however unable to live on 650 a month, and the cost of living is too high. Is there a way I can increase my ssdi amount? I am already on food stamps, but have a lot of medical bills and unpaid expenses.

    Thank you,
    Chuck

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chuck,

      If your gross benefit before reduction for Medicare premiums is $650, I suggest that you apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits to supplement your Social Security. If you are eligible for SSI, in most states you will be eligible for Medicaid, which may reduce your out-of-pocket medical expenses. Even if you are not eligible for SSI, you might try applying for Medicaid at your local state or county social services office. Lastly, for the long run, I suggest trying to get on a public housing waiting list to eventually get into Section 8 or public housing to reduce your housing costs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Linda

    Hi Kay:

    I have a question to ask. This March will make two years I have been on SS Disability. I never applied for SSI and don’t think I want to get involved with that because I heard it’s like being on welfare. I am currently receiving child support which pays only for my rent and Cable. My daugther is 18 and no longer gets any money from SS. She will be starting college soon. I am so worried about what I will do when there is no longer child support. I feel forced into looking for work even though I am not really feeling well. I heard that some people get 2,000 or more a month how come I don’t get as much? Should I call my lawyer who helped me to ask if I can request enough money to live on?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Linda,

      Your Social Security Disability benefit is based on your work history prior to your becoming disabled, so the benefit will be increased only by general cost-of-living adjustments in years those are granted. You might consider asking your daughter to work and contribute, getting a roomer, or applying for government-subsidized housing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jenni

    My child is turning 18, and I will no longer receive his dependent benefit, which I use to maintain an Apartment for him and I (he says he will move out to his father’s house. I will have to find a place to live; does SSA know what they’re doing to the disabled when they cut a large, substantial portion of the income off?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jenni,

      I assume that your son was getting dependent benefits on your earnings record and that you are the disabled person you refer to. My response is based on that assumption. The amount you were getting for your son was to help you support him while he was a minor. Once he is no longer a minor and dependent on you, the dependent payment stops because you have no dependent and you continue to receive your own benefit. Such changes in income do require adjustment.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ms. E.B.

    Hello, My name is E and I do have a question.

    I recieved my letter stated that I am getting reduce from $733 to 172 a month starting on Nov because of nine month trail over?????? Can you please explain that I do not understand that I can’t live on that budget plus I have to pay my rent with my son is living with me. So, my son does recived 581.00 for child benefit because he is mine child. However, I am recived a 172.00 on me for SSI. When they told that me that both of the number is what I received but I also do get food snap as well. What can I do to increase my benefit? I haven’t been work since 10/2015 because my health condition and yet I am relay on my SSI to pay expense such as rent, gas, and electricity. So what are they telling me? Do I need to go in person to speak with them?????

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ms. E.,

      Yes, going to Social Security to get a clear understanding of the letters you have received is a good idea. Take the letter with you.If you have a friend or relative who is good at business, taking someone with you could be helpful. The Trial Work Period you refer to applies to Social Security Disability (SSDI) and completing it would not cause your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to go down. The reduction in your SSI benefit is related to your income and/or is due to collection of an overpayment, possibly caused by your work earnings.

      Once you get an explanation, if you disagree with the facts, you can appeal. If the reduction is due to an overpayment, you can request waiver of collection if you think you were not at fault in causing the overpayment or you can request a smaller amount be withheld each month.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Mary

        My went down because of the ssdi and the said more you make on ssdi your ssi will go down

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Mary,

          The information you received is correct. The amount of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) that is payable is determined by the amount of your other income.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Disability

    Hello…if I was determined disabled and then in a medical review I was determined no longer disabled if I were to reapply will I still be insured for ssd with my original disability date…or will they determined it by my new disability date even though I haven’t work anymore

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Disability,

      If you are still in your appeals period, you need to appeal to retain the same disability onset date. If you are outside your appeals period and file a new claim, you can claim your original disability date; but it unlikely that you will be successful because of the uncontested determination that you stopped being disabled. Stated another way, it is unlikely you can prove a disability date before the day after the determination to close your claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • confused

    Hello…so ss told me there witholdimg 9000 in ssd back benefits because I was receiving ssi for 2 months. My question is do i have a case to appeal it since I might have to repay ssi back or leave it as is.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Confused,

      All Social Security Disability (SSDI) back pay is reduced by Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits paid for the same period. So, you do not have a basis for appeal if the amount of SSI you have received or will receive in future back pay installments adds up to $9,000.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • kevin tuttle

    i am SSDI i am on my 9 month work trail period, and it saids i cant make more then $810.00 a month during that 9months, but after the 9months the SGA limit is $1130.00 and i cant go over that… ok i dont understand what happens if i go over $810.00 a month during my 9 month work trail period, but i stay under the $1130.00 SGA limit, will i lose my benefits cuz i went over the $810? but i stayed under the SGA limit of $1130 so i should be able to keep my benefits right? cuz i never went over the SGA limit.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kevin,

      Having gross wages of $810 results in using a Trial Work Period (TWP) month. You can earn any amount during the TWP and receive full benefits as long as you have not recovered medically. For the next thirty-six months after the end of the TWP, to get benefits your earnings have to be less than Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA), which is now $1,130 gross wages or net self-employment. You will be paid only for months in which you do not perform SGA. After the thirty-six months, if your perform SGA, your claim will be closed.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Concerned

    I get 907 in ssd and I was wondering if I can get ssi as well…I live in california

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Concerned,

      If your only income is your Social Security and the $907 is the gross amount before Medicare premium withholding and you are not receiving support and maintenance in the form of free shelter or food, your income would allow payment of $2.40 California state supplement. The SSI eligibility will give you Medicaid insurance, which in turn will pay your Medicare premium if you have Medicare. You can apply in your local Social Security office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Concerned

        Im also getting 300 a month from working and Im not paying shelter just food

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Concerned,

          Your Social Security and the value of your free shelter puts your income above SSI limits even before counting your work income.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Confused

            Oh okay more thing if I start paying my shelter and food but still receive 300 of work will I receive some ssi?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Confused,

              If you pay your own shelter and food and earn $300 gross and had no other income, your SSI would be about $626.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • kymberly price

    Hello, i just moved to Oklahoma from California, in California i received SSI and a disability check that i was able to live on, since moving to Oklahoma i receive 733 dollars a month my health keeps rapidly deteriorating and the cost of my medicines and home make it very hard to live on 733 dollars a month is there a way i can increase my disability, i have not been able to work for many years because of my health condition.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kimberly,

      The extra amount you were receiving in California was paid by the state of California. Check with the Social Security office to find where to apply for the Oklahoma state supplement, which is state administered. Also, you should have Medicaid insurance to cover your medication costs. You may have to reapply with the state for continuation of Medicaid after your move.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Joseph Delligatti

    Hi Kay..I have been receiving SSDI payments since 5/1994. My monthly benefit amt is $1,678 after medicare premium is deducted. I am considering an attempt at some sort of work, but would like to know what the maximum monthly wage would be, to maintain my benefits. I’d like to do this correctly, and not violate any rules, or lose my benefits over a measly amount of money I made. I’ve heard horror stories, so I’ve been reluctant to give working a shot.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Joseph,

      To be considered disabled, you must be unable to perform Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). Currently gross monthly earnings of $1,130 is usually considered SGA. I suggest that you read about the various SSDI work incentives in SSA’s Red Book, which can be obtained from your local Social Security office or viewed online at http://www.ssa.gov. I could also be to your benefit to request a Ticket to Work, which has services that could help you in a return to work. Additional information about the Ticket to Work program is available through the Ticket to Work Hotline at 1-866-968-7842.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Carlie

    I’v been getting disability for a long time so I haven’t had any work history, so I only get 717. I understand it’s calculated by what I’v paid in.. My question is I tried working this last year… Didn’t last. Can what I payed in this last year make my amount I get go up? Also does having a child make the amount go up? Paying rent? Is been really hard living off 717$ and having a child and rent and a new car payment, I don’t know what to do

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Carlie,

      A small amount of work is unlikely to raise your benefit. The earnings would have to be sufficiently more than the year with lowest earnings that is currently being used in your calculation. Your child is eligible for a small dependent’s benefit if your primary insurance amount (PIA), which is your benefit before reduction for Medicare premiums, is less than your Family Maximum Benefit (FMB). If it is, the different between the two figures will be payable to your child up to 50% of your benefit. You can learn the amount of your PIA and FMB by calling Social Security at 800-772-1213. If benefits are payable, file an application for him or her. You will need the child’s birth certificate and Social Security number.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jerry Hanson

    I have a question for you kay, I am receiving SSA for my multiple medical condition that is keep me out of working for a living. At the time my vision was enough to keep me from work but then I was told I have Macular Degeneration and was told by two doctor that I am legally blind in not only one eye but now both eyes. Can I get an in crease in benefits for someone that is blind in both eyes? I think I can but wanted to see what someone else says about this before I contact the lawyer that helped me to get my benefit in the first place

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jerry,

      You cannot get a higher benefit because you are legally blind. However, if you plan to try to work and would have disability-related work expenses, it could be to your advantage to be re-approved based on blindness so that your work earnings would be reduced by disability-related work expenses before your work was evaluated to determine whether you were performing Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA).

      If you also receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and work with disability-related work expenses, being approved as legally blind would exclude more of your work earnings from counting in determining your SSI payment amount.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • OM

    My property is in foreclosure & I need to vacate by the end of this month. I’m on the waiting list for HCV with MSHDA & the local housing commission. I am also on several waiting list for subsidized housing. I have private owners that are willing to rent to me, but with $1300 monthly income I need a rental supplement. Are there any programs that you know of that can assist SSDI recipients with homeless prevention? I am unable to stay in a shelter with my illness & I think I’ve contact every resource I know of in this state.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear OM,

      I am not extremely knowledgeable in the area of housing assistance for home owners. There was a program the federal government set up two or three years ago that may still be running that is specific to help forestall foreclosure. I don’t know the details but I believe it was based on some special terms the banks had to accept. One other thought: it may be too late for this, but is there a possibility of taking in a couple of roomers for a month or two to help out with the mortgage or to provide you with some money to use to rent a small studio apartment?

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • J

    My medical review is in 3 years. Is it possible to get a permanent review

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear J,

      The frequency of medical reviews is based on the person’s diagnoses and prognosis for improvement. I am not aware of no future review date being set; however, it is possible to have longer review periods in the future if your condition warrants it. Also, some reviews can be in abbreviated form if recovery is not very much expected.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Juana Villanueva

    Hi I have a couple questions. Im receiving ssdi and I was wondering if I can continue to babysit for 300 a month. Also, for ssdi will my amount increase if I start paying rent?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Juana,

      Your expenses do not affect the amount of Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits that you are eligible for and $300 in work earnings will not affect eligibility. Do keep some proof of the dates and amounts you are paid and, if you are self-employed, any business expenses because you may need to show that during the year you did not have any months in which you earned $810 or more. Your expenses will not affect your SSDI because your benefit is based on your work history prior to becoming disabled.

      If, on the other hand, you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your earnings will result in a reduction of $117.50 and paying rent could result in an increase if you are not already receiving the maximum. If you are not receiving SSI and your SSDI is quite low, you might qualify for a small amount of SSI to supplement your SSD, especially if your are paying rent. If you think you might qualify, I suggest that you file an application to get a determination of financial eligibility.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Cheryl

    I helped a young man get his disability for ankylosing spondylitis and a fully fused spine. His young wife (aged 34) and child (age 3) were eligible for very little (together, less than $100). His full disability payment is very low, due to lack of solid work history from his long term disabling back issues. Why do they get so little and is there something I can file to help them have this looked at again?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cheryl,

      Social Security is an earned benefit and is based on taxes paid on work earnings. When a worker’s benefit is low because of minimal work history, either no dependent benefits or very low dependent benefits are payable. If the disabled person’s Social Security is less than $753 (or slightly higher in some states) and if he and his wife’s countable assets are $3,000 or below, he can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for additional assistance. (A home and one vehicle are two of the kinds resources that do not count toward the limit.) You can learn more about SSI in the articles under the SSI tab at the top of this webpage.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • janet

    My about to be 5 month son was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 7 weeks. The social worker from the hopital gave us paper work to fill out to sign him up from social security disability. We did around when he turned 3 months and he got accepted but he has only be receiving $30 a month which might have been because he was still in the hospital at the time. But he got discharged 2 weeks ago is there any way that his checks would increase now that he is out and would I have to let them know?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Janet,

      You are right; your son’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits have been based on his being hospitalized. You need to report right away that he has come home. When you file the report, take with your verification of your and his father’s income–if his father lives in the household–income and assets. If you have other minor children or student children under age twenty-two in the household, take verification of their income as well. If you have more than one vehicle and are paying on one, take proof of the amount still owed. This will provide Social Security with information needed to redetermine your child’s financial eligibility and payment amount now that he is home.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • janet

        What if we are not working at the momemt because we are still staying at Ronald McDonald house but he is with us now and we are 4 hours from home. Wpuld we take our last statement even if it was 4 momths ago? And would we just report it in person to a local social security office?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Janet,

          Your family’s income will be considered beginning with the month after your son was released from being an inpatient at the hospital, so you would just report that you have no work income at present. Be prepared to explain how you have been paying for your food and other expenses.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • janet

        Also im not sure how it works for him since he was diagnosed with it at 7 weeks but how do they determine how much benefits he will receive?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Janet,

          Benefit amounts are based on the income of disabled child’s and the child’s parents and on the number of minor children and/or dependent student children in the household. The age that he became disabled does not have any effect on his benefits.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • lindsey lagoy

    im 23 and im on SSI and my moms on food stamps i wanna move out on my own but wont have enough money in my check every month to cover living expenses plus rent i have a rep payee i only get 700 income hand im unemployed i need a job badly

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lindsey,

      If you move out, you can apply for your own food stamp grant. The amount you receive will depend on the amount of your housing costs and in some cases medical expenses. You can work and earn up to $85 a month without a reduction in your Supplemental Security Income (SSI). For every two dollars you earn over $85, your SSI will go down by one dollar. If you work, you must have your payee report your earnings even if they are below the limit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Kat

        I was curious why she can’t do the program where you can work for so many months without them taking away from your disability benefits? And I post further down you had mentioned that you can earn a certain amount each month but you have to decide at the end of nine months whether you’re going to be able to continue work and lose your benefits or stop working altogether if you’re not able to work and keep your benefits?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Kat,

          I do not know which situation (which of my responses) you are referring to. The nine-month Trial Work Period (TWP) applies to Social Security Disability only after a person has been disabled for twelve months because an individual has to be disabled for twelve months to be eligible for benefits. During those twelve months if a person works for less than three months (sometimes less than six) and stops work due to health, the period of work will be treated as an unsuccessful work attempt and will not start over the counting of the twelve months. When Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is involved, there is no TWP in which full benefits continue because benefit amount is determined month-by-month based on income including part of work earnings.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Debbie

    I was approved for SSDI and have been getting monthly payments of $783 since March 2016. This month I received my regular payment on August 10th and then on August 13 I received another payment of $1,258.80 which I assumed was because I had told them that I didn’t need Medicare as I was insured through my husband’s employer. Today I received another Medicare card, which only had Part A coverage, so I went on the Social Security website and when I looked up my monthly benefits, it said that my next payment would be on Sept 14th but that it would only be $27.00. Why would this happen and why wouldn’t Social Security notify me of such a drastic change. I cannot live on $27.00 a month. What do I do and who can help me?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Debbie,

      The Part A Medicare card would be correct because there is no premium for Part A (principally hospital and hospice coverage). I suggest that you either call Social Security or go to the office for an explanation. If the $1,28.80 was refunded in a correct amount, I would have expected you to receive your usual monthly benefit on September 10 only in a higher amount because of termination of Medicare Part B. If they made a mistake in the amount of the Medicare refund, that could account for a lower payment in September, but I still would have it expected it to have been paid on the tenth.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Debbie

        I called them this morning and now they are telling me that I owe them over $17,000 due to overages that they paid to me. They said it was because I had a worker’s compensation case in 2008 that was settled in 2012 and I received a lump sum then. When they sent all the paperwork to me in February, they asked me if I had received a lump sum from Work Comp anytime between September 2013 and present, which I hadn’t. The lump sum I received was in April 2012. Is there anything that I can do to change this? I cannot afford to pay them back $17,000, I am no longer able to work, I’m almost 60 years old and my husband just suffered a heart attack two weeks ago, I am so stressed out, plus if I owe them this much money why would they keep sending me more? Please advise me on what I can do.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Debbie,

          You can apply for waiver of collection of the overpayment on the grounds that the overpayment is not your fault (you gave correct information based to the question that was asked) and inability to repay. To support inability to repay, you will have to fill out a financial questionnaire. One other thing: if the 2012 lump sum was the only money you got from the 2008 injury–in other words, you didn’t get weekly or other periodic payments, it is possible that the proration should have been from 2008 and would not extend to when you were eligible for Social Security. If you can, review the paperwork on that lump sum to see if it says the settlement represented any given period of time. If you think the proration has been done with the wrong proration months, you can also file a request for reconsideration at the same time as you request waiver.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

        • Debbie

          I’m so sorry to keep bothering you, but this whole mess has me so nervous. I looked at the paperwork and the dates it shows is that I received Temporary Disability Indemnity for the following dates: Start Date: Dec 16, 2008 through End Date: December 5, 2011 and Permanent Disability Indemnity for the following dates: Start Date: Feb 16, 2011 through End Date: Continuing (however when this was signed my disability from Worker’s Comp stopped and they figured the amount paid. I’m sorry once again, but all this is so confusing and makes me so scared as to how I will be able to pay all this back and continue to pay all my other bills.

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Debbie,

            The workers compensation payment dates you have provided indicate to me that the earliest the proration could have started would be December 17, 2009, absent other defined dates. However, the dates for the Permanent Disability seem to define dates for the proration as starting February 2011. The rate per month would likely be the same rate at which the Temporary Disability was being paid. Try dividing the total settlement amount by the monthly rate for the Temporary. (If it is weekly, multiply the weekly by 4.333 to get the monthly.) That will give you an idea of how far the proration will extend and whether it overlapped with your Social Security and for how long. That way you will have some idea of whether Social Security has calculated the offset correctly or not.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • Gayle

    My son lives in Ohio. He was just awarded $733mo but they the lowered his food stamps from $193mo to $10mo. His Medicaid will no longer be active starting October 1st. He won’t be able to pay rent, doctor visits, procedures and scripts.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Gayle,

      In most states, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility results in Medicaid eligibility, so your son’s Medicaid eligibility that ended under one criteria may start again under the SSI criteria. He can take his SSI approval letter to the Medicaid office to try to get certified. As far as housing goes, he might try to get on a waiting list for public housing and/or try to set up a roommate situation splitting the rent and utilities with another person to hold down costs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Gayle

        Thank you

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Gayle.

          • I’m in Fla and I’m about to revive ssi ,733.00.Am I allowed to move out my mind house and get my own place with a roomate or without either way?? And will I be reduced for insurance? I don’t get it ,in disabled and only will get 733.00 what do they want me to do ,i can’t live off that but I will make it work but can I rent a house on my own without being messed with????

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Joseph,

              Because you have not worked enough to have earned a Social Security disability benefit, you are receiving the maximum Supplemental Security Income because you are disabled. You can rent a house on your own and take in a roommate or not as long as you pay for your own rent and shelter utilities. If you take a roommate, the roommate’s contribution should be limited to half the shelter costs and food or just half the shelter costs if you purchase food separately. Shelter utilities are power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Shacoya A Haynes

    Hello. I recently quit my job… For my son to go back to school. I receive both child support and ssi for him but I’m afraid the that my income will disappear because I’m no longer working. My question is how do I ask for a increase on my ssi benefits to make ends meet until I can find a part time job…. By the way he was diagnose with psychobiploar/adha syndrome.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shacoya,

      Report to Social Security that you are no longer working, and they will review to see if your son is eligible for an increase. (If his child support and SSI together total $753, there will be no increase; but, even if that is the case, you need to report the change.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • J

    Hello…I was wondering when to report to ss office Im paying rent if Im going to start paying rent on September 15…should I let them know on the 1st of September or until September 15?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear J.,

      Report right after you start paying so you can present proof of payment.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Ketishia K Lampkin

      Y do my son revieve only 488 n ssi WAT HAPPEN TO 733

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Ketishia,

        Government subsidized housing and SNAP benefits will not reduce SSI, but free or subsidized housing or food from other sources reduces Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. If someone outside the household is paying shelter or food expenses, that is causing the reduction; otherwise the support is coming from within the home. For your son to receive the maximum $733, he has to pay for his own shelter and food. To do so, he must pay either fair market value (FMV) for rent and food or pay his share if he is living in a household with anyone other than his parents or stepparents and minor siblings.

        If your son is sharing housing, his share is the total expenses divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance.

        If your son (or you and your son if he is a minor)is renting a room or rooms, fair market value (FMV) for room is the amount such rooms are renting for in your geographic area. Social Security law does not specify an amount required to be paying fair market value for room because the economy is different in every location. You can figure out a fair market rental rate by looking at ads for room rentals in your area or by choosing state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. It will not list rooms, but it will list studio or efficiency (one-room) apartments. A room in a house would probably be about half of that amount. Fair market value for food, if you are being provided food, would reasonably be the maximum food stamp grant for one person, which currently is $194.00.

        If your son doesn’t have enough monthly income to do this, he could save up her SSI until he has enough saved to cover his share or FMV for two months. If he does this, he should save in a bank account to prove she had the money available. SSI would increase two months after she starts to pay his share or FMV. Note if your son is a minor and you have enough income to pay his share (or FMV) or part of it after you have paid your own, that will also increase his benefit.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • christian

    Hi .. i was diagnozed with Brain Cancer and i do seizure alot. back in March 2015 i finally got my SSDI of $1,032. but as time went by … ive been looking for a Job everywhere and always not calling me back or they hired somebody already. because of my condition of Cancer and Seizuring i realize that companies will not take risk or hire somebody with my condition. but i am too shy and i dont know how to ask the SS how to increase my pension.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Christian,

      The amount of your Social Security benefit is based on your earnings record up until you became disabled, so the only increases you will receive are cost-of-living adjustments in years that the Consumer Price Index goes up. If you are not already receiving SNAP (food stamp) benefits, you might consider applying at your nearest state or county social services office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kelly

    Hi I just started receiving SSD. I am married but trying to get an apartment and get away from my abusive husband but only get 1175.00 and cant get an apartment with that. I have a 9 year old daughter.
    My question is if I apply for child benefits will they give it to me if my husband makes alot of money? Or should I leave him first? Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kelly,

      You can apply for Social Security dependent benefits for your daughter. Her benefits are based on your Social Security earnings record and not on family income, so you can apply for those benefits now. If fact, you may find that a claim for her is already in process.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Brenda

    I am on disability and have a son who will turn 18 next year. There is no way I can get by on just what I draw. I have been told by doctors I will never be able to hold a job because of my illness. There are direct selling jobs out there that can provide extra money (nothing to live on) this money would help with unexpected bills and medication. Can a person who draws disability in NC earn money without losing their disability and if so how much? I have CRPS and Fibromyalgia and there are many days when I can not get out of bed but on the days I can I believe I could use the internet and phone to earn a few extra dollars. I just can not lose my benefits. Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brenda,

      I suggest that you review the information about Social Security work incentives in the Red Book, which is available from local Social Security offices and online at http://www.ssa.gov.

      Here are some of the highlights: If your health has not improved to the point that you are no longer medically disabled, you can work and receive benefits. You can request a Ticket to Work. If you earn less the $810 gross a month, you need to report the work activity, but your benefits will not be affected. If you earn $810 or more, you will be eligible for a nine-month Trial Work Period (TWP) during which full benefits are paid. After the TWP and for the next thirty-six months, you will be paid full benefits for any month you do not perform SGA, which currently is usually considered to be $1,130 gross wages or net self-employment. If you perform SGA after the thirty-six month Extended Period of Eligibility, payment will be terminated and your claim will be closed. Keep your pay stubs indefinitely to document the pattern of your earnings month by month.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Tabby

        I receive disability payments of 751 but I got a letter stating that they are going to take 129 out for Medicare starting in September I have two kids that aren’t receiving anything. I was married but we divorced after 14 years. Can I go back and claim his wages? And are my children eligible for payments? Also my son has health issues he’s legally blind in his right eye and has adhd can he recieve benefits? Thanks for your time.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Tabby,

          You may be eligible for a very small amount of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability, which in most states will give you Medicaid. If you get Medicaid, Medicaid will pay your Medicare premium. Given your income, your children may be eligible for Medicaid also. I suggest that you check with your local state or county social services office.

          To be eligible for benefits on your ex-husband’s earnings record he has to be receiving benefits himself or be deceased. Apparently, your work history is not sufficient to provide dependent benefits for your children. You can double check this by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and finding out the amount of your Family Maximum Benefit. If it is more than the benefit you receive before Medicare premium deduction, you can apply for benefits for your children. (When their father draws benefits or dies, if they are still minors or disabled since childhood, they may be able to receive benefits on their father’s account.)

          You can apply for SSI for your son who has the vision deficit and ADHD to get a determination as to whether he is considered disabled. Information about the medical criteria for childhood disability can be found in the article “What Medical Conditions Are Required to Meet SSI Disability Qualifications and to Get an SSI Approval?” under the SSI tab at the top of this web page. You can start your SSI and your child’s SSI claims by calling Social Security and requesting an appointment to apply for both of you.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Penny Lane

        This is too confusing for me to understand. My disability is both physical and cognitive, but I cannot afford to eat about halfway into the month and food stamps aren’t enough for more than one small trip to the store (closest store is an hour away). I don’t know how to do any of the things you’re talking about. How would I get a ticket to work or request the nine month thing? I can lie to companies about my disability in order to get hired. That part is easy. But I almost always lose the job a week or two into it. I think 2010 was my last attempt at working and I made it two weeks. I just have to figure out how to get out of starvation. I have a very strict medical diet, so food banks and other such programs are off the table. I’m just so confused. I need help trying to figure this out. Also, my medical bills (everything Medicare & Medicaid don’t cover) are piling up. I’m about to lose my ability to see my doctors because I’m not paying them. I feel overwhelmed. Panic remains perched on the periphery.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Penny,

          You can request a Ticket to Work simply by asking in a local Social Security office. You might try looking for jobs where you do not have to lie about your condition, so that you can answer “yes” truthfully to the question of whether you have any physical or mental conditions that prevent you from performing the duties of that particular job.

          If you are seeing providers that take Medicaid, you should not have unpaid medical bills. It might be helpful to talk to the Medicaid office to get a list of providers who accept Medicaid and Medicare “assignment,” meaning that they will not charge more than what Medicaid pays. I don’t know what your current living arrangements are or how connected you are to where you live, but you might look into getting on a waiting list for government-subsidized housing in your county or elsewhere in your state. If you can get into government housing, your housing costs would drop to about a third of your income, freeing up more money for food.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Hi my name is Gayle Bartlett.
      I only get 639.00 disability a month . I have a hundred taken out for medical insurence . I have seizures and fibromyalgia and Barrett’s of the esophagus . Is there any way I can qualify for more money ! I don’t have enough to buy all my medicine I need. I’m in medicine for seizures. I need more money to make it . Please help me. Or is there anything I can do to get more to support myself. Thank you.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Gayle,

        If your gross Social Security benefit is less than $753, you may be eligible for a small Supplemental Security Income (SSI) federal payment and in most states Medicaid, which will cover your prescription medication. Also, some states pay an SSI state supplement, which allows for slightly higher income, so check with your local Social Security office if your income is $753 or slightly above to see if you are within the state supplement limits. If you do not qualify for SSI, contact your state or county social services agency to see whether you qualify for Medicaid without being on SSI. Also, if you are not receiving SNAP benefits (formerly called food stamps), you might consider applying for those benefits as well.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Lacey

    How do I show proof of paying rent, food, and utilities to SSI? I was recently approved and the 1/3 reduction rule applied to my case because I was receiving support. Should the home owner write a letter stating the amount I pay each month or should I get a cashiers check and address it to the head of household? What proof does SSI need to see I am paying my fair share of rent, food and utilities?

    Thank You

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lacey,

      Both documents you mentioned are needed. The head of household needs to make a statement that includes the whether you are a renter or part of the household sharing expenses, the month you started to pay rent or contribute to costs, and the amount you are paying. Either way, it would be best to pay by check so you have proof. If you are sharing, the statement needs to include a list of household members.

      Since you are apparently sharing food in the household probably sharing would be what applies. Share is the total shelter (and food if food is shared) costs divided by the number of people in the household.
      Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jade

    Hi, my name is Jade and I need some advice or help. I have severe Crohn’s disease and have been on Social Security Disability since I was 18. I’m now 23. I’ve never held a job because I was diagnosed at 15, so I only receive $488 a month. I’m lucky enough to be able to live with my mom, but we are having a really hard time with bills. I wish I could contribute to our living expenses more, but after a month of groceries, gas, and phone I have nothing left to contribute. Our rent keeps going up, along with other bills, and cost of living in SWFL is increasing. I don’t know what to do to help my mom with everything, I’m still too unpredictably sick to have a job, but $488 a month just doesn’t cut it. Any advice, help, or even encouragement would be appreciated. Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jade,

      Based on the information that you have provided, I have determined that you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), not Social Security Disability, which requires having worked and paid Social Security taxes. To receive the maximum SSI amount of $733, you must either pay fair market value (FMV) rent to your mother and buy your own food or FMV for room and board or pay your share of shelter expenses and, if you share food, your share of food. (It can be hard to prove a rental arrangement for room and board when there is a parent-child relationship because the parent will not usually evict for non-payment.)

      Fair market value for food would reasonably be the maximum food stamp grant for one person, which is $194.00. FMV for room is the amount such rooms are renting for in your geographic area. Social Security law does not specify an amount required because the economy is different in every location. You can figure out a fair market rental rate by looking at ads for room rentals in your area or by choosing your state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. It will not list rooms, but it will list studio or efficiency (one-room) apartments. A room in a house would probably be about half of that amount.

      Share is the total shelter (and food if food is shared) costs divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance.

      If you do not have enough monthly income to do pay FMV or your share, you could try to save up until you has enough saved to cover your share or FMV for two months. If you do this, you should save the money in a bank account to prove that your money is being used. Your SSI will increase two months after you start to pay your share or FMV. If you and your mother share groceries, the two of you might apply for food stamps. If you buy food separately, you can apply for food stamps on your own. That might free up some money to save.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Karen

    I started receiving SSDI May 2015, backdated to April 3, 2013. First, I had to pay taxes on the lump sum I got. That has me on a payment plan for several years. I get $2563 per month after my medicare premium is taken out plus I have a part time job 3 hours per week that pays $400 per week or more. I can’t claim all of that and still be in compliance.

    My husband hurt himself in the late 1990’s at work but never filed for workman’s comp. He is no longer able to work but refuses to file because for SSDI because he believes he will receive nothing, even though he paid in until 2012.

    We can’ t make ends meet. Medicaid deductibles are very expensive and I pay for my husband’s medical care out of the marketplace at $269 per month in NJ and the deductibles are outrageous on that plan as well. We are trying to sell our house but no one is buying. I honestly do not know what to do. The cost of living in NJ is very high. Am I missing something here? Any advice?

    Thanks,

    Karen

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Karen,

      If you mean that you are earning $400 a week as you wrote and not $400 a month, my first advice is to report your work to Social Security so that you are not breaking the law by accepting benefits that are not due you. If you have worked for nine months earning $1,600 ($400 a week), you are now not eligible for benefits in any month you earn more than $1,130 gross.

      Second, if your husband cannot work, he should apply for Social Security and claim a disability date back to when he stopped work if he was disabled then. He would not get benefits back that far, but if he can establish disability while he was still insured, he could get benefits back as many as twelve months.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • James L

    I am 23 years old and I have been legally blind since birth. Through out my whole life my vision has been extremely poor and cannot be corrected. I used to work part time but I can’t anymore. Its very difficult for me to see numbers, letters and peoples faces even with my special glasses. Earlier this year I applied for benefits and was approved and been getting $350 a month since April. I’m extremely grateful for this but I feel as if this wasn’t enough. I’ve done a bit of research and I found out people are getting significantly more amounts of money than me a month with the same condition. I was wondering how can I up this number? Do I have to re-apply or do I have to call someone? Please help. Thanks in advance.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear James,

      Your work history, not your medical condition, determines the amount of your Social Security benefit. However, depending on your income and assets, you may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to supplement your Social Security. You can make an appointment to apply for SSI by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Robin

    How come the allowed SSI unearned and earned monthly amounts haven’t changed at all since 1972 when the program started? Even the census gets updated every 10 years. In 1972 the minimum wage was $1.60/hour, thus the allowed 20/month unearned amount was 12 times the mw and the allowed 65/month earned amount was 40 times the mw. We should calculate no less a ratio in our current time, and use our own mw, since mw varies between $7.25-15.00. If we update the ratio to our own era, we’ll have a chance to start to cover our expenses while on SSI. As it stands now, it doesn’t work at all to use $85/month as the threshold amount to give back any money, since we need the money to cover our expenses. Evals will lead to appeals and probably lawsuits due to the 1972 amounts not allowing us to cover our needs. Where’s Congress? They’re the ones who are supposed to make the laws and they’re doing nothing for 8 millions disabled people struggling to make ends meet on nothing.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Robin,

      You make a very good point about the amount of excludable income not changing since SSI started in 1974 (not 1972). I suggest that you talk with your senator and congressperson to see whether they will sponsor bills to update the amount of allowed excludable income. Individuals from other states who are reading this could do the same.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Nisha

    Hi I’m 42 years old living in GA and receive $783 in SSDI benefits and my 2 child each receive $108 on my records. I have full credit of hours and years worked and was approved on basis of my disability. I don’t know why I’m receiving this low amount because every site I have looked at it says the average amount a person receives in ssdi is over $1000.00 and each eligible child can receive up to 150 to 180 percent from your paycheck. I think they are not paying me right amount but how can I know if they are paying me right amount. I remember they ask me the payment amount for my house rent/morgage and the cars payments or worth before making their decision. But we didn’t have car payments and my house morgage was low so it’s my fault of trying to save money on car and house. What if my car payments was high and as well as my house morgage I think they would have paid me more thinking I need more money but because they found out I don’t make car payments neither my morgage is high they are giving me the lesses money a person can get. This is really not fair. I believe this because the person who decided how much my kids should receive was very mean at the window. Can you please help if I’m not getting paid right. Why they ask me what’s my expanses if they are not going to pay me more or less on that basis ?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nisha,

      Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits and your dependents benefits are calculated based on the amount of your total past earnings before you became disabled. The calculation is done by computer and it is authorized in the payment center, not in the local office. To check whether the amount is correct, you need to review your earnings record, which is a list of all your earnings itemized by year. If some earnings are missing and you can provide proof of the earnings, you can request a recalculation of your benefits. You can request your earnings record from Social Security.

      The questions you were asked about your household expenses and car ownership and bank accounts and so on may have been to see whether you qualified for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits paid to people with limited income and assets. Higher SSI benefits are not paid for higher expenses, but some Social Security offices screen for SNAP (formerly called food stamps) benefits, which does depend on your income, shelter, and medical expenses. There is also the possibility that you were paid SSI temporarily until your SSDI, which is too high to get SSI, was started. If you are unsure whether an application was taken for SNAP benefits, you can apply at your county social services office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jay

    I became disabled before the age of 21 with a seizure disorder and shallow pallets in my knee caps. What i received is based on my mothers earnings all her life. Now I am 28. I am not married but I have 2 children. I have never worked so I have no credits. How long do I say on childhood disability? CHIP (the kids insuarnce) keeps telling me to apply for them to get a check also. I have had redeterminations and noone ever said it would ever switch. Could I ever recieve more then the $1000 I get a month? Will it always go by my mothers earnings? Thanks for your answering.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jay,

      You will be eligible for Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB) on your mother’s earnings record as long as you remain disabled and unmarried. Your children are not eligible for benefits on your mother’s record unless they were financially dependent on your mother’s earnings record when she became eligible for benefits or passed away and both you and her mother are disabled or deceased. The only way they could qualify for Social Security dependents benefits on their mother’s earnings record would be if she is either deceased or getting Social Security benefits on her own work record.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jay

        Hello Kay thank you so much for your response in regards to the question about my boys. Now as far as myself, would I stay on childhood disability for good then? If I were to get married would I keep the childhood disability based on my mothers benefits since I never got a chance to earn credits? For example, I am 28 now, if when I am 40 and I want to get married would it effect my benefits ever or will there ever be a cross over into adult disability?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jay,

          If you marry at any age, your Childhood Disability benefits will end. You would not be switched over to “adult” disability benefits unless you had worked enough through the years to be insured for Social Security Disability.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Sidling

      You’re lucky. I became disabled at 21 therefore my MAX income fo ssd is $520 with $190 ssi.. where am I going to live for $700/month with a disabled child? The won’t give me food stamps since i rent a room. wic only helps babies. Life sucks.. if you become disabled you might as well die

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Sidling,

        If your child is disabled, you can apply for SSI benefits for your child. If the child is eligible that would increase your family income. You should be able to get food stamps if you purchase your and your child’s food separately from the food of your landlord or landlady.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Deborah Lawrence

      Be glad you get that much. I’m 48 yrs old, I worked and paid into the system for 32 yrs. My husband also worked and paid into the system for over 30 yrs as well. He was disabled a few yrs ago and he fought pancreatic cancer for over a year and as since passed. I can’t receive my husband’s benefit until I am 50. I receive 669.00 a month. You can’t live on that. We all know how hard it is. I just never thought all those years my husband and I spent working we would end up like this. I bounce around a lot just trying to find a place to live. I wish you luck. But be happy you get that much.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Deborah,

        You may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to supplement your Social Security. You can apply at a local Social Security office.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Kaitlin

    Until recently, I’ve been living with my mother rent-free while getting 488 a month to help pay my doctor bills, phone bills and other personal expenses.
    My mother is getting married soon, and I’d like to get an apartment with my dad but with the amount I get now, I wouldn’t be able to pay half the rent without going broke before the month was half over.
    Would my payments increase at all if I explained my situation my SS office? I know I’m supposed to report if I move or if my living situation changes but does this affect my payments at all?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kaitlin,

      If you move in with your father and pay half the shelter costs and buy your own food, perhaps with food stamps, your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments will go up to $733 two months later. Shelter expenses are rent, power, heat, water, sewer, and garbage. If you don’t have enough income to pay your half, perhaps you could save up for a few months until you had enough to cover your half for two months. If you do so, save in a bank account so you can prove that you are paying your share with savings. Note that while you save, someone else can pay for your phone and medical copays and prescriptions directly to the providers without its affecting your SSI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Josie Mars

    Hello Kay,
    I was approved for ssi, due to my recent accident causing both of my lower limbs to be amputated. Due to my condition I am unable to work and getting $585.00/month is not helpful at all. I am unable to live on my own as I used to, unable to pay all of my (normal) bills. Is there a way that I can reapply for disability in the hopes have having a little more help than what I am currently getting?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Josie,

      If you are paying your share of shelter and food expenses or shelter and buying food separately or paying fair market share for a room or room and board, you could be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in the amount of $168. One avenue to living on your own would be to apply for government subsidized housing, which results in your rental cost being capped at one third of your income. You may have to go on a waiting list; but once you are in the housing, the subsidy is not countable income for SSI so you could become eligible for SSI even if you are not now. If you have not applied for SNAP (formerly called food stamps), application can be filed at your state or local county social services office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Rebecca

    Hello,

    I do not know if you can answer this or not but I have not been able to find one yet. I get TANF cause I am on Medical Leave due to surgery. My sons dad has just started getting SSI or Disability not sure which. My son will be getting back pay from this as he was added to it. Can DHR touch SSI or Disability and take it from him for TANF I have received or not? If you do not know I understand. It is just he could use that backpay for stuff he needs for school and this gs he needs where the TANF is only enough to barely pay a couple of bills.

    Thank you,
    Rebecca

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rebecca,

      Your child will be receiving Social Security dependent benefits, not SSI. Social Security cannot be garnished for public assistance that has been received. His ongoing TANF may be reduced or terminated.

      If you are currently married or were married to his father for ten years and your son is under age sixteen, you may qualify for young wife’s benefits on your husband’s (ex-husband’s) earnings record. You can file an application with the Social Security Administration.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kelli Henderson

    Hi,
    I am a 42 year old disabled widow. I have been fully disabled since 2003 after a broke my back with a spinal cord injury. I have a ton of complications even now – 11 surgeries later and a half of my spine made up of titanium.
    I haven’t remarried since my husband’s death in 2006. We were married 17 years and we had 3 children, which are now grown. I am, however, raising my eldest grandchild. I have legal guardianship and awaiting the time for which I am able to adopt her. Adoption takes money.
    Anyway, I receive $714 per month for Social Security disability. I also receive 1 grand per month from a workers comp award. I was told at the time of my settlement, that this money would not effect my benefit. It didn’t for a few years, but has drastically dropped my SSD income over the past 5 years. Which I do not understand, since the cost of living is sky high. and I know people who work with SSD and their check isn’t greatly affected like mine.
    I keep getting told that I should be allowed to draw off of my late husband by attorneys; yet, social security says, “no”. Plus, I have a dependent living with me without any child support. Yes, I receive state help for her.
    Am I able to receive my full benefits? Or at least more than what I already am? I can not make ends meet. I’m unable to receive the medical care for which I need, because I can not afford to travel to the doctors or PT. I can not afford the upkeep on a vehicle to get their, so I no longer have a means to travel. No taxi service because it’s $50 round trip to go my Dr in town and back.
    Please help if at all possible.
    I suppose you’ll email me a response.
    Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kelli,

      There is a workers compensation (WC) offset against Social Security Disability because the law limits the total amount of workers compensation and Social Security that you can receive for the same period. (A WC lump sum payment is prorated over a period of time prescribed by law, that is it does not count all in the month received, but is spread out usually according to what the weekly rate would be if you had been paid incrementally.) During the months you receive workers comp or the months a proration applies, the maximum you can receive between the two benefits is 80% of your average current earnings.

      The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses different formulas to calculate average current earnings. The formula used depends on your specific circumstances. If you are approved, you can contact SSA for information about how your average current earnings were calculated. Once you have that figure and an explanation (preferably written) the offsset, you can figure out whether a calculation error has been made.

      You might inquire about governmental adoption assistance. Perhaps it would pay the cost of the adoption. If you are able to adopt your granddaughter, you could apply for Social Security Children’s benefits for her and/or you might be eligible for continuing adoption assistance. Either might be higher than the assistance you are currently receiving for her. Is there any possibility you could coordinate medical visits with times your neighbors are going into town for shopping or business and catch a ride with them?

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Rhonda Brinkley

        I have a question. I have had a friend of a friend staying with me approx. 2 years. When she moved in we agreed she would pay me $200 to cover her share of utilities. She buys her own food. I knew she was on disability at the time but didnt think much of it. She recently changed her address to mine. Previous address was her parents. She told me yesterday that she wants to declare the $200 as rent so that the state will pay for it. I know her parents support her and this seems shady. Plus it will effect my taxes. My home will get inspected etc. If we go this route fair market value is over $700. Where do i go from here. Thank you

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Rhonda,

          I suggest that you check with a tax accountant about the amount your roomer pays you. If the utilities are $200 higher because she is living with you, there may be no income to report. I don’t know what kind of benefits she is receiving, but if it is Supplemental Security Income (SSI), no one will inspect your home. You will be asked to complete a statement regarding the $200 she gives you for shelter, which includes room and shelter utilities, and that the fair market value is $700.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Toni

    Greetings!

    My daughter was born 27 weeks so she receives ssi due her prematurity she’s considered disable. How ever her benefit amount was originally $733 and now has been reduced to $488, the total rent of my apartment is $1,200 and I’m required to pay $400 monthly by my mother. Unfortunately I’m not working as of yet until my daughter gets healthy enough to be watched by someone else. It’s hard to make the $400 payment because would be spending all of her money! Can ssi increase the payment?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Toni,

      My understanding is that you and your daughter live with your mother; my response is based on that assumption. For an increase, your daughter has to pay her share of shelter expenses (or shelter and food if you and she share food with your mother). Share is the total shelter (and food if food is shared) costs divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Diane Gee

        I need help and don’t know what to do! I am on social security disability since 2009 and receive 1400 a month . I have no place to live!! My boyfriend who I am living with now are breaking up. What can I do ? My option is living in my car.is there some type of housing or cheap house for ssd people

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Diane,

          I don’t know what housing prices are like where you live. You might try to rent a small studio apartment or a room from someone or enter into a roommate situation. For a longer term solution, I suggest that you get on a waiting list for government subsidized housing, which charges only one-third of your income as rent.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Casakia

    If I get $753 a month and start working & for the my gross is $200 what will my new payout be?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Casakia,

      If you receive Social Security Disability (SSD/SSDI), your benefits will not be affected by your work. Keep your pay stubs to document your monthly earnings. If you receive SSI, your $200 monthly earnings will cause your SSI to go down by $67.50 if you have other income or by $57.50 if you do not.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • james

        so what you are saying is that there is no way to get ahead or be able to survive on disability. based on the cost of living if you are not making $1200 to $1500 affording a 1 bed room apartment is completely impossible. and if you try to work even when your not physically capable of doing so they cut down your income. not to mention say you get married your disability gets cut in half. social security is a BS system.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear James,

          That is not exactly what I am saying. If you are getting Social Security disability, marriage will not affect your benefits. As I previously indicated, earnings below $810 will not even count as a Trial Work Period month. If you get Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is not Social Security than half of your earnings above $65 reduces benefits. The reason is that SSI is a federal welfare program for disabled and those over sixty-five who have little or no income.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Sandra Walsh

    How do i know if my question was posted?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sandra,

      Questions to the site moderator are posted when the question is reviewed and answered. Look for the posting and reply under the same informational article (same webpage) where you posted the question. Questions from one site visitor to another are not posted.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Sandra Walsh

    Hello. I receive 870.00 a month from disability due to paralyzed shoulder and severe depression. I was re-evaluated and approved for 3 more years. I worked then was a stay at home mom for 15 years, then went back to work. My husband has left me. My children are grown and live far away. I can not pay my bills with 870. a month. I feel that the government is punishing me for not earning enough work credits because I stayed at home to raise my children.

    What can i do to receive help? Is there a way to increase my disability. I am not even earning minimum wage. Any reply would be so helpful as I am very scared. Thank you very much.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sandra,

      Your Social Security Disability (SSD) benefit is based on the Social Security taxes paid on your wages, so it will not be increased other than with general cost-of-living adjustments when they occur. Your SSD is too high for federal SSI payments. You can check with Social Security to find out whether your state has an SSI state supplement that is payable to someone with your income.

      Other possible sources of assistance are SNAP (formerly called food stamps), which can be applied for at your local country or state social services office, and government-subsidized housing. If you were married ten years, when you turn sixty-two, you can applied for divorced spouse’s benefits to see whether a reduced divorced spouse’s benefit is higher than your disability benefit. If not, check to see if the unreduced divorced spouse’s benefit at your full retirement age would be higher.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Robert Bolden

    Hi I’m Robert.
    I live in Erie pa. I’m 18 and graduated this year. I received ssi about (775) a month, until I turned 18. My mom is reapplying for me to collect again because I have anxiety, social and normal, SEVERE ADHD, mood disorder and depression. Now my ADHD AND ANXIETY STILL GET ME. I’ve been collecting ever since 3rd grade. That’s when I found out I had adhd. It’s been a battle. I’m worried that I may not be able to get accepted. My mom filled out a application about two weeks ago or so. The money has helped my mom with paying rent and buying my necessities. Ive applied for jobs. I’ve told people in interviews that I have ADHD and maybe they didn’t hire me because of that. Two interviews I chickened out with going through because of my anxiety preventing me. I’m ashamed. Not having money to do things sucks and ssi would benefit me. I know my ADHD is something that will and always be a challenge. Reading articles it says that ssi doesn’t count ADHD to be an adult qualifier. Will they decline me, will I need a lawyer? How does the proccess work? My mom had all my medical info, so how long will it be until I get benefits again. I’ve been off since April 27… So it’s been 2 months.please respond.!!!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Robert,

      Claims take two to five months to process. You list multiple diagnoses as limiting you, so it is possible that you will approved for continuing benefits. Claims often take two to five months to process. If you are denied and wish to appeal, hiring an experienced Social Security attorney to assist is a good idea. When you hire a Social Security attorney, you do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge, and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award before they send your back pay to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • ashtin r harrow

    my name is ashtin harrow and i get 488.67 and im a college student and i have to play for my books and books are these days are alot of money and how can i recive more money and on my records it says value of food and shelter 244.33 but i live on campus where do the it come from and i live on my own a independent student and i have a meal plan so y am i getting 488 sted of 733?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Austin,

      I suggest that you take documentation about the income source that is paying for your college room and board to the Social Security Administration. It is possible that the source is excluded from counting as income for SSI purposes. If it is not and your college attendance is intended to prepare you for the workforce and no longer receiving SSI, you can develop a Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS), which could allow the free food and shelter to be excluded because it is helping you move toward self-support. You can learn more about PASS plans at https://www.ssa.gov/disabilityresearch/wi/pass.htm.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Linda

    I have a question: I am on dusability and ssi…my husband and I where separated for a long time then he broke his back in a work related accident… he has filed for disability and been denied twice now taking it to court..he had no where to stay so I am letting him stay with me…is there any way I can file to get more money from ssi or what ever yo help pay the extra expense??? I barely can pay my bills but it is impossible with the both of us..any way I can file for extra income until he gets his didability…ssi ???

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Linda,

      If your husband is severely disabled and needs personal care, you might be able to get paid for caring for him under the In Home Support program that some states have. Or perhaps the state has a disability program that would assist him while he waits for the federal decision. (He has to meet the same medical requirements for SSI as he does for Social Security Disability so SSI is not payable now.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • cynthia

    I worked as long as i could, am on ssdi/ssi-(disabled)(spine is getting worse & almost 60 y/o alone) went thru a few bad marrages had gotten part of my check took away cause i last marryed divorced after 1 year to someone abusive, I tryed by bringing in my divorce papers 5 times to try to get the ssi in full back (either they dont reveiw or puts it aside) and so i find $753. a month is not sustaining me had to get a $500. credit card, How can i go about bringing up my income to a basic income with ssa admins?, i am comeing up short every month. There isnt enough to live off of even with rental assitance!, here in ohio there is now a doctor shortage of 96,000, so what can i do?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cynthia,

      Apparently you are receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) and SSI totaling $753, which is the maximum federal payment you can receive without having worked enough to have a larger SSD payment or being eligible on a deceased spouse’s earnings record.

      If you were at one time getting higher widow’s benefits from a deceased spouse’s earnings record, I suggest that you ask the status of your report of divorce. Specifically, ask the local office to check with the payment center on roughly how long it will be until they process the divorce papers and your benefits are recalculated and paid at the higher rate.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • D.Dunn

        Hi, I’m 25 years old and my boyfriend and I are trying to get an apartment. Living in Nashville apartments can be quiet high. Yes he has a job but I feel I might need a increase on my SSD. Each month I get $733 but with everything we have to pay I was wondering is there a chance that I will be able to get an increase on my check?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear D.,

          Given that your benefit is $733, you are probably receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income), not SSD (Social Security Disability). $733 is the maximum SSI payment, so increased expenses will not result in an increase in benefits.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Dani Cole

    Oh my goodness. So much information to a question that was slightly hard to find. Even calling all the proper people never gets a full one, but this has helped more than anything so far.
    I hate to maybe ask you to repeat yourselves for the zillion time but….

    My husband has ALS. diagnosed May of 2012. He has SS-Disability. This is our only income. We struggle, but we make it. Fortunately we had zero debt and all things paid for when this happened. Unfortunately, we are over 100K+ in medical debt *SNAP* in an instant. very overwhelming.
    I’ve been his soul caregiver for the past 4 years. Me had Medicare and currently, after a very big mistake, is back on Medicaid. We are in the process of reinstating his home health care. He will have a home health aide approx. 18 hours a week. (nonskillled care)…and he will also have skilled nursing care (private duty nursing). This is all being done mainly thru his Medicaid I believe, and via 3rd party Health care agency that we have delt with for approx. 3 yrs now.

    My question…….
    I have a very good friend who herself has fallen on hard times. Any other day of the week I could snap my fingers, wave a wand, and make her troubles go away. Give her help and not have to ask anyone permission. *pffft*
    If I let her move in my home will it mess up any benefits, or home health care plan, that he will have?? None of us want that if it is the case. Not even her. She would rather struggle than hinder his aid.
    If she lives here it would be rent free in our minds and hearts. Her “rent” would come in the form of other ways of helping us.
    She has a job. owns her own small business. She would not be here around the clock to “HELP” me in the way his services will. She would be help pay her share of household bills. and would be taking care of her own personal supplies and food.
    However, in the event something happens there, and the system slightly shuts down ( for example. nurse ratchet was sick one night, or for some reason doesn’t show up…or home health aide has life happen of her own and cant make it) , my friend would be a great back up for those times I truly DO need help. Id just like to know how her living here might effect any of this. from disability all the way to his Medicaid.

    I asked DHS if the question “Does anyone else live in your home?” is a financial question ( ie: your making some extra income)…or is it more of a resident thing ( ie: people can not live in your home)
    She said they ask due to wanting to know who might be helping in the home, because its for his nonskilled aide care. but she “thinks” its really more about money, maybe.
    maybe? *slaps forhead* does anyone know for sure!?

    • Dani Cole

      oops I meant to say “He has Medicare…..

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dani,

      Your question is outside my expertise. I suggest that you go back to the agency that certifies the Medicaid and home health aide and ask the worker to consult with a supervisor or manager or otherwise research the issue. Ask to see the written regulation to be sure of where you will stand if your friend moves in and pays nothing but her food and personal expenses.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Linda

    Reading many of these comments has made it clear to me that many people do not understand that SSD is a social security benefit that pays disable persons that have paid into the system and earned a benefit. SSI is a welfare program that has nothing to do with social security other than it is administered by social security. As a welfare program it is based on an individual’s available resources to meet basic needs, so, if your basic needs for food and housing are beening met by (for example) living with someone else then that reduces the need for assistance. It is not about having non-essentials like a car or cable TV

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Linda,

      You are correct. The difference you describe is also described on this site in the article “What Is Supplemental Security Income and How Is It Different from Social Security Disability? under the SSI tab on the site’s navigation bar.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Randy

      I get SSDI and I get an ok amout and I stay with my parents so if I move out on my own will i get a increase??

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Randy,

        Your benefit amount is based on your earnings record, not on where you live; so a move will only affect your benefits if you move to a restricted foreign country. You do need to report the move so that you receive correspondence about your claim.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • john

    I am receiving a $487 check monthly. I lost my room I was renting because rents $800/month(everything included). I’ve been staying w/my sister but can’t make ends meet. I need to find a place to live but $487 isn’t going to cut it. How can I get more per month?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear John,

      You could save up your SSI for about several months so that you can start to pay your share of shelter expenses (and your share of food if you share food). After you have paid your share for two months, your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit will increase to $733. Your share is the total expenses divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are either mortgage, property taxes, and property insurance if required by the mortgage lender or rent and power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage.

      Fair market value for a room is apparently the $800 you mentioned, so renting a room in your sister’s home for fair market value (FMV) to get a raise in benefits ongoing would be out of reach for you, but maybe you could do it on a temporary basis if your share is more than $800 and you save long enough to get SSI raised to $733 and long enough to move if you can find housing you can afford.

      You might consider getting a small apartment and a roommate to split everything equally to see if you can lower the cost of living independently. Another option would be to get on a waiting list for government subsidized housing or to move to a much less expensive area where you can afford a room on the SSI maximum $733.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Laura. L Snyder

    Hi. My name is Laura. I am SSI and only get $221.00 a month SSD $532.00 a month. My rent is $550.00 + my electric + my phone. I don’t get enough money plus I have to put gas in my car and pay my car insurance. Is there any way I could get my benefits increased? Or any advice you could recommend ?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Laura,

      You are receiving the maximum SSI to supplement your Social Security. If you have not applied for food stamps, I recommend that you do so. You might also check to see if your phone company has a lower cost, limited-use phone plan for disabled persons. Another possibility would be to get a slightly larger apartment with two bedrooms and get a roommate to share expenses or apply for government-subsidized housing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • cindy belz

    I wanted to see if you can get an increase if I loose the LTD benefits that I was being paid when I got awarded. I did not know if I could file but if I can then that’s 1000.00 a month. when I got social security, they kicked me to the curb with a tiny settlement however it lasted a very short time and I had no idea what I was signing and that even I would get hit with a loss. however can I now go back and claim that the extra money that the company insurance was paying me is no longer there to get my benefits raised? Before I became disabled, I was making almso 7K a month and now down to 1600 something is not right and I think this may be it. please let me know if you can help me

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cindy,

      Your Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits are based on your earnings record and the social Security taxes you and your employer paid. The benefit amount is not affected by the receipt of LTD benefits, so settlement or other termination of LTD benefits will not cause an increase in your Social Security benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kay hi my name is Scott and i am on S S D I and i get just a little over 1000$$ a month with all of the extra stuff that i have to pay for each month Copays & Deductables it is impossible to make ends meet each month i have nearly every stomach problem a human can have i am a psych patient and just 2 weeks ago i found out that my mother was raped by my grandfather yes he raped his only daughter as a result of said rape i was born is there an extra benefit that i can apply for to help me make a living on 3-24-16 my home of 24 yrs burned to the ground and as a result i am now homeless because i could not afford home insurance well i have since learned that i can now afford it because of my situation so i will get it when i find me some where to go now i have looked all over the web looking for someone that gives a damn about people that have been born from a crime no such people live on planet earth i always wondered why do i still have so many health problems now i know the answer if the S S D I program does not offer an extra benefit for people in my situation then maybe there is another program that does i really do need all the help i can get right now one reason i now must live in my daughters tree house until i can find somewhere to go it is a real tough and hard thing to go through when your own mother wont even show me her own child even though i am now 48 yrs old wont even give me any respect like a mother should show her offspring but no not her she is to much about herself to do that i am really sick of all the lies now i understand there is a group of people in Washington that have a society that help people in my situation i am trying to find them now without any luck so you know of anything that might help please contact me as soon as possible i would like to think that our gov has a heart but i am sure they dont and the same goes for the state they dont care either so i guess it goes without saying you might be sick but you are never sick enough that any of them would ever give a damn about any one but them selves so as per usual you are on your own make the best of it yourself and if you cant well thats just to bad i did not ask to be put in this situation though i do believe my mother loves it so she can say her first born is a loser she never has a kind word for me ever so now i just dont go up there if i dont absolutely have to living in a bird house means there is no in door plumbing so you know what means i am sick and tired of being treated like a second or third class citizen its time for a change and with all of my health problems it cant come soon enough well i think i have told you all that i can so i thank you for your time and considerations thank you a lot scott

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Scott,

      There are various national and local support groups for incest survivors. Try looking online to fnd one in your town or state. Your situation is a bit different in that you were born of incest rather than having incest committed against you. However, such a support group might be of help for moral support and/or referral to agencies that could help. I also suggest that you talk with your mental health care provider for a referral for case management so that you have someone to help you find housing and possibly an affordable Medicare supplemental insurance that could perhaps reduce your medical costs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dawnette

    Okay I have 2 questions here 1 I am pregnant and the father of my child is on disability SSI and SSDI how will that affect my child when she is born second question he only get 668 a month for Social Security disability and a small $65 check for another one his rent is 595 a month he also gets food stamps which is only 40 something dollars a month that does not seem like enough to live off of meaning he doesn’t have enough to buy household needs like toilet paper exedra what should he do

    • Dawnette

      Oh I forgot to mention that he has been on this disability since he was in kindergarten and is now 32

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dawnette,

      Your child’s father’s Social Security benefit is fairly low, so it is possible that no dependent benefits are payable for your child on his earnings record. He can call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to find out whether his family maximum benefit (FMB) is higher than his Primary Insurance Amount (PIA). (The PIA is the amount of his benefits.) If the FMB is higher, the difference between the FMB and the PIA will be payable to your child and you can apply as soon as the child is born.

      If your boyfriend is able to work at all, he can earn $65 a month gross and have no reduction in benefits. The only other suggestions I have would be to try to find less expensive housing, such as renting a room, or slightly more expensive with two bedrooms and getting a roommate to split the costs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Dawnette

        Would I be able to go for child support if he can’t work?. Thats what I don’t understand… yes I agree he needs s room. Mate but can’t keep one on account of his metal stability and renting a room from where?? Sorry

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Dawnette,

          I suggest that you consult with a family law attorney regarding your child support question. If there are dependent benefits payable, the benefits do not reduce the father’s benefits.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • TODD GAYLOR

    I live in the state of Washington. My SSDI check is 1200.00 I’m tempted to move to Hawaii, but I hear the cost of living is much higher there. If I move there, would there be a cost of living adjustment?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Todd,

      Social Security benefits are based on your earnings record not on your location, so there would be no increase in Hawaii.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • lori valentin

    CAN I RENT 2 ROOMS FROM MY HOME WHILE ON DISABILITY ??THE AMOUNT I GET IS JUST NOT ENOUGH TO MAKE ENDS MEET….I`M ALWAYS BEHIND ON BILLS AMD CAN NEVER BUY ENOUGH FOOD….THANK YOU…….

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lori,

      If you receive Social Security Disability (SSDI), you can rent rooms and it will have no effect on your benefits and does not have to be reported.

      If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), all but $20 of the rental income would be countable income for SSI; however, the amount paid by others for shared housing is not income if it does not exceed their share. So, if you now live alone and you bring two people into your home to live, each of their shares and your share would be one third of shelter costs. If you rent the two rooms to one person, that renter’s share and your share would be one-half each. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance. If you do this, you need to report it to Social Security. Take proof of the amount of the shelter expenses and statements from the others living in home as to when they moved in and how much they contribute to shelter. The downside of sharing is that you will have no written legal rental agreement with the people you bring into your home.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jared Alexander

    I get only $19 a month in SNAP benefits. Too bad, it’s not enough to help with my food needs every month. It’s only enough to help with a week’s groceries. I get $735 a month ($505 from SSDI and $230.05 from SSI). I’m unable to work because of my Autism, Major Depression, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I pay $210 in rent at Forest Park Manor in Shenandoah, Iowa. That amount covers all utilities (electric, water, trash). It’s based on what I get from my SSI and SSDI. I wish I can get more SSI and/or SNAP benefits. Unfortunately, my opportunities are not that good in this part of Iowa. If I ever want to get a job, it’s either working from home, a sheltered workshop (which I don’t want to work there), or nothing.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jared,

      Your SNAP benefit amount is based not only on your income but also on the low rent you pay for housing and utilities. The SNAP program expects that you will have the ability to pay for the majority of your food with the $525 you have available after paying rent.

      Kay

  • S Scarlett

    Hi I receive $488 in supplemental security income for my son. He was born at 31 weeks, and weighed 2lbs 3oz. When he was in the hospital I received $30 paper checks. Long story short, I recently moved out of my hometown and have my own place, it’s just me and my son. My bills are in my son’s father’s name due to my credit score. I do get food stamps and son has Medicaid. I wanted to know what do I need to do to get the maximum amount because I’m behind in my bills and after I pay rent I have $38. I had to as my son’s father to pay my light bill a few times because it’s just not enough, he has his own bills and he pays child support for his other child. He will do anything for my son and I. But I don’t want to have to ask ANYONE FOR ANYTHING, I can pay my own bills! No problem there, just need more income. What do I do Kay?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Scarlett,

      Report your move, your current rent and utility bills, the amounts and the months that your son’s father has paid the electric bill. Submit proof of the rent and utility amounts and also a statement from the father about the electric bill payments. If you pay the rent directly to the landlord (not your son’s father), try to submit some proof about that also. SSI payments are based on income received two months before, but you will get full SSI for months the number of months that you do not have outside help. For the other months, te benefit will be increased but not to the maximum.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Deangelo

        Dear kay . My question is, i was told i would get 733 for ssi but when i looked online it says i only get 488.60 ,so i went back to the social security office and was told i would only get the 488.60 for 2 months then it will go to 733 frm then on. Can and why would they do that. Im in detroit mi.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Deangelo,

          You are being paid reduced Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for some months because you were either receiving free housing and/or food or you were paying less than the value of the shelter and/or food you were receiving. The benefits are going up because your living arrangements changed so that you are not longer receiving in-kind (non-cash) income in the form of free or subsidized housing or food. Increases and decreases in payment amount due to changes in income take effect two months after the change occurs.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • orrin

    i receive 1278 for social security disability benefits. my mother is in the nursing home. i have been getting $16 a month from SNAP. i was told i am receiving all the benefits i am eligible for. i was told the only reason i even get the $16 is because i am in a special group because of disability. i am over the eligibility for more help by $2.00. why is mine so low?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Orrin,

      You gave the answer to your own question when you shared the reason given to you by the food stamp social worker: your income is above the limit for more help.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Chris

    Hello everyone I was born with a rare bone disease kept out of school and home schooled so I really didn’t know anything bout ssi or ssdi except it’s what you do when you get old and retire that’s what I was raised to believe I was told I had to work so I went and got a job at McDonald’s full time sick off an on for 2 years trying to work then I started coughing up blood and my body started going even more down hill so I went to my doctor and he told me absolutely not to go back to work and that I shouldn’t have worked to begin with so I asked him what do I do for income and he told me about applying for ssi/ssdi so I did but what I didn’t know is that I could have been on it the whole time like I should have and I would had if I known but I was lied to by the two people I thought always wanted what was best for me and so I draw off my own credits and live on my own struggling to pay my bills because I’m technically way under the poverty level what can I do besides try to go and work to pay my bills?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chris,

      If you have not already done these things, you might contact your state or county social services office to apply for SNAP (formerly called food stamps) and you can try to get into government-subsidized housing. Usually there is a waiting list for housing; so in the meantime, you might consider sharing housing with a roommate to reduce housing costs. Also, check with your state to see if there is a reduced-cost telephone for disabled persons and with your utility company to see if their is any assistance for disabled customers.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Christine

    Kay,
    I get ssdi. In KY. I get $922. I have 3 children, each get $83. Making our income 1171, which is a joke in my eyes. But anyway, if I got married would it affect my ssdi?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Christine,

      Your marital status does not affect your your children’s Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Heather

        Yes it does. Their income is counted. It is count if they help after separating to.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Heather,

          The income of a spouse living in another household is not counted for the calculation of Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If that spouse gives the SSI recipient money or pays for their food or housing, the financial support given counts as the SSI recipient’s income.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Andres

    My dad is 50 and is receiving 855 per month for social security disability. His house payment alone is more than that, not to mention utilities. Would he be able to receive any more?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Andres,

      Your father’s Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits is based on his earnings record so the only increases he will receive will be cost-of-living adjustments in years that those occur. His SSDI is too high for SSI. Some people in his situation take in a roomer to help cover costs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dale

    I currently receive 733.00 in SSI and 309.00 Snap for my son and I. My girlfriend receives SSDI and 82.00 Snap for her and her daughter. We are not only wanting to move in together but she is also now pregnant. We are considering combining our Snap accounts and applying for the baby. Will her disability affect my SSI and in combining our Snap accounts will there be a significant drop?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dale,

      As long as you are not married and your pay your share of the shelter and food expenses, your SSI will not go down. Your share is equal to the total expenses divided by the number of people in the household including the children. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance. I can’t answer your question about the SNAP benefits; I suggest asking the SNAP office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • forrest smith

    oh and by the way to help with my previous comment my wife and i are only 49 so im really confused y she is getting so little every month
    thanks again

  • forrest smith

    my wife went on disability about 7 years ago. she worked part time up until about 2 or 3 years before getting her disability. we have 3 kids at home with 2 under 18 now. i work full time but make less than 30k a year. she gets 330 less 112 for her medicare and gets 424 for ssi. why does she get go little when we read other people get a lot more than her. we dont own our house we rent and only have 1 car every year her disability goes down everyyear because her medicare payment goes up. is what shes getting right??? please any advice would be greatly appreciated

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Forrest,

      Your wife’s Social Security benefit amount is based on her earnings record. Her SSI is based on the maximum amount she can get between Social Security and SSI, which is $753, plus any possible SSI state supplement.

      If your wife does not have Medicaid, I suggest that she apply at your state or count Social Security office indicating that she gets SSI. If she is eligible for Medicaid, the Medicaid program may pay her Medicare premium.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • rai

    i get 733 a month ssi for my son im a single mother of 2 i recently started working making about 350$ to 400$ every 2 weeks will this effect the 733 i get for my son?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rai,

      Your earnings are not high enough to reduce your son’s benefits, but you do need to report that you are working.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Julia salazar

      Hi I’m 65 yrs old I only get 156.00 for disability and husband death pay I get 722.00 how do I get my full disability check help Julie salazar

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Julia,

        Please clarify your income so I can try to respond. Is the $722 the survivor benefit? Is the $156 Social Security Disability or SSI? What state do you live in?

        Thank you,
        Kay

  • Kristeena

    My son starting receiving SSI $488 a month while I was living with my dad. I got my own place for $700 and pay rent and all bills with the $488 and help my mother tries to give when she can. I just reported my change of address and they only increased it to $575 because they said I have no other income and because I get help from my Mom. How can I get the full $733 so I can atleast cover my rent? I’m not able to work due to my sons issues and their Father passed away so I have no child support and can’t get survivor benefits because he’s never worked. Also, if I apply for TANF, will they decrease the amount?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kristeena,

      You can now use your son’s $575 to pay rent and utilities and report the change. Two months later, the SSI will go up to by $87. When that happens use the money toward rent and utilities and report it. This will cause the SSI to go up by another $87. Keep doing this till it goes up to the maximum $733.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Sandra Lugg

    My daughter receives $ 433 monthly for SSI. She has a permanent disability and not able to work. I am her legal guardian. I went to the SSI office today to ask for a raise but was told that because her fair share is more than what she gets paid she can’t get the raise. I am really confused with this rule. Her fair share of the house bill would be about $ 570 monthly. Can I get her a raise or not. Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sandra,

      I suggest that you appeal the determination. If your daughter is paying the full $433 for her shelter and her share is $570, then her SSI should go up to $617. ($570 share – 433 contribution = $137 in-kind support and maintenance of which the first $20 does not count. Maximum SSI of $733 – $117 = $616.). Once she gets the increase, she can start to pay her share of $570 and get an increase to $733. The increases occur two months after the change.

      Note that shelter expenses include all of the following: power, heat, water/sewer, garbage, and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jace Starr

    I have always worked, and loved my career. I was injured which complicated a hereditary disorder. I receive a physical disability benefit. However, as you hear from most people, it is not even close to enough to survive on in the USA in 2016. People with mental disabilities get help from the government for housing, but people with physical disabilities do not receive assistance with housing in 2016. I am a smart and educated woman, but I cannot figure out how to survive this mess created in the USA. I have done research and there are billions of dollars awarded to the state I live in for housing. This money seems to disappear. I was in a violent living situation and not one agency would help me to escape. I am a survivor, but I am sitting on a time-bomb with a cervical rib stuck in an artery to my heart. To make it even worse; I cannot get health insurance. Every thing for the past eight years has been a lie in this country! I am stuck and desperate for help!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jace,

      If you haven’t tried already, try getting health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If your income is low enough, you can receive a government subsidy to help with the premiums. More information is available at http://www.healthcare.gov. Although possibly it is different in your state, most states do not distinguish between mental and physical disabilities in determining eligibility for government-subsidized housing. For all, there is usually a waiting list and in some cases a lottery to get on the waiting list, so help is not immediate.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Nelle

        Hi Kay,
        I was approved my disability and received my retroactive payment. I make $903 a month in SSI, and I was told I am not eligible for assistance with living and all the county’s around me section 8 list are closed. I’m currently living in the basement of my family members house which is not conducive to my health and I’ve developed fluid around my heart from the dust. Is there any way I can go about getting my own place, where I can get help from the government as soon as possible?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Nelle,

          You might start by looking for an interim solution such as renting a healthier room in a private home or a tiny studio apartment. Then get yourself on the waiting list for Section 8 housing or into the next lottery to get on the list when the lottery comes open.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • What to do too get more money…
        I’VE BEEN Getting Disability for 21/2 YEARS. Much more has happened since then I NEED to speak with someone….

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Maria,

          This site is not part of the Social Security Administration (SSA). You can reach SSA by calling 1-800-772-1213. I can provide the information that if you are receiving $753 or more in Social Security Disability (SSDI) you are not eligible for federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and your benefits will not be increased because your health has worsened. If you have not already done so, you might apply for SNAP (food stamps) or apply for government subsidized housing. Also, if your income is low, you may qualify for assistance in paying Medicare premiums. More information is available at http://www.medicare.gov.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Joseph

    I’m having problems making it I’m only making 488 dollars a month I live with my parents I’m on supplemental disability I’m not ssi I’m in Texas it’s just not enough I have to have transportation and that’s 256 a month I have bi polar adhd mental health issues that keep from holding a job and I’m supposed to be paying 300 a month to my parents and it’s just not enough to survive how would I go about getting more money because I really need it

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Joseph,

      To receive the maximum SSI of $733 you have to either pay room rent that is fair market value (FMV) for the type of room you rent and buy your own food or pay your share of of shelter expenses and buy your own food or pay your share of shelter and food expenses. Your share is the total expenses divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance.

      If your payment does not equal fair market value or your share, but it is within less than $264.33 of your share or fair market value, you can get a raise to some amount lesser than the maximum. For example, if your share is $450 and you are contributing $300, your subsidy from your parents would be $150. $130 of that would be countable income and your SSI would go up ton $603. Once you got the increase, you could begin to pay your full share or full market value and get an increase to $733.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Rich

    My girl friend gets ssi disability due to no work history. I get ssd, if we got married could she be changed to ssd off of my work history or would she have to wait untill we have been married for a year and draw dependant benefits off me?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rich,

      If you and your girlfriend get married, your income will be considered in determining her SSI benefit amount. If she is either age sixty-two or will have a child of yours under age sixteen in her care, she can apply for wife’s benefits after you and she have been married one year. And, such dependent benefits will be payable only if your work history is sufficient to provide dependent benefits. If your Family Maximum Benefit (FMB) is more than your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA), which is your benefit, then dependent benefits are payable under the conditions described above. You can get the amount of your FMB and PIA by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • gwen hill

        I just recently become disabled and did not have enough credits to receive social security . I will be receiving ssi . my husband is receiving ssd . I will only be getting $37.oo a month which seems unreal to me . will this ever change?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Gwen,

          Your benefit amount is likely to change only when there is a general cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). It is possible that the COLA your husband receives will actually reduce your benefit. When you turn sixty-two, you can apply for wife’s Social Security benefits on your husband’s account if his Family Maximum Benefit (FMB) is more than his Primary Insurance Amount (PIA), which is his benefit. He can find out the amount of his FMB by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • ricky

    My mother is receiving 733 a month she is in the middle of a divorce …..after its over will she be able to get a raise of any kind? She already has max snap benefits.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ricky,

      Your mother is receiving the maximum federal SSI payment, so she will not receive an increase due to divorce. If she receives alimony, her SSI will be reduced.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kate

    Hi Kay,

    I was disabled beginning at the age of 13. Now 32 I am struggling to pay the bills on my SSDI $740 a month. I did not work before my disability began but I worked after a very small amount (Maybe 10 hours a week) after. I started out on SSI & now get SSDI ($740 monthly). SSA tells me the $740 is as much as I can get unless we have the COLA but I find this hard to believe as I have worked from age 18 on with my SSDI RARELY, if ever, going up. Most recently, about a year ago I began working the most I have ever been able to at about 25-28 hours a week at $9.00/hr. but my disability persists & I miss a lot of work. During the times I am missing a lot of work, I can not afford to live. Rent takes up the majority of my SSDI check. How do I know for sure if I am getting the correct amount of SSDI as it seems it should have increased with the hours I put in the past 14 years.

    Thank you!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kate,

      Social Security retirement benefits are recalculated and increased to give credit for recent earnings if the recent earnings are high enough to increase the benefit. The recalculations are done automatically in a process called Automated Earnings Recalculation Operation (AERO). Earnings from 2015, if high enough to create an increase, are processed in late 2016 with notification in November or December. The increase, if any, would be effective retroactively to January 2016. I have been unable to find any reference that such AERO recalculations apply to disability benefits. If they do not, you may get the increase when you switch to retirement benefits at full retirement age.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lisa

    Hi, I have been disabled for 8 yrs with menears disease. I make 1200.00 a month for me and my son, I just started working part time and making about 500.00 a month at my job, will this cause me to loose my 1200.00 a month? I cant work much because I have dizzy spells and loose hearing, I make 8.15 hr and work 20 hrs a week.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lisa,

      Your earnings are low enough that they will not affect your entitlement to Social Security. You do need to report the work, however.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • elena

    when i applied (3/2013) i did not have enough work credits due to 3 years of not filing taxes (2007,8,&9) . during the time i was waiting for ALJ hearing i was able to amend 2010 and 2011 taxes… i had started filing ‘self employed’ in 2010, because i did whatever i could to pay bills, including selling my art. 2010’s amendment was because i put a 1099 in the wrong area, and so it wasn’t counted as self employ taxable info. 2011, i just removed deductions in order to pay more tax.

    i brought irs transcripts and all info to hearing which was in August 2015. judge told me to bring them to local SSA office. which i did, the next DAY. brought them in 3 times total. and through googling NOT SSA employee help, i learned of and then filed form 7008, request to change earnings record. I asked if i needed to file appeal to re-examine credits, but was told ‘no’. now, 6 months later, an 800 line rep tells me i should have filed HA 520.

    local SSA supervisor told me to look up RS 01804.075.
    i did. but it’s been six months and no one has asked anything about being a ‘bonified’ business.

    at this point, the 800 rep mailed me HA 520 and an envelope addressed to appeals council in falls church.

    since nothing is happening at all at my local office, will this help or hurt my process? i am sure that i meet the requirements for my amended credits to be accepted, which would give me SSDI, not SSI.

    thank you for reading
    elena

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Elena,

      Probably the information is sitting in the regional payment center waiting for review. For me to comment on whether or not to appeal, I need a bit more information.
      1. Have you ever gotten a Social Security Disability Denial letter either in the judge’s ruling or otherwise?
      2. If so, what is the date on the letter?

      Thanks,
      Kay

  • Brian Johnson

    If I receive 881 for ssdi. How much will my child receive? And does it reduce my check.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brian,

      Your child will receive Social Security dependent benefits in the lessor of two amounts: $440 or the difference between your Family Maximum Benefit and your Primary Insurance Amount (your benefit.) You can get your FMB and PIA to compare by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. Benefits paid to your child will not reduce your benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Joey

      Im disabled and am married for 21yrs and we have 6 children. I draw 689.00 and my children only draw 14.00 and my wife doesnt draw anything, can you explain why this is so low? My rent is $750 and my entirely check pays for that then my wife cleans houses and babysits to pay power and gas. Do i need to get in touch with another disability lawyer and see what/if there is anything he/i can do to see if my wife can draw and my children can draw more so we can at least afford the minimum cost of living.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Joey,

        The amount of your Social Security Disability and your children’s benefits is based on your earnings record before becoming disabled, so it will only be increased in years that cost-of-living adjustments are given to all beneficiaries.

        If your $689 benefit is your gross benefit before any Medicare premium withholding, I suggest that you apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to supplement your Social Security. You can request an appointment to apply by calling the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. If your $689 benefit is after premium withholding, depending on the state you live in, you might be eligible for state SSI supplement only. If that is the case, Social Security will be able to tell you where and how to apply only for the state supplement.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • April

    Hi my question is after receiving $733 a month on ssi, I got cut to $267 this month of may, and I am married to my husband that received ssdi and makes $844 a month, he got his medicare cut and now he gets his $844 while I live with my parents, I paid them $225 rent before I had married and then I notified ssi telling them of our changes in household income, and living expenses, and I had gotten married. Is the cut from the cost of my parents income plus ours? Or because he has too much ssdi? Or is it from not always paying rent?food? And utilities? I Can’t even afford food nor bills now And we can’t even afford to live together alone. We have my mother who’s out of work from surgery and my dad works now. She struggles with making ends meet, what can we do to get my $733 back?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tameka,

      Your husband’s Social Security benefit is lowering your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit. Your parents’ income does not affect your benefits. If you and your husband are not either paying fair market value (FMV) for rent in you parents’ home and buying your own food or paying your share of shelter expenses (and food if you share food with them) every month, then it is possible that your SSI is also being reduced for receiving in-kind (non-cash) income from your parents in the form of subsidized housing and/or food. . Shelter expenses are rent or mortgage, property tax, and if required by the lender property insurance, power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lola

    Hello,

    I’m trying to get my mom (82 yrs old) into Legacy at Walton Oaks, Augusta, Ga’s first mixed-income housing complex. The complex has rented its 75 units for residents older than 55. To qualify, The Housing Authority requires her SSI annual income to be $19500. She is $300 short.

    Is the ANY possibility her SSI can somehow be upped by that amount. Yes, I had to ask. Thank you for your reply.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lola,

      Unfortunately, your mother’s Social Security can be increased only by annual cost-of-living adjustments, which may or may not occur in any year depending on whether and how much the consumer-price-index rises. Would it be possible for family to commit to making up the $300 income gap.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Chris

        I am receiving $733 each month and I live by myself with my son he is 7 years old and the money does not really last the full 30 days and only last me about 2 days my rent is $500 I have to pay my own water I have to pay my own lights my lights are always overdo is there anyway I can get more and I only get $100 of food stamps

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Chris,

          Contact your power company and tell them you are on disability benefits to see if they have any programs that will help with your bill. Take your utility bills and rent agreement to the food stamp office and ask that they double check that the food stamps for you and your child have been correctly calculated. Also, check to see if the TANF program can provide assistance for your child given the SSI income you have. Lastly, you might try to get child support from your child’s other parent.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Chris

            No other parent only me

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Chris,

              If your child’s other parent is deceased, your child might be eligible for Social Security survivor benefits on his or her deceased parent.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Chris

            He’s not deceased.

  • Howard S

    Hi, my mom is 74 this august. She was on disability good portion of her life but has worked the past 10 years making very little money;not using the disability anymore of course just a dismal paying job. She gets $400.00 a month from my dads SS Retirement benefit becuase she was told it was better than what shed get. Now she is 74 and cant work anymore at all and canr live on $400 a month, of course. She physically cant..Blind in 1 eye, chronic arthritis. is there any kind of additional, help she can get to help her with financial side. Can she get disability at her age? or is she screwed because she didnt work enough in life and father didnt either, or is there anything else programs can help her with. No one can survive on that $400.00 and she cant simply work anymore. I help all i can but we need assistance for her…HELP PLease. JUst need a direction to head in. All indications on what i read are deflating and worry some. She is currently in california. I feelso hopeless for my 74 year old mom. Any advise would be great thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Howard,

      I suggest that your mother apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) based on her age. She can call 1-800-772-1213 to request an appointment to apply. To avoid possible loss of benefits, she should make the call before the end of the month. Depending on what kind and how much help you are giving her in the form of cash or payment for her shelter and food expenses, she might or might not be financially eligible for SSI. If you are not able to continue helping with housing, utilities, and food and the only other help you give her is direct payment of phone, bus tickets, medical co-pays, and items that are not shelter or food, she could be eligible for SSI bringing her income up to $733. She might also be eligible for a small California SSI state supplement. She can apply for SNAP (formerly called food stamps). Some utility companies offer assistance with heating bills for older people with low income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Erika

    Hello, i still do have received ssi from i was born due deaf. My mom have rsdi. She got a letter from ssa. That she could file applications on me because i have ssi. There is any could be effect on my ssi? Or would i get 2 checks from ssi and rsdi? I believe that there should be effect to my ssi. But i did call ssa office this morning. They say no effect on my ssi from my mom’s rsdi. That i can receive both check. I still not believe it. Please tell me more explain. Thank you!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Erika,

      A misunderstanding must be occurring. Your mother’s Social Security does not affect your SSI, but if you get childhood disability benefits (CDB) on your mother’s earnings record, your SSI will be reduced. You can get two benefits if the CDB is low enough. The two together cannot exceed $753.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Btendyn

    I am in MA. I am receiving $733 a month because I live with a relative . That relative has been unemployed for a year now and has been looking for work but nothing. She does not get unemployment and never did. Our rent is going up. For the past year it has been just about all on me except for in August of 2015 she cashed out her 401k plan. We are now living on just the 733. Is there a way I would qualify for the higher amount giving the fact my roommate is no longer employed and helping with living costs? There is one higher amount for people living alone. While I do not live alone my roommate no longer has an income. Thank you for your time. L

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear B.,

      You are receiving the maximum federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit for a person living alone or paying her share of expenses when living with others. The reduced SSI rate for living with another and not paying one’s own expenses is $488. If you and she have not already applied for food stamps, you might do so.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • ronnie emmett

      i draw $733 amonth homeless due to i dont earn atleast 3XS THE AMOUNT OF RENT I ASK MARRIRTTA FOR HELP UNABLE TOGET ASSISTANCES IN THIS MATTER FROM ANY PLACE IN GEORGIA BEING A 56 YRS OLD DIS ABLED HOUSE MALE I ASK MARIETTA HOUSING APPLIED BUT TOLD DUE TO MY LOW INCOME ITAKES 3 TO4 YEARS TO EVEMN MAYBE GET ANY TYPE HOUSING BU YOU LOOK IN RHIS AREA PEOPLE ILLEAGLY IN THIS COUNTY DO GET HOUSING BY HAVING CHILDREN WHEN LEGALLY AMERICA SEEKING ANY TYPE HOSING IS UN ABLR TO GET ASSISTANCE IN THE METRO AREA DUE TO PEOPL NO REALLY SURPOSE TO OBTAIN ASSISTANCE GETTING IT

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Ronnie,

        I suggest that you get your name on the waiting list and contact any local agencies that provide services to the homeless to see if there are any programs that can help you out now.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Sara

    Hi my grandmother is disabled and she receives SSI. Now that she turned 65, is she eligible for more? Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sara,

      Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit rates are the same for disabled and aged (sixty-five and older) individuals.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Donald

    Hi Kay, I currently receive the full $733.00 SSI payment a month. I’m considering Marrying and moving in with my girlfriend soon. She receives $1400/mo. (SSDI) before Medicare and $1,300/mo. after Medicare. If we marry and move in together, could or will that change my SSI benefit amount?

    Sincerely,
    Donald

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Donald,

      If you marry, your SSI will go down to about $86 if your wife does not file an SSI application. If she files an SSI application, neither of you will be eligible for SSI because the maximum federal SSI for an eligible couple is $1,100 and her SSDI is more than $1,120.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Robin

    COLAs have been cancelled many times in the last decade and benefits were cut back one year as well. But expenses, including rent, just kept going up. Now my rent is over the amount of SSDI/SSI and I have to cover living expenses myself, as the benefit amount is too low.

    In 1986, the benefit amount was $600/mo and my rent was $200. That’s a 3:1 ratio and it was doable. Today my rent is $936 and going up each year, and the benefits are $909, less than rent.

    The benefits went up 50% from 1986, 30 years ago. My rent has gone up 450%. There’s no comparison.

    In fact, in the past 17 years, the benefits went up from $850 to $909, or $59 for 17 years. My rent went up from $350 to $936 and will go up more. I’m spelling this out to show that benefits have NOT kept up with our living expenses.

    If the benefits were to be 3:1 like they were in 1986, they would be $2700/mo now. I’m not really thinking that’s realistic. However, if we need to cover our expenses because SSDI/SSI isn’t, then the system needs to allow us to do that without giveback.

    We on disability need the benefits to go up every year or we don’t have enough money to live on.

    We need the rules changed – they’re from decades ago and do not fit today’s costs. The 20 unearned should go up. The allowable $65/month earned should go up. The 1 for 2 giveback needs to be changed if we need money to cover our expenses.

    The problem lies with the repeated cancellation of benefit increases. That’s why the rules need to modernize.

    Able-bodied people couldn’t survive on this – neither can disabled. Why put disabled people through added stress? We’re already dealing with being disabled.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Robin,

      I suggest that you present your analysis to your congressional representative and senators.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Heather

    my mother in law just started recivieing her Ssi she was given part of her back pay and one check the last two checks have been for 47 dollars but she was told she would get 575 dollar per month they have sent her a letter telling her de was Being cut from 47 to 40 dollars a month no explanation why she was not going to get 575 her husband draws around 725 on Ssi and disability we are trying o figure out why she went from 575 to 40 dollars

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Heather,

      Supplemental Security Income (SSI) financial eligibility and payment amounts are calculated monthly so benefits can change from month to month.

      Your mother-in-law and father-in-law are apparently both disabled or age sixty-five or older. This means that their eligibility for SSI is figured together. The maximum federal rate for a couple is $1,100. That amount is reduced by all but $20 of your father-in-law’s Social Security. The remaining amount is payable in SSI benefits with each person receiving half.

      During the transition from your father-in-law being the only one receiving SSI to the couple being eligible, your mother-in-law may be receiving a small amount to make up for her husband receiving more than he was eligible for due her new eligibility. In other words, his SSI overpayment may be collected from her SSI. Hopefully, this information will help you figure things out. If not, have your in-laws ask Social Security for an explanation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Don

        I collect $733.00 through SSI payments a month. If I get married and soon after my wife starts recieving SSDI of 1,400.00/mo. is my SSI going to be lowered?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Don,

          Yes, unless you and your intended wife have minor children, your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will be decreased. To figure an estimate, you can use the formula in the article “What Are Deemed Income and Resources and How Do They Affect SSI Payment Amounts and Qualifying for SSI Disability?” under the SSI tab on the navigation bar at the top of this web page.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Daryl

    Hello,

    I am in need of a heart transplant. I will have to apply very soon for Social Security Disability. Will my monthly income be affected because I am married and my wife does have 2 jobs? We also have 2 children ages 14 and 11. I am also concerned because we own a home and a car. I am afraid we won’t be able to live on what they will be providing me a month. I was told that if I was NOT married that Social Security Disability benefits would be better for me. We live in PA.

    Thank you for your advise.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Daryl,

      The information you received about family income applies to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, not to Social Security Disability benefits. If you have sufficient work including in the past ten years, you will be insured for benefits. If you are medically approved you and possibly your children will be eligible for benefits. If because of your health you are not now working or have gross monthly earnings of less than your $1,130, you should apply now.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • dennis

    i’m totally disabled an have been collecting total disability since 1980..in 2011 ,my check was reduced to 700 and some odd dollars from over 1000 and now i’m still getting no more than 784.00.per month..my rent is 725.44 per month..i haven’t been able to afford to pay my own electricity ,buy necessities clothes,soap,towels,bedsheets,etc..what happened is in 2011,my parents were helping me out of a very bad situation for about 4 months and they were putting $1000.00 in my bank account to help me..my parents sent a letter of explanation and it added to the the forms we sent back ..They made it clear that i was not getting that amount every month and that they were immediately ceasing that monthly 1000 dollars a month aid as they can no longer afford it anymore.it’s 2016 and i’m still only getting 784.00 a month,even after sending off forms time after time with explanations of my monthly earnings which is ONLY my disability..been that way since late 2011 now and even after several attempts at correcting that one mistake by writing and going nonline and filling out forms,they will not listen..instead i get forms back absurdly stating “our records show that you recive over the yad yada yada and something about that 1000 dollars..it’s as though i’m getting sent the same prewriiten formulaic forms even though my letters are explaining my situation ..i haven’t been able to buy new clothes and the necessities of life for a few years now..sure i have roofover my head and i have lone star..my mother is paying my electric..i have no choice..somebody has to pay it..how do i get my money back so i’m geting the 1000 instaed of this 784.00..i can’t live like this for much longer ..and yes i realise i could live ina ghetto and pay less rent..but my doctor encouraged to pay regular rento get away from the other..my est and sleep was being intruded on daily and nightly so moved into senior place where i’m healthy for it.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dennis,

      Please clarify a couple points for me so that I can respond.

      1. Do you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability (SSDI)?
      2. What state do you live in?
      3. If you have the last letter, can you quote the exact wording of the portion of the letter that tells you why your benefit is not going up.

      Thank you,
      Kay

  • Doris craig

    Hi I was fighting for my disability for years. I finally won my case in the end of 2015. But I only get 620.00. My husband also on disability he gets 1421.00. I applied for ssi but they denied me it said because of resources. By like 200.00 over. But my husband and I really only live together because neither of us can afford the bills on our own. How can I get SSI just based on my disability. If I could get approved. Then maybe I could find my own place that I can afford
    Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Doris,

      As long as you and your husband are married and living together, his income of $1,421 will be considered in determining your eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) regardless of the reasons you are living together. If you want to move out, you might try to find a roommate with whom you can share shelter costs equally and buy food separately. Once you have done that, you can apply for SSI, which could potentially give you a $133 SSI benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Hi I applied for ssdi in 2012. Single mom. Section 8 rent. It’s in review now, and could be June 2016 before I hear a decision. Next step if denied again is federal court. Can and should I apply for Ssi, as well as appealing the current ssdi? Saw from other responses I could get both and I didn’t know it? I am barely hanging on right now. The stress is maxing me out. My bills outweigh my income! My daughter sees me in physical and mental pain from this. I want to sue social security for pain and suffering. I think I have a case. Has anyone ever sued Ssi? Because they’re idiots? -_- Thanks, Paula

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Paula,

      Of course you can seek legal advice, but I doubt you can sue Social Security for pain and suffering.

      You do not say what your current source of income is or how much it is, so I don’t know if you are financially eligible for SSI. I suggest first that you double check that you have not already applied and have an appeal pending for both. If you haven’t you can apply for SS. If your are financially eligible, the SSI claim will probably be combined with your SSDI claim and medical eligibility for SSI will be decided at the same time as for SSDI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Allen Nell

    I have received SSDI since 2012. When my girlfriend moved in with me she started receiving SSI due to her disability and not enough time working to receive SSDI. She also received a small amount from her ex for maintenance. Since then, in 2014, we got married and we lost 400.00 in income due to that. We knew she would lose the 200 in maintenance, but don’t understand why we lost another 200 from SSI. The living arrangements have not changed and we pay the same in rent and utilities. Now, it has become a struggle to make it til the end of the month. We even receive less in food share. Why is this supposedly fair?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Allen,

      Because you are married, your Social Security Disability benefits, which are higher than $200, are considered in determining your wife’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit amount. I am not sure why the food stamps went down. You might double check with the food stamp office that they are using correct information to calculate your grant.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Linda

    I am permanently disabled, and care for my adult son that is also disabled from birth. I receive $733.00 per month,as do my son. Which only total $1466 per month. I receive subsidized rental assistance we pay equal halves of my rent. Along with renting subsidize housing come the kind of place where I am living. Full of crime. Afraid to stick my head out of my door unless I just have to do so. I never allows my son outside alone. Places such as this is all I can afford. Home owners with single family homes will not allow anyone receiving section 8 to rent any of their home, which I can not blame them. So people such as myself and my son are pushed into crime ridden apartments. I live in a very small town in SC with no public transportation. The piece of car I had to get myself and my son back and forth to doctors appointments ( And there are many) broke down I have no money for repairs, so therefore we are now stranded. No. There is no neighbors I can ask for a ride. I can’t go grocery shopping, and no I don’t get food stamps. My son is 33 years old and severely autistic. He is having problems with his teeth, and in pain. Medicaid will not pay for anything dental for disabled people over the of 21. My son is still just like an innocent child, and I’m suppose to care for him, and I can’t because I can’t afford a dental bill. What are we suppose to do ! We are not animals! We are human being that deserve a decent life. There is more month than money. My son requires 24 hours supervision. The stress and pressure of not having enough money to live is almost enough to kill a person. Maybe that’s the plan. Who needs poor people. I worked my butt off up until 13 years ago when I became disabled. I can’t do much because my health won’t let me, but even if I was able to find some type of work just to be able to have enough money to take care of my monthly bills, They will take money away from me. I need more money! Not have money taken away because I try to do something to supplement the few pennies I get a month to care for the needs of myself, and my son. What do we do? Please tell me. I want out of this crime ridden apartment. Decent apartments will not except section 8. I want a home of my own so that my son will be able to go outside in peace.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Linda,

      I have a few thoughts, though I don’t know if any of them will work for you. If there are any charitable organizations or churches where you might be able to get occasional transportation to get to appointments, you might try contacting local dentists or dentists in larger nearby towns to see if they do any free work that would get your son out of pain with his teeth. (These opportunities are available in larger towns.) One other idea, if you can pay for a small apartment that is not government housing and for its utilities, you might be eligible for the highest food stamp grant and not have to pay for food, which would free up money for the apartment.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • niaa

    i’m moving to maryland to ny , here in maryland i’m about to get 750 a month , how much in ny is the maximum monthly disability payment ? also will i be able to be eligible for SNAP (foodstamps )? in if so will they subduct my payment if i get it ?.do ny disability do adjustment living payments because i want to be able to live on my own . Can’t wait to hear from you Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Niaa,

      The maximum combined federal and state SSI in New York is $808. I cannot predict whether you will be eligible for SNAP benefits, but it is possible. If you are, your SSI will not be reduced.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • carissa

    Hi I’ve had ssi for 4 years I get 733 and I know I’ve told them I’m married well someone messed up somewhere and now they want me to come in saying they got notified I got married which I got married 3 years ago…. my husband gets 300a week I think and I’m worried now I’ll lose my ssi. We barely make the bills as it is… what do we do?

    Also I’m expecting and the ssa asked when I’m due why?? And how’d they find out I didn’t tell them at all I do have pregnancy mediciad and mediciad and my mediciad is through ss is that how they found out?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Carissa,

      This is a guess and could be quite wrong, but it is possible that someone reported you were married and expecting a child thinking that you maybe shouldn’t be getting benefits. That may not have occurred, but that is the only thing I can think of regarding how they would know you were pregnant.

      Regarding the calculation of your claim, it is likely that your claim is overpaid. After you have submitted all your husband’s pay stubs since you married and have submitted them and get the overpayment letter, you can apply for waiver of repayment based on the fact that you reported the change when it occurred and did not know the payment was incorrect.

      Report when you child is born because part of your husband’s wages will be allotted for her support and your SSI will go up at that time. (You can see how benefits are calculated for married SSI recipients in the article “What Are Deemed Income and Resources and How Do They Affect SSI Payment Amounts and Qualifying for SSI Disability?” under the SSI tab on the navigation bar at the top of this web page.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Adam McKinney

    I’ve been receiving benefits since I was a minor I lost my disability when I turned 18 I worked then I got back on disability when I was 24 I get SSI and SSDI is there any way to increase the amount of money I get I’m barely able to live homeless let alone ever get any place of my own section 8 is a joke I’ve been put on the waiting list so many different times and waited and waited I feel like I’m getting to the end of my rope my daughter has to live with her mom because I don’t have a place of my own for her to visit or live if she wanted I’m just not sure what to do anymore I need help

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Adam,

      Given that you are receiving SSI and SSDI, I am not aware of other sources of income. Just stay on the housing waiting list and in the meantime you might keep your eye out for someone save and reliable to share a small apartment with you. If your area has agencies that assist homeless people, you might try contacting them to see if they have any different avenues to housing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Erica

    Hi I’m now 30 with a 14 month old I’ve been disabled since I was 4 I started to get ssi when I was a teen my mom is truste I only get 736 a month so after bills I’m left 100 and my sons dad only pays 100 a month all that money goes to diapers wipes ex.. I want to live on my own but could never afford it if I take my mom off can I get more money people I know are on it and have husbands and get about 1000 or so how can I go about receiving more money to live on my own and service as a single mom I live in mass and I can’t find my opinions and I really need to have my own place please help

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Erica,

      Your mother being your payee does not affect your payment amount. The maximum federal SSI (Supplemental Security Income) benefit is $733. (People insured for Social Security benefits through their work can be eligible for less or more.) The state of Massachusetts pays an SSI supplement of $114.39 to individuals who are paying all their own housing and food costs, which your federal payment amount indicates you are. You can find out how to apply for the supplement at http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/consumer/basic-needs/financial/ssp.html. You might also try to get on a waiting list for government subsidized housing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Crystal

    Hi.

    I’m 54, divorced in 2015 after a 22-year marriage, and have received SSDI since 2012, with back pay from 2010. I’m the custodial parent of my 17-year-old daughter and receive $730 for her my social security record. I use that money to financially support her.

    Starting this year, I will claim my daughter as a dependent as long as I am legally allowed to do so. She’s going to medical school.

    When she graduates in 2017, I will no longer receive the $730. I can’t pay my rent without it. My disability is permanent and prevents me from being gainfully employed, although I work sporadically from home and am self-employed. I usually have a net loss for the year from my business. If I do have a net gain this year, it will be very little.

    What are my options for acquiring additional help from Social Security when I’m 55 and my daughter graduates from high school? Would I qualify for SSI?

    Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Crystal,

      I am not aware of other sources of funding for you when your daughter’s Social Security dependent benefits end, which is that later of age eighteen or if she is still in high school then, age nineteen. Your SSDI is too high for SSI. Depending on your housing and medical costs, you might qualify for food stamps. Another option would be to apply now to get on a waiting list for government-subsidized housing, where rent is limited to a percent of your income. If you own your own home, you might think of renting out a room.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jessica

    I receiving ssi disability since younger than 15 I have children always had my own place pay all my bills and took care of my children I was told I could work as long my paycheck didn’t exceed $80 so I work temp service made $50 a day for 10 days I’m supposed to get 720$ but now I only receiving 620 cause ssi said I maid to much money remind you $50 each day which was a separate check each day so now they are taking 100$ out of my check every month so now its $620 then I reported I have children me an my sister went up to office they wouldn’t put my children down then now I’m receiving tanif cause my son father is in prison he was order to pay 1200 in back child support and he wasn’t order child support do to him lock up so I got my son on tanif to help me out I ask if my son can get a check or if mine could be raise I was told only I can get a check not my son cause he has to have a disability but then ssi said there taking out even more money out of my ssi which is another 100$ cause I’m getting tanif for my son which makes no since to me so now I’m down to 520$ a month my sister told them she was going give me a car as a gift to help me out they told her I can’t own no vehicle land house that they will take it from me I was going to get life insurance for myself and my kids and we where told I couldn’t cause they will take it from me so my sister said well what about just her son life insurance they said I can’t cause it be in my name since it has value they will take it so now I I’m in need for surgery which has cause me heart disease do to the infection in my mouth which has surrounded my heart I can’t even afford dental insurance nor will medicaid that ssi gave me that I’m on won’t even cover dental I was told I’m going end up dying if I don’t get the surgery done in two months my blood pressure is 140/120 im in and out of the hospital I’m only 30 year old and since I’m disabled I’m supposed to just die and not be able to leave anything for my 7 kids…what’s the point of ssi if all they want to do is kill me!! So I say its bs what y’all are telling these people on ssi I’ve done everything by the book and y’all still find a way to strick us down…

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jessica,

      I will address each of the points that you bring up separately.

      Supplemental Security Income (SSI) does not provide dependent benefits for the children of the disabled person.

      The work limit of $85 (if you have no other income; $65 if you have other income) is per month, not per day. Half of the excess gross (before taxes) earnings above $85 monthly reduces your SSI benefit. Accordingly, the reduction in your benefits for work earnings is probably correct. Changes based on fluctuations in income occur two months after the income is received.

      If part of the TANF grant is for you, it is correct that the amount of the grant that is for you would lower your SSI, but the part that is for your son should not. I suggest that you get a statement from the agency that issued the TANF to you regarding how much is for your son and how much is for you.

      Your sister can give you a car and it will not affect your SSI benefit because one automobile is an excluded resource and, therefore, is not income when it is received as a gift. If you need to prove this to the representative you can quote POMS SI 00815.550.C.3 and POMS SI 01130.200.A. If you were given a house, your SSI would be reduced by $266 in the month you received it, but not thereafter. Social Security’s reference for that is POMS SI 00815.550.C.2.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Betty Harden

        430 Mountain Park Rd
        Woodstock

        I receive $488.67 month SSI.. I pay my own rent etc. I’m disabled not able to work. I just cannot make it each month… Is there a way to get more money even tho I got a letter saying No increase this year for SSI??

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Betty,

          If you are paying for your own housing, utilities and food and have no other income, you are eligible for $788 monthly. I suggest that you go to Social Security to report the month you began to pay your own shelter and food costs. Take any proof you have, such as a rental agreement and utility bills in your name. The increase will begin two months after you started to pay your own expenses.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Juan

            Can you please site where I can reference this when I go into the SS office? I had my on place before and did not know I could receive additional benefits. I am in FL.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Juan,

              Please tell me what aspect of law and regulations you mean when you refer to “this” and I will try to respond.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • melanie bailey

    I receive $733 a month and have 2 kids in Michigan, my husband earns $1000 a month? how much will my SSI be reduced to?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Melanie,

      Your husband’s $1,000 gross earnings will not reduce your Supplemental Security Income payment.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • melanie bailey

        thanks for the speedy response.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Melanie.

  • Jerry

    Hi, I am on SSID and receive roughly $750/m. I have found a way to survive and live through proper management of my money. Though I am only surviving. Thank God has granted me with intelligence, but unfortunately blessed me with multiple other illnesses.

    I am an artist. A really good one. Though I don’t sell any of my art in fear of getting kicked off or penalized by the government. I am to afraid to go down to the SSI office as well due to anxiety issues. Though the few people I have let into my life told me I should sell my art.

    I have an offer for a commission piece to sell the piece for $60,000. Though materials are going to cost $30,000. What do I do? If I do this piece and sell it. Will I get kicked off SSID and lose all my insurance and benefits.

    Art is unpredictable and the risk in the long run, for me, is daunting. Any advice on how I should handle this situation would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you

    Jerry

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jerry,

      If it takes you two months, for example, to create the art and your profit is $30,000, you would have two months of substantial gainful activity (SGA), which if you have worked in only a few months while entitled to disability, the work would not automatically cause you to lose benefits. (You can read about all of Social Security’s work incentives in the Red Book, which is available online at http://www.ssa.gov.)

      Your doing the piece and having the fairly large earnings might raise the question of whether or not you are really disabled, that is really unable to perform SGA regularly (not whether there is a market, but whether you have the ability). Before doing the work, you could request a Ticket to Work, which usually protects against a continuing disability medical review, in other words, usually keeps your disability status from being investigated because you have worked. The Ticket to Work is discussed in the Red Book.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Akeada

    Hi Kay,
    I have been homeless and/or living with others for almost 3 years. I have 2 children opposite sex. We sleep on the floor when we do stay with others. I only receive $753. SSI is $396 and SS is $357. I can’t afford my own place with utilities, car insurance, phone bill, gas or basic needs. I need more money. I simply cannot survive.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Akeada,

      I suggest that you contact your state or county social services office and find out whether your family qualifies for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). Also try to get on a waiting list for government-subsidized housing. Explain your current living situation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Martha

      My brother receives 488a month but pays my grandparents 400 a month for room and board. The money also goes to help pay for the groceries. He hasn’t worked for a while and cannot due to stress triggered seizures. We have tried to contact the ssdi administration to see if he could get full disability but we get the runaround. What can we do to help him get on full disability.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Martha,

        Your brother has to either pay fair market value for room and board or pay his share of shelter and food costs or buy his own food and cover his shelter costs. It is doubtful that $400 is fair market value for room and board. It might be for room only. (You can look online and in newspapers to try to find out room rental prices in his area for a similar dwelling.) I suggest that your brother start paying only for room at $400 and take responsibility for buying his food separately from your grandparents and apply for food stamps to cover the cost. Once he gets food stamps and is buying his own food, if the $400 rent is FMV, his SSI will go up two months later. (He then, of course, will need to let the food stamp office know of the increase in income.)

        The alternative is for him to pay his share of rent or mortgage and property taxes (and property insurance if required by a mortgage holder) and power, heat, water/sewer and garbage if he has enough money to do so and apply for food stamps. His share is the total of the listed expenses divided by the number of people in the household.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Jonathan Hashback

    I receive $700 in Social Security Disability Income. I dont know how to live on it. Where would I find shared housing in Dallas, TX or nearby where I would find people in similar situations to live together?

    Is there a website where I would find people that are in my condition to live together and share bills?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jonathan,

      I suggest that your try to get on a waiting list for government-subsidized housing. While you wait, I suggest looking on Craig’s List for people looking for roomers or roommates. Of course, take the same precautions as renting anywhere and get a rental agreement. If the “$700” you are getting is actually Social Security Disablity (SSDI) and not Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and is less than $753, you may quality for a small amount of SSI and can apply at a Social Security office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Desmond Thompson

        I receive 667 on ssi I’m bipolor I’m 22 staying with parents receive food stamps everyone I know says I should be getting 733 how could I get that without loosing and my mother is the payee

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Desmond,

          I suggest talking with your mother first and ask her if she knows why your benefit is less. My guess is that you are probably not paying quite all your share of shelter expenses, which are rent or mortgage and property tax (and property insurance if required by the lender) and shelter expenses (not phone and cable.) If your contribution to those expenses has increased since the last determination of your benefit amount, your mother can report that and request an increase based on your receiving less or no in-kind (non-cash) support from your parents in the form of subsidized housing. If your mother doesn’t know why you are receiving less than the maximum, then I recommend that you and she go to Social Security for an explanation.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Keith McPherson

    Dear Kay,
    I am receiving 488 per month, but now I have to vacate where I live and find a place of my own. the problem I am having is the ssi benefits of 488 is way below what any apartment I could find would cost the lowest cappy one costing 595.00 per month, not to mention the minimum utilities lights and let’s say water. Is there a way to get the amount increased before I am homeless considering it was based on total household income? Desperately seeking advice. Thank you for your time.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Keith,

      Your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will not be increased until you have paid for your own housing and food costs for a period of two months. If you are doing that or have the ability to do that where you are living for a period of two months before you have to move out, the benefit will be increased to $733. If that is not possible, you could try to find a roommate to rent an apartment and split rent and shelter utilities fifty-fifty so you can pay your half with the $488 or rent a room and apply for food stamps for your food for just long enough to get the increase to be able to pay for an apartment alone. In the longer run, you might try to get on a waiting list for government subsidized housing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • July

      Hello I receive it now . When does ssi end ? I am 22.

      Also is there a way it can increase for me because my father recently passed so maybe out of his retirement ?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear July,

        If you became disabled before age twenty-two and you are unmarried and your father was insured for survivor benefits, you may be eligible for disabled adult child benefits. You can file a claim on his record at your local Social Security office. If you remain disabled and your income and assets remain below the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) limits, your SSI will continue throughout your lifetime.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Lindsay Roth

      My brother has been on ssi since he was 16 , he now has short memory loss and can’t live alone due to a new accident , he only get 930 a month is there anyway to get him more money to cover assisted living housing

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Lindsay,

        I suggest that you apply for Medicaid for your brother or if he has Medicaid file an application for Medicaid to pay for assisted living residency for him. Once he moves into assisted living, if he is really getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI), it will drop to $30 because Medical is paying for his shelter, food, and care. If he is really getting Social Security, he will have to use all but about $30 of his benefits toward the assisted living costs and Medicaid will pay the rest. I suggest that you start looking for facility that has Medicaid rooms available and that you tour those facilities while the Medicaid application is being processed.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • I became Disabled at the age of 48. My Disability benefits are $736 per month, however, my bills total closer to $1500 per month, so I HAVE to work in order to pay my bills. I DID qualify for Food Stamps, but only $16 per month. I find myself broke, more often than not after paying my bills, and most times I am UNABLE to pay my bills when they are DUE, causing me to fall behind, and/or accrue late fees that I simply cannot afford.

    I have cancelled my Cable TV, as well as my Cell Phone, and I STILL cannot make my bills. I have not bought groceries for five years or more, since my parents have passed away because I CANNOT afford to…even at stores such as Aldi and Ruler, $16 in Food Stamps barely keeps milk in the refrigerator. I CANNOT cancel my landline phone or Internet services, because that`s where I get my work schedule and how I get paid.

    My car recently broke down, and needs a new Radiator. A new one cos t s $183.00! A used one from a junkyard would be around $55.00, but every one that I have called does not have one available for my brand of vehicle. I definitely cannot afford a new car, and even if I DO happen to find a used radiator at a junkyard, I`d be taking a chance that it was faulty, too, and I could end up pouring even more money into it! I have been having the most difficult time obtaining rides to work, as everyone I know who could give me a ride either works or goes to school those same hours. I cannot afford a taxi, and if I took the bus, not only does that cost, but I would have to walk at least 4 blocks or more to the bus stop. Being disabled, I can only walk about a half a block before I fall to the ground in pain.

    Please tell me how I can manage to either increase my disability benefits, or find a dependable car that is cheap enough for someone with my limited income can afford. Even used car lots want me to pay around $200.00 per month AND require a down payment of $1000.00 or more. I simply cannot afford to take out aloan, although I have been forced to take out payday loans frequently just to get by.

    I have researched other state policies on helping the less fortunate, and many of them have many more programs than Indiana, my state…and, NO, moving to another state is NOT an option…I`m DISABLED, remember? Unless there is a significant relocation package available for a 52 year old licensed Art Teacher.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tonya,

      I don’t have many ideas for the short run. Do you have a neighbor who drives but doesn’t work whom you could pay to provide you transportation for a short time to keep your job. Your public transportation system may have a “Lift” service for disabled persons that will provide door-to-door transportation for about the cost of a regular bus ticket. If you have a spare room, you might take in a roomer to reduce housing costs. One idea that will take some time is to try to get on a waiting list for government subsidized housing which could free up more money for transportation. Or, you could try to pitch help to buy a car through one of the online crowd-funding type sites.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • ron

    I’m on SSD i can not work my wife cant work on the count she has to take care of me she’s is 33 ssd do not pay her. or do i need to call them for money for her

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ron,

      Unless your wife has a child of yours under age sixteen in her care. She is not eligible for Social Security dependent benefits. You might inquire with your state’s social services to see if they have a program that pays a small wage to people who care for a severely disabled relative.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • NICOLE

        Hello,

        When I was awarded my disability, the judge awarded me 2 checks. I received on check on the 1st for $410.00 and another on the 3rd at the time for $650.00. I received the check on the first 1 time and then it was stopped. Why was that? It is not like I was getting a lot of money. That was back in 2007. Now all im getting is $795.00. I am now homeless and was told by someone that because I am permently disabled, that my pay should be higher that what it is now. Is this true?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Nicole,

          I have insufficient information to comment on what occurred in 2007 and it is too long ago for you to appeal the calculation. Your current Social Security benefit is based on your earnings record and will increase only if there is a general cost of living adjustment. It is just a little bit too high for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) unless you live in a state with a state supplement. You can call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to find out if there is a supplement and, if so, whether to apply in a Social Security office or a state social service office.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Bil

    Hi Kay,

    I became disabled due to heart conditions in November of 2015 and was approved for SSD in the amount of about 1,300. I used to be a truck driver.

    My earnings for 2014 were 43,000 because I had heart surgery in January of that year and did not work for over half the year. In 2013 my earnings were 150,000 and I expect that for 2015 my earnings will be about 100,000. I have not yet filed my taxes for 2015.

    I am wondering if my benefit will be adjusted due to my earnings in 2013 and 2015.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Bil,

      Social Security tax was levied on your income up to the following amounts: $113,000 (2013). $117,000 (2014) and $118,000 (2015). Social Security should already have your 2013 work earnings on record and they should be included in the calculation of your initial benefit. Your 2015 earnings will increase your benefits if $118,000 is higher than one of the earlier years used in the initial calculation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dawn

    I am disabled. I get 695 from my disability and 58 from SSI. I have been moving from place to place living with different family members. I want a place of my own but where I live section 8 isn’t taking any applications. All of the tax credit properties say I have to make double the rent. The cheapest rental is 581. How can I find a one bedroom and live by myself on my income? Is there any other programs out there for non elderly disabled people? The only apartments I found that would suit my income are for elderly. Thank you for any suggestions.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dawn,

      Housing and housing assistance varies from location to location. I suggest that you contact your local social services and ask them whether there are resources in your area that youy have not thought of. One possibility might be to rent a room from someone who is not a family member, but who rents out rooms. Another possibility is that you might be able to afford the $581 rent if you do not have food stamps now because that amount of rent might make you eligible for food stamps.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • TG

        That makes no sense You suggest he can pay $581 for rent when she get about $750 a month if she gets food assistance? She will only have about $69 left to live on for a month She is exspected to stay in her apartment and eat and that’s all life offers? Where is the quality of life for disabled people? This is why we become homeless or end up killing ourselves Why don’t you just tell the truth which is disabiled people can not afford to live anymore We are being left to die Because the housing vouchers are taken up by people with families or the agency has reach its max

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear TG,

          Sometimes there is no solution. All I can do is offer strategic ideas. Sometimes the ideas work for people or their investigation leads to something else that works.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Karey

      My daughter is disabled and receives 480$ disability we currently live with family if I begin to pay more than 600 rent will her benefits increase?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Karey,

        If you are sharing housing costs and uses your child’s SSI benefits to pay her share, her benefit will increase two months later. Her share is the total rent or mortgage and shelter utilities (not phone or cable) and her share of food if you and she share food with the family divided by the number of people in the household. (She does not have to pay your share.)

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Carmen

    Hello, I live in TX. I’m about to get a senior citizen apartment. Will my SSI amount be increased since I will pay $348 for rent?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Carmen,

      Please tell me how much Supplemental Security Income (SSI) you are receiving now, and I will try to respond.

      Thank you,
      Kay

  • Mary McCord

    I live in Tennessee my monlthy income through social security is 753$ I pay rent,my car note,cellphone bill,car insurance,etc leaving me with only about 50$ to eat on every month and for gas,…the urge of wanting to move out on my own and get away from my moms house here lately makes me wanna know how i can go about working and renting something of my own without losing my benefits but here recently i hit a pedestrian costing me about 1200-1300$ in deductions im wanting to know whats the most amount of money i can make while recieveing my benefits and the legal hours aside from 753$ a month how much more am i able to earn a month

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mary,

      Please provide a bit more information so I can respond. Do you receive only Social Security Disability or is part of your income Social Security and part Supplemental Security Income (SSI)? If part is SSI, how much do you receive from each benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Mimi

        Kay, you tell everybody the same thing..there is not much help. You can not survive on disability. . There is no way to get more help… the cost of living is too high even for working people. The funny thing is,,I wouldn’t make much more money working and then drawwing ssdi… by the time I have have to pay for insurance. You are pretty much screwed if you are on disabilty. Be honest.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Mimi,

          Being disabled results, in most cases, in a terrible financial hit and very difficult financial situation. I say the same thing to many people because many aspects of the problem of being disabled are the same for many people. They ask for guidance (either because they didn’t read the other similar posts and answers or couldn’t to generalize them to their own situations), so I offer some ideas that might–and I emphasize might–lead to some small help.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Dee

      Curious. How aHow are you aable to work if you are disabled?re you able to work if you are disabled?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Dee,

        Some people who are severely medically impaired work. The Social Security and SSI definition of disability says “unable to perform substantial gainful activity. Substantial gainful activity is usually defined by gross wages or net profit from self-employment of less than $1,090 per month.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Barbara Faraji

    I am currently on SSDI. I have worked part time for the past 4 years, not earning over the limits set by SSDI, which is about $25k income earned since I received SSDI.

    My question is, can I have that monies added into the earnings calculation to increase my SSDI benefit? If so, how do I go about doing it?

    Thank you in advance for your time and answer.

    Barbara

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Barbara,

      Social Security Retirement benefits will be increased automatically if earnings after annual earnings after retirement are greater than the lowest annual earnings used in the initial calculation. I do not know if the same is true for disability benefits. If so, you might not be eligible for an increase because the earnings you describe as about $6,250 a year may be lower than earnings previously used in calculating your benefits. I suggest contacting yoour local Social Security office to find out whether AERO (Automatic Earnings Recalculation Operation) applies to disability benefits. If it does, then ask to have your earnings records checked to see that your last four years earnings have been posted. If AERO applies and the earnings are posted, it means they were not high enough to increase your benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kate

    Hi Kay
    I became ill in February 2012 in which I had a mental breakdown. I also have three autoimmune diseases. I was out of work from 2/2012 to 11/2013. In 2013 I applied for SSDI with my focus being on the autoimmune (joints) as I had great difficulty with walking, bathing or getting on or off of the toilet. I also treated for PTSD. I was denied in 2013 and did not appeal as I had to get some type of income. I failed at work as I didn’t realize the severity of Major Depression, Anxiety, PTSD. I applied again 3/2015 as I went out of work 2/2015 and I haven’t been able to return to work. My application is now pending. My question is will my initial illness onset be considered 2012. Or my recent filing.

    Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kate,

      If you worked more than six months performing substantial gainful activity (usually $1,070 gross in 2013 and $1,090 in 2014 and 2015), your claim will be based on a disability date in February 2015. If you did not work more than six months earning as described above, then you should claim February 2012 as you disability date and list your return to work as an unsuccessful work attempt.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Rachel

    Hello,

    I have been receiving SSDI for the past 2 years at the amount of $829.00 dollars. This November I received $723.00 dollars, I called social security and was informed they are automatically taking out $105.00 dollars per month for medicare premiums. That leaves me with a payment of $724.00 dollars per month from SSDI. My rent is $550.00 per month plus I have the other usual expenses, toiletries, clothing ect* and such that come to around $100.00 per month. That leaves me $74.00 dollars a month for food and transportation (buses and or taxi’s).

    I went to social services here in NY gave them all the pertinent information and they informed me I was only eligible for $60.00 dollars per month in SNAP benefits., that CANNOT be right? That still only leaves me with $134.00 dollars a month for food and transportation, which I cannot live on or anyone else I know of for that matter.

    Is there anything I can do to increase my SSDI benefits, get SSI or receive assistance for paying my medicare premium? or even get more SNAP benefits?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rachel,

      I cannot provide any information regarding whether the SNAP grant is correct or not. Your gross Social Security is too high for an SSI payment. There is an assistance program for Medicare premiums. You can find out more information at http://www.medicare.gov.
      Or, you can call Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) and ask about getting help
      paying for your Medicare Premiums.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • suzie

        Hi Kay I have a similar issue then the story above bit I am the payee for my sister in-law. TheI went in and explained that our cost of living (rent in my home) will go up in march of this year. I didn’t want to be left empty handed so that is the reason I went in to see what we can do for my sister in law since she rents a room in my home and if my rent goes up then everyone’s rent goes up. The person at our ssi office in orange county California made it seam like since I was the payee my sister in-law was my responsibility to make sure her needs are met. I’m on a fixed income myself with 3 children under 5and a disabled husband how is that right for me to take out of my children and make sure my sister in laws needs are met if her ssi is supposed to be enough for her needs (rent, her bills, food, hygiene)
        Let’s be honest she is my family I do feel obligated to help her but I don’t know how much longer I can do that for.
        On a side note I worked in many group homes so I know that ppl get more money for there share of coat. But what I don’t understand is why they can’t get an increase for staying in there home?

        If you can point me in the right direction I’d really appreciate it. Please shed some light

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Suzie,

          Your sister-in-law’s benefits will not increase because your rent goes up. I might be able to offer some suggestions if I had more information. How much are your sister-in-law’s benefits? Are the benefits Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)? Is she renting a room or sharing shelter and food costs with the rest of the family?

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Cari

        Hi I was just approved for Ssdi 350 a month and 423 a month ssi. I have 4 kids. Will they receive. Payment as well?? Do I still receive back pay. They have a date of sed 2012 is that the back pay date? I also receive 1000 a month in child support not court orderd. I am so lost please help I have no clue if I even posted this coreectly

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Cari,

          Your children are probably not eligible for Social Security Dependent benefits. Your SSDI benefit amount is likely low enough that the family maximum is the same as you are being paid. If it is, no benefits are payable for the children. I suggest that you call 1-800-772=-1213 and ask if the family maximum is more than your benefit just to be sure.

          The child support should count as your children’s income, not yours.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Marsol

      Hi Kay I receive ssi I just turned 50 yrs old are there any benefit that I should know about that can help me more than one what I am receiving $723.00 amonth. Maybe more I could know that can help me more

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Marsol,

        If you are not receiving food stamps, you might qualify for food stamps.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Lindsey

    Dear Kay,

    I have had Cerebral Palsy since birth. I have been on SSI since I was 18 and now I am 26. I worked for about a year and four months. My SSI was completely cut. I was then laid off since May of 2015 and I told Social Security about my situation. They are now paying me $275.50 a month. I have told them about my living arrangements and income which is $0 and they told me that I would be receiving the full amount of SSI this month, but they never gave it to me. Do you know what the issue could be? It is very hard to pay my bills and buy food.

    Oh, I have a room mate and we split the rent which is $700 a month (I pay $300 and my room mate pays $400) and my name is on the Electric ($50 a month) and Gas ($80 a month) which I pay for on my own. I also have medical expenses that are about $100 a month, car insurance, etc..

    Is there anything that I can do? I would greatly appreciate your help!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lindsey,

      Probably the representative hasn’t gotten to doing the work on your claim to authorize the change in payment. I suggest that you follow up with the local office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Myann

    My child get 488 a month but before I moved to another county she was getting 678. Why is that. And I don’t have enough to pay my bills every month because my job I get paid every two weeks and and my checks don’t be over 320. What can I do and how can I get SSI myself.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Myann,

      $488 is the amount of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) a child receives when someone other than the child’s parent is providing free or subsidized housing or food. If you moved and your son in with someone and your son hasn’t been paying his share of those costs or you and he haven’t been renting a room paying fair market value and buying your food separately from others living in the house or apartment, then that is likely the cause of the decrease. If you think an error has been made, I suggest visiting Social Security and asking what facts they are using that caused the decrease. If the facts are wrong, file an appeal and present proof of the correct information. You would have to be disabled or age sixty-five to get Supplemental Security Income for yourself. If you aren’t receiving SNAP (food stamps), I suggest applying.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kc Childs

    I have a person who is in charge of my money I receive 1134 a month,but when it was set up my rent was 250 cheaper and other expenses such as buying own food,part of electric increased as well can I apply to get more.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear KC,

      Your Social Security benefits are based on your earnings record, so they will be increased only in years that here is a cost of living increase due to an increase in the Consumer Price Index. If your housing and medical costs are high, you might qualify for SNAP (food stamps). You might also contact your power company to see if they have a program that helps disabled persons with limited income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Daja

    Hello. I have been on SSI for some years now. I get about 733 with the bulk being from SS(survivors) and about 148 from SSI. I am extremely low income, and unfortunately haven’t worked much due to my PTSD and agoraphobia. I was wondering if there was any hope in possibly getting my amount increased? What exactly is the survivors benefits? My mother died when I was 16, thus the start of my disabilities… I am 27 now.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Daja,

      From the information you gave me, I think you are receiving disabled adult child benefits on your mother’s Social Security earnings record with a supplement from Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If your father is deceased or receiving Social Security, you can apply for disabled adult child benefits on his earnings record also, which might raise your income above the current level. If you are now eligible only on your mother’s record, the maximum Social Security and SSI you can receive is $753.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Daja

        Thank you for your answer! One more… If I applied to receive from my father also would it affect his benefits at all?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Daja,

          No, if his earnings history is strong enough to allow payment of dependent benefits, your benefits would not reduce his.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Sherrie Crutchfield

    I receive ssi benefits for three of my kids we just moved to Arizona about a 2 mouths I don’t have a job and it is costing more of I have to make it is there anyway I can receive any more monterey help

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sherrie,

      If your children are disabled and you are receiving $733 for each child, you are receiving the maximum Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payable. If you are receiving Social Security dependent benefit benefits, their benefits are determined by their father’s earnings record and the amount is fixed except for cost-of-living increases in years they occur. If you have not applied for SNAP (food stamps) or government-subsidized housing, you might investigate those programs. You also can work, if you are able to find care for your children, you can earn around $475 a month before affecting your children’s SSI benefits; and you can earn any amount and not affect their Social Security if they are receiving Social Security.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jo

    Corrections: I meant to say August 2012 not August 2010 at the end of my question.

  • Jo

    Hi Kay,
    Thanks for answering my questions, you do such a wonderful job. I am a bit confused about this one I am about to ask. I got I’ll in February of 2010, was out of work for 6 months because of that illness, in June of 2012 I resigned my job, but was paid until August 2012. In February of 2015 I filed for disability and just found out I was approved, it sounds like they paid me from date of application , plus one year. It might be an error on date filed or maybe they just did it that way. I do not know because I did not do the initial application myself. Do you think I should have been paid from date of my illness in February 2010, or after I stopped getting paid in August 2010? And if they sent out a lumsum check already, would I still be able to appeal this. I live in the State of California. Please tell me what are my options.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jo,

      As stated in my first reply, the earliest benefits start is twelve months before application, so the earliest your benefits can start is February 2014.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Rodger smith

    Hi my name is Rodger I only receive 488 a month but that is not enough I stay with my sister where I pay rent and contribute to the bills Also due to the conditions that I have I am unable to work is there anyway I can get a increase and if so how do I go about it the right way!!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rodger,

      Please tell me whether you buy you own food separately or share food with your sister. That will help me provide an answer.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Eddie

    Hello, my name is eddie. I am on ssd. I get $1,235 a month. I live in an apartment. My rent is 1,135 a month. I get drie so what i actually pay in rent is $825 monthly. My light is usually $100-120 a month. Also $60 for internet. I do not get snap. Not knowing how i could live on what i get, thatat is no money for food, travel, meds or therapist. I tried two months ago to get a roommate. The understanding was for her to pay $600 to me monthly. Id then use the money to help pay bills, buy food and so forth. She insisted i write on the first reciept two years. I did. A month and a half later she lost her job. Its now six months later and shes in my apt living for free. I gave her a thirty day notice and she flew out of control screaming and cursing and threatened me that she would report me to social security. I was very afraid of her unstablness and was close to dialing 911.she has demonstrated to be emotionally unstable. She now also uses a heater without my permission to get the apartment extremely hot. My light bill came for $247 dollars. I have spoken to her but she simply threatens to go to court and report me to social security. Shes now living for free, using a heater and collects snap for herself. She offered me welfare cash but i was afraid to invole myself with tha since i didnt know if that could affect my ssd.At this point i have caved into her fear tactics. I dont want to lose my ssd or be homeless. Im sorry for being so long. I just dont know anything that i can do and i am at risk of my light being cut and not being able to pay the full rent. I am extremely worried. Is there anything i can do? She is not on the lease. Any advice would help. Thanks.

    • Eddie

      I made an error. I got the roommate eight months ago. Two months after that she lost herjob. Its now six months she has lived for free and refuses to leave and uses threats.

      • Eddie

        Gosh i made another mistake. My ssd is 1,135 monthly and my rent is $1,235 monthly. I get drie so i actually pay $825 monthly. Forgive the errors.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Eddie,

          This is in response to your three posts. Because you receive Social Security Disability (SSDI), not Supplemental Security Income (SSI), I can’t think of anything the woman could report to Social Security that could affect your benefits unless you have returned to work making $1,090 or more and haven’t reported it. Your benefits are not affected by who lives with you or how much they pay to live with you. I suggest that you get legal advice from a legal aid attorney or the agency that governs rentals in your state or the police on how to get the woman out of your home. It might be helpful to apply for food stamps.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Priscilla Parker-Brown

    Hello,

    I have a question please. I will be moving in with my son and his wife and my two grandchildren. I receive $1330.00/ in RSDI benefits.

    Will I be able to continue to receive my benefits? I live in Houston, Texas. Please let me know soon.

    Thank you,

    Priscilla Parker-Brown

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Priscilla,

      Where you live within the U.S. and with whom you live will not affect your Social Security benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Emily

    My question is, I’m getting a divorce. My husband and I both receive disability. I only receive 797.00 a month and after medicare my check is 687.00. There is no way I can live on that! Will I be able to draw SSI? Also will I be able to sue for alimony since he receives disability.
    Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Emily,

      Your Social Security benefit is too high for a federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit. Some states pay an SSI state supplement that might result in a state supplement only payment. You can inquire at your local Social Security office to find out whether your state has a supplement and, if so, where you apply. (At least two states–New York and California– have supplements that could potentially be payable with your income.) I suggest that you consult with a family law attorney for your question about alimony.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jo

    I believe that my onset date was incorrect when my paper work was filed for SSDI, if I was approved, would I be able to show proof of when my disability began and get the difference of my retro or lumsum. Next, would my qualifying kids qualify for a lumsum or retro payment also, or do they just get a monthly check of %50 of what I get per month. Lastly, would SS pay someone to care for me.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jo,

      If your SSDI claim is still pending, you need to correct the disability date you claimed right away while it is still pending. If you wait for an approval and have to appeal, it could interfere with benefits starting. If you have already been approved, you might have to be within the sixty-day appeals period to change the date. Your children will be eligible for benefits for the same months you are including past months. Check with your state or county human services to see whether there is any program that would provide some in-home assistance for you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • R.m.

    Ms kay please an swear the woedtion

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear R. M.,

      I don’t understand you post. Please repost.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • R.m.

    I live with roommates with my wife and kids in ca.can my ssi incrase

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear R. M.,

      You have not provided enough information for me to give a reliable response. If you are getting less than $733 and you have started to pay your share of rent and shelter utilities and food (or buy your food separately from your roommates), you might be eligible for more and should report the change to Social Security for a determination.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • britt

    I receive 450 and then 64 each month, I was working when I started receiving my disability due to a number of medical reasons. I had got fired from my job when they keep having to push back a kidney surgery. My social security office told me it would take about 2 months for my payments to increase and they never did. I’ve waited quite a while now and its getting to the point where if they don’t increase I have no choice but to go find a job that I probably won’t even be able to work because of my health issues. My question is, is there anything a can do? Or what should I do

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Britt,

      Your benefits will increase two months after you no longer have income. I suggest going to your local office and asking to see the claims representative who is handling your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim. If the person is not available, ask to see a supervisor. Ask that the paperwork/computer work needed to increase your benefits be done while you wait.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • shayla

      Hi, My son receives $217 , he was receiving $488 when i was living with my mother I was receiving 500$ an month from a part time job I no longer work. I now live on my own paying all of the bills on my own and my son check is the only income I have. How can i get the maximum amount?

      • shayla

        Hi, My son receives $217 , he was receiving 488 when i was living with my mother I was receiving 500$ an month from a part time job I no longer work. I now live on my own paying all of the bills on my own and my son check is the only income I have I also left Social security know about my move and they gave me $217. How can i get the maximum amount?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Shayla,

          I just responded to your prior post. Perhaps Social Security thinks that you are still working or maybe the $217 was to supplement the $488 already paid for the current month. Last possibility is that not enough time has passed for the increase to occur in that changes in benefit amounts occur two months after the change income or living arrangement occurs.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Shayla

            If I am receiveing about 2000$ monthly from a job. and my rent is $778 about how much should i be receiving for my son SSI benefits ? I do not have food stamps I pay out of pocket for grocery.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Shayla,

              If your $2,000 income is gross and you have no other children and you and he are not getting subsidized housing, I would expect your child’s SSI to be about $500. (The amount of your rent is not factored into the calculation of SSI benefits.)

              Sincerely,
              Kay

              S

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Shayla,

        You need to report that you moved and provide information regarding your current income that is allowing you to pay all our own bills. Be prepared to provide the date of all changes and copies of rent receipts and pay stubs back to the last time your reported work earnings and any proof you have of when you stopped work.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Shayla

          Yes 2,000 is the gross. I am currently pregnant right now. Am i suppose to report that also? and how am I able to get the full amount of SSI?

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Shayla,

            Your son’s SSI will go up when your child is born. You do not have to report that you are pregnant but report the birth of your child as soon as you have a birth certificate to present.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • christina

    I have a few questions,

    1: our daughter receives ssi, she’s 9 months old (my world) my husband can no longer work due to his back, he’s wanting to apply for ssd, how will this effect my daughters ssi?

    2: my husband has 3 other kids from a previous marriage to which hes paying child support, if approved for ssd, how will ALL his children be paid?

    3: we checked his possible pay through the ss.gov website. Just wondering how accurate that is.
    Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Christina,

      If your husband is approved for Social Security Disability (SSD) and his past earnings are high enough to provide dependent benefits, all his children will be eligible. Accordingly, it is likely that your daughter’s dependent benefit will be low enough that it alone would reduce, but not terminate her SSI. However, your husband’s Social Security will count as family income without the same income exclusions as earned income. In short, I can’t predict whether your daughter’s SSI will continue. The benefit estimates can differ from the actual by as much as a couple hundred dollars.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jo

    Hi I worked for over ten years while doing a second job for seven of those ten years. I was just told that I was approved for SSI, the two jobs paid me well. When I asked the guy on the phone how come I worked two jobs for all those years that I should get SSDI, he said he was not concern about SSDI, that I should be happy I was getting approved for SSI. I am 52 and became disabled at 50. Prior to that ten years of full time work , I worked part time or temp jobs for all the years before. When I pressed the guy on SSDI, he asked me how many years I worked, once I told him over ten years, he paused and said I did not have enough credits. One job I made $23.65 an hour, the other I made $21.87 an hour. Does this sound right?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jo,

      The work pattern you describe would indicate that you should be insured for disability for about five years after you stopped work. It is possible that not all your work has been recorded on your earnings records. (This can happen if your employer didn’t submit Social Security taxes or submitted them on an incorrect Social Security number.) I suggest that you request an earnings statement (not a benefit statement) and examine it to see if all your earnings are posted. If they are not, I suggest that you appeal the denial of your Social Security (SSDI) claim. You can give Social Security a copy of your W-2 forms for the missing earnings and they will be posted to your record. You must have proof of earnings as W-2s or pay stubs that show Social Security taxes were withheld if the missing work was more than three years ago. If you don’t have proof of earnings for the last three years, you can provide Social Security with the employers’ names and contact information and dates you worked and approximate wages and they will investigate, but it is better if you have the evidence.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Wes Myers

    Hi, im getting disability right now but thru the process I had kidney failure and now on dialysis. However, when the judge made the decision my kidney doctor sent the papers too late. I receive $525 right now is there a way I can get an increase based on my new medical condition?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Wes,

      Having a new medical condition will not increase your Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefit; however, depending on your family income and assets, you might qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). I suggest that you inquire at your local Social Security office. Also, individuals on kidney dialysis are eligible for Medicare without a waiting period, so you can apply for that also.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Becky

    My son age 10 draws ssi. He was receiving 733 a month and today I received a letter saying they are lowering his payments to 488 a month because his other income has increased and they mentioned something about food and shelter paid by someone. I don’t know what they mean about that because nothing has changed and everything is the same. He doesn’t get child support all I get is food stamps and I’m currently not working right now. Would u know why they would have done this.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Becky,

      If you and your son live with someone else and your son is not paying his share of shelter and food costs for the household, his benefit would be reduced. If that is not the case and was not the case two months ago (SSI is calculated on income received two months before), then an error has been made and you should appeal the calculation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Sharyn Salter

      My fiancé SSI was finally brought up to 733. He will also be receiving a sum of back payment that had not previously been paid to him. Today he got a letter stating they are lowering his food allowance. Will his new increase in SSI make his Medicaid coverage go down. It will be awful if it does, he has many medical problems.
      Please respond, SKS

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Sharyn,

        Your finance’s Medicaid coverage probably won’t go down because in most states SSI recipients receive full Medicaid coverage.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Hi Kay,
    In Oct. 2006 I applied for disability and began receiving disability mid 2008. In 2006 I was out of work 12-14 weeks due to, two different surgeries. Since I was out of work, for a few months would the amount of money I now receive change? If the amount of monies I now receive needs to be recalculated who would I need to contact in order to find out about any changes? Eagerly waiting for your answer!
    Thanks, Judy

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Judy,

      If your established disability date should have been earlier, it is too late to have it changed now because you are outside the sixty-day appeals period.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Aga

    Hi Kay, quick question. My mom is getting $753 a month which is SS and SSI combined, a week ago she had heart surgery (quadruple bypass) after being admitted to hospital from emergency. Can she get disability? We live in Illinois.
    Thank You.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Aga,

      If your mother is under age sixty-five, she is already receiving SSI disability. If she is sixty-five or older, she is receiving SSI based on age and is paid the same SSI rate as a disabled person so is not eligible for disability. If she is under Social Security full-retirement age, which can range from sixty-five to sixty-seven based on year of birth, then she is probably receiving Social Security Disability as well. (If her claim number is followed by the letters HA she is receiving disability.) If she is at least sixty-five but under her full retirement age and receiving SSI and Social Security based on age, she can apply for Social Security Disability, which is paid at a higher rate than reduced retirement.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Valeriy

    Dear Kay,

    We (my wife and I) had received letters from the SSA saying that we will lose our NYS supplemental SSI payments of $52 because we are living in the subsidized housing (I think it is is a public housing for senior citizens, not sure).

    Or that we went to the senior citizen center four times a week for our meals and activities?

    Is this a valid reason for the SSA to take that money away from us?

    Or is it an incorrect information that they might use? No one at the senior citizen center has this issue?

    Please advise.

    Thank you for your help in advance! Happy Thanksgiving!

    Regards,

    Valeriy

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Valeriy,

      The New York Supplemental Security Income (SSI) state supplement is paid by the state of New York, and the rules/laws governing to whom it is paid and in what amount are set by the state of New York. It seems logical that if you are receiving subsidized housing or several free meals or subsidized meals a week that you would not need the same level of support as people who do not. That said, I suggest that you ask for an explanation to be sure you understand the reasons. As far as the other people at the senior center, it never works well to compare one’s benefits with another person’s because there may be something about their situation that makes it different from yours.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Valeriy

        Thank you so much for your answer to my question.

        As to the senior citizen’s center, all of us are Deaf and receiving same services and live in public housing.

        That’s why I asked you about them.

        Nevertheless, you are right that we should not compare ourselves with them.

        Thanks again for taking time to address our query. Wishing you a happy holidays!

        Kind regards,

        Valeriy

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Valeriy.

  • Jesse Illes

    I was wondering how my SSDI got decreased so much when I moved from VA to AZ. I get $274/mo from SSI but my SSDI was reduced from about $435 to $161 when I moved. I’m paying rent and my own phone bill, plus school bills and can’t even afford bus tickets. I’m not able to work yet because I’m a full-time college student. I’m in school every Sunday through Wednesday and some Thursdays all day long. I’m also looking to get away from the house I’m in now.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jesse,

      Social Security benefits are the same amount in all states, so I think you may have reversed the figures and the SSI went down from $435 to $161, not the Social Security. The reduction is most likely due to a change in living arrangements. Paying your phone bill is not factored into living arrangement costs. If you are buying your own food and the rent you are paying is fair market value for a room rental or you are sharing housing costs and are paying your share of rent or mortgage, shelter utilities (not phone or cable) and food or are buying food separately,your benefit should not be reduced. If you think the benefit should not have been reduced, you can appeal.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Heather D

        We were living in central valley in CA and paying for 450$ for a one bedroom apartment and we move to MN into a house and are now paying 850 for rent. My son was getting 786$ in ssi due to having hemophilia and cost of living but, now that we have moved to mn he is getting 733 because they say mn cant afford to pay any more for cost of living ? Both places we lived are about the same in cost of living, in fact CA where we were living was cheaper We only moved here because it is safer here.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Heather,

          Each state decides whether or not to pay an SSI state supplement based on the general cost of living compared to other states and also on the state’s financial ability to pay a supplement and their fiscal priorities. Whether or not a state supplement is paid is not based on the individual person’s specific expenses.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • ray lopez

    Hello Kay, nice website. Question: I’m 65 and living in NY while receving SSI $733 plus $87. If I move to another state will I still be receiving the $733? Would love to hear from you, thanks.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ray,

      Your $87 New York SSI state supplement will stop. Some other states have supplements, but New York and California are the highest. You can try searching the Internet to get potential state supplement amounts for other states by searching for the name of the state and “SSI state supplement.”

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Mike

        Will getting on housing make my disability amount go down?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Mike,

          Your disability benefits will not be reduced by living in public housing or having government-subsidized rent.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Mike

            So even though my cost of living will go down my check will stay the same?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Mike,

              Yes, that is right.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

      • Ashley

        Hello question i live off of low income but others live off of higher and all appts out here cost to much appts for rent cost 695 nothing uncluded -900 or more and i only make 780 a month plus pregnant with barely anything to my name each much bc pay what i owe then buy food which isnt enough to save up for baby stuff for me nor myself and ama single parent baby daddy not in the pucture so iam sruggling is there a way i can increase my monthly ssi income?..

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Ashley,

          The only thing I can think of would be to find a roommate to split the rent and utilities.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Shane

    I get $1245 for SSDI and want to know do I qualify for SSI.The reason I wanted to know was because on my statement I am not getting any ssi cause they are showing I get workers comp which I haven’t been getting since I start getting my SSDI checks just got a letter from workers comp explaining when the payments stopped so if I report this to ssa will they give me back pay or will get ssi that I think is due?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shane,

      Please clarify a couple points for me so I can respond to your questions.
      1. Are you actually receiving any SSDI now? If so, how much. Stated another way, is the $1,245 being withheld for workers comp offset or are you getting $1,245 after the offset?
      2. Did you get a workers comp settlement or other lump sum?

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Shane

        I am getting SSDI now. The amount I am getting for SSDI is $1245 a month.I get that above amount so it’s not being withheld.No my workers comp never got settled but workers comp stop sending payments.I got only $229 from SSI and that was a one time payment but I think that was because my notice of award from SSI was saying I was getting workers comp for the amount of about $660 a month when it had been stopped.I just want to know because I got the letter showing that my worker comp had stopped several months ago while I start getting my SSDI checks do I get a increase in SSDI,backpay for SSI or get a SSI check a month if I show them proof.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Shane,

          If your workers comp stopped before the month you first received Social Security Disability (SSDI), you may be eligible for additional SSI benefits. If this is the case, I suggest that you take your workers comp termination papers to Social Security and request review for additional SSI benefits for the period before SSDI began. I cannot tell from the information you have given whether or not your SSDI has been paid correctly or the SSDI back pay will be paid correctly. I suggest that you ask the local office to send a copy of the termination papers to the payment center so that they can be considered in determining the correct amount of your back pay.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Yola

            Hello Kay
            My name is Yola and I get $733 a month from ssi and I just had my child 3 months ago and all the $733 goes on my bills do they give a check to your child to help out with her need?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Yola,

              Supplemental Security Income (SSI) does not pay dependent benefits. I suggest contacting your state or county social services office to see if additional funds are available for your child. You might also apply for Medicaid for the child in the local office or for insurance under the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). You can get more information about CHIP at http://www.healthcare.gov.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

      • Kiana

        Hi , I was wanting to know if housing approves me and I get on housing will the amount of my disability check go down?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Kiana,

          Your disability benefits will not be decreased by your living in public housing or having government-subsidized rent.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Jason

    Hello, I am 42 years old, I am completely blind and have been since birth. I receive SS Disability of $730 a month. I have received that amount for a long time now. 4 years ago I started working again after not working for long time. I make about $1250 a month +/- or little over $15000 a year. I made $20K the first year I worked. I also still receive my SSD of $730 (SGA is $1820 for blind). I hope to keep working for many more years, probably earning the same amount. Do you know Is there any chance my SS disability will ever be recalculated and increased or is it stuck at that since I don’t make above the SGA limits and am still receiving it?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jason,

      If your earnings are higher than earlier earnings used in your payment calculation, there may be a recalculation of your claim. Otherwise, the only increases with cost-of-living adjustments made annually in years in which the consumer price index rises. There was a small raise in 2015, but there won’t be one in 2016.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Roxs

        I have a few questions

        -I’m 27 years old & live in NY. I have social security income & receiving $602 a month plus I’m already receiving SNAP & although I tried to work my mental illness causes a barrier to work so as of right now and for a while I cannot work. My maintenance is $786 a month & I have other expenses that’s hard to cover. Is there a program that help me pay for my maintenance &/or other bills?

        -I’m enrolled in college & thinking about applying for PASS program. Would I qualify if I can only take one class per semester due to a learning disability?

        -I’m also learning that I have serious mental illness that’s going to be a lifetime thing. Can I reapply with the new diagnosis? & for ssdi although I don’t meet the minimum requirements for work experiences?

        -Lastly, my mother was on ssi/ssdi for most of my childhood. She was only receiving $800 a month, although it was only us two in the household. Was I supposed to receive a check & if so is it too late to recover back payment? Plus, since my mother pass on 2012 on 2015 I started collected survival benefit would this get affect it?

        Thank you for your time &
        Have a nice day.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Roxs,

          Your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits will not change because of new additional illnesses or diagnoses. The PASS program allows you to use other income you have (income that is not Supplemental Security Income), if you have any, to pay for school and other things that will prepare you to work and that income is not used to reduce SSI payments. If your only income is SSI, a PASS would not increase your income. You can talk to Social Security to see if there would be any other benefit from a PASS.

          You cannot get Social Security Disability without enough work credits. If part of the $800 your mother was receiving was SSI, her Social Security Disability was probably too low to allow for payment of Social Security dependent benefits. Now that she has passed away, if you became disabled before age twenty-two, you could apply for Social Security disabled adult child benefits on your mother’s earnings record. If you are approved, your SSI will be decreased, but you might end up with $20 a month more in income than you know have if your New York SSI state supplement does decrease when you get Social Security.)

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Michael David

    Dear Kay;

    I am 58, with severe Back & Spinal Nerve damage, and started receiving SSD payment of $733 + SSi supplement of $87 + Medicaid Assistance from the State of New York, because I was living alone & paying my own rent, but due to the increase of rentals (especially for single individuals!) in New York City, I am forced to seek shelter with my invalid mother in Georgia, who is receiving SS benefits!

    My question is: Since I now live this parent, will my SSD payment(s) be reduced because of this and if so, would my parent be receiving the reduction for the Rent + Utilities (and possibly face reduction in HER benefits too!) or will the Government just keep it?!

    Thank you for taking the time too assist me with this matter~!

    Sincerely,

    Mike David

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Michael,

      You are not receiving SSD (Social Security Disability); you are receiving federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) of $733, plus the New York SSI state Supplement.

      If your mother is receiving Social Security Disability (SSD), your living with her will not affect her benefits. If your mother is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), as long as you do not pay more than your share, her SSI benefit will not be affected.

      In order for you to continue to receive the full federal SSI benefit of $733, you need to pay your share of housing (and food if you share food). Your New York supplement will, of course, stop.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Brittney

        How much does a child get for mental disability

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Brittney,

          Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are paid in amounts from $1 to $733. The maximum is paid if the child has no countable income including income deemed (considered available) from his or her parents.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Cris

        I am almost 17 and I have severe depression disorder, anxiety and panic disorder and impulse disorder and my parents and I cab barely keep up with the medical bills. Could I qualify for the social security disability program?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Cris,

          You might qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability, which pays disability benefits to disabled adults and minors, if your and your family’s income and assets are below the SSI limits. I suggest that you discuss the matter with your parents and perhaps have them file an application for you. Also, if you do not have health insurance, you might be able to get insurance through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). More information is available at http://www.healthcare.gov. (If you are eligible for SSI, you will be eligible for Medicaid.)

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Jayy

    Hello Kay, how are you? My name is Jay I am currently recieving SSI, I have had sickle cell from birth and found out about my SLE condition when I was just sixteen. Currently I am recieving 415.00 a month in SSI and I also don’t have food stamps. Every time I apply for a job I end up in the hospital I am always in and out, the amount I receive a month is not enough to support me at all. How do I go about getting social security to increase my check? I am also trying to move out and get my own place. Please get back to me, and thank you for your help.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jayy,

      To receive Social Security Disability, you have to have worked enough to be insured. You would have been screened for these benefits when you applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Unless you have worked quite a bit after your disability benefits began, you are probably still not insured.

      You can get an increase in SSI by applying for SNAP (food stamps) and buying your own food and by renting a room in the home that you live in, paying fair market value for the room. After you have done this for two months, your SSI will increase to $733 a month, assuming you do not have other income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Eddie m

    Hi I was approved for ssdi in the amount off $488 per month. I thought I was going to get more based on my disability and having kids. What can I do to get this increased if at all I can. Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Eddie,

      You are receiving $488 because someone is paying for part of your housing and/or food costs. If when you get your back pay you start paying all your own housing costs and food costs (with cash or food stamp card), your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will go up to $733 two months later.

      SSI does not pay children’s benefits; however, you can check with your state’s social service office to see whether the children qualify for help under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • hi i have systemic n discoid lupus which causes pain i have two hernias on spine n go thru depression cause of the pain im n causes a psychosis i get 705 disability n 61 supplement its not enough money im use to making this n two weeks as a cna can i work parttime n still receive SSD with out them cutting me off cause there is no cure for lupus help me please what to do cause i work part time n can iget ssi n disability at same time or not

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Latoya,

          If you have not applied for SNAP (formerly called food stamps), I recommend that you do so because you are probably eligible.

          With regard to working, if you work and earn less than $1,090 gross per month and you have not recovered medically, your Social Security will be reduced. If you earn $187 gross a month, you will lose your $61 SSI and your Medicaid based on SSI eligibility. (You might remain eligible for Medicaid based on another criterion.) I suggest that you request a “Ticket to Work” which gives you some special considerations while you try to work. Also, you can learn about Social Security’s work incentives in the Red Book, which is available from your local Social Security office and online at http://www.ssa.gov.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Sheila Davis

    I am 28 an I just moved out my mother’s house on October the first I am receiving ssi an the amount is 488 how long will it take until I get am increase .. The person I live with cause were both on the list is breaking the least.. An I don’t want to bring no one else in my rent is 775 an the electric an gas an cable bill is in my name

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sheila,

      The maximum federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) $733. If you live in a state that has an SSI state supplement, your total SSI payment could be slightly more. I am unclear on whether you are living with another person or not. If you are, you must pay half of the rent, gas, and electric (and water and garbage if you have to pay those things separately from your rent). If you live alone, you must pay all the shelter and food costs yourself in order to receive the maximum $733. If you are able to do that, for example with savings, your SSI will increase in January.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jon Ellie

    Hi. I will be 66 in a few years and will then be applying for my Social Security. My daughter is currently on SSI and I will have her apply for the “adult child” payment. She currently receives SSI for disability documented before age 22, will that probably mean that she would probably be approved for the “adult child”? Also, she would receive half of my PIA? Also, her mother will be 61 when I file. Will she receive a caregiver amount or should we wait until she is 67 for her full retirement. Her full retirement is more than half of my retirement. But we both have family maximums. If my family maximum is $2700/month, should my daughter file on my wife’s so my wife can have mine? Ugh, so confusing!We can’t file and suspend because that is no longer allowed.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jon,

      When you apply for your Social Security retirement, apply for your daughter’s benefits at the same time. Be sure to put on the application that she has been receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) since prior to age twenty-two. That should result in her being approved for the disabled adult child benefits without a medical review.

      Your wife’s situation may be a bit more complicated. I believe that she could apply for and receive young wife’s benefits at least through the month before she turns age sixty-two and possible up to her full- retirement age or even to a delayed retirement at age seventy if she is by then not earning too much to receive benefits This year the earnings limit is $15,720 with a one-dollar reduction in annual benefits for every two dollars over the limit.

      I am not sure whether or at what age your wife will be required to apply for retirement benefits on her own earnings record because she is receiving benefits on your record. It may be that she can continue on your record until she reaches full retirement age because she is claiming benefits on your record based on a child in her care and not on her age. Another possibility is that she may not be required to switch to her own record at full retirement and can leave her own benefit for a delayed retirement at a higher rate at age seventy.

      Any benefits paid to your wife on your wife’s record will reduce benefits paid to her on your record. Also, your wife’s eligibility on your record will reduce your child’s benefit if your family maximum benefit is not high enough to pay two fifty-percent benefits on the account. You can request an earnings statement to get an estimate of the family maximum benefit.

      Another factor to consider is that, even if your wife is not required to, her going on her own record at full-retirement age and off yours might be financially more advantageous for the family as a whole because of the potential for higher benefit for your daughter based a combined family maximum. (When a dependent can draw benefits on two parents, the amount is base on combining the parent’s family maximums according to a certain formula.)

      I suggest that about three months before you are ready to retire that you and your wife make an appointment to see a claims representative and have the representative help you calculate out the various scenarios I describe so that you can figure our your most advantageous choices.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • brittany

    Hello, I am deaf from birth I receive 367 SSI, and 372 SSDI. My mother deceased in 1996. I have two children I pay rent and I pay on my own. And I still couldn’t get a job but living off of that isn’t enough. However I spoke with someone and that told me that I was supposed to be getting 733 SSDI not 367?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brittany,

      The information that you got is incorrect. $733 is the maximum amount of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payable and it is paid to individuals who do not have other countable income. You have Social Security of which all but $20 is countable. If the Social Security figure you provided is correct and you have no other countable income, I would expect your SSI to be $381, not $367.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Lisrielle Capers

        Hello. I have a degenerative eye disease that is getting worse. I receive benefits for 688 a month. I have rent and other bills to pay. I was told that I was going to receive a little over 1200 a month. What can I do to receive the rest of my benefits? Also I’m trying to return to work and/or school. Will I lose my benefits if I return to school? Thank you.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Lisrielle,

          I suggest that you talk to the Social Security Administration to get an explanation of the difference in the estimate and what you are receiving. If the $688 is actually Supplemental Security Income (SSI), it is possible that the $1,200 quoted to you Social Security Disability (SSDI) and payment is being processed. If the $688 is Social Security and you are paying your shelter and food costs, you may be eligible for SSI, which would raise your total income to $753 monthly.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Jacob

    I’m completely unable to work, and have been disabled since birth. I currently get $488 a month living with my mom, but it’s an abusive household and I can’t survive there. My cousin gets $1400 a month from disability. If I were to get the money to move out, would SSI raise to that level in order to meet my new expenses? This is very important.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jacob,

      The amount you are receiving tells me that you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits that are being reduced for receiving free housing and/or food.The maximum federal SSI benefit is $733, so your cousin must be receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI). When you applied for SSI, you would have been screened for SSDI; so it is likely that you were not eligible because you didn’t have enough work earnings prior to disability.

      If you move and pay all your own rent, utilities, and food, your SSI can go up to $733, but the increase will occur two months after you start paying all your own costs. If someone gives you money to move or pays your rent, utilities, or food in your new housing, their assistance will reduce your SSI.

      There is another way to move towards moving out. You can get an increase in benefits by paying rent and buying your own food and preparing meals separately where you live. For example, you could arrange to pay room rental of $350 or $400 and apply for food stamps (SNAP) to pay for your food. Two months after you started to do this, your SSI would go up to to $733 if what you are paying for room rental in an amount is the going rate in your area. Then you could save up to move. Once benefits have increased, you can start saving up the extra amount you are receiving to cover the costs of moving.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jacob

        Hi Kay. I don’t recieve food. I buy all my own food, and I thought I let them know that. Unfortunantely, I can’t move out on that amount of money. I’m strongly considering getting a loan to pay for the moving costs and my university with what’s leftover, and then also getting a part time job to help with monthly expenses, because not even 733 is enough for anyone to live on. I am being slowly forced out, and no longer have time to save. I’m out of options, and can’t mentally live here longer.

        My cousin is only 25, and didn’t work before, so I’m unsure how he got approved for SSDI.

        Thank you for getting back to me.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jacob,

          You can earn $65 gross a month before there is a reduction in your SSI. If you earn more than $65, there is a $1 reduction in SSI for every $2 you are over $65. Your cousin may be receiving disabled adult child benefits on a parent’s earnings record if one of his parents is deceased or receiving Social Security.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

        • Isaac

          Hey Jacob, I’ve been disabled since birth and been living on SSI for awhile now. The key is to find rental housing that receives HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) subsidies. Your rental fee is based on your income. So you may only have to pay about $120 (estimated) until your SSI goes up then you’ll pay about $173 (what I pay now) or a little more or less depending on how much you’re getting from SSI; the cost goes up with the living adjustment every year. I get a combination of SSDI and SSI. My SSDI isn’t enough to make me lose my SSI. Combined I got $753 last year. This is $20 more than one that would only get SSI. SSDI is treated similar to work earnings. The first $20 is not counted but ever dollar afterwards is subtracted from your SSI down $1 for every $1 of unearned SSDI income. Earned income works the same but calculated differently. The first $60 is not counted and your SSI goes down $1 for every $2 earned afterwards.

          Now the living conditions and environment can be a bit clinical and your neighbors will mostly be elders and other physically and mentally disabled people. I’m only physically disabled and I’m much younger than everyone here so it’s difficult to find peers. But hey, it’s much better than living with your parents for the rest of your life.

          Now you said your friend didn’t work but gets SSDI somehow. Your friend could be getting SSDI from his disabled Mother, Father, Grandmother, Grandfather, or any step variation of those. I don’t know all the rules that qualify one to receive this nor if your parent has to be disabled or retired. But you should check with your local Social Security department to see if you qualify with one of your parents. Even if you do not live with your real dad or mother, you can still apply and you don’t have to contact them at all to do so. You just have to prove that they are on your birth certificate. You are entitled to 50% of what they receive from SSDI and what you receive will not bring their amount down. Also, the percentage goes up to about 70% after that parent dies.

          So for Example, If your disabled dad received $2,800 from SSDI, you’d be entitled to $1,400 like your friend. Your dad would continue to get his full amount regardless. Now if your dad had two disabled children, y’all may have to share that 50% or I think the percentage goes down a bit.

          But you have to have been disabled before 21 and since you say you were since birth, you should be good on that account. If you are married or get married, it will disqualify you for this type of disability. I believe it’s called survivors benefits. Look into it.

          Hope this points you in the right direction.

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Issac,

            Ordinarily we do not post comments from third parties, but almost all the information you have given is correct. See the corrections that follow: A disabled adult child must have become disabled before age twenty-two, not twenty-one. As far as amounts of benefits go, the insured worker would also have to a work earnings history strong enough that the family maximum is larger than the worker’s own benefit for dependents to get benefits. Additionally, sometimes even a single dependent is eligible for less than fifty percent or a single survivor, less than seventy-five percent. The excluded amount of earned income for Supplemental Security Income is $65 ($85 if you have no other income) and then one dollar for every two over that. I would add that the parent has to be deceased or drawing Social Security Disability or Retirement for a disabled adult child to receive benefits. To qualify under a grandparent, the person would have to have been adopted by the grandparent or the parents would have to be deceased or disabled receiving benefits from the Social Security Administration.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • shawn

    hi just got aprovred for sd lletter says rsdi but only get 732 month alsoo said i should get ssi but only be 30 bucks more is that all i will ever get or what is th deal hear im totally lost

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shawn,

      I can’t be sure, but I think that you were approved for both Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) federal and state supplement. (I am guessing this based on the figures and other information in your post.) If that is the case, you will get SSI until your Social Security starts. Then your SSI will either stop or be reduced to supplement your Social Security. Your Social Security benefit amount is based on your work history, so it could be more than what you are receiving now.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Hannah

    My mom is 55 and currently receives Social Security and Blind Pension. Our house was forclosed on about 6 or 7 years ago, and since then have moved into an apartment. At the time, she was receiving child support for both my sister and I, but we are both in our 20’s now and she no longer receives it. When she was receiving the child support, she had about double the amount of money per month than what she currently recieves. She is struggling to pay rent, bills, groceries, etc. Is there anything that can be done regarding such a drastic change in income and possibly receiving more benefits?

    Thank you,

    Hannah

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Hannah,

      Your mother’s benefits will not go up because she has lost income. The only exception would be if the “blind pension” is SSI or another needs-based program and the child support was being counted as her income. If she is not receiving SNAP (food stamp) benefits, I suggest that she apply to see if she can get some help there. Also, some utility companies offer some assistance with winter heating bills.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Gina C.

    I was diagnosed with bipolar and other medical issues and because of that I was medically retired from the military. I have been on social security for about two years and I received a letter stating that I was no longer disabled and that they would be stopping my checks. Why would that happen? I have filed an appeal but they said that if it fails then I will owe social security money. What is going on?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Gina,

      Your claim has undergone a continuing disability review (CDR) because it was thought when you were approved that your condition would improve. The CDR review resulted in a determination that you are no longer disabled. You have to prove that you are still disabled in order to continue to receive benefits. If you requested payment continuation while the appeal is being processed and the termination of benefits is upheld, you will have to repay the money you received while the appeal was pending.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Freddie s

    Hi my name is freddie i get 760 a month and i was diagnose with bipolar and schizophrenia i rent a room from a friend and he charges me 400 a month i cannot survive with what ever i have left do you think i get more money or not

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Freddie,

      It sounds as if you are receiving the maximum you are eligible for. I suggest that you apply for SNAP (formerly called food stamps) to help with expenses if you have not done so. If you use public transportation, look into whether the transit company offers reduced fares to disabled individuals and/or seniors.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Frank

    Hi please belp i have ssi $488 but now am renting and my rent is $500 i will like to know how much more i can get from ssi thank

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Frank,

      If your income is $488 and you are paying $500 rent and the extra money for the rent and your other needs are not coming from your own savings, whether and how much your benefits go up will depend on how much help you are getting from someone else to cover your expenses. If you are paying all your own expense from savings, your benefits will go up to $733 two months after you started renting. Of course, you do need to report the change to Social Security so they can make a determination.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • John doe

    I’m receiving 888.00 from ssi for ptsd I am now homeless can I receive more benifits

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear John,

      The amount you are receiving appears to be the maximum federal benefit of $733 plus a state SSI supplement. Accordingly, you are not eligible for a higher benefit. If you have not yet received back pay and you are eligible for back pay, you can ask to have release expedited because you are homeless and need to secure housing. With your low income, you may be able to afford only a room in shared housing or a small studio apartment. Whatever you rent, it should have a low enough cost that you can pay for it with your monthly benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • jacee

    I was living a normal life with a good income until I was attacked by a man who was allowed to go free with his life. I have a rare hereditary physical condition (less than 0.1% of population), but it was not a problem until the attacker dislocated and broke my Bilateral Cervical Ribs putting the left one into an artery to my heart. I have had subclavian aneurysm and blood clots. I was advised to go on disability so I could get help with my injuries and degenerative disorder. I applied and now receive $1400 per month. Rent starts at $1500 where I live in Oregon. I cannot afford medication or food. I am malnourished and very sick now. I have applied for housing assistance, but no one will help me. I have no family to help. I will not live much longer on disability benefits. I sleep in a broken down car or at the abuser’s residence. Domestic Violence gave me an advocate for a few years while I waited for help, but the advocate was relieved of her position. I am helpless at the hands of a man who physically abuses me. I have been attacked twice while sleeping in my car. What happened to the USA?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jacee,

      It can take a couple years or more to have your turn come up for subsidized housing. As an interim measure, I suggest that you or a friend start calling motels to find one that rents for low enough that you can rent a room for a safe place to live. There are a few very low priced rooms available in urban Oregon. You can also apply for SNAP (formerly called food stamps) to purchase food.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • chelsi

    I’m 23 years old. I’ve been recieving disability ssi since 17 years old. I get 573 $ a month. I’m trying to get out on my own and I have a child on the way. Most of these posts recueve much more. I am visually impaired and can not get around with my arthritis in the winter. 573 won’t pay my bills or allow me to have a home.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chelsi,

      You may be receiving a reduced benefit because you are not paying your share of shelter (andof food if you share food with the household you live in). If you can increase your contribution, your benefit might go up. You might also consider applying for government-subsidized housing in which your rent is a certain percentage of your income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jorge Lemos

    I get $980.00 every month,I been getting the same amount for about 3 years,I recently moved and rent it’s more expensive,used to pay $450,now it’s $650 ,plus I got a car now,insurance it’s very expensive as well,$110 a month…what can I do? Apply for more benefits? I’m on disability (aids and colon cancer) I am 36yo,can’t survive with my current income,thanx.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jorge,

      Your Social Security Disability benefit is based on your work earnings history and cannot be increased due to increase expenses. You might try applying for SNAP (formerly called food stamps) or getting a less valuable car to lower your insurance rate.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Sam

        Hi Derochie
        My son receives ssdi for absent seizures,and he also has asthma that we never filled out for. If the ss office approves him will his dollar amount increase? Thank You.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Sam,

          Benefit amounts are not determined by the type or number of illnesses a person has so there is no need to report the other illness. If his case ever comes up for a continuing disability review, he should list all the medical conditions he has that limit him.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • sue

      I have diabities,lyphadema with non healing wounds. I live with my daughter she makes $2000 month i recieve medicaid i keep house n cook in exchange for room n board .i can not stand or sit for even 30 min. My food is seperate due to diabeties i am 55 was stay home mom single now .cant work .id like to apply for ssi .would my daughters imcome impact my getting disability. Once approved she wants 200 $300 month rent and wants me to get snap to pay for my food .would this be possiable?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Sue,

        You can apply for SNAP now because you have no income. If you apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your daughter’s income will not affect your application. Your housing is in-kind (non-cash) income and will cause a reduction in the benefit amouont until you start paying rent.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Dear Derochie,
    My name is Mary. I am living on disability from a stroke I had 3 yrs ago. I receive $930 and my daughter gets $316. I also receive Child support which varies from $400 – $480 per month. My daughter is 16 she is in High school. The money I receive in total isn’t enough to pay my bills, Hight school fees, and the many other things that are paid to the school. Examples: Supplies, school photos, programs, and many other monies that are used in that way. I did apply to SNAP. I get a total of $16 a month. I was diagnosed with a Cancerous Tumor in April. Which has been removed and now I have to get Chemo and Radiation therapy. Is there any way I would be able to receive an increase in my SSD or my daughters??? I would appreciate any information that could help me.

    Sincerely,

    Mary

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mary,

      You cannot get an increase in your Social Security. I wonder if your daughter could get a part-time job–maybe eight hours a week–perhaps at a local fast food restaurant or bagging groceries to cover some of her school expenses. You might also try to get into subsidized housing if you are now renting. Another idea is, if you have room, is to take in a roomer to help cover costs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Todd

    I get 500 on SSD, and 233 on SSi total 733.00 a month. I pay my own rent and buy my own food. pay eletric and gas i pay for the insurance on my car Gas to get to doctor. I cant make it. What is one to do?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Todd,

      If you haven’t applied for SNAP (previously called food stamps), I suggest you do so. You might also contact your power company to see if you are eligible for assistance with your electric bill. If you are able to work at all, you can earn $65 a month with no reduction in the SSI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tay

    Hi I’m 25 I been on a ssi and ssdi for a year I make 524 a month and I wanted to know if I go back to school can I get more money ?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tay,

      If you develop a Plan for Achieving Self Support (PASS) for your school attendance with the goal of being able to work in the future, your Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits will not be used to reduce your SSI if you use the Social Security to pay for tuition, books, and school fees. You can read more about the PASS program and its requirements at http://www.ssa.gov. In the search block, enter PASS. Then if you want to develop a PASS and need help, you can get help from a claims representative at your local Social Security office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ernest

    Just received word that I will start receiving ssdi in January. Married with three kids all under 18. What else am I entitled to? SSI? Early retirement? I’m a disabled veteran at 90% ba disability rating.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ernest,

      The amount of your benefits is calculated based on your earnings history and the benefit you will be receiving is Social Security Disability (SSDI), not early retirement. If the benefit is above $753 (slightly higher in states that pay an SSI state supplement), you will not be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to supplement the SSDI. If your past work earnings are high enough, your dependents will be eligible for additional benefits. Stated another way, if your family maximum benefit is higher than your primary insurance amount (your benefit), benefits will be payable to your family. You should be receiving an award letter that gives you the amount of your benefits. If you don’t receive one within a couple weeks, contact your local office or create a “My Social Security” account on Social Security’s website, http://www.ssa.gov, to get benefit information.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Patty

    I am 54, on SSDI due to chronic migraines… I receive $863 per month and it doesn’t cover ALL my bills. A friend offered me a part time job (10 hrs per week) to help with my income. It would be $7.35(minimum wage) Can I do this without losing my $863 that I receive now???

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Patty,

      Work at that level will not affect your SSDI benefits. You do need to report to Social Security that you started working and your hours and estimated earnings. Say that you are working for a friend who will be understanding if your migraines make you miss work.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Omar

    I will start getting ssdi Dec 2015 because I was a victim of hit n run accident when someone hit me with a car so I lost my job due to no lifting or bending over. Plus I’m deaf/hard of hearing ever since I was little. I have received ssi currently but will get ssdi Dec. I’m also going back to college to study more tier bachelor degree. I am engaged, but wondering if my status change to married and if I want to work a little to make sure I can support my fiancé n the apartment near college is it possible without affecting my ssdi in the future? My fiancé is completely deaf and has no income or ssi.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Omar,

      Marriage will not affect your Social Security Disability (SSDI). Given that your fiance has no income, if her and your countable resources (assets) are $3,000 or less, your marriage will not cause you to have less income. Your fiance could apply for SSI. Depending on her work history, she may qualify for SSI.

      As far as working, if you are only able to earn less than $1,090, the earnings will likely not affect your Social Security claim. If your SSI is ongoing, the amount you can earn before a deduction depends on your age and whether or not you are a student as defined by Social Security. If you are the amount of earnings that is excluded is more than if you were not. You can learn more about the SSI Student Earned Income Exclusion on the Social Security website at http://www.ssa.gov or from a local office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Rabbe

        Is the 1090 you can earn before or after taxes? Does this amount depend upon how much you get from ssi/ssdi? And what if you have a child that you are supporting? I have epilepsy, I’ve lost two jobs over it and I’m now considered “a liability” at my current job because of this and my hours have been cut to 24 from 40…but I’m scared to apply for the 3rd time… I can’t support us on that, but I can’t support us on the 24 a week, either.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Rabbe,

          The earnings level for Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) is gross wages before taxes. If your earnings history is high enough, your child will be eligible for dependent benefits for the same months you are eligible for benefits. If you apply (appeal?), I suggest that you get an attorney to help you explain your limitations and why you can’t work as related to Social Security law.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • shannon

    I am 41 and disabled. I receive a check and so does my daughter. Both checks go towards bills and food. I know Her check will stop in January because she turns 18 or May when she graduates. At that time will my check increase to make up the difference of her check that I will not be receiving anymore ?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shannon,

      The last check your daughter will receive will be for April and will be paid in May. Your benefits will not increase at that time.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • shannon

        Thank you very much

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Shannon.

  • Jennifer

    Hello i am Jennifer i am 19 years old i have been getting ssi for about a year already i get $703 a month i was wondering because i pay rent now $350 because i help my parents out due to the rent is too high and we can barely make it can i get more income from the ssi and also i have a cell phone bill and internet bill as well

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jennifer,

      If your rent payment has increased, report the change in your local office to see whether it will result in an increase. (The maximum federal SSI is $733 a month.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tamia

    Hey my name is Tamia and I am 17 years old and u have been receiving ssi for as long as I remember and everytime I talk about getting a job everyone around me is saying no you can’t get a you are going to lose you check so is there any way possible for me to get a job

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tamia,

      If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and you are disabled and you are a student attending school twelve hours a week, you can work and earn up to $1,780 in a single month with an annual limit of $7,180. You do need to report your work earnings, however. If you are receiving Social Security dependent benefits on a parent’s earnings record (you have a parent that receives benefits or is deceased), you can earn $15,720 a year. If you earn more than that, your annual benefits are reduced one dollar for each dollar over $15,720.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • brandon h

    I am 28, and i have been receiving SSDI ($575/month) in NC for a few years now due to bipolar disorder and degenerative disc disease in my back. I have 2 children, I receive SNAP (520/month) I am on medicare & medicaid and the kids have medicaid as well as their mom (we live together but are not married) I started working for a guy remodeling houses yesterday and he told me he would be filing a 1099 at the end of each quarter. I do not know what this means or what i should do. I don’t want my children to lose medicaid because they both see specialists for different issues and i also do not want to lose my insurance. Will him filing a 1099 affect my benefits? And do I have to tell social services I am working? Please help I am so confused and worried. I have to work to survive because 575.00 isn’t enough for 2 kids and my bills and their mom is having trouble getting a job. Somebody please help me!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brandon,

      You need to report your work both to Social Services and the Social Security Administration. It sounds as if you have recovered medically from your disability; however, if not, you will be entitled to a nine-month Trial Work Period (TWP), during which your Social Security Disability (SSDI) will continue. (You can read about other return-to-work incentives in Social Security’s Red Book, available in local offices and online at http://www.ssa.gov.

      The 1099 means that the person you are working for has hired you as an independent, self-employed contractor, and is reporting your gross pay to the IRS. This means you are responsible for paying your taxes as a self-employed person. I suggest that you get tax advice from a tax accountant about tax filing and business expenses. This is needed not only for your tax returns, but also so that you can give Social Security and social services an estimate of what your net profit from self-employment will be because your profit rather than your gross income on the 1099 is what is countable. At the end of the year, you will need to submit a copy of your self-employment tax return to Social Security to prove you earnings.

      Your working may not cause you to use your family’s Medicaid. If it does, I suggest that you investigate your insurance options through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). You may be eligible for insurance with a government subsidy to help cover the premiums. You can get more information at http://www.healthcare.gov.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • brandon h

        Thank you for helping me! I talked to a few people last night to better understand the 1099 situation but I am still concerned about the kids’ medicaid… I read your reply but I’m misunderstanding whether you mean we will all continue to recieve medicaid because they cannot take it or if you are meaning that we shouldn’t lose it but possibly can?! Also, no, my medical conditions are still fully there but i have no choice but to work. I also learned today that I am drawing half of my mother’s disability earnings because I was underage when I was diagnosed and I had not worked enough to draw my own disability, does this in any way change anything you’ve already explained to me? Thanks in advance!

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Brandon,

          The only way you are going to know about the Medicaid for sure is to report your earnings to the Medicaid office and have them make a determination. The information I gave you about your Social Security applies to the disabled adult children’s benefits you receive.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • sp

    Hi kay, I’m living with my mom she’s on ssi can I used the same address to apply for jobs for me and how much can I make in a month so it won’t affect her ssi..

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear S.P.,

      Your income does not affect your mother’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability (SSDI) if she receives it. If you start contributing to household expenses and you pay for more than your share of the rent or mortgage, utilities, and food if you share food, then her SSI would be affected. If she receives Social Security Disability (SSDI), you can contribute any amount to household expenses and it will not affect her SSDI benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Chris

        I am currently on ssdi,for a. Permanent mental disability..I’ve recently become. Permanent physically disabled…M.S. With T.M. So do I reapply ? Does this change anything?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Chris,

          Your new illness does not change your benefits or require that you reapply. If in the future your claim undergoes a Continuing Disability Review, list all your physical and mental conditions, saying that the physical conditions are new since you filed your claim; the limitations you have due to each condition; and all your medical providers.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Troy

      I have been on SSDI for 12 years and am now ready to go back to work. The problem is that i don’t want to go to work through the ticket to work program, instead i want to work at home for myself doing a dream job.

      To do this I need some computer equipment etc. All the research i have done shows that i am out of luck. I can’t get a loan. the government won’t help. I have no family support or friends that will help. So here is how i see things.

      social security will continue to give me benefits every month when instead they could give me the funds i need to start my own business. If they did this i would no longer need the 1440/month and in 6 months they would end up being able to give my benefits to someone else. This is a no brainier in my opinion. what do you think?

      I have spent numerous hours on and off looking at options and now i have decided to post it here for all to see. I hope someone who reads this has a solution or can direct me into the right direction. do i need to talk to our state Governor? knock on the presidents door? thanks you for your time and I am interested in your input

      Sincerely
      Troy

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Troy,

        First, are you sure that getting a Ticket to Work, which will give you access to vocational rehabilitation services, will not lead to getting the equipment you need. If so, the reason may be that in general self-employment is at a much greater risk for not being successful than attempting employment for a company. I suggest that you try some type of crowd funding for the equipment you need. Kickstarter is one such program. Another option is to try to get free computer equipment from an organization such as Free Geeks. Lastly, if you have recovered medically (as opposed to no real change in your health and you are just going to try to work), you are not entitled to benefit continuation through Social Security’s work incentives and you should report your recovery so that your benefits can be stopped.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Vickie

    Dear Kay, I am 63 and rec ssdi benefits.
    I cannot work, but although this is the only income I have. I wrote a book SEVERAL yrs ago and with the help of my family, I would like to publish it, (if that is at all possible) thru a self publisher.
    If so, will I still be able to collect my ssdi benefits.
    Its a small short book, I may not even sell one copy, but I have to apply for a sellers permit and l license(so I am told)
    Although I am not physically able to work , would this type of income jeopardize my benefits at all?
    Thank you so very much!
    I am grateful for your time and response.
    Truly, Vickie

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Vicki,

      Self-publishing a book may be treated as self-employment, even though you wrote it before you became disabled, because you are directing the book’s publication, working with an editor to prepare it for publication and so on. If it is and your profit is less than $1,090 a month, the activity will not affect your Social Security Disability (SSDI). Social Security has various work incentives including a Trial Work Period, which is the first nine months in which you earn $780 or more, and a thirty-six-month Extended Period. You can read about these incentives in Social Security’s Red Book, which is available at local office or for viewing online at http://www.ssa.gov. It is also possible that royalties or other income from books written prior to disability, even self-published books, are not treated as work income in the months the money come in. If that is the case, the profit from your book sales would not affect your benefits. I suggest that you make an appointment with a Social Security claims representative (not a service representative) to discuss the matter.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Michael

    Ok so im 29 became disabled at the age of 25 after haveing 8 multiple seizures which threw me into a stroke my wife recently left me i receive 733 a month from ssi i cant afford to pay rent afford food to make it threw the month i don’t know what to do anymore can someone please give me some kind of insight that will help me

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Michael,

      If you haven’t applied for SNAP (formerly called food stamps), I suggest that you apply. You can also apply to get on a list for public housing. Another option is to get a roommate and share rent and utility costs fifty-fifty. Lastly, some electric and gas companies have assistance programs to help with heating costs in the winter months.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • At age 16; I became pregnant. Age 17; I married the father. Age 19; I had another baby and just before I turned 20; I was in a serious auto accident (uninsured truck hit me). I worked part time because of my injuries and divorced age 30. My disability check is the lowest amount given? I never got anything for my children nor child support. My SSI is only $10.00 month? I don’t get it.

    Julie

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Julie,

      Your minimal work record resulted in a low Social Security Disability benefit and no dependent benefits. If you want to double check that your children are not eligible for benefits, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and ask the amount of your family maximum benefit. If it is the same as your Social Security benefit before reduction for Medicare premiums, then it is correct that your children do not receive benefits. Your SSI amount is based on your other income including in-kind (non-cash) payment of shelter and food expenses. (If you have no other expenses, your Social Security benefit is not the lowest paid.)

      If you wish to pursue child support, I suggest that you hire a family law attorney to assist you in petitioning the court for a child-support order. You might also contact your state’s social service department to see if the children are eligible for assistance. They might be of assistance in pursuing child support.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • J.J

    hi me and my wife( married by common law) have collected ssi for my son who is 8 just started 3 years ago I have a job at minimum wage in az, but can’t make more than $3000 or my sons ssi gets cut. now and then I get a part time job at minimum wage but would really like to get another full time to help with more expenses at home, how can I do this with out affecting my sons ssi and is my sons ssi calculated in the $3000

    much ablidge.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear JJ,

      I think that you have confused the $3,000 resource (asset) limit with earned income limit. Resources are money and other countable assets that you have on the first of the month carried over from the prior month. If you and your wife have over $3,000, the excess counts towards your disabled son’s asset limit of $2,000. Earned income limits depend on the number of parents in the household and the number of non-disabled children. You can look at a chart of the limits listed by number of children at http://www.google.com/search?q=deemed+income+ssi+child&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Chad

    My dad receives ssi he is recently separated from his wife and lives alone he receives medicaid and his check is $320 a month but his rent is $600 a month and other bills he does have enough to live on is there anything he can do to receive more money

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chad,

      Your father needs to report to the Social Security Administration (SSA) that he has separated from his wife and request that his benefit amount be redetermined. Note that the maximum federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment is $733 and that amount may be reduced if someone is helping your father pay his rent and food or is giving him money for other expenses.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Mindy

    My daughter (23 years old), was just approved for SSD last month. The benefit amount is 881.00. She has a 4 month old baby. Can she get more benefit if she has a child?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mindy,

      Your daughter should notify Social Security that she has a child and apply for benefits for the child. If your daughter’s maximum family benefit is higher than her own benefit, a dependents benefit will be paid for the child.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Julie

    Hi,
    I have been drawing SSDI since 2007 when I became unable to work full-time because of my chronic illness. I get $1389/month in SSDI and also have qualified for the Low-Income Subsidy program in my state, therefore I get my Medicare premium and co-pays paid by Medicaid. I also have a Medicare Supplemental Plan through Connecticare, Inc. which I pay a monthly premium for. I no longer am eligible for the Ticket To Work 9 Months because I have exhausted that. If I return to work 24 hours, which would put me over SSDI requirements but am still not physically able to work full-time because I am permanently disabled, what are my options for health insurance? Can I remain on Medicare and the Connecticare Medicare? I know I would no longer be eligible for Medicaid. Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Julie,

      During the Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE), which is the thirty-six calendar months immediately following the end of your nine-month Trial Work Period, you can receive benefits for any month that you do not perform Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA), which is usually $1,090 gross wages per month. During those thirty-six months and for an additional fifty-seven months after the end of the EPE, your Medicare eligibility will continue, though you do have to pay the premiums for Parts B and D. You need to check with Connecticare to find out whether it will continue. After the end of the EPE, your claim for benefits will be terminated with the first month of SGA, even though your Medicare continues. You can read more about these work incentives in Social Security’s Red Book, which can be requested from your local office or viewed online at http://www.ssa.gov.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Monirene

      Hi I was getting benefits since I was a child when my dad became disabled I was drawing money off of him which they split it on the 1st and 3rd and when he died I started getting survivors benefits off him in which my disability that I was getting on my own was cut off and I got the money off him so my question is was I supposed to continue my disability and my survivors benefits? And also when I became eligible to get money off him even tho I was getting it anyways and when he became payable where he worked was I eligible to get back payments which I didn’t get and also am I still eligible to get my regular ssi and the benefits I get off of him now? I live in Alabama cause they claim the 820 I get now is the max when I know others still get both from when they worked and disability is this true?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Monirene,

        The information you have given me isn’t clear enough for me to give you a definite answer to your questions. I can give you some general information. Social Security of $753 or more makes you ineligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits; and, unless you are living in a type of care situation, Alabama does not pay and SSI state supplement. The amount you are receiving is based on your father’s earnings history. The amount is different from other people’s benefits because everyone’s earnings history is different.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • lanier

    I receive ssi but im trying to figure out do I qualify for ssdi cause I have a life long terminal illnesses and unable to work..most job want allow me to because of my illness…an the amount im getting every month is just not enough to survive off of

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lanier,

      To receive SSDI (Social Security Disability), you have to have worked enough while paying Social Security taxes on your wages. If you are getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which does not have a work requirement for U.S. citizens and some aliens, when you applied, you would have been screened to see if you had enough work for SSDI eligibility and/or could receive disabled adult child benefits on a retired, disabled, or deceased wage earner’s earnings record. If you became disabled before age twenty-two, are unmarried,and have a parent who has begun to receive Social Security Disability or Retirement benefits or has died since your SSI started, you can apply for disabled adult child benefits on the parent’s earnings record.If on the other hand, you are already receiving SSDI, you can apply for SSI if your SSDI is less than $753.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tammy

    My son is on ssi. And has a 4year old and payes child support to the child’s mother. My son doesn’t not have money to live on his own. With his son both child’s mother and father have joint custaty my son is paying child support out of his ssi. For him to live off of. How can he get more money to live on his own. With his son. He gets his son every week

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tammy,

      Your son can go back to court and and ask to have the child-support order reviewed to see if the support can be reduced due to his reduced income. Also, your son may be eligible for SNAP assistance (formerly called food stamps).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Kaye

        I Recieve benefits 866 per month, my family maximum is 1060. Is it bad math or does the 50% rule not always apply?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Kaye,

          The fifty-percent rule applies only if fifty percent is payable within the family maximum benefit. Your earnings history resulted in a fairly low Social Security benefit with a correspondingly low family maximum. Your $866 benefit is part of the $1,060 family maximum, leaving $164 for your dependent(s).

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Lisa

    Hi, I was wondering about a few things. I receive SSDI (after Medicare premium) of $640. I have two daughters 15 and 9. I became disabled at 29. I am 32 now. I work 2 days a week (gross income of $120) which federal withholding, medicare, and social security taxes are withheld. I was needing to know if I continue to work part time (as long as I’m able) will my SSDI ever increase, since I am paying into social security and will my children ever be able to draw off of me? Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lisa,

      Your earnings history may be too low to allow dependent benefits for your children. You can call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and as the amount of your family maximum benefit. If it is more than your gross Social Security, which I assume is $754, then file an application for the children because the difference between your benefit and the family maximum will be payable to the children.

      For your work to increase your Social Security benefit, your current annual earnings would have to be higher than earnings in the years used to calculate your benefit. Therefore, working only two days a week may not raise your benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • james gabriele

    hi i collect aprox and . 2200 a month frm. ssdi i hav a lot of medical bills comming in each month. how can i get extra help with my bills i pay into etna inc. each month for medicade and hav a $350 co pay for my rx. plan the doctors bills r kicking my but.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear James,

      I suggest that you shop around to see what the best Medicare supplemental insurance would be for you. Open enrollment for changing supplemental insurance is coming up in November. Before then, you can find out about all the different coverages in your state, what they cover, and the amount of the premiums, deductibles, and co-pays. You can get help doing this by contacting a health insurance agent, who can help you do comparison shopping. Or, you can contact your state’s insurance commissioner for information on Internet sites that would list all the coverages offered in your state.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • michael

    My ss statement says my disability amount is 1600 n total family benefits cannot be more than 3200. I have 2 young children if i am awarded benefits how much will me n family recieve?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Michael,

      Based on the estimated figures that you quote, your family’s benefits would total $3,200.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • melissa

    I am a single mother on ssi I get $733 a month and I receive snap and cash benefits $165 for my daughter but that isn’t enough to live on and it’s hard after I pay rent and the bills I have nothing left to support my children and things they need and I have no other help. Is there anything else I can do. School is about to start back and my son is home school my daughter is in regular school and I stay so depressed cuz I don’t know what else to do. I live in Alabama

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Melissa,

      The only thing I can think of is whether your son is eligible for the same cash assistance as your daughter and/or can you get child support for your children from their father(s).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Stacie Martin

    Hello my daughter receives disability and started getting it as a child she gets $733.00/month but she has a son that is 3 there is no father around and no child support, is he or will he ever be able to draw anything off of her? If so what is the steps to take to get that started, she needs help and is unable to work due to her disability and her only income is $733.00

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stacie,

      Your daughter is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which does not pay dependent benefits. She might apply to the state for SNAP benefits (food stamps) and/or for cash assistance to support her son.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Curious

    Hello I receive 881 a month disability my child turns 18 soon and her 400 a month will be stopped. My question is while disabled I worked part time for 8 years would that make my benefit amount increase. But I no longer work.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Curious,

      Your work while disabled would increase your benefit only if your earnings were higher than the lowest annual earnings used in the original application. If that were the case, you would get the increase late in the following year.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jerry

    I was wondering I broke my back at work and went out of work I filed for my disability after 2 years got it but the first papers they sent me said I would draw $2,880.00 including my kids but when then started my check it was only 2,095.00 including my kids 1375.00 for mine and 720.00 for my kids so should I be getting the 2880.00

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jerry,

      My first thought is that you may have had several months Medicare premiums at over $100 a month withheld from the first check and that the amount will go up in future checks when only one month’s premiums are withheld. If that is not the case, I suggest that you look at the first papers to see whether they were an estimate off an earnings record statement and not a formal determination. If the amount quoted seemed formal, then contact Social Security to request an explanation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Karin

    Hi I’m 18 years old just finished high-school. I have sickle cell anemia and I’ve been turned down from many jobs because I have alot of leg pain and I pull muscles very easily. I want to get my own home will I be able to get disability or any assistance without them basing it off my mother’s income? I really need information

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Karin,

      Now that you are eighteen years old, you mother’s income will not affect your financial eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you are living with her and receiving free shelter and food, your SSI payment will be reduced for the in-kind (non-cash) income you are receiving in the form of shelter and food.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Miguel green

    I receive 750 a month and recently went to social security to try to receive a paper check they then asked about my rent arrangements I then told them it was 1050. she then stopped my benefits. But in reality I only pay have of the rent and my grand daughter pays the other half.what can I do to get my benefits back?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Miguel,

      Go to the Social Security office with your granddaughter if possible. If not, take a letter from your granddaughter in which she states she lives with you (if she does does) and is paying half the rent. If she lives with you, your SSI should go back up to the full amount. If she does not live with you, her paying the rent will cause your SSI to be decreased. The amount of the decrease depends on whether she is paying the rent directly to the landlord or giving you the money to pay it.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Aurora

        I receive SSI and its 733.00 my landlord notified me that hes increasing my rent to 600 effective by September. Due to the increase I will need to get a roomate to split the rent and utilities in half. Will my SSI go down? I do receive snap. My food costs will be my own and my roommate will be responsible for their food.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Aurora,

          If your roommate pays only half of the rent and half of the utilities, your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will not go down.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Stephanie

    My daughter has been totally disabled since birth. She is not institutionalized and lives with me and has never worked. She began receiving SSI when she turned 18. Her monthly benefit is $485. We are struggling financially, is there a way to increase her SSI?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stephanie,

      For your daughter to receive the maximum Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment, she needs to pay her share of rent or mortgage, shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, garbage) and food or pay her share of shelter and buy her food separately. If there are two in the household, her share is one-half; three, one-third, and so on.

      Even if she cannot pay her full share, if she starts to pay some amount, her SSI could go up. For example, if her share is $600 and she contributes $400, her SSI would go up to $553. Then she could contribute $500 and her SSI would go up to $653. At that point she could contribute $600 and get full SSI. Of course, this is a hypothetical example in terms ofthe figures, but it will give you a general idea. One more thing to note is that an increase in benefits will occur two months after your daughter increases her contribution. Lastly, perhaps your family qualifies for SNAP (formerly called food stamps).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • christopher torres

        im on ssi and i receive $733.00 a month wat i dnt get is why dey didint look n to my history i was disabled since i was lil i only get small amount this $$ really doesnt help me alot by myself payin bills

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Christopher,

          You are receiving the maximum federal SSI payment. If you are not getting food stamps (SNAP benefits), I suggest that you apply at your local state or county social services offices. Also, you can call Social Security at 1-800=772-1213 to find out whether your state has an SSI state supplement that must be applied for in a state office.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Jerry

    I was able to work for 20 years, but had to go on disability at age 46. My income today is 1200 a month (not enough to live on). Is there any way I can uptown addition income? I’mm 70 years old. Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jerry,

      I do not know of a cash benefit program that could provide you with additional income. You might check with your local social services office to see if you qualify for SNAP (formerly called food stamps).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Alexis

    My fiance has disablity. He gets $27 for ssdi and $726 ssd. We also have a son. This is barley enough to pay our bills and I work also. We live pay check to pay check and sometimes aren’t able to pay our bills on time. We have tried and tried to get information on getting my son s monthly check because people have told us he should get money. Are we able to get our son money? And what all will change when we get married? Will he get more money?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Alexis,

      Your fiance’s Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefit is fairly low, which may mean that no dependent benefits are payable. I suggest that he call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and ask the amount of his family maximum benefit (FMB). If his FMB is more than his own Social Security, the difference between the two is payable as dependent benefits. If they are the same, no dependent benefits are payable. If the FMB is higher than $726, he just needs to file an application for the child and present her birth certificate.

      If you get married, your husband’s SSDI will stay the same. Your income will be considered in determining whether he is still eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). A certain amount of your earnings is excluded and a certain amount is set aside for your support and your child’s support before any is counted for SSI so it is possible that he could continue to be eligible. Your fiance can ask the Social Security Administration to do an estimated calculation of the effect of marriage before you and he marry.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Bobbie

    I currently receive SSDI in the amount of 1149.00. my youngest child receives 575.00. When she graduates High School this May, will my benefit amount increase to the full 1724.00?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Bobbie,

      Your Social Security benefit will not increase. Your daughter’s dependents benefit is paid in addition to your benefit amount, not out of it. The $1,724 is a family maximum benefit, payable for the dependents’ support. Now that your daughter is of age, she is no longer considered dependent on you and the payment stops.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Clyde Barden

    If my AIME is $900.00 And PIA is $750.00 and MFB is $740.00… Do add PIA and MFB to get my monthly total?? I have 2 little kids and wife…

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Clyde,

      You will receive $750 and if you have typed in the correct figure for the Maximum Family Benefit (MFB), no dependent benefits will be payable for your family. Dependent benefits are paid only if the MFB is higher than the PIA that you receive. In that case, the dependents receive the difference between the MFB and the PIA.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ms. Herrera

    Dear Kay

    I currently receive $551 in SSI and $202 in SSDI. I am currently living with a friend and I pay $550 a month for my share of the rent and bills, that only leaves me with $203 a month for my medications, food and my phone bill. I get $29 in SNAP each month. I am at a loss here, I am finding it hard to pay for everything.

    Please tell me what I can do.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ms. Herrera,

      I suggest that you check with the SNAP office to be sure that they have documentation of your medical expenses and also that they have the right amount on file for your shelter costs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Marquita Stewart

      Hi I am 30 yrs old my son recieve $733.00 in ssi and I receive $51.00 in ssi and I also receive $702.00 in ssd. I also get snap. It is hard living on this. I also have two other kids who don’t receive anything what do we need to do. Cause I just don’t know anymore!

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Marquita,

        You can try applying for cash assistance for your children by contacting your state’s social service agency. I do not know whether they will qualify with the income the family currenly has, but it is worth investigating. You can also apply for government-subsidized housing to get on a waiting list.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • derrick

    Hi,

    I believe I receive around 425 a month ssdi, and 325 a month ssi. Though I may have them reversed. However my question is, I’m not working and I can’t survive off these benefits. I’m 26 years old. Is there a way to increase my benefits? Most apartments want to see me making at least 1100 dollars a month. I’m at around 750. Please help. I have applied for section 8, but the wait is very long. Are there different cities or states that have shorter turnaround times for secton 8 housing vouchers?

    Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Derrick,

      You are receiving the maximum federal SSI payment based on the amount of your Social Security. If you have not applied for SNAP (food stamps), I suggest that you do so. I think most areas have a waiting list for public housing and Section 8, but you could search online for public housing in different counties.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kevin Miller

    I currently receive $1,000 per month in SSDI benefits. My three children receive $200 each per month. My children were each originally eligible for $400 each. However, the family maximum was only $1,600 per month. My oldest child turns 18 and graduates from high school this month, so he will be losing his benefits. Will the benefits for my two remaining children be readjusted to $300 each per month? If so, will the adjustment take place automatically, or is there something I’ll need to file? Thanks.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kevin,

      Your two minor children’s dependent benefits will increase to $300 each beginning in June (benefit paid in July). The change should occur automatically.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • I hope I’m posting in the right place im in a bit of a dilemma with ssi, I currently get $318 dollars in ssi with medicaide i live with my parents due to not being able to be employed ( still going through treatment ) and they pay the bills Although I pitch in for cable ( 60 ) phones ( 60 ) and dog food ( 40 ), which leaves me with $158 to live off of for a whole month, I’ve asked again and again about going back to work and the office keeps giving me the same thing I can work again and Medicaid ( which is a MUST ) will not be effected as long as there is still $1 to my ssi check, so I’m still stuck at & $318, I’m wondering if there’s anyway shape or form I can boost my ssi a tad or something without losing my Medicaid because chemotherapy has yet to come cheap.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jonathan,

      If you pay your share of rent or mortgage, utilities (power, heat, water/sewer and garbage0 and food or bought your own food, then your SSI would increase. If you are able to do some work, the first $65 work earnings per month will not reduce your SSI; there will be a reduction of $1 for every $2 you earn over that amount.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Gloria

    I am 20 yeas old and have been on disability for ptsd for non va related things. I have to move out on my own but i only get less than 700 a month. I am unable to work, i have tried I can’t. I’ve been sent home from having flashbacks. I’m not sure what to do. Can i apply for more to be able to live on my own? How do I?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Gloria,

      Please provide a bit more information so that I can respond. Are you receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you are receiving SSDI, how much is your gross benefit before tax or Medicare premium withholding, if any. If you are receiving SSI in an amount less than $733, what is the reason for the reduction.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • My daughter and her boyfriend(fixn to be married)both get ssi..now they have a son.and just moved together..will thier ssi go down or up..and the son is healthy,but they nearly make it now

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Scott,

      Once your daughter and her boyfriend are married, as a couple the maximum federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) they are eligible for is $1,100 ($550 each). If they live in a state with an SSI state supplement, somewhat more is payable. Nothing is payable for the child. When their income goes down, they may be eligible for more food stamps. They might also consider applying for public housing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • scott thompson

    I was wondering I get $889.40 a month and trying to move but how am I suppose to pay for deposit if I can’t get more money…is there a way I can ask social security disability for a one time extra check to help move?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Scott,

      No extra Social Security benefits are available to move. Perhaps you can save up the deposit over a long period of time.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jared Alexander

    I currently get $483 a month is SSI benefits and $252 a month in SSDI benefits. I get a adult child’s benefits because I became disabled about five years old and it’s based on what my dad made as a truck driver. My biological dad and mom divorced in 1992, my dad has a brain injury and seizures from a bar fight in 1993. I have autism, generalized anxiety disorder, major depression, and impulse control disorder. I want to work again but I can’t even work at a sheltered workshop because I can’t take loud noises and I get anxious really easy as well. Unfortunately, I live in a small town called Shenandoah, Iowa. My mom is currently my representative payee for my SSI and SSDI benefits. I live in Section 8 housing but I only get $19 on my EBT card every month. My stepbrother, Willy just finished high school and he’s not going to college. Willy gets $252 a month SSDI benefits same as me. What would happen when Willy is no longer eligible for SSDI benefits? My guess is that my SSI benefits would decrease and I would get his SSDI share. What vocational options are best for me if I can’t work at a sheltered workshop? Where I live at, my rent is $209 a month and cable is $40 a month for a total of $249 a month. My mom thinks that’s too high for my income. Should I stay in an apartment or should I move back with my mom? I barely have enough money to survive every month. I wish my food assistance would increase and I do get Title 19 health insurance right now. I’ve been complaining about this for a while now. I hope this solves the problem.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jared,

      Your rent is very low and likely the best possible financial arrangement that you could get for housing. If you move in with your mother, your SSI could be reduced if you do not pay your share of shelter and food costs (or just of shelter if you buy your food separately.) Note that the cable fee is optional. Your overall income is $753. What is happening to the rest of the money above the $19 that you are getting on your EBT card and the $249 paid for rent and cable? Your mother should be paying your rent and cable and any other utilities directly, taking you shopping for clothes, buying you bus tickets if you use public transportation, and retaining some money for medical co-pays and dental care. She should be giving you the remainder of the money in weekly installments for you to pay for food, personal and household supplies, and entertainment.

      If you want to pursue work, you might apply for a Social Security “Ticket to Work,” which might get you access to a vocational evaluation regarding whether there are quiet environments in which you can work.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ellen Maroney

    My 26 yr old son has bi-polar disorder. He had one job when he was 17. He receives a social security supplemental amount of $500 a month. He is back in the hospital now. I don’t believe he will ever work. Can he get an increase as $500 will not be enough when I retire? He lives with me.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ellen,

      If your son became disabled before he was age twenty-two and is unmarried when you retire and your earnings have been high enough to provide a family maximum higher than your own Social Security retirement benefit, he will be eligible for a disabled adult child benefit from your earnings record. That benefit might more than the Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

      In the meantime, find out why your son is receiving less than the $733 a month maximum. It could be because he is not paying his share of rent or mortgage, shelter utilities (not phone or cable), and food. If he can pay more towards those costs, his SSI might go up.

      If your son became disabled before age twenty-two but the first month for which he was eligible for SSI was after age twenty-two, I suggest that you now get a copy of all his disability-related medical records up to the time that the SSI started and keep the records to submit when you retire and the disabled adult child application is filed. (The longer time that passes, the harder it will be to get evidence from that early period.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • paul

    hello im getting ssd and they take 50% for child support out for my kids which i have no problem with but i wanted to ask they cut the support of one child down from 256 down to 69 a month now will the remainder of what they cut come back to my check or what 412 a month divided into 2 is 206 take 69 leaves 147 unacounted for will i get this back now there not taking it or will ssa keep it ?? any help here please because the way it sits im getting 413 a month and my rent is 350 so that leaves me with 63 to pay water elec trash i cant do it any more what can i do

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Paul,

      The Social Security Administration cannot change the amount of the child support order. Only a judge of the court that made the original order can do that. You can ask Social Security to reduce the amount being withheld so that you can support yourself. All of your benefit will either be paid the the child support collection agency or to you. Social Security will not keep any of it.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Trent Cash

    I want to see if i could receive more money in disability because i got cancer at the age of 14 and it has came back every year and ive gotten treatment every year and im 19 now but come to find out i have been getting disability since 15 and my mom has been handling it but she has been lying on how much i get every month saying the amount changes every month from 200 to 300 dollars and she only gives me 100 each month but i did some research and i really get 600 dollars every month and i wanted to see if i could get more because i plan on moving out next month but i have no job or a car and im currently going threw treatment right now and more money would help dramatically because anybody i move in with i will have to pay bills and i will need to get things that i need not even including the things i want.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Trent,

      First, you can apply to be your own payee and receive your benefits directly. The amount of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) you receive can change each month depending on your income. Income includes the value of free or reduced-cost housing or food. If you do not pay your own rent and utilities or do not pay your equal share of those costs, your SSI payment will be reduced. The same is true if you share food with people you live with.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • JoAnna Portillo

    I’m getting SSA. For my disability, due to my chronic leg pain and also for my diabetes, due to all my medicine i have to buy every month all in all is over 500 plus everything on top of that bills, rent, food, etc. I Can’t work that’s why I Get disability. But I get way too little only 715 a month. Which I want to know if i can get more. Bcuz rent is 800 my diabetes supplies is 500 a month plus other bills all other are 200 help i need sources or answers.
    Thanks.
    -Jo

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear JoAnna,

      Given the expenses you list, I assume that you are married to someone with income or get financial help from someone. Without more details about how you are paying the expenses you list, I can’t offer suggestions. I can tell you have if you are married and living with your spouse, and your husband’s income is not too high, you might qualify for a very small amount of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which would entitle you to Medicaid in most states. The Medicaid would cover some or all of your diabetic supplies. If you do not qualify for SSI, during the open enrollment period in November and December, you can apply for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Depending on your income, you might qualify for a government subsidy to help pay the premiums. You can get more information at http://www.healthcare.gov.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Sarah

    Hello.
    I live in NJ and the cost of living is very high. I am disabled and I am gifted about $1100 a month. When my income was calculated, I was receiving in-kind assistance from family. My car insurance, utilities, rent, medical bills, and clothing were regularly paid by family. My family situation has changed and I must take over all of my living expenses. A small apartment averages about $1200 a month and even if I split the cost with a roommate housing alone will take up nearly 60% of my income. I have looked for cheaper places but it seems that when all is said and done my cost of living will be significantly higher than what I will be receiving. Does SSD account for an increase in living expenses? I have applied for food stamps. Are there other benefits that I may be eligible for so I can live independent from my family? I am entirely unable to work even part time to subsidize my income. I have applied for subsidized housing but the wait list is 3 years. I am living in a shelter until I am able to move. Thank you for any advice that you can give me.
    -Sarah

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sarah,

      Your expenses do not determine payment amount. Social Security Disability benefit amounts are calculated on your earnings history. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment amounts are counted based on your current income, including gifts and in-kind (non-cash) income in the form of free housing and/or food. (Government-subsidized housing and food stamps do not count as income.) For right now, your best options may be to find a roommate and apply to your power company for energy assistance to help pay your power bill or to rent a room in someone’s home.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Sarah

        I did not find your reply helpful, I already stated that I have sought out roommates and I am still unable to afford a place to live. The cost to rent a room in someone’s home is more than 30% of my income. Again, I am currently in a shelter. While working, I made more than twice monthly of what I earn in disability. I don’t have any energy expenses because I have no way to afford a place to live in.

        I no longer receive ANY in kind support. Why isn’t SSI an option?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Sarah,

          Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal public welfare program for disabled and aged people who have income below $753 (somewhat higher if the income is from work). You have gift income of $1,100, which makes you ineligible for SSI. With housing as expensive as it is in many parts of the country, it is not uncommon for people to pay more than 30% of their income for shelter.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Sarah

            I am sorry I believe there has been a slight misunderstanding. I am ‘gifted’ $1100 in DISABILITY a month. I do not receive any other form of work income, in-kind payment, or gifts. I just referred to disability as a ‘gift’.

            So I really don’t qualify for SSI? Really? Is it common to receive less than half the amount for SSD that is earned when working?

            SSD alone is completely impossibly to live on. Bare minimum expenses NOT including renting a room are much higher than what I receive each month in disability. My conditions requires an expensive diet that are currently more expensive than the food stamps I will receive, I have to pay out of pocket for specialists and medications that Medicaid does not cover, my transportation to my multiple doctors is weekly and to multiple states and costs $460 a month. The shelter I am in has a work program but none of my doctors will clear me to work. There is a 6 month limit at the shelter and I have been here almost 3 months. Are there no other programs that someone like me qualifies for?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Sarah,

              You are correct. You do not qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). I cannot be of much help. I am not aware of any federal programs that can assist you. I don’t know whether your city has a transit system that provides reduced price bus tickets to disabled individuals, but that might be an option. Is it practical for you to move to a less expensive city or state? The only other thing, I can think of is to discuss your treatment plan with your doctors to see if it can be brought into alignment with what your insurance will pay for.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Michelle benford

            I currently receive $840.00 per Monty since being on disability I have had other sever problems pertaining to my health is there a way to get my check increase due to other health issues?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Michelle,

              Benefits do not increase when one’s health declines.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Rachel E Kownslar

    I recieve SSD and Disabled Widows Benefits. The medicare premium is taken from my SSD. Can I still qualify for SSI?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rachel,

      If your gross Social Security Disability (SSD) before Medicare premiums and your disabled widows benefits, both before tax withholding, are less than $753 monthly, you might qualify for Supplemental Security Income, (SSI).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Mark Anderson

    Hi there. I’m 29 and disabled. My
    Monthly amount is $855… After my
    Expenses of rent and personal needs I’m left with nothing. Would I qualify for a supplement income?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mark,

      Your income is about $100 a month too high for a federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment. You can contact yourSocial Security office or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to find out whether or state has an SSI supplement and, if so, whether its income limits are above your income. If you haven’t already, you can apply for SNAP (food stamps). You might also investigate whether your power company has assistance for people with low incomes. If you are able to work at all part time, Social Security allows some work earnings. If you are unable to earn $1,090 gross monthly, you would still be considered disabled. If you decide to try working, I suggest that you request a Social Security Ticket to Work. You can read about the Ticket and Social Security’s other work incentives in the Red Book posted on http://www.ssa.gov or request a print copy at your Social Security. office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Aleah

    I receive ssi and its not much . Not enough to take care of 3 kids by myself . Is there anything else that I qualify for to help with my kids? Social security said that I cannot get anything for my kids

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Aleah,

      I suggest that you contact your state or county department of social services to see whether you qualify to receive some additional amount for the support of your children. If you have not already, you might apply for SNAP (food stamps) and try to get on a waiting list for government-subsidized housing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Robert

    My girlfriend is pregnant and I want to move into my own house or apartment soon. I currently live with my mother but am moving somewhere until I have until to buy furniture, etc. I do not believe the current income (630) I am receiving will be able to cover all cost of my living… bills, rent, etc. Will my SSDI be able to be raised or will I just have to stick with my current amount I am receiving? Will I be able to receive other assistance?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Robert,

      My answer is based on your statement that you are receiving SSDI (Social Security Disability), and my assumption that your $630 SSDI is before Medicare premiums or taxes and that you mean that you intend to move into housing with your girlfriend and your child.

      When your child is born, you can check to see whether a small dependent benefit is payable on your Social Security earnings record. (It is possible that none will be payable because your benefit is fairly low, indicating that your earnings record may not be strong enough to have funded a dependent benefit.) When you move, you can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you pay at least one-third of the rent, power, heat, water/sewer, garbage and food, you are probably eligible receive $125 a month Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and possibly Medicaid. If you receive Medicaid, the Medicaid program will pay your Medicare premium if you have Medicare. (If you pay your share where you are currently living, you could be eligible for SSI without moving.) You can apply for SSI at your local Social Security office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Brian Murphy

    Hi
    I receive a monthly SSI/SSDI total of $870. I can’t afford to live on this unless I’m homeless. Because I have been on disability since I was young (before ever earning much money through a career), my monthly amount is low. I am now 40. Is there a way to get this adjusted to receive more, even though I never earned much? I’ve been on disability for 10 years.
    Thanks,
    Brian

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brian,

      Your benefits will be raised only by annual cost-of-living increases and if you work enough while paying Social Security taxes to qualify for an earnings recalculation. It should be noted that enough earnings to result in an increase could eventually eventually lead to termination of benefits. You can read about Social Security work incentives in Social Security’s Red Book found online at http://www.ssa.gov or by requesting a copy from your local Social Security office.

      I suggest that, if you have not already, that you apply for SNAP (food stamps) and government-subsidized housing. Because it can take a long time to get subsidized housing, you might look for an inexpensive room to rent that includes kitchen privileges. If you are able to work a little bit, I suggest that you investigate how a small amount of work would affect your SSI state supplement. For the federal SSI benefit, you can earn $65 a month and have no reduction. If you earn more than $65, your federal SSI would go down $1 for every $2 over the limit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • tara schaller

    your answers are wonderful. and you seem very knowledgeable.
    so i, also, have a question.
    i was deemed permanently disabled and was back paid ssdi to jan. 2013. i had limited income in 2012 due to the multiplicity of issues and had been told that a social worker within the hospital (where i was at the time trying to stay alive) had applied for ssdi on my behalf. it turns out she did not. plus my 2011 income was limited due to a mental breakdown caused by unnecessary stress at my place of employment.
    my question is…as they go back 10yrs of income, and the last two that i was employable we limited, is there any way to take the previous 10 (prior to 2011) as they were my normal, peak income amounts (and one of those years would have been included had the social worker at the hospital done what she “misleadingly” told me and my daughters she had).
    due to the 9 categories that i am eligible for disability, one of them being mental health, it is causing undo depression thinking i may lose my home of almost 37yrs, where i live alone, and had planned to leave from straight to Heaven. what the government determined as monthly ssdi is not enough to pay my modified mortgage (as i was unable to make payments for 2yrs pending the application etc…and i lived on $0/mo for many months during that period).
    is there any recourse as to the failing to initially file by that social worker which would increase my monthly ssdi to an amount i MAY be able to survive on??!
    i am getting all benefits the govt offers and am now on medicare. so i’m not complaining that i am being provided for..just not having anticipated that i would have to lose my home, my sense of security and stability, because i was, and still am, too sick to pursue what should have been pursued. (i am trying to see if there is a way to find legal help to put this home into a section 8 status, and, as i am eligible for section 8, to rent from myself, a trust, an executor etc)
    thanks for any input.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tara,

      The ten years you refer to relates to whether or not a worker has the minimum amount of recent (within ten years of disability) work to be insured to receive benefits. Social Security benefit amounts are calculated on more than the last ten years of work. The number of years of work used in the calculation depends on the age at which you became disabled. If you are an older worker, your benefit amount can be based as many as thirty-five years. Whatever the number of years, the years with highest earnings are always used so the amount of your benefit is not greatly impacted by the later application, although there some retroactive benefits could have been lost. With regard to your mortgage, you might consider taking in a roomer to help cover costs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • robin ayers

    Kay, I am 52 with 2 physical conditions and several mental health diagnosis that I think I can qualify for SSDI. I just saw on the social security website that if I became disabled now I would earn just under 1800 a month. I have worked hard all my life and now with all these problems returning to work would be difficult but I can’t survive on that. I am absolutely devastated. My husband works but he can’t pay all our bills alone, but yet he makes enough money we probably won’t qualify for anything else. I am more depressed than ever. Please advise if there is any supplemental income I can apply for. I haven’t applied for SSDI yet but my doctor’s keep pressing me to. Thank you in advance. Robin

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Robin,

      A Social Security benefit of nearly $1,800 is too high for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) by more than a thousand dollars. You are correct that you and your husband will probably not qualify for any public assistance, which is reserved for people close to the poverty line. If you have been off work for twelve months or expect to be, you should definitely apply for benefits; there is nothing to be gained by not applying. Additionally, being disabled and receiving Social Security disability benefits protects your retirement benefit amount as compared to simply being off work for an extended period of time and not drawing benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • julie

    My husband is receiving SSDI and so are our 3 children. I was not able to receive benefits from my husband because our family was maxed out based on my husband and 3 children’s benefits added together. One of my children is turning 18. When we stop receiving his monthly benefit, will I then be eligible to receive a benefit since we’ll no longer be maxed out?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Julie,

      You can apply for benefits if you have a child in your care under age sixteen or you are age sixty-two or older. You will be eligible if you are not working and earning too much. If you don’t apply, the two remaining children’s benefits will go up if they were not already receiving the maximum payable to each of them.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • jeff

    I have been receiving ssdi for at least 11 years now. Back in October I moved in with my brother who is not receiving benefits, he has a part time job. I get 710 in ssdi and since October I been drawing off my dad’s retirement ssi first few months I was getting like 300 from my dad’s ssi, than I thick my mom turned 65 and it got reduced to 70. So I’m getting 770 total. I’m also getting 192 in food stamps now. I had a part time job back in October, but got laid off due to the store closing in December. Been unemployed since having no luck finding work, didn’t qualify for unemployment, done the math with the bills and my share of the rent looks like I’ll have to fall behind on some bills. Been getting food stamps in January. I haven’t reported job lost to ssa. If I did, would either my ssdi or the ssi I’m drawing from my dad go up? Thanks so much jeff

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jeff,

      I think you may have mixed up the name of the benefits you received. SSI (Supplemental Security Income) does not provide dependent benefits, so you are receiving Social Security dependent benefits from your father’s record, not SSI. Stopping work will not increase your benefit from your father’s record.

      Before I respond about the effect of stopping work on the other benefit you are getting, which you referred to as SSDI, please double-check the name of the larger benefit you receive and let me know whether you are receiving SSDI (Social Security Disability), which would be based on your own earnings record or you are receiving Supplement Security Income (SSI) based on financial need. Any letters you have, such as the last notice of the cost-of-living adjustment, will have the name of the benefit across the top of the letter, or you can call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 for clarification.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Mike85

    Why doesn’t Cola cover food and fuel. Isn’t it curious that the two things we all need to live are not factored in to the Cola

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mike,

      I suggest that you address your question to the U.S. Department of Labor.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Hi! I am 24 years of age and I suffer from a blood disease called Sickle Cell Anemia I have SS witch is the most severe. I have been getting $721 from (SSI) for about 4 years now and I wanted to know what the difference is between (SSI) and (SSD)? And would I be able to get SSD? And how can I get an increase of my SSI or is that the maximum amount I can recieve? I’m am currently living with both parents, my fiancé, and our 4 year old son. I am not able to work cause of my illness because I’m in pain just about everyday, and im frequently in and out of the hospital. I’m most defenently sure that I can’t live off and support my family with that low of income! What are some other benefits I can recieve and how? My fiancé does work but she has siadica, I’m not sure if I spelled that correctly but she has real bad back problems. Is there anyway she can get SSI benefits or any other benefits? Please help us, and thank you!

    Sincerely,
    Darrius

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Darrius,

      Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are paid to individuals who have worked enough to be insured for benefits. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are paid to disabled individuals and those age sixty-five or older who have low income and assets. When you applied for SSI, the Social Security Administration would have checked to see whether you were insured for SSD, so apparently you are not. You are receiving the maximum SSI.

      If your finance has to stop working because of her back problems or is grossing less than $1,090 a month, she can apply for Social Security Disability and/or SSI. If she is approved for SSD and has high enough earnings, her child could be eligible for a dependents benefit from her record; however, if she is quite young, she may not have worked enough for a dependents benefit to be payable. If you have not already, you might apply for SNAP (food stamps). Your son may also be eligible for health insurance through a government program.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Joe

      I listen to some of the payments these people are getting, and I here them cry, I took care of my child with only $630 Ssi payment, $200in food stamps(snap) .my rent was $600. It’s called going without some extras,like, cable,etc.

  • Kathy

    I recieve social security benefits $500 a month. I recieive Ssi and get only $40 a month. How can I apply to get more? I’m a single mom with 3 kids. PLZZZZ help!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kathy,

      From the figures you are giving me, it sounds as if you are getting in-kind (non-cash) support and maintenance in the free or reduced cost shelter (rent and utilities) or food from a private party (not government subsidized housing or SNAP/food stamps.) If this is the case, you could try to increase your contribution to the household where you live or try to get into government-subsidized housing so that you can pay all your own bills. If that is not the case, then I suggest that you ask Social Security to explain how your benefit is being calculated and appeal the calculation if incorrect facts are being used.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kris

    I am so confused. My 18 year old disabled son just began getting SSI. He was approved immediately because he is deaf/blind. SSI called today to review the amount he contributes to the household bills. She vaguely tried to tell me how to figure the bills so he can receive the maximum amount of SSI. She took the total monthly bills for rent, lights, water and groceries and told me to readjust these numbers so he can get more money. He only receives $400 a month now. How do I figure the amounts so that it will work to his benefit.? If anyone can help, I would greatly appreciate it. He has been handicap since birth and we had to wait until he was 18 to get any assistance, because my husband “makes too much money”. LOL That is a joke because he is in law enforcement. Also, I still have to pay for sitters after school and during the holidays and summers.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kris,

      Presumably you will be receiving SSI back pay for your son. When you do, you can start using the back pay so that your son can pay his share of rent, power, heat, water/sewer, garbage, and food. Once he starts to pay his share, his benefit will increase two months later. If he cannot pay his full share after his back pay is used up but he can pay some amount, he might continue to receive more than he is getting now, though less than the $733 maximum.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Nick O

    Kay,
    I was recently diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder called Asperger syndrome. It prevented me from finishing school or working. And because I have such trouble with people and communication I resisted going to any doctor untill I was 33. Even writing this email is difficult for me. But now that I have been diagnosed and my parents have placed me on disability.

    Here’s my information, I hope it is enough for you to help.
    As I have never worked I only receive SSI and with living with my father I only get around $475 a month. Even I know I can’t live on that if something happens to him. I know I can’t increase the SSI because I live with him and I don’t get SSDI payments from having never worked.

    I am wondering if because I have always been this way since and with it having started to be severe enough to stop me from going to school around age 12-14, if I somehow can qualify for more benefits. I read that if you are disabled before 22 you qualify through your parents SSDI payments? I also read that if one of your parents is disabled, you can qualify for up to half of their disability? My mother has Rheumatoid arthritis which in the last couple of years qualified her for disability. I don’t live with her and I don’t know the requirements for getting that money. Or could I just pay into disability insurance the needed yearly amount to qualify for the 4 credits per year? If I can do that, I could get the 20 credits I need before age 42 to get enough the maximum. An I can live on that.

    If you can’t tell, I am seriously worried about my future. I have none but my parents to depend on. And have never taken care of myself. My hope is to get enough of an increase so that my father and I can buy a house and when he eventually dies, I’ll be able to afford to live out my life there as well.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nick,

      Theoretically, you can apply to receive Disabled Adult Child benefits on your mother’s earnings record; however, you must prove that you have been disabled since before age twenty-two and that will be the challenge if you have no medical records regarding your condition before age thirty-three. It is very long shot that you would be approved, but you could try.You could try to file a claim with a statement from the physician who diagnosed you in which the doctor says that the condition is congenital and that in his medical opinion your dropping out of school at a very young age was due to the Asperger Syndrome. You could accompany the statement with letters from your parents and any other adults who have known you and been around you since you were younger than age twenty-two, preferably since the time you dropped out of school. The statements should address what the person saw and observed about your behavior and limitations. If you can find your last teacher or teachers and they remember you and remember any functional limitations you displayed in school, their statements would help also.

      You cannot buy Social Security quarters of coverage (work credits); they can only be earned by working. The maximum federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit is now $733. Some states also pay a small SSI supplement. If you start paying your share (one-half if there are just two in the household) of the rent, power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage and half the food, your benefit could increase to the maximum. Even if you don’t pay your full share, it could increase somewhat if you were not contributing when you were approved, but began to contribute to these expenses later or start now. If you eat separate food from your father and receive food stamps, then you only have to pay your share of the listed shelter expenses. If you are eligible for an increase, it will begin two months after you start making a contribution that allows the increase.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Zach

    Kay,
    Awesome comments they have been great to read.

    I have a question for you; As a person that receives SSDI am I allowed to work a part time job to help make ends meet or would my earnings reduce my benefits by $1 per $2 earned?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Zach,

      If you are receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI) and not Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you are either eligible for full benefits or eligible for none. SSDI has several work incentives for people whose medical condition is still limiting. I suggest that you request a “Ticket to Work” from Social Security, which can include some rehabilitation services and expresses your intent to try to work.

      There is a nine-month Trial Work Period in which you can work and receive benefits. After that during a thirty-six-month Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE), you can receive benefits for any month in which your gross earnings (net, if you are self-employed) are not substantial, which is now defined as $1,090 per month. You will not be paid for months in the EPE in which your earnings are substantial. At the end of the EPE, eligibility will be terminated and benefits will stop the first month after the EPE in which your earnings are substantial. More information about work incentives can be found in Social Security’s Red Book available online at http://www.ssa.gov or from a Social Security office. Be sure to report when you start work.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • hello, I have been on ssdi since 2010. Very thankful. I recived 403, then 403, now it’s 406. Due to me working part time always. I am struggling so much. Such as everyone. I keep letting go from job due to my learing disabilities and back pain. Very frustrating. I can’t go to school, I have not made more than 8 an hour. I want to have my child live w me, but cannot afford it. I am on waiting list for section 8 housing but I don’t know if I can survive w her and me. Iv been told the amount I get is the most I can get. But then also have been told I could be getting more also. If I work it’s detramental if I don’t work it’s detramentel . I don’t know what to do. Can I do anything? Thankyou

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Becky,

      If you are receiving SSDI (Social Security Disability), your benefit is based on your earnings record and the amount you work does not change the benefit. You have a nine-month Trial Work Period in which you can earn any amount and not have it affect your SSDI benefits. After the nine months and for the next thirty-six months, your benefits will be suspended in months you earn $1,090 or more gross per month and you will receive benefits for months you earn less than that.

      If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your work earnings above $65 ($85 if you have no other income) reduce your SSI benefit one dollar for each two dollars earned. Because of this work incentive your total income is more with you working than you would get on SSI alone.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Alyra baird

    i have been getting my check from them since i was 18 but when i had my children it became so much harder to live even with state funding for them i have to ask family or close friends for help just to make it through the month is there anything i can do to fix this

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Alyra,

      I’ll take a guess that you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and base my response on that assumption. Benefits that you might be eligible for (and which you may already receive) are food stamps, energy assistance in the winter and subsidized housing, the cost of which is limited to one-third of the family’s income. Assuming you receive SSI, cash help from family and friends reduces your SSI benefit and must be reported. Also if family and friends pay your rent, heat, power, water/sewer or garbage directly to the landlord or utility companies, it is in-kind income that reduces SSI.

      If they help out by buying the children clothes, giving your bus tickets or putting gas in the car’s tank or pay for other expenses that are not shelter expenses or food without giving you cash, it is not income for your SSI benefit calculation. Another thought is to take in a roommate who pays his or her share of housing expenses. A share is the total cost divided by the number of people living in the house or apartment.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • I have recieved ssd for 6 yrs now but my question is: I have was seperated from my husband and have been now for 14 yrs. Why did they use his income when we havent lived together ?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Barbara,

      If you are receiving SSD (Social Security Disability) on your own earnings record, you husband’s income has no bearing on your benefit whether or not you live together. If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and your husband’s earnings are being considered in calculating your benefit even though he doesn’t live with you (unlikely given that you separated before you began to receive benefits), you need to report the error to Social Security.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • my mother who will be 64 in February receives a disability check for 433.00 and a SSI check for 310.00. how do we get them to increase them so she is able to pay her rent of 800 a month with all other bills paid but her food???

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Will,

      Your mother is receiving the maximum benefits possible. She needs to find less expensive housing. If someone pays for her rent, utilities, or food (other than government-subsidized housing or food stamp program), her SSI will go down dollar-for-dollar for the assistance received.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Harvey L. Brinson

    My daughter received a SS check, but has now turned 18. Will my SS check be increased as a result?
    Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Harvey,

      Your Social Security benefit will not increase because your daughter’s benefit is ending. Her benefit was paid in addition to yours so you could support her while she was a minor. Her benefit did not reduce your benefit. If she is still in high school and you file a high school attendance report, her benefits will continue to age nineteen.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • John O

    I’ve been on SSD for almst 3 years now and only get a little over $800. I’ve heard that is your SSD is low enough that you may be able to get SSI as a suplement help. Is this true and if so how does it work? Thank You

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear John,

      Your Social Security is a little too high for a federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment. Some states have a state SSI supplement that allows higher income. I suggest that you contact Social Security and ask whether your state has a state supplement and, if so, whether you apply for it in the Social Security office or with a state agency office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Wanxa

    My SSI stopped coming in but my SSD stayed the same. I am not making it on what I am receiving. I’m at my wits end and don’t know what to do. My mother is my caregiver and its hard on her because she doesn’t get much in retirement. I do receive $17 a month in food stamps, but that doesn’t help. I need help to see what I can do. Thank you in advance. Wanda Sue

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Wanda,

      If you have not reported the income change to the food stamp office, do so. Perhaps your food stamps will be increased. You do not say why your SSI stopped. Are you in agreement with SSI stopping? If not and you are in the appeals period (60 days from the date of the termination letter), you can appeal. You might also check to see if your state will pay a relative caretaker.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Darren

    I started receiving ssi and ssdi around age 20. (year 2009) I had a total of 5 credits from work history. Since I was a credit short, they gave me ssdi under my father who is also disabled…I worked for a year at age 23 (year 2011) for a year and made $4,00+ that year….I then worked again in 2013 (age 26)….can i get my ssdi increased from work history after i was approved for disability?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Darren,

      You need work credits in number that total half the calendar quarters between the date you turned twenty-one and 2023, when you were 26. Five years has twenty quarters so you would need ten quarters of coverage (work credits). The most you could have earned in the two years you worked after age twenty-one is eight.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Patience Young

    Question, I receive SSDI as well as SSI. My question is can I receive an increase of SSDI or SSI due to a physical diagnosis and disability? Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Patience,

      No, you cannot get an increase in benefits due to a change your medical condition. SSDI and SSI do not pay different rates for different illnesses or degree of disability.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • elias martinez

    I am receiving $620 from SSI which is not enough to live on for me because now I am behind in my rent and bills and facing eviction by the super for falling behind on my rent and nonpayment of my share of the bills. I have been to the social security office to fill out a form for an increase in my Ssi. Will I see a raise in my ssi because my living expenses have gotten too high to depend on ssi alone. I have also been told by my SSI case worker that I can not apply for food stamps. I also owe social security. Will that have anything to do with my benefits not rising?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Elias,

      Benefits do not go up because of an increase in expenses, but before I respond about a potential increase in benefits for other reasons, I need to double check a couple things. Are you receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI) in the amount of $620 or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) of $620? If the latter, what is causing you to receive less than the maximum of $721?

      Regarding food stamps, it is possible that the person at Social Security meant that you cannot fill out a food stamp application in the Social Security office, which is possible in some states. I suggest that you file a formal application for food stamps at your state or county health and human services department.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Adrian

    What’s the most money you can get from (SSI) disability?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Adrian,

      The maximum federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment is $721 for an individual and $1,082 ($541 each) for a disabled married couple living in the same household. Some states have state supplements that range from a few dollars to more than $100 a month.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • jeff stuckey

    I am 38 an have been disabled all my life. I just started getting SSI 9 months ago. 721 a month is not enough to live on,specially when I have been ordered to pay more then that in child support. what can i do

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jeff,

      If your health will allow you to work, you canwork a little to supplement your Supplemental Security Income payments. You can earn $65 gross per month before your SSI is affected. Above that, there is a reduction in your SSI of $1 for every $2 you earn. You might also apply for food stamps and contact local non-profits to see if you can get assistance with your heating bill this winter. You might also go back to court and ask to have the child support court order reduced given your current income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • nita

    My daughter 18, with a disability was awarded disability but they want to to take $280 from the $721. How do I stop that from happening? She has never received funds and now that she is 18 I was under the impression that she would receive the full payment amount.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nia,

      Your daughter’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is being reduced because she is receiving in-kind (non-cash) support and maintenance in the form of free shelter and/or food. If she starts to pay her share of the rent (or mortgage and property taxes) and utilities (excluding cable and phone) and buys her food separately or pays her share of food, then two months later her SSI benefits will be increased to $721. Her share is the total of these costs divided by the number of people in the household. Alternatively, she could buy her own food and pay market rate for a room in the house.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • nita

        Can you please tell me how to do this… It’s just me and my daughter in the home. Is there someone in Memphis, Tn that I could contact for help?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Nita,

          I am answering your postings of September 25, which I apparently posted accidentally with no reply, and of September 29.

          Your daughter’s benefit is being reduced because she has been receiving free or subsidized shelter and/or food. After your daughter has paid her share of rent (or mortgage and property taxes) and utilities (excluding phone and cable) and her share of food for two months, her benefit will increase to the maximum. With two in the household, her share is hal of those costs. Alternatively, you could charge her market rate for a room with living room and kitchen use and she could buy her own food separately or you could charge a flat rate for room and board rate. You can find out market rates for rooms by looking at online and newspaper classified ads.

          If your daughter has received or will receive back pay, that money can provide the moneyto contribute half or pay rent for the transition period or you could try to save up enough of her monthly benefit over a few months so that she could pay her share for the two transitional months.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • nita

            Kay,
            Please email my email account for help. Do I need a lawyer to get this done. She did receive back pay but it was used to pay people and things. My mortgage is $1400 per month. Social Security will not help me and the case worker told me that I should be happy with what any amount I get because it’s free money.. I am not going to talk to her again.. I need someone to help me get the full benefit for my daughter.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Nita,

              Given the amount of your mortgage, your daughter is never going to be able to pay her half of mortgage and utilities. I suggest that you research market rate for room rentals in your area and start saving up her SSI so that she has at least two months of room rental available and apply for food stamps for her so that she can purchase her food separately from you.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • I’m 35 I’ve received $406 a month do to child support. I receive said I was wondering could I apply for Medicaid had it when I first got disability but now have Medicare?? I suffer from M.S. can I get a increased been on it 2010?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Phil,

      You can apply for Medicaid and get a formal determination of whether you are eligible to have Medicaid supplement your Medicare coverage. If it does, the Medicaid program will probably pay your Part B Medicare premium resulting in your Social Security Disability check being increased. You might also apply to have a lower amount withheld from your check for collection of the child support.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Charlotte

    My son was injuried one week before he turned 22 he had a vet good job he is a paraplegic now an returned to work after 2 years off then worked another 2 years an is off again it was to much on him will he get a increase on his ssdi check with a aero increase do they replace a year of income or add to an how many years do they count if your under 22

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Charlotte,

      Your son can request expedited reinstatement because his benefits previously stopped less than five years ago due to a return to work and now he has stopped again due to the same condition. If his recent work earnings are enough to increase his benefits, they will be used in the calculations. He should take his W-2s and also his pay stubs for any work in 2014. Also, his benefit will be higher than it was when he stopped work due to the cost-of-living increases. With an expedited reinstatement, he will not have a five-month unpaid waiting period.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Aliyah Sanguedolce

    I also need money for a car and a computer for schooland save money for an appartment but have no money to do so. You are probably going to say get a job but ive been trying and have not succeeded and so currently on ssi because of my mental health and my mothers assumption about me not being capable of work.

  • Aliyah Sanguedolce

    Hi I am 19 years old and i get 30.00 a week for myself
    And the rest goes to rent in my group home. It is not enough to buy things my hamster and i both need andis also not enough for clothes and school supplies. Is it possible for me to get more money from them?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Aliyah,

      It sounds as if you live in a group home where Medicaid is paying for more than half of the costs. If so, you are receiving the maximum amount you can from the government. It is typical that all of the assistance except $30 goes for your room, board, and group home services. Perhaps a friend or relative could take you shopping and pay directly for some of the things you need.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Robert Stone

    I have worked a part time job since receiving ssa disability benefits. Can I get an increase in benefits because I have been paying into social security all those years. It’s been about 12or more years now.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Robert,

      For your Social Security to increase due to wages earned while receiving Social Security benefits, your work earnings while disabled must be sufficiently higher than your lowest year of earnings used in calculating your original benefit. A automated processed called the Annual Earnings Recalculation Operation will increase your benefits automatically if your recent earnings are high enough to cause a change.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Charlotte

        If ur under 22 when you became disabled how many years of income do they use to calculate ssdi I am due a aero increase I think an I am wondering how it works I had three low years of income one large an when I was injured I was half way through the year with a good year I wondered if they replace one if low years or large one with my age I went back to work fir 2 years last year I was close to my large year before my injury buy I am back off again
        Charlotte

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Charlotte,

          The calculation of disability benefits depends on the age you are when you become disabled. The agency will always use the highest earnings years. If you are unsure how your benefits are being, or would be, calculated, you can go to http://www.ssa.gov/myaccount and set up a Social Security account for yourself. Once that is done, you can request an earnings statement, which will include a disability benefit estimate. You will also be able to see if all your earnings are correctly posted.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • I have appied in 2005 and before that about 6times maybe before I got a lawyer but was asked when did I first apply what yr. Did I apply well I am divioced and can barely make ends meet higher living here in boston as appossed to Durham NC

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Pamela,

              I am not sure I understand your post. Do you have a question? I do not find a prior post from you or a record of my asking you for the year you first applied.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • deirdre

    I receive SSDI disabled widows benefits. My child just turned 18 and his benefits stopped. Shouldn’t I get more money now? SS office said I should, but I have heard nothing. As we “shared” my husbands benefit, I should get more money now. Also can I request my SS file? Something does not add up right as I was reduced $100 with no notice or explanation. The SS office seems vague and confused or are they trained that way?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Deirdre,

      Yes, your disabled widow’s benefit should increase now that you are the only one drawing benefits on your husband’s account. There is no paper file that tracks the calculation of Social Security benefits. Your computer record, called a Master Beneficiary Record, should be coded with the reason for the $100 reduction. You can either call the call center at 1-800-772-1213 or visit a Social Security office for an explanation.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • I have a similar question about children’s benefits. I started receiving SSD benefits in 2010. I also applied to receive children’s benefits for my 2 kids (which I have to use for rent, food, etc). I understand that when they turn 18 yrs old, I will stop receiving this benefit. I’m wondering… will my SSD will then increase when the children are no longer drawing from my past earnings? Also, if one of the kids chooses to live with their dad for awhile, do I need to report that and will I lose their benefit?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jill,

          Your benefit will remain the same when your children stop receiving benefits. If one of your children goes to live with his or her father for more than one or two months, their father should become their payee. If it is a very short time such as a month or two (summer vacation, for example), you could remain payee; but you need to give money to their father for the children’s food and other personal needs and possibly entertainment. If their father does not want to receive money for the children during a short stay, then the money should be saved for future medical or educational needs. If the absence is temporary such as summer vacation, you could continue to use part of the children’s benefits for rent or mortgage on the home they are returning to. Before making temporary arrangements, talk with Social Security to make sure they consider the situation temporary as defined by law. If you pass money to the children’s father, get a receipt or keep a canceled check.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • nichole

    i wanted to see if i can have a second opinion in the amount i recive a month

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nicole,

      If you believe that the facts used to determine your payment amount or the calculation itself is incorrect, you can appeal if you are within sixty days of the determination. If you are outside the appeals period, but have documentation to show that the calculation is incorrect, you may still be able to get it corrected.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Earl Debouchel

        I have HIV and aids I need more money

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Earl,

          You do not say what income you now have so I can’t comment on whether there may be other possible sources of income for you.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Monica

            Hello Kay, my mother receives about $1500.00 from ssdi. Her total family benefit is $2300.00. She lives alone. My dad is 61 and 5 months ago began receiving about $400 on ssi.
            He lives with his dad and pays $500
            in rent. my parents were married 11 yrs. Neither has remarried. is dad receives retirement benefits. Is my dad eligible to receive ssdi from my mom total family benefit? Ssi told him he receives $400 because of his work history? How can his ssi benefit increase to $733?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Monica,

              If your father’s benefit is based on his earnings record, he is not receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which has a maximum benefit of $733. At age sixty-two, he can apply for reduced spouse’s benefits on your mother’s earnings record and likely receive an additional approximate $150 from her record to supplement his own Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefit of $400 (though I wonder if you made a typographical error because you indicated your father had $400 income and was paying $500 rent). If he chooses to apply for the reduced spouse’s benefit, he should talk to the Social Security Administration first to find out the effect on his benefits when, at full retirement age, his benefits are changed from disability to retirement. (If your father is actually receiving SSI, he will be required to apply for reduced spouse’s benefits and his SSI will be reduced according to his new income. If he is receiving SSI, to answer your question about increasing his SSI benefit, I need to know whether he is really paying $500 rent and how he is doing that with $400 income.)

              Sincerely,
              Kay

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