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Understanding Social Security Disability (SSD)—An Overview of the Basics

By   /  January 2, 2017  /  437 Comments

Get answers to the most frequently asked questions about Social Security Disability and learn where to get help with your Social Security Disability claim.

social security disability The Disability Advisor on Understanding Social Security Disability
Welcome! You have arrived at the first of DisabilityAdvisor.com’s seven Social Security Disability topics—Understanding Social Security Disability (SSD)—An Overview of the Basics.

Additionally, this website offers articles that provide at-your-finger-tips answers to the most frequently asked Social Security Disability questions. For example, you can browse the twenty-one questions in this section for plain-language answers to the most frequently asked questions about Social Security Disability basic facts. These articles address:

  • Who may be eligible for Social Security Disability.
  • How Social Security defines Disability.
  • How long and how severely you have to be disabled to get benefits.
  • The amount of work credits needed to be insured for Social Security Disability.
  • How to get disability payments without work or without recent work.
  • Why hire a lawyer for your Social Security Disability claim or appeal.
  • Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability.
  • Medicare and Medicaid health insurance.
  • Getting Social Security Disability while you are still working.
  • Benefits for a disabled worker’s spouse and children.

Act Now to Get Help with Your Claim or Appeal
An experienced Social Security Disability attorney can help you with your Social Security Disability claim or appeal with no advance out-of-pocket cost to you for legal fees. This means you pay attorney fees only if your claim is approved.Then, attorney fees are subject to the standard limit set by the Social Security Administration and are deducted from your Social Security Disability back pay. All very convenient and risk free.

Understanding Social Security Disability (SSD)—An Overview of the Basics
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  • Dear Neasie,

    There is no plan or law in effect that will raise Social Security benefits to $1,300 a month for those with benefits lower than that. One idea for moving back home would be to line a roomer to live in your home with you so you could afford the mortgage payments and taxes.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Collette.

  • Dear Collette,

    The guideline for the judge to get a decision to you is sixty days, although it sometimes takes more time or less. When you get to the one-month mark, you can call the hearing office to get a status report, but you will not get the decision itself until you receive the decision letter.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Tammy

    Hello,
    I have recently been told that I could have and probably would have gotten SSI for my daughter’s learning disability(I’m not sure of her IQ but she is at least 3 grades below what she should be at in reading, comprehension, writing, everything that she is tested for when they give her an IEP). She has been in special education classes since 2006, which is when she failed 3rd grade and I switched her school. That’s when she was tested and started receiving additional help. She has never been medically tested by a physician, just through the school and her IEP’s. She is now 18 and a Senior in high school. Am I able to apply for SSI from when she was first diagnosed and request it be retroactive? And will she have to apply herself now that she is 18?

    • Dear Tammy,

      You can help your daughter apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Submit the school testing and IEP documents. SSI is never retroactive, so to avoid potentially losing benefits, I suggest that you start the application before the end of the month.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dear Mary,

    With two disabled children, approximately $4,590 gross wages per month would make both children ineligible.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Mary,

    A $500 increase would not reduce your children’s SSI.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Dee,

    If you are owed a large sum of money, multiple reviews and authorizations are required before the money is released. Otherwise, the delay in getting the back pay after the monthly benefits started is like due to processing backlogs in the payment center.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Colleen.

  • Dear Colleen,

    Additional work activity at lower pay will not reduce his benefit; there is actually the potential for increasing it. If your husband is uncertain about his ability to work, I suggest that he request a Ticket to Work and take advantage of the Social Security Disability (SSDI) return to work incentives that apply if he has not had a medical recovery. These incentives include a nine-month Trial Work Period, Extended Period of Eligibility and, if his claim is ultimately closed due to work activity, Expedited Reinstatement if he becomes disabled again within five years. You can read about them in the Red Book, available online at http://www.ssa.gov. More information about the Ticket can be found at http://www.ssa.gov/work and through the Ticket to Work Hotline at 1-866-968-7842.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Mama Pat,

    Unless you were approved at the hearing level, your approval letter will not include your diagnosis. My understanding is that now you can get a copy of decision letters online at least around the time that your status updates to “decision made.” If your approval was a hearing decision, the hearing office can send you another copy of the approval letter.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Richardo,

    As you describe your condition, it would seem that you could be considered disabled under Social Security law. If you think you cannot return to work and can’t work consistently in another occupation, I suggest that you file a claim.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Vinyl,

    The only information I have about the requirement for back benefits to go to a Dedicated Account is that it occurs when more than six months of benefits are payable. It doesn’t specify when that occurs. You can use the Dedicated Account money for things other than medical expenses. For example, you can use the funds for his education (i.e., his tutoring).

    You might be able to use the funds for a vehicle if there is no public transportation to get your child to medical or therapy appointments. You would need to request permission in advance and if given I recommend getting the approval in writing. You can read about Dedicated Accounts at https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200602140 and about some special approval uses at https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200602140#d.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Blue Warrior,

    Check with the IRS on how to file your tax return this year. You may have to file a 1040, not a 1040A. There is a specific section of tax law that tells how to account for repayment of previous year(s) income (LTD) that has already been taxed.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Debbie,

    You pose good questions. Giving the debit card to the disabled person is direct access. Giving cash to the person as spending money means that the person can spend the money as he or she desires. The payee controls how much discretional spending money is affordable while still meeting all the basic needs and thus controls the spending in a global way.

    The mentally ill person you speak of could apply to be his own payee if his physician agrees that he is consistently mentally and emotionally capable of making correct decisions to use benefits first for shelter and food, then medical and dental, personal hygiene, laundry, and other basics. The key word is “consistently.” If that is the case, the doctor could complete an SSA-787 available at http://www.ecpayee.org/uploads/8/8/7/4/8874367/doctor_statement_ssa_787.pdf.

    Note that certification of capability can raise questions about whether the person who is functioning well on medications could be working and whether he is no longer be disabled. Accordingly, the doctor should include on the statement why he is unable to work, assuming that is true, despite being able to manage money.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Mia,

    If I understand correctly, the judge denied your claim and you appealed to the Appeals Council and are awaiting a decision. If that is correct, you should be getting a decision at least within six months. I am unable to predict whether it will be favorable or unfavorable.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Anna,

    Most long-term disability (LTD) policies provide for termination of LTD benefits if you are asked to apply for Social Security Disability and fail to follow through with the claim and any appeals necessary because most LTD policies require that you apply for other benefits such as SSDI. Accordingly, it does not seem advisable to withdraw your claim. Also, if the LTD is more than the SSDI or the LTD has a minimum benefit that is always payable, you could receive both SSDI and LTD on an ongoing basis. Also you protect your Social Security retirement benefit amount by being entitled to SSDI in years you are not working. As far as paying back LTD benefits goes, you will need to use all or most of your SSDI back pay to repay an LTD overpayment that will occur in months that you are paid both full LTD and SSDI.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Lilly C

    Can the Dept of Education garnish your SSI?

    • Dear Lilly,

      Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits cannot be garnished. Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI) benefits can be garnished for student loans that are in default. However, in the case of “permanent” disability as defined by the Department of Education, student loans can sometimes be forgiven.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ann

    Dear Ms. Kay,

    I applied for an appeal in February 2016 and still hb received a hearing date. It’s been a year since I initially filed fpr disability. How long does ot takw to get a hearing date? I hv no income and been depending on my daughter for help.

  • Holly Nordstrom

    I have been working to get my brother on disability, because he has been told his heart is damaged and he only has 5 years to live. He also is bipolar and has a very hard time functioning day to day. He was just approved for $400 a month. He lives with my parents and hasn’t payed rent for years. My parents are not going to be able to stay in the house they’re in unless they start getting rent. He would like to move out into his own place so they could start renting out his space.The SSI people told me he could get more if he was paying rent. How do I change his benefits to include more for rent. Who should we contact and what would we need to present to them to receive more for rent?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Holly,

      I am assuming that your brother was approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). My response is based on that assumption. If your brother is actually receiving Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI), he can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to supplement his Social Security. The amount he would receive would depend on his payments for shelter and food as explained below.

      The maximum SSI federal payment is $733. If a person is receiving free housing and/or food, the value of that in-kind (non-cash) support and maintenance will reduce the SSI benefit, but by not more than one-third, down to $488.67. If this is your brother’s situation, to receive the maximum he either has to move out on his own and pay for his food and shelter costs with his own income or as referenced above pay FMV for room (and board if he is being provided food) or pay his share of shelter expenses (and food if food is being shared).

      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 brother’s 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 his area and/or by choosing a state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. HUD will not list rooms, but it will list studio (efficiency) one-room apartments. A room in a house would probably cost about half of that amount.

      Your brother’s share is the total shelter expenses (and food if food is shared) 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 brother has enough back pay to pay FMV or his share for two months, his SSI will then be increased to $733 effective two months later. If he does not have enough money on hand to pay his share or FMV rent, he could save up his monthly SSI to pay his share for two months until the increase would take effect. If he saves up, he should do so in a bank account so he can prove he saved the money.

      Alternatively, he could start paying what he can now if it is enough that the difference between his payment for housing (and food if applicable) and FMV (or his share) is less than $264.33. If it is, he can get a raise in benefits to some amount less than the maximum. For example, if his share is $650 and he can pay rent or contribute $450, his subsidy from his parents would be $200. Of the $200, $180 would be countable income and his SSI would go up to $553. Once he got the increase, he could increase his contribution or rent again, get another increase, and so on until he is paying FMV or his share and the unreduced benefit, which is now $733 and in 2017 will be $735, is paid.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • KH

    Dear Kay , I stop working January 1.2016 applied in May 24 2016 . Since age 16 to 43 I worked . Any years I did not work I received unemployment .My disabilities have been with me all my life but no matter what I always tried to work Most of my years worked two jobs to provide.My disabilities are mental not physical. Over the weekend me and my daughter got in a heated argument .she has been paying our bills rent ,electric, phone ,laundry and personal needs.over the weekend it has all been thrown in my face .We live in subsidized housing.rent right now is based on her income although we are both on the lease .I receive food stamps and medicade for my self $194 a month my own food stamps .My daughter is 24 with a 5 year old.When I applied for both ssi ssd turned down then I have appealed for a hearing. Will I only receive in back pay $488 for the months I would of been eligible for ssi ? I had and have nothing no assets.I told her when I was denied first application I was going to pay her back for paying for my needs and phone bill . Can I pay her back with my ssi back pay ? Do I explain this to the ssi office I have to pay her back ? Kay if I find out I’m approved this week or next week can I go to my local office and ask for some type of emergency payment ?

    • KH

      Also my hearing was dire need

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear KH,

      If you are approved, the local office will ask you to go in for an interview to update your finances back to the first month that is payable, which will be based on the date the judge finds you disabled and on the date of your application. At that time, you can ask for an emergency advance payment.

      Each month is calculated differently so the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit amount can change from month to month if your income changed. If you cannot establish a bona fide loan for the rent and utilities that your daughter has been paying, one-third of the utilities (your share is one-third because there are three in the household), will be counted as income to you. (Phone and cable do not count as utilities because they do not provide shelter.) If your share is $264.33 or more, you will receive $488.67. If, however, for example, your share is $150, your benefit would be $603. Anything else she bought for you such as household supplies or toilet articles is not income to you as long as she bought them and did not give you money for them. To establish a bona fide loan, you need a written dated loan agreement that was from before the loans stating that she would pay for your rent, utilities, household and personal items while your claim was pending and that you would repay her when your SSI was approved. The statement also has to include the amount of the rent and utilities each month and/or you need to present a copy of the rental lease and all the shelter utility statements. You may also be asked to provide proof of having repaid after you get SSI, so repay her with either a check or money order so you have proof.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • KH

        Thanks Kay I spoke to someone today at the hearing office and she told me a decision was made on October 26th but she could not tell me over the phone .My question is when can the local office see the decision or the 1800 number ? My local office said in order for me to come in it has be to coming up on there system.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear KH,

          Your local office will know the decision about the same time as you receive the decision letter.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • KH

            Thanks Kay, my claim is for SSI and SSD I was granted a critical hearing. My approval letter came in the mail yesterday I received a phone call today from my local social security office asking me was I available to provide information actually I was just walking into my doctor’s appointment and she said that she was going to call me Monday at 9 a.m. and she had told me to have some things to have available when she called. Reason for dire need hearing we were facing eviction. We had received help from an organization they payed a month-and-a-half of the two months we were behind and facing eviction she said she wanted the name and the number of the organization that helped us I was wondering is that amount going to be deducted from my SSI back pay?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear KH,

              It is possible that the assistance will be counted as income; however, if the money was paid directly to the landlord/lady, the maximum that can be counted in any one month is $264.33.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

              • KH

                Thanks kay

                • Kay Derochie

                  You are welcome, KH.

              • KH

                Dear Kay, tomorrow morning a lady from the local office is going to call me about a financial update for eligibility SSI she said to have some information available and I will have it ready you said I was able to ask her for the Emergency Advance payment I have brought it up to her on Thursday when I spoke with her and she had said your SSDI back-pay has been at the payment center since November 1st don’t know why she said that but I need to help my daughter with the rent this week and Electric I’m also going to give her my direct deposit information tomorrow as well am I allowed to ask for the advance payment just because my backpack is at the payment center?I don’t know when I’ll get that

                • Kay Derochie

                  Dear KH,

                  The fact that you have a Social Security claim pending payment in the payment center does not bar you from receiving an emergency advance Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment. Under normal, non-emergency procedures, SSI will be paid before Social Security so its being in the payment center is not relevant. I suggest that you request the advance again. Note that the amount will be withheld from your next SSI payment due.

                  Sincerely,
                  Kay

  • Sara

    Hi Kay,

    I have a 10 year old boy with autism. I am thinking about applying for SSI for him. I am a single mom and I work full-time, making 32,000 annually. Also, I get $500/month for child support. Would my income be considered too high for my son to qualify?

    Thanks
    Sara

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sara,

      If you earn an even amount every month and you are not supporting other minor children, your income plus two-thirds of the child support (the amount countable) is too high for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for your child. If, on the other hand, you receive two bi-weekly pay checks in ten months of the year with three pay checks in two months or receive four weekly pay checks eight months of the year with five pay checks four times a year, your child might possibly be eligible in months you do not have an “extra” paycheck.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Craig

        I have received full disability for 8 years now. My medical and mental afflictions will never change. I just wanted to know what would happen if I just TRIED to go back to work as say a Truck Driver. I make $1300+ Gross a month. I’ve read some very scary comments on people trying this supposed 9 month trial period and have totally LOST their SSDI. How can I find an answer to whether I can work w/o losing my benefits ?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Craig,

          There is no way to know for sure whether your claim would be closed because of a medical review that found you no longer disabled. However, if your medical and mental health have not improved since you were approved, you should be able to request a Ticket to Work and try to work using the nine-month Trial Work Period (TWP). If you continue to earn $1,300 gross after the nine-month TWP, for the next thirty-six calendar months, you will receive benefits only for months that you do not perform Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA), the benchmark for which in 2017 will be $1,170 gross. After the thirty-six month Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE), your claim will be closed the first month you perform SGA. Medicare will continue during the TWP and EPE and for fifty-four months after your claim has been closed. You can read about the return-to-work incentives in the Redbook online at http://www.ssa.gov. You can get information about and request a Ticket to Work by calling the Ticket to Work Hotline at 1-866-968-7842.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Kathy

    Hi Kay,

    My son was just fully approved for SSDi. I have a few questions.
    1. He has sole custody of 2 minor children and I assume that will all go through the regular channels. He has another child that the mother has physical custody . Will SSDI send all benefits for the child to her? This is not a relationship where he can discuss things with her.
    2.He and his children have been living in an apartment in my home and we have been supporting them( rent and utilities etc) while he was waiting for approval. When he gets his settlement is he able to pay back us the money owed from his settlement without any issues.
    3.Is there a dollar limit on any car he buys with the settlement as he has no vehicle.I would like to see him get a reliable vehicle that will last
    4.When he receives the settlement I noticed from other comments he has to spend it down in 9 months does SS expect you to independently notify them of your expenses and where it went in the 9 month time frame or do they do a review yearly. If yearly what proof is he required to have of expenditures?

    Thanks so much

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kathy,

      If your son is approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI) as your questions about dependent benefits seem to imply, what your son owns and how he spends or saves his back benefits will have no impact on his continuing eligibility for benefits because he will be receiving an earned benefit. The benefits for the child who does not live with him will be paid to the custodial parent, and he should give Social Security contact information for the child’s mother so she can apply to be representative payee for that child.

      If your son has also been approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the SSI will either be reduced or stopped when the SSDI starts, depending on the amount of his SSDI benefit. If the benefit is $753 or more, the SSI will stop so he will not have to be concerned with spending down before nine months is up. If his SSI continues, he can wait until his annual financial redetermination to present proof of having spent down within the nine months you reference.For SSI, one vehicle is excluded regardless of value. If he has a bona fide loan with you for his family’s shelter, he can use some of the money to repay you. (This refers to continuing SSI; again, he can do anything with the money if he is only eligible for Social Security.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Kathy

        Thank you so much. you are an incredible resource. Greatly appreciated.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Kathy.

    • barry

      Hello Kay,

      Hope all is well. I was recently awarded SSDI and also work as a p/t licensed contractor in New York / NJ area. I am having the worst time finding affordable housing and have wasted so much money in hotels but have to have a roof until I can find permanent housing. The state, city and social service agencies have not helped at all and the only response is ‘go to a shelter’. I have income monthly but still homeless. Can you suggest another resource that will get me housed asap.

      Regards

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Barry,

        Given that you have been unable to get government assistance with housing, your least expensive alternative may be to rent a room with kitchen and bathroom facilities in a private home. Websites such as Craig’s List usually have advertisements for such housing.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

      • Terry Heeke

        Hello Kay,
        My soon to be ex wife is on disability and is unable to work. She is 48 years old and we have been married for 17 years. After our divorce is finalized, when will she be able to draw ex spouse benefits based on my work record? Trying to help her find out as much information as I can. Thanks,

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Terry,

          When your former wife is sixty-two years old, she can apply for divorced spouse’s benefits on your earnings record if you are receiving Social Security Disability or Retirement benefits yourself. If you were to die before her, she could claim surviving divorced spouse’s benefits as early as age fifty because she is disabled.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Dear. Kathy, i have been recieveing Disability benefits since 2012. I am a nurse with depression. Degenerate disc disease.heart diease kidney disease and CoPd. The Medicaid said I have to work to continue with it. I need it because am on so much medication and I have a doctor for every issue. I only work 10 hours a wee k but my pain have increased to wear I have had three steroid injections and was told no more this year. I am in therapy for depression and the surgery refuses to fix my back due to spinal stenosis. I started working in December 2015 after a year of medical leave from a heart attack. Now my symptoms are getting worse. If I quit work I lose my Medicaid if i continue I lose my disability or end up in a wheelchair.I am on salary for 250 a week. What do I do?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dorothy,

      Only you can decide whether to stop working. Having been on Social Security Disability since 2012, you should be eligible for Medicare and open enrollment starts next month. One option would be to enroll in Part D Medicare for prescriptions and Part B for doctors if you have not already. That could reduce your need for Medicaid.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Karen

    Dear Kay for the last couple weeks that I have posted I’m having trouble seeing your replies you have responded the only way I see them if I repost on the same discussion and ask you questions again

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Karen,

      I have been away from my desk for a bit over a week. I respond to the first question and delete identical questions that have been answered, so posting the same question twice does not speed up getting an answer.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Karen

        No I did not mean posting the same question. if I post another question then I could see that you haven’t answered the last one that would be the only way I could tell if you didn’t answer but maybe like before you said maybe I was looking too soon

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Karen,

          At present I do not see any questions of yours that have not been answered.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Fred

        If someone is arrested and spends 6 months in jail awaiting sentencing, then gets sentenced to time served. Are those 6 months of benefits paid during the wait need to be paid back?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Fred,

          In the situation you describe, the individual would be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits while awaiting conviction and sentencing. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) would not be payable.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Lynn

    Kathy HI I have a few questions I hope you can answer OK I got sick and got on SS in 2001 there was an over payment that I nor SS caught they have been tacking $32.00 a mo out of my ck I was wondering about how much longer will it out
    #2 someone told me to look on. http://Www.disability.gov and see if SS will help you get a dog and it’s training to be my service doggie.how do I go about doing this. Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lynn,

      Your online record may show when the overpayment collection ends. If not, try call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. If you want to obtain a service dog as a step toward returning to work, you might be able to get help doing that by enrolling in the Ticket to Work program. If you need the dog only for daily living assistance, I don’t think that Social Security can help. You can, however, inquire. More information about the Ticket to Work is available in the Red Book on Social Security’s website, http://www.ssa.gov and from the Ticket to Work hotline at 1-866-968-7842.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Gerald Maaon

      Kay..
      Sorry have a question and could find how to ask other than hitting reply.my father past away after getting approved for ssdi he was owed and just awarded 30,000 1st payment of 10,000 was sent but not touched as he died before he was able to use it.Everything was taken care of processed ect as im his only child the money comes to me.. after 6months i got letter saying i will receive money soon but no date.when I call it says pending at payment center.do you have any ideal how much long it should be? Thanks for your time

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Gerald,

        You should have received the underpayment by now. If you have not received it within a month of the letter, contact the local office and ask them to follow up on it. Take the letter with you to the office so that have specifics about the status.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Hello Kay…I asked a question awhile back and if you answered I cannot find it. What I am needing to know is..I am fixing to settle a workers comp case the end of this month. I was approved for my disability back in march and I have received some back pay, the monthly amount will start this month because of problems with the workers comp. I received a letter stating workers comp had taken back all the money they could offset on the case but what I am wondering is can they still take some from the settlement, and if so, how much a month are they allowed to take from my SSD? Im debating on a lump sum or the monthly payment plan, if I can get my lawyer to do it. I would prefer the lump sum. I have read, many times, the amount they are allowed to take is only 100 a month. Is this accurate? My check will be $699 after medicare deduction. Thank you so much.

    • forget about this question Ms Kay..I went back and finally found where you answered me..thank you so much..even though I am still in the dark..i guess it will be whatever it is..thank you again

      • Kay Derochie

        You are welcome, Kathy.

        • Tina

          I’m in need of some guidance.
          I’ve been recieving SSD for 5 years. I just recently held a full time job for 11 months. I had been paying to use the employers medical insurance they offered rather than the Medicaid/Medicare.
          At that 11 month mark I was terminated from my job due to having to get treatment for my disability.
          To receive that treatment I needed to use the employers insurance to afford treatment which has been approved by the employers insurance. Now I was terminated 4 weeks in to treatment an currently need to enroll in tri-star which is continuing coverage…similar to cobra. Becuase I am very much still in need of this treatment.
          – in addition I just received a letter from SSD stating my benefits will be stopped due to my substantial gainful employment an no longer will be able to get SSD. I’m aware I’ll be paying back all benefits since starting to work-I’ve saved all that money
          – my question is this… Since I’m in the process of being terminated in SSD an Medicaid will I not be currently allowed to enroll in the tri-star continuing coverage program? Since technically I’m still enrolled with disability?
          -will I be charged with fraud for having both medicaid/Medicare with insurance from my employer? I’ve only been using the employee insurance

          -SSD was notified of employment start/stop an I’m just now 11months later getting a discontinuation letter of benefits. I was also told by SSD I didn’t need to report wages every month because it wasn’t SSI.

          I really don’t know who to contact about this issue. I’m still in treatment an can’t continue if I can’t enroll in continuing coverage. And am praying that the continuing coverage will back date an pay for treatment since it’s already been approved.
          If possible please contact me With guidance through email.
          Thank you!

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Tina,

            If the eleven-month job that you reference is the first time you have worked since starting to get disability, then you are probably entitled to a nine-month Trial Work Period (TWP) during which full benefits are payable. The nine TWP months do not have to be consecutive and can be spread out over any length of time. See below the amount of earnings that results in use of one TWP month.

            Immediately after the TWP, there is a thirty-six consecutive calendar month Extended Period of Disability (EPE) during which you are eligible for benefits only in months you do not perform Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA), which is usually a certain amount of monthly gross wages ($1,130 in 2016). If you are eligible for the TWP, then you are only overpaid for the months you worked and performed SGA after the TWP.

            Read the “termination” letter carefully to see whether it says your benefits are being suspended for SGA in the EPE or your claim is being closed. If this most recent work qualifies for the TWP and you are still in the EPE, your claim can’t be closed for work; it could only be closed for medical recovery. If you can’t tell or it appears to be a closure, take the letter to a Social Security office and ask them to review it and your computer record for your current status and the dates they show for your TWP and EPE. If it is a closure and you are still within thirty-six of when your TWP ended, you can appeal on the grounds you are due a TWP and EPE.

            Regarding your insurance, Medicare is not Medicaid. If you got the government insurance after receiving twenty-four months of benefits including back pay, it is Medicare. You can have Medicare without the requirement to use it. If you have Medicaid, you had to report when you returned to work because your work earnings may have made you ineligible; however, if you never used it you may not have legal liability.

            If Tri-Star is like COBRA, my remarks about COBRA may be helpful. I think the only eligibility relationship COBRA has to Social Security Disability (SSD) and Medicare is that COBRA can continue longer than otherwise to provide a link to the first month you are eligible for Medicare. However, you should check with the Tri-Star office to be sure.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • linda

          my name is linda and I have a question but I don’t no where to go to make my comment I think I am in a reply from Kathy to you if you could email me and let me no, sorry I intruded on this conversation

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Linda,

            Just scroll to the bottom of the comments that appear under any article on this website (DisabilityAdvisor.com) and enter your question. (I answer questions only on the website.)

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • Brittany

          Hello Kay! Ive read through tons of these questions, and read your very informative answers! Im just wondering, how do i post a question?? I cant find it anywhere on this forum. Thank you!!

          Sincerely,
          Brittany

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Brittany,

            Post your question the same way that you posted this question about how to post.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kathy,

      You posted under a different question. Here’s what I responded:

      The concept behind the workers compensation offset is a basic principle that runs through both government disability programs and private disability insurance policies–an individual should not receive more in compensation for disability than was being earned while working, Full workers comp and full Social Security would often, if not nearly always, result in over compensation for lost work earnings.

      If you receive a workers compensation settlement, the settlement will be prorated over past and/or future months depending on the language or lack of specifics in the settlement. Often it is prorated beginning with the month after Temporary Total Disability (TTD) WC payments end, continuing until the proration runs out. So, yes, you are likely to be overpaid again, either for past month proration or for future months that elapse while you are waiting for Social Security to make its adjustments. Accordingly, I recommend that you not spend any WC settlement you get until you receive an SSD overpayment letter and know how much you will have to refund.

      I add today: the lump sum will be prorated out and offset based on the facts of your particular settlement. The offset could be more than $100 a month. So, if your permanent partial disability settlement is a lump sum or a monthly ongoing benefit, there will be an offset if the two benefits exceeds 80% of your Average Monthly Earnings. The offset amounts could be different or the same, again depending on the specifics of the settlement.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • I am not sure if there will be a letter stating over payment and the reason I say this is because the last letter I received fro SS broke down how much they were taking and for what, and it stated how much of my benefits ~were used to recover all of an overpayment they had on record~ So I am not sure what it means..it is all Greek to me 🙁

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Kathy,

          If the letter shows offset for any past months for which you have already been paid at a rate higher than the base benefit minus the offset, you can expect an overpayment letter.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • dave

        kay how ask you a question too thanks

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Dave,

          Scroll all the way to the bottom of the last page of comments under this or any article and post your question in the blank comment box.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Mia

    Hi Kay!

    My 20 year old daughter just won SSI on our third appeal. She has received back pay. She will also receive two additional checks of back pay spread out.
    I am the rep payee. I want to make sure I am doing this correctly. She received her first monthly benefit. I allocated $300 for housing (mortgage is 2100). I am trying to teach her how to budget, she has no concept.
    I am having difficulty figuring out how to spend the back pay. I have read all of the documentation online and in print. I went to the SS office and the individual assigned to our case was not there. I was told that I had to speak to him and no one could advise me otherwise on back pay. I wrote a two page letter and left it there. I have called several times and left messages. I was mailed the same rep payee forms. Very frustrating.
    Can I spend it on a past due medical bill that occurred during the back coverage time(from 18-20)?I do not want to do this wrong.
    Also, our heating and AC broke. Can back pay help pay for that as it does improve her living conditions?
    I am going to also fix her bathroom, it has some needed repair. What else can I do?
    Ironically, I can’t pay myself back for the last two years.
    She is still considered my dependent and is on my medical plan(I pay for that).
    Any ideas or thoughts? I called the attorney that we used and he doesn’t deal with these questions.

    • Mia

      Also, her monthly benefit was reduced by something and then the state added something – total monthly about $645.
      Are there restrictions on how she uses the remaining $345 – I am trying to teach her how to budget and shop…I, of course, pay for everything, but thought that she needs to learn how to make money last for her “outings” with her day program for food and expenses.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Mia,

        Please see my response to your first post.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mia,

      You can use her current and back benefits to pay her share of the shelter and food expenses. Her 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 she is not already getting $733 monthly, her benefit can increase to that amount if she pays her share.

      You can use back pay for several of the things you mentioned, especially the heat and A/C in your home because those are basic shelter needs. Repairs to the bathroom she uses, especially since the bathroom is dedicated for her use, and payment of her medical bills are also appropriate uses. Debts, however, should not be paid at the expense of meeting current needs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Linette

    Hi my son is 7 years old he got approved for autism spectrum disorder i received the letter on agust-15 stating what i need it to take to the local office wich i did on the 26th now the ssa did not tell my his amount or anything of when the payment was gona start. I did apply since jan-25-16 tomorrow its already sept im wondering how the pay will be sent and when. Also im a single mother of 4 i get child support $400 monthly for my autistic child the other 3 his dad pays my rent of $675 monthly will that affect my sons ssi monthly amount? My only income right now is his $400 of child supprt. I do get snap bennefits. Thanks so much.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Linnette,

      If your help with the rent is paid directly to the landlord and you mean to say that the $400 child support is for all four children, I would anticipate that your disabled child’s SSI will be about $485. This is calculated as follows: maximum SSI of $733 reduced by all but $20 of your disabled child’s income, which is his $168.75 share of the rental assistance plus $100 child support.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Linnette,

        A slight correction to my prior response. Only two-thirds of a disabled child’s child support is countable income so I would expect your child’s benefit to be approximately $518.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Angie

    Hi, I am on disability, age 52, on Medicare A and B. I do get help for my RXs, on 22 a day. But, I am looking for medicare advantage plan without drug coverage as I get help already. I am told I cannot do this, if I did take this M.A. plan, I would not be able to keep assistance with drug coverage. I am looking for secondary insurance but so many are telling me I am not eligibile not unless I drop the assistance from my RXs. Could you help me? I worry about being hospitalizxed and I would have to pay the 20%. I was told I am not eligible for Medicaid, too many resources. Thanks, Angie

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Angie,

      I suggest that you make an appointment with an insurance agent who is knowledgeable about Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage plans in your state. The agent can help you look at all the factors to see what would be the most advantageous–changing to a plan that includes medication coverage or sticking with what you have now. (The agent will be compensated for his or her help if you purchase a plan through them. The assistance will be free to you.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • L smith

    I had a herniated disc at C4-C5 in 2004 that was not immediately diagnosed and resulted in severe inflammation of the nerves to my right arm. At the time surgery and injections were ruled out due to the location and risk of paralysis so I underwent physical therapy but still was left with residual numbness to my fingers and weakness. Over the years this has deteriorated and I experience neck pain and stiffness with spasms and numbness to my fingers and right arm. I am right handed and have worked as a RN for 23 years. I am having a lot of difficulty performing my job effectively and wonder if I would qualify for SSD if I pursued it.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear L.,

      It is hard to say whether you would qualify for benefits. It depends on how severely you are impaired and, especially if you are under age fifty, what other occupations you have performed or would be able to perform. You might discuss you situation with an experienced Social Security attorney or two to see whether they think you could be successful in a claim. If you decide not to apply now, but eventually cannot continue working because of your symptoms, do file a claim.

      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,

      Your first post and my answer are under another article. Here is the answer I wrote:

      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

      • Rhiannon Millier

        My son was approved for ssi. I filed in January of this year and have been waiting to heAR from ss. Well I finally had an appt and the guy told me my son doesn’t qualify because of what I get for unearned income.
        Here is my income
        Ssdi-1265
        Child support -608
        Bryton-210 (benefit from my disability)
        Peyton-210 (benefit from my disabilty)
        Bryton is my disabled child
        Peyton is not disabled.
        I didn’t understand the formula. Can you help me to?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Rhiannon,

          It appears to be correct that your child is not eligible for SSI benefits based on excess income. The formula is show in the article “What Are Deemed Income and Resources and How Do They Affect an SSI Application for Children?” under the “SSI” tab at the top of this web page. The amount of your income that is deemed (considered) available for the support of your disabled child is reduced by an amount allotted for your support at the SSI rate ($733). None is set aside for supporting your non-disabled child because he has $514 income ($210 Social Security and $308 child support),which is more than the maximum set aside of $367 for children with no income. Your SSD, $1,265, reduced by $733 for your support leaves $532 deemed for the support of your disabled child, making his total income $1,046 ($532 deemed + $210 Social Security + $304 child support). Income of $753 or more results in ineligibility.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Riannon,

            Here is a partial correction of my response to you. As I initially indicated, your family income is too high for your child to have SSI eligibility. However, I would like to correct the calculation of the child’s income calculation because only two-thirds of a disabled child’s child support counts as income. Accordingly the correct calculation is $532 deemed income = $210 Social Security + $202 child support for a total of $994.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • Clevester Crittenden

    My adult daughter gets SSI of I believe $733. She has a 2 year old and the baby’s father is also on SSI. She doesn’t receive any assistance for her child. She was told by SSA that because he is disabled he doesn’t have to pay. She was receiving $164 a month from DES, but they stopped it saying she didn’t deserve it. She only got it for a year. She called her attorney and he said she can’t get a payment for her child because she didn’t have enough earnings before she got SSI to qualify for a child allotment. Her father and I help as much as possible, but I’m on SSD and her father is retired. This child is virtually unsupported. My daughter gets food stamps, but that’s all. Her rent alone is $550 and she pays her own utilities. Is there anything that can be done? Inhate seeing her struggle.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Clevester,

      The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit that your daughter is getting is a public assistance program that does not provide dependent benefits for children of the person getting SSI. Apparently, your state’s level of public assistance for family for children is lower than the $733 she is getting, but I suggest that she double check that she is not eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). She could also try to get herself on a waiting list for subsidized government housing or rent a larger apartment with a roommate to share and lower her costs. Note that if you give her cash or pay for her rent or shelter utilities, her SSI will go down. Other direct purchases such as telephone, bus tickets, household supplies and toilet articles will not affect her SSI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Clevester Crittenden

        Thank you. She has been on the waiting list for Section 8 for over a year. We don’t pay her rent, but we help her when her money is exhausted such as getting a stroller and car seat for the baby and a phone and for the bus. Thank you for your help you have helped us understand the situation a lot better.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Clevester.

  • Mike Owen

    Hi there,
    I am 60 years old. I got into an accident and got injured. So, i hired an attorney to fight my case and got around 15 K in settlement. After I got settlement I went to apply for disability. But Social Security representative said I have to spent that money to be eligible for the benefit. Also, they cut off my husband’s benefit due to same money because we have joint account.
    I don’t want to spent my money right away. But If they make me spend it anyway, could I give it to my son as gift? Could I buy jewelry? Could I help pay off my daughter’s car loan? Please help me with this matter.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mike,

      As you describe your situation, my understanding is that your spouse receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and that is the benefit you are currently applying for. SSI is public assistance program for individuals with limited income and assets. Its purpose is to provide food and housing for disabled and aged individuals. For that reason, the limit for SSI eligibility is $3,000 countable assets for a married couple living together.

      If you give the money away directly or indirectly, for example, by paying off your daughter’s car loan, you and your spouse will be ineliglbe for SSI for a period of time. If, for example, you gave away $12,000 to get down to the $3,000 limit and both you and your husband were determined to be disabled, you and he would be ineligible for SSI for about ten months, which is how long you could have used the money to support yourselves at the SSI couple rate of $1,100.

      On the other hand, you can use the money to purchase things that you and your spouse may need such as dental care, new tires and/or repairs for your car or a different car, needed household items, or for the down payment on a home for you to live in and, of course, for your current normal living expenses. If you spend down, keep receipts to prove how the money was spent. When you and your spouse are below the limit, he can request a redetermination to reinstate benefits. If you are approved, you will be eligible for months before receiving the $15,000 and for months after you have spent down.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • karen

    I was just looking at my online social security account and it shows in the verification letter part I received benefits under my father’s ssdi benefits wage earnings it shows the amount I Was eligible for and the dates I received them I was between 18/19 and I remember receiving a lump sum check then in 1990. I am 43 now applying for my own ssdi .When I was 18 I was still enrolled in highschool in special education with a IEP . Does this have any thing to do with the benefits I’m trying to receive now? can it increase my benefit amount ? I remember the check was for the amount he owed in child support to me .My father is still receiving social security at this time.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Karen,

      If you became disabled after age twenty-two, you have lost your dependent status on your father’s Social Security account and any Social Security disability benefits would have to be paid on your own earnings record.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • karen

        Thank you Kay I appreciate all your responses while I’m going through this disability process. I also have a couple more questions . I became disabled January 1 2016 and applied for ssi and ssd May 21st 2016 would you be able to tell me how much back pay I would receive if I’m found disabled? my online social security account says if I became disabled I would receive in Social Security disability $1,068 a month. I live with my 24 year old daughter and five year old granddaughter we are both on the lease of our apartment I only receive $194 a month in food stamps and Medicaid I have no income. I’m now at the hearing stage in my disability claim. My other question was I have been seeing my psychiatrist for a little over a year on a biweekly and monthly basis he recently filled out a mental impairment questionnaire RFC and listings forms he stated my prognosis was guarded didn’t understand what he meant by that also he made check marks to do unskilled work, semi-skilled ,skilled work and particular types of jobs all the questions are either checked off unable to meet competitive standards or no useful ability to function do you think this will help my claim ? My diagnoses are major depression ,ADHD and generalized anxiety

        • karen

          Also my hearing date is in October if I’m found eligible at my hearing those are the dates that I was trying to calculate from

          • karen

            Psychiatrist also checked off patients impairments lasted or can and be expected to last 12 months he checked off yes

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Karen,

          My response is to your three posts of August 21. I think that you may have made a mistake in the year you said you became disabled and applied, 2016, because you also say that you have a hearing coming up in October. Social Security Disability (SSD) will begin to accrue the later of your sixth full calendar month of disability as determined by Social Security or twelve months before the month of your application. SSI benefits will begin to accrue the month after you applied. SSI will be paid first, likely at a rate of $488.67 or less because you are receiving free housing. SSD will be paid after the SSI is paid. SSD back pay will be reduced by the amount of SSI back benefits paid for the same months. SSI will stop when your Social Security starts.

          The residual functional capacity (RFC) statement your doctor completed is supportive of your claim. “Guarded” means that the doctor doesn’t know whether you will recover significantly.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • karen

            Kay I stopped working January 1st 2016 I Applied for both ssi and ssdi on May 21 2016. Me and my daughter are both responsible for the rent both of our names are on the lease our apartment is subsidized housing I reported to them that I have no income at this time but if I am granted Social Security I will have to pay rent

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Karen,

              Yes, you will have to pay rent, usually equal to one-third of your income.

              A side note in terms of calculating your SSI benefit while you have no income: If the housing authority calculates your rental liability separately from your daughter’s and considers your rent to be 0, your SSI will not be reduced for free housing. However, if your and your daughter’s rent liability is figured together and your daughter is paying all the rent, you will be receiving free rent from her and your SSI will be reduced for free housing you are receiving from her.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • karen

            My hearing is in October because it is a dire need claim

          • karen

            . I was denied at the initial application stage there is no reconsideration stage in my state next is the hearing stage

          • karen

            Sorry for being so confusing but my daughter is 24 and pays over $500 right now for the rent because she has an income I reported to our housing that I am not working right now

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Karen,

              Please see my response to your first post.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • karen

            Thank you for your responses Kay I apologize that this is so confusing for me. If my daughter is working full-time and I am receiving SSI (if I am approved for benefits)Iknow that our rent will go up because I now have an income and I would have to help her with the other bills in the apartment will I receive the full $733?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Karen,

              Once you start to pay the for your rent and utilities and food, your benefit will increase to the maximum two months later.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • karen

            Thank you Kay for helping me understand

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Karen.

      • Karen

        Dear Kay, I was just looking at this reply you had given me to a question over top of it I had ask. What I was asking is if I had a learning disability in grade school and high school and being in special education until I was actually 19. Now that I have seen my school records would that be considered a disability? When I was on my father’s ssdi benefits i started receiving it when I was 17. I was asking because I am now applying for Social Security disability and one of my disabilities is adhd . Yes I did make my own earnings now that I’m an adult but I had read somewhere that I was able to receive under his benefits as well to equal a higher amount.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Karen,

          If you have performed substantial gainful activity (SGA) for more than six months in a row, you have lost your connection to benefits on your father’s record. The reason is that you would not have been continuously disabled since prior to age twenty-two. SGA levels for the past few years are listed below.

          Substantial Gainful Activity benchmarks in gross earnings

          In calendar year 2016, $1,130
          In calendar year 2015, $1,090
          In calendar year 2014, $1,070
          In calendar year 2013, $1,040
          In calendar year 2012, $1,010
          In calendar year 2011, $1,000
          In calendar year 2010, $1,000
          In calendar year 2009, $980
          In calendar year 2008, $940
          In calendar year 2007, $900
          In calendar year 2006, $860
          In calendar year 2005, $830
          In calendar year 2004, $810
          In calendar year 2003, $800
          In calendar year 2002, $780

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Karen

            Thank you Kay

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Karen.

  • Christine Bush

    my 19 yr old is receiving disability benefits. I had to show that he has a Gerber Life insurance policy that his grandmother got for him when he was an infant. She is the policyholder, my son is the insured. Just today, Gerber Life Insurance told her that since the policy is in her name, SSI should not be counting that is income for him. I have a meeting with SSI next week, can you clarify? He has been receiving Disability SSI since June of this year. They were given copies of the ins document that clearly shows that my mom (grandmother) is the policy holder.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Christine,

      Please see my response of a few minutes ago to your first post. Now you have provided more information including your son’s age, so my response changes only in that what you and his father own is not relevant because your son is of age. The policy is not your son’s resource (asset) because it is owned by someone else and he cannot cash it in. The only relevance it might have would be if he wanted to buy himself a burial policy. In that case, the burial policy he bought might not be excluded even it was in the SSI value limits because his life is already insured.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Christine Bush

        So then because my mother(his grandmother) who is listed as the policy owner to my son’s life ins. That policy should not be counted towards his assets? She is the sole payer on this policy. Does as I follow this rule?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Christine,

          If insurance company says the policy belongs to your mother, then it does. I don’t understand your last sentence; I think there is a typographical error in it.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Casey

    Hi Kay, I have a question. My sons ssi claim was denied for excess income. Two issues. One is not all my cafeteria plans were excluded and was wondering if you had any ideas on that. They allowed 3 of the 4 pre tax deductions. My second issue, they added back in free rent. My grandmother who lives out of state has given us our home. The house is paid off and I am process of getting a home improvement loan because it’s literally falling apart. I do not live here free. There is no mortgage left. Why would they add that back in and what do I have to do. My grandmother is in her late 90s. I haven’t even spoken with her in years. She holds the records and I expect at some point after her passing I will get the papers. I hate to think like that and I cannot call her for this, she is very ill and I feel so incredibly terrible that I haven’t spoke to her in so long as it is. I sent in for a recon. I believe if approved it wouldn’t be much but we are drowning in debt trying to work and care for my son. 🙁

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Casey,

      t is correct that your gross earnings before your cafeteria plan are countable income. Your choosing to use part of your money to pay for benefits and to have the cost withheld from your paycheck is no different than receiving your full pay and writing a check and mailing it out to the health insurance company and other vendors of what you purchase.

      I am wondering how you can get a home improvement loan on a home you don’t own; is there any chance, your grandmother has already put the house in your name. If not, it is also likely correct that there is some countable income for living in your grandmother’s home. As long as it is in her name it is her home legally regardless of the verbal gift. If you take in proof that there is no mortgage–which you can likely get from country property records–and proof that you pay the property taxes and property insurance, the taxes and insurance you pay may be counted as rent. You will probably also have to have a statement from your grandmother or other proof of the fair market (FMV) rental value of the house. You might be able to get some documentation of FMVby going to the HUD website and entering your zip code and the house’s features (no of bedrooms, sq. ft, etc.).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • debbie

        kay-
        I have been on SSI for over 20 years, my case doesn’t even get reviewed any more.
        last October my mother died and left me a special needs trust managed by a nonprofit trust
        they let me have gift cards. Because i called them about how much I would lose if I used the trust to help pay rent, they took an interest in me
        they want all financial records dating back to the beginning, last October 2015 of the trust.
        am i in trouble or is the trust or is the trust in trouble. I asked if they has a lawyer if there was problems and they said its because you and ssi , in other words throwing me under the bus

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Debbie,

          I suggest that you submit to Social Security a copy of the entire trust papers and an itemized report from the trustee that shows the amount, date, and form of all money paid from the trust and to whom it was paid–to you or to a provider of services or goods for you. The trustee should have these records readily available.

          It may be that the trust does not count as a resource. If it is not a countable resource, depending on the terms of the trust, some of the withdrawals from the trust may be countable income and may affect your SSI payment amount. Let Social Security make a determination. If it is adverse and results in an overpayment, then it would be advisable to hire an attorney to assess whether Social Security’s determination is correct or not.

          Going forward, if the terms of the trust allow, it could pay for your phone, TV, medical co-pays, and other non-housing, non-food needs directly to the provider and not affect your SSI.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Christine Bush

            my 19 yr old is receiving disability benefits. I had to show that he has a Gerber Life insurance policy that his grandmother got for him when he was an infant. She is the policyholder, my son is the insured. Gerber Life Insurance told her that since the policy is in her name, SSI should not be counting that is income for him. I have a meeting with SSI next week, can you clarify?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Christine,

              If your grandmother owns the policy, it should not affect your son’s SSI eligibility. If you are asked if your son has life insurance, you need to answer “yes.” If you are asked if your son or you or his father (if his father is living with him) owns an insurance policy, you would answer, “no.”

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Meredith

    I should hear any day now if my claim was approved. My question is this: I get a monthly lifetime annuity from a divorce in the amount of $162.16. If I get SSD, will they deduct that amount from my payment? If I choose to get SSI, again, will they deduct that from my payment?
    Also, I’m currently in court trying to get an 8 year old court ordered payment of $185k that was owed for my half of the marital property but never paid. I probably wouldn’t recieve a lump sum, most likely payments that would likely be a few hundred dollars a month. Would I lose my SSD because of that? Is there a certain amount that I can receive from that and it not affect SSD? If I chose SSI, would they deduct from their payment? I’m just trying to get enough to live on, but I also want what was court ordered to me through the divorce.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Meredith,

      Your lifetime annuity will not affect your Social Security Disability (SSDI) claim if it is not a payout of spousal pension benefits from a government pension based on work that was not taxed for Social Security. Similarly your marital property settlement will not affect your SSDI. In contrast the annuity payments will count as income in determining financial eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). if the $185,000 owed you is not treated as a resource, the monthly payments will count as income for SSI as will any SSDI benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lynn

    My question is if I have an adopted child and their adoption and subsidy was issued before my SSDI was approved,will my child receive both her subsidy and support from my SSDI at the same time or will she be denied benefits or lose her subsidy?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lynn,

      I don’t think that the subsidy will keep your adopted daughter from being approved for Social Security dependent benefits; however, report the subsidy when you apply for her benefits. Check with the agency paying the subsidy to determine whether the adoption subsidy will be changed or eliminated when she is approved for dependent benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Robin

        Hi I just want to know if I can apply for ssi.I have an astigmatism.I was diagnosed last year with this.I wear glasses to correct it but this year i have been losing my vision in my right eye.It becomes very blurry and then goes back to normal.This has happened adlease twice a week.I struggle with watching tv,shop,read magazines,working and even interacting with my one year old.As far as reading a book or help with homework and finding clothes it has become very difficult.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Robin,

          To be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability (SSD/SSDI), you have to have been disabled or be expected to be disabled for twelve months. I suggest that you get evaluated by an ophthamologist to document your limitations and to get a diagnosis and, also, to discuss treatment and possible duration of your limitations. That should help you decide whether to apply for benefits.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Karen

    Dear Kay. May 24 2016 i went to Social Security to do my application and they gave me a date for a appointment for in june to help me apply. Is may my filling day?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Karen,

      Yes, May 24 will be your filing date.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Saleha begum

        Hello sir my name is saleha begum. And my hearing was on 12 April 2016. More than 90 days are completed bt yet no reply of my hearing decision. Can u plz do any help 4m ur side

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Saleha,

          You can call the hearing office to check on the status of your appeal and to be sure that a decision letter has not been mailed that did not reach you.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Michelle

      Hi. I couldn’t find your email contact so writing here
      I got approved for ssd to begin receiving first paymend end of Sept, starting officially in August.

      I was told Rental income from properties a manager is taking care of is self employment income and I have to report wages regularly to SSA. This is what local SSA staff said. I also considered renting a room in my private home either hiring an airbnb manager to take care of everything as it’s too much for me. Or regularly renting a room furnished or unfurnished …I would still be living in house… Wanted to screen some one I could get along with if required to go that longer term roommie route though I haven’t had long term roommate in years. Bad experience w long term in past also because people could not deal w hypoglycemia I have frequently and other disability. . had history of renting rooms under 31 days through an airbnb property manager and wonder if DSA would consider that self employment as well. They said receiving checks from prop manager is still self employment!!! I am very confused

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Michelle,

        If you rent property that is not in your home and have a manager that takes care of the property, the income is reported as rental income, not earned income, on your tax return and usually is not treated as work income by the Social Security Administration. Room rentals in your own home are another matter because you are by default “the manager” on the premises is anything goes wrong, to answer questions, change the sheets, etc. However, if you get a roommate and share expenses, you do not have a renter in your home; so no rental income.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Anna

          Hi I’m not sure if I was suppose to reply to ask you a question. My six year old son just got approved for SSI..will section 8 housing count his ssi monthly payments as my income? Because I have zero income. Will I have to pay rent now that he recieves SSI?

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Anna,

            Double check with the housing authority, but I think your rent is based on your whole household’s income. If that is the case, you will begin to pay rent, probably equal to one third of your child’s SSI benefit.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • Sharon

    Hi I have a question not sure if this is the right place to put it. I hope you get it. My 20yr old diabled daughter had a hearing at odar in Denver Colorado, I am my daughters guardian and signed all necessary documents to speak on my daughters behalf at the hearing which the judge did not let me my 20 yrs old daughter is at a 8 yr old base line. Which I tried to explain to the judge. And the jydge told me I can not say anything all questions will be asked to my daughter, and the most important question that was asked was if my daughter wanted to postpone the hearing for a further time my daughter said I don’t know what you n ean so the judge continued with the questions for my daughter to answer every answer from my daughterI don’t know, and then the judge asked are there any jobs that someone with my daughters attention span can do the specialist said 3 the judge then asked if she had to be reminded more then once through out the day would she be hired and successful and the specialist said no please tell me what this means and decesion has been made in 27 days is this a bad sign.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sharon,

      I think it is likely that your daughter will be approved. If not and you appeal, I suggest getting an attorney to represent her. (A side note is that you were not allowed to speak because you did not have your daughter complete Social Security representation papers appointing you to represent her in her Social Security claim.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • John

    Hello, I have a question. I’m a disabled adult, who is collecting SSD benefits through my father, as a dependent (or an Adult Child). My question is that I’m planning to move out the beginning of next month and I will be moving in to a friend’s place, who I will be paying rent to (as well as covering my own food expenses as well). My case manager and I had made a call to check to see if moving out on my own while still under as a dependent would be a problem and the person at the social security office told us it would not.

    My question is is there anything I would need to report to Social Security office and would it affect my benefits at all? Trying to search online for these situations hasn’t exactly given me much information (and leading me to have some confusion, as most information covers SSI, but not the SSDI portion, which includes my current situation). I do know I will need to report to them my change of address, but I was wondering if I’d need to give them any additional information, such as a rental agreement with my friend or something.

    I apologize if I am not clear at all in what I am asking, but I am just worried that my benefits may or may not be affected by this. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear John,

      All you need to report is your address. Your Childhood Disability (Adult Child) Benefits are not dependent upon where you live. If you marry someone other than an adult who receives Social Security of some kind (not SSI), your Childhood Disability Benefits will be terminated because you will not longer be dependent on your parent.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Danielle

    Hello there. I receive 5.00 a month for my son from his fathers claim. His lawyer told us he, his father, would receive about 700 a month if approved and I would receive a little less than half of that amount for our son. We were never married and I have full physical and legal custody. So all payments would come to me. When he called and told me that he won his case I then went to the social security office to file paper work where they told me I was only going to receive 4.00 a month. I told them that was insanely low and they said he didn’t work enough to pay in enough to receive more than that. He was diagnosed at21 years old and had only worked a minimum wage job. I don’t understand why my son has to suffer because his father was diagnosed at 21 with a horrible disease. Relapse and remitting MS. I do receive 160 child support per month in child support that is directly taken out of his fathers 700 monthly payment. That child support order was agreed to and ordered before he ever applied for social security. Its unfair to our son to only relieve 5.00 a month and this is how it has been for the last 8 years. It is also not fair for his father to only have 560 or so dollars a month to live off of. Years ago I contacted 2 lawyers and asked for their help in fighting this and they said there is no case! Is this true? How can this be? Is there something we are missing? Please help.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Danielle,

      The information you got from Social Security and from the attorney is correct. Social Security is an insurance system and the amount of benefits paid is based on the Social Security taxed earnings. Accordingly, your child is receiving the correct amount of Social Security dependent benefits. You can, if you wish, go to court and release his father from the $160 child support payments.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ahmed

    Hello Kay,
    I am not sure I am posting in the right place,
    I went to ALJ hearing in NJ, my case is related to neck injury,depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation.

    1- the vocational expert suggested three jobs, the judge asked me about the first two, and I explain my physical and mental limitations in regards to each job, but the ALJ did not ask about the third job !

    2-towards the end of the hearing, the judge asked my lawyer if we agree to amend the onset date from 2012 to 2014, is that a sign for something ?

    3- does the total wait time counts from the onset date or as I did read they deduct 5 months from the total ?

    regards,

    Ahmed

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ahmed,

      If you agreed to change the disability onset date to 2014, it seems likely the claim will be approved. The five unpaid months are the five months following the month in 2014 that is established as your disability date.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Ahmed

        Hi Kay,
        Thanks for your valuable time,
        Your blog is simply endearing.
        Best to you,

        Ahmed

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Ahmed.

    • patricia mankowski

      Good morning Kay,
      I had my hearing on April 28, 2016. My attorney felt like it went well. The ALJ gave 5 hypotheticals for jobs and work. The VE said no to each of them. I have had 2 lumber fusions and 3 cervical fusions all which have resulted in degenerative arthritis and nerve damage.

      Approximately how long should it take to receive a decision letter. I am getting harassing notices from my landlord and have had to borrow money to keep utilities on.

      Thank you,
      Patti

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Patricia,

        The guideline for a written decision is sixty days from the hearing, although it could take longer. You can call the hearing office to learn the status.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Lisa Damiano

    Hi Kay,
    My special needs daughter has been receiving SSI since March 2009.At that time I began charging her for food and shelter. However SS still deducted the value of food and shelter each month from her checks.Each year I questioned this and was told ,because she lives in my home and I provide F & S it counts as added income and her SSI was reduced.
    Well yesterday I finally had a phone meeting and my daughters amount was raised to full SSI payments. I was told she could not get reimbursed for all the lost money and that anything I paid over the years would count as added income and again reduce her amount. I have all the bank records and the representative payee reports that show I was charging her for F & S to pay the household expenses.
    Does all this sound right and does SSI owe my daughter $19,000 + . And if so will that count as added income?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lisa,

      If you have proof that you have been charging her the same amount all along, you can file a formal appeal of the date at which the benefits should have been increased. If you are successful in the appeal, I believe that the farthest back an adjustment in benefit amount would be back made is to the last redetermination review, which was probably about a year ago. The reason for this is that you did not appeal at any of the prior reviews when her benefit was not raised.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Lisa Damiano

        Thank you Kay

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Lisa.

  • Lori Neff

    Good afternoon, I am hoping you can provide some additional advice or information for us. My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in January. He is currently going through chemo and has had one major surgery and will be having a second in the near future. He is 56 yrs old and has worked his entire adult life, most of which working for someone. The last several years he has owned his own business. We applied for disability in January and were denied because he did not have the 20 credits in the last 10 years, he was short 4 credits. It was suggested by the person helping us at the social security office to re file based on another medical condition he has had since 2011, which we did. He as then denied because he worked too much.

    He is unable to work at all now. Is there anything we can do to get help? And one last question, are the requirements the same for permanent disability?

    Thank you for your time .
    Lori

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lori,

      Have your husband set up a “My Social Security” account at http://www.ssa.gov. Then request a earning statement, not a benefit statement. The earnings statement will show all your husband’s work earnings. Check to see if any are missing. Also, check your tax returns to see whether your husband paid self-employment tax (Social Security tax) on his self-employment profit. If he did not and his earnings for the year(s) in question are not the minimum needed for four credits, he can file amended tax returns for at least the last three years and pay the tax to get additional credits. The chart below shows how many have been required the last ten years.

      Year Earnings for one quarter (up to four can be earned in a year)
      2000 780
      2001 830
      2002 870
      2003 890
      2004 900
      2005 920
      2006 970
      2007 1,000
      2008 $1,050
      2009 1,090
      2010 1,120
      2011 1,120
      2012 1,130
      2013 1,160
      2014 1,200
      2015 1,220

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ellen Kay

    Hello, I hava applied for disability and am awaiting a decision. My question: Many years ago, my ex husband named me as his beneficiary for a $100K life insurance policy. If he dies and I collect the 100K, will this cause me to lose my disability benefits? I have some outstanding bills that I would pay off immediately if I collected the $, and the money would be gone. I would still need my disability to continue. Thanks for your help, you do a great service with this forum.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ellen Kay,

      If you are receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI), the insurance proceeds would not affect your benefits. If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and prove that you used the money to pay your own obligations–including the SSI overpayment in the month you received the insurance benefits–your SSI would start again when your countable assets dropped to $2,000.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lacrecia Franklin

    Hi I spoke to my social security office and they told me that’s my claim status was mailed to me and the regional office does that mean I was approved for my daughter’s SSI

    • Lacrecia Franklin

      I had my hearing on March 8th and they told me that the judge’s decision was made out to me and to the regional office in Dallas Texas does that mean that there’s an approval

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Lacrecia,

        My response is to both your posts. I think your daughter’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim has been denied. If the judge had approved the claim, the decision would have been sent to your local Social Security office for calculation of benefits.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • LACRECIA FRANKLIN

          I’m sorry the reginal office is my local office

        • Phyllis Valente

          Love you articles. So easier to understand than others. I have a specific question, how do I go about asking it ? thank you

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Phyllis,

            Post the question the same way as you asked how to post a question.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • cindy

    Hello, I receive compensation for life.I also receive social security disability. I never took a lump sum settlement from compensation although it was offered to me many times . I understand that at age 67 my SS.disability will turn into Social security retirement & the off set from comp will stop. Even though I still get compensation benefits. My question is I am 64 can I choose to retire early & still receive my Social Security & comp benefits? Thanks so much for your help!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cindy,

      No, you cannot switch from SSDI to Social Security Retirement until you reach full retirement age unless you have recovered from your disability.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Marianne

    I’m currently receiving Title II SSD only, not SSI. If I purchase a home, will that effect my benefits?

    Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Marianne,

      Purchase of a home will not affect your Title II SSDI benefits and does not have to be reported. Your assets do not affect your benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Rhonda

    I applied for my SSI in 2013. Was denied after my hearing in December 2014. My case went to the AJL, & they denied my claim in February 2016. My lawyer applead, & a new application was done. While doing the phone interview with Social Security, the man asked me for my checking account info. (I actually had a female agent do the same in a different interview). Two weeks ago, I received a letter addressed to my lawyer about Fee agreements. I never seen this letter before. How realistic is it that I am about to get approved?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rhonda,

      The actions you describe sound routin. I would say a medical decision has not yet been made on your new claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Rhonda

        Thank you.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Rhonda.

  • Susan M Tarantino

    I got hurt on the job in 1997, I had 6 surgeries on my knee they said I was to young for a replacement. I was on comp settled my case 2008 I haven’t worked since.I have osteoarthritis can not stand, sit drive walk for a long period of time, my knee gives out and pop’s (clicking ) would I be eligible for SSD. Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Susan,

      You have to prove that you became disabled while still insured for Social Security Disability (SSDI). If you have not worked since 1997, the latest you could still be insured would be about 2002. If your income and assets are below the allowable limits and you are disabled, you could qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which requires that you only prove you are currently disabled. For either benefit, you must be disabled from all occupations that you would otherwise be able to perform if you did not have medical limitations. Your education, age, and work experience are considered in the determination.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Vivian R.

    Hello, My question is regarding my brother, he currently receives SSI, and is turning 55 in a few months. Does he have to apply for SSD or will his SSI automatically switch at some time to be determined by SSI? Thank you for your help.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Vivian,

      The earliest Social Security Retirement (SSR) benefits are payable is age sixty-two. If your brother is receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and he is insured for SSR, SSA will ask him to apply at that time. If he is receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI), he will be automatically switched over to SSR at full retirement age, which for him is age sixty-seven. If he is getting SSI, he was already screened for SSDI. If he is not getting it, he was not insured for SSDI at the time he became disabled.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • robert

    Iam from Missisippi why do it normal take year and half to set up a hearing with the judge after final appleal?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Robert,

      The long waits for a hearing are caused by the large backlog of unheard appeals, which are hear in the order filed.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lauren Ferguson

    Hi Kay,
    I need some of your advice. I have been out of work for 2 years. I have had 4 surgeries within an 8 month period of time. My last surgery was Jan 31, 2015. I had a hysterectomy. Since that surgery I feel like my life has ended. I am in debilitating pain everyday. The surgeon referred me back to my primary stating the pain is not from the surgery. My primary has run numerous tests to try to find out what has happened to me. One test shows severe arthritis in lumber and hip. I find it strange that I was never in pain before. This pain makes it unbearable to leave the house. I am attached to 2 heating pads 24/7. I take all kinds of medication. I have never taken medication in my whole life. I was always a very active hard worker. I do nothing now. I have lost my quality of life. I can’t work and I have been a worker since I was 16 yrs old. I can’t shop. I don’t attend any social functions because I am always in horrific pain. I want to file for some sort of assistance. I don’t know how to do this. Please help me get started. Will I qualify for help. I have never asked for help my whole life but always being a 2 income family we are drowning in bills. I don’t know where to turn. Thank you for your help.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lauren,

      Information on how to file a Social Security application can be found under the “Apply for SSD” tab on the navigation bar at the top of this web page. Claim the earliest date after you ceased work that you think that you have been unable to work. Information on how a claim is decided can be found under the “Claims Process” tab.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Vance

    Hello,

    I am trying to help a friend who is mentally disabled and just received SSDI. He received his retroactive lump sum and I advised him to pay some bills off, keep a bit in savings for emergencies and put the remaining $11,000.00 into a CD so that he could not touch it and it will make him a little money. Possibly even into a retirement account as he is 51 and has no money saved at all.

    One of his other friends told him that he may lose his benefits if they see he has money in the bank. I told him that this was ridiculous and that he would only be in jeopardy of losing benefits if he went back to work and made more than about $800.00 per month (or whatever the limit is now.) Can you tell me if I’m correct?

    Thank you,

    Vance

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Vance,

      If your friend is receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI) based on his earnings record, he can save any amount of money. If he is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) ongoing into the future, then countable resources (assets) above $2,000 will make him ineligible for SSI. However, SSDI and SSI back pay do not count as a resource until the first day of the ninth month after they are received. If SSI is involved, your friend could use his substantial back pay to purchase a modest house or condo to live in if he has enough income to pay the mortgage payments and property taxes and insurance or make necessary repairs on his home if he already owns a home. If he does not have life insurance, he can also buy a $1,500 term-life irrevocable burial policy, which will not count as a resource to help spend down.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jules

        I applied for my 11 year old granddaughter in December of 15. I just called Monday cause I’ve heard nothing. I was told it was pending to watch the mail I should hear something soon . So today. I actually reached the lady with her claim she said it’s still pending as well . She’s been diagnosed with cognitive mental disorder & is delayed with her age group. They’ve not sent her to no Drs . But her dr and school has submitted all that was asked for .. Little overwhelmed about this

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jules,

          Please see my reply to our first post. Right now all you can do is wait.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Ralph

        Hi Kay…so..i am permanently disabled and receiving Monthly SSDI payments. Question – can i get my FUTURE SSDI payments instead paid to me in a lump sum now? (the present value of future benefits). I am 56. What interest rate would this PV calc use? I think my insurance company will offer this to me, right? Do you know what their interest rate would be? Is it tied to prime or inflation? Thank you tons…Ralph R.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Ralph,

          Social Security Disability (SSDI) is a government retirement pension based on having worked and paid Social Security taxes. Your “insurance company” has nothing to do with it. The benefit cannot be cashed out in a lump sum, but if you remain disabled to retirement age, it is continuously payable for life.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Sharon

    Hi Kay – I post a comment on 4/10/16. Where do I see where you posted your answer? Here it is again? I have a Mental Evaluation on Friday 4/15/16. I because disable on 10/15. I applied Jan. 2016. I pray that I am approved. What can I expect out of this exam? I had hip surgery and is unable to work. I also suffer from depression, I’m over 50 and have a listing in the vocational blue book. Will all of this be taken in consideration? Thanks for all of your help on this site!

    Sharon

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sharon,

      All of your mental and physical conditions will be considered. The consultative examination will be for evaluation purposes only and is likely to be a clinical interview. There will be not treatment offered. All the information in file should be considered and if the grid evaluation applies to your claim it should be applied.

      If you are denied and think you are disabled, you can apply. If you appeal, I suggest that you hire an experienced Social Security attorney to help you. 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

      • Sharon

        Thank you Kay! Also, I went to my CE mental evaluation 3 weeks ago. I called the Disability Adjudication Service number, they are who sent me for the CE. They told me that they were waiting on the results from the psychiatrist. Once they receive it, my determination will be sent back to DDS in Jackson, Ms. they make disability decisions for Social Security. My Disability examiner called me yesterday and asked when would I be going back to my regular doctor. I told her on Monday and she said to be sure to have my doctor send in the medical notes/records from that visit. Is that good? Reading some of your post, it seems that if the results does not go back to your local Social Security office you are denied? Should i be worried about where the approval or denied is mailed from or can you shed some light on this?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Sharon,

          I may have misunderstood from your last post, but I understood that your claim is a new claim and not an appeal. The posts that you are referring to relate to hearing decisions.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Sharon

            Great…thank you Kay, that makes me feel better. Yes, my claim is new and not a hearing decision. I will wait patiently for a decision and keep you posted.

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Sharon.

  • Lacrecia Franklin

    Hi My name is Lacrecia my daughter has adhd and dyslexia, with learning disability with IEP and odd,along with conduct misorder and insomia is she elegible for ssi

    • Lacrecia Franklin

      she also been on three different medicine

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lacrecia,

      Your daughter may be medically eligible. When you file an application, your family income and assets will be screened to see if your daughter is financially eligible. If she is, her claim will undergo a medical review. I suggest that you submit a copy of IEP and any documentation you can get from her school related to how her conduct disorder plays out there. And, of course, any medical documentation of her diagnoses and how severely they affect her.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Lacrecia Franklin

        Thanks,but I had a hearing on 3-8-2016 called yesterday and they said it is in underwriting what is that and is that a good thing, also before the hearing in Feburary I got a letter from Social Security in Oklahoma Odar, for extra help for my daughter Disabiltys and I haven’t had a hearing,is that a good thing

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Lacrecia,

          Your judge’s decision is being written up into a letter for the judge to review and sign. The decision letter will then be sent to you. I don’t understand exactly what you received regarding your daughter’s claim. If you would like to explain more, I might be able to comment.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • LACRECIA FRANKLIN

            before her hearing I got a letter from Social Security regarding her disability stating if I needed any help ,it was a list of agencies like as if she was approve,and also do you think she had a strong case with all of her disabilities I listed

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Lacrecia,

              I think it is possible that your daughter could be approved. I do not know the significance of being given a list of helping agencies.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Jessica

    Hi
    My daughter get SSI. I am separate for about 2 years but I am not divorced yet. I am planning to move again with my daughter’s father in his apartment because I have to move. I am renting a room and the owner of the apartment wants her room back. He is paying child support by the court. We are not a couple anymore , we just want to share expenses and I want that my daughter expent more time with him. If I move back with him, are they going to count his income? Does this will affect my daughter’s ssi?
    Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jessica,

      Your child’s father’s income will be considered in determining her financial eligibility for SSI. You can get a general idea of the effect of his income on her benefit by looking at the calculation example in the article “What Are Deemed Income and Resources and How Do They Affect an SSI Application for Children?” under the SSI tab on the navigation bar at the top of this web page.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • ardis betances

    Hi, I have a son that is left handed, he been diagnosed with asthma and use a strong glasses for his age. He is 9. Can he gets any disability for his conditions.
    Thank you
    Ardis

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ardis,

      Having medical conditions is not necessarily the same as being disabled. Being left-handed is not disabling. If the glasses correct his vision, then he is not visually disabled. If his asthma is severe and interferes significantly with his school work, then maybe he could qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). You can learn more about SSI by reading the articles under the SSI tab on the navigation bar at the top of this web page.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Alex

    Hello Kay,
    I have been approved for SSI and have been receiving monthly payments for 3 months now. I have heard nothing about my back pay and wonder if you know how long it takes to get my first installment on my back pay?
    Thanks –

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Alex,

      You should have received the first installment of SSI back pay by now. I suggest following up with your local office, which is responsible for issuing the payment.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Hello, I am a legal guardian to my siblings age 14,15 yrs.old who recieve adoption subsidy and my question is can SSI count they income as my income????

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Rashawnna,

          If the adoption assistance is made under Title IV-E, it is considered the children’s income and will have no effect your SSI. You can read more about this at https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0500830415.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Katie

    Hi, I was wondering if you could tell me something about SSD benefits. My friend receives disability benefits due to multiple mental health conditions (including bipolar, anxuety, depression and severe OCD). She has a daughter in elementary school that she believes would benefit from a homeschooling atmosphere and would like to try it, but cannot risk losing SSD benefits because there is absolutely no way she could return to work due to her multiple conditions. Would a parent who has been approved and receives SSDI be at risk of the SSA removing her benefits because she chooses to homeschool her child? Thank you in advance, as neither she nor I can find any relevant information anywhere online.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Katie,

      Home schooling one’s child does not involve receiving payment, so it would be very unlikely that the activity would be considered work or substantial gainful activity. Also, presumably the home schooling would occur in the home and, therefore, wouldn’t necessarily mean the mother could work outside of the home even if she used to be teacher.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Katie

        Thank you!

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Katie.

        • Trina

          I am 47 years old schizophrenia /,
          Bipolar disorder. Hypertension 325 lbs,morbidly obese I was denied disability however I am completing appeal.,am I to,young,for early retirement or with all my health issues disability should &Ave been issued

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Trina,

            If you are unable to work and earn at least $1,130 gross per month, then you are medically eligible for disability benefits at any age. If you believe you are disabled, I suggest that you hire an experienced Social Security attorney to assist with your appeal. 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

      • Lynn

        Hi, my daughter had one of her ovaries removed last year, at the age of 7. To this day she deals with severe stomach pain the prohibits her from most of her daily activities. Is her condition a qualifying event for SSDI eligibility?

        – Lynn

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Lynn,

          Your daughter is not eligible for SSDI, which is Social Security Disability for people who have worked and paid Social Security taxes. The Social Security Administration administers Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which pays disability benefits to children. I do not know whether your daughter qualifies medically. Especially if her pain is interfering with her school work, she might be.

          You can find out more about SSI by reading the articles under the SSI tab on the navigation bar at the top of this web page. The information may help you make a decision on whether or not to apply.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Nicole

    I was approved for ssi and SSDI…will I receive two separate checks a month and backpay for both? Will I receive payments for my children as well?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nicole,

      You will receive two separate monthly payments and any back pay will be paid separately. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will be paid first. Your Social Security Disability (SSDI) back pay will be reduced by the amount of SSI paid for the same months.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Sher

    Got my letter saying I was approved mar 4 2016 for SSD & SSI
    Eventually I will get an inheritance when my parents pass away.
    Will this affect my disability benefits?
    Before getting approved I’ve been receiving food stamps & Medicade
    Do I still get those? Do I need to notify DHS?
    Thank you for helping people!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sher,

      Your inheritance will not affect your Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits. If you are still receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), when you receive the inheritance, the inheritance will count as income in the month it is received. If you have part of the funds left the first of the following month, the amount will count toward your $2,000 resource limit ($3,00 if you are married and live with your spouse).

      You do need to report receipt of SSI and SSDI to DHS when the benefits actually start. Whether you continue to be eligible for food stamps will depend on the amount of your income and shelter and medical expenses. While you are eligible for SSI, in most states the Medicaid will continue; after that it will depend on your income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Laura

        I’m only able to see how to reply. I don’t see where I can post a comment, or send a message?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Laura,

          Look for a button that says, “post comment.”

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Laura

            I only see it once I have hit reply? Can you explain what happens when the disability examiner is sending your completed file to the physician? If you have been told you won’t need a CE, and it’s been going on 4 months since date of application…would like a better idea of the process, and probability of allowance or denial.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Laura,

              The claims examiner has completed his or her review and has made a recommendation for approval or denial that requires a physician review. Enough information was available to make the decision so no consultative examination was ordered. I would expect that you will have the decision within a month.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Kacee

            Help, Please! My 73yr.old Sibling suddenly stopped being my RepPayee yesterday & I have NO Replacement. I only have 5 Main Bills to take over & believe I can handle My Own Benefits. I’m on SSDisability for Back Problems & BiPolar & fear they might choose to Re-Evaluate me for Disability if I apply for my own benefits. I know I would still Pass, as I now Disabled further w/Severe Osteoporosis & more. My next Check was due in just 2-4 days and I don’t think I will receive it. I can’t get in to my Doctor for 2 Wks to get the Letter showing I can Handle my own Affairs. Will SS. Hold onto my April check till and give it to me later when I get approved to be my own Rep.?? Or do I lose an Entire month of Income? What will happen to my Disability if it takes till mid month to get my Drs letter?? Please help me as soon as possible. Thank you.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Kacee,

              If your benefits are suspended while the payee situation is straightened out, they will be issued to the new payee as soon as the payee is determined. You can apply to be your own payee now and say that, if needed, you will get a letter from your doctor. That way, you will have things started. When making the application, provide a list of the main bills you refer to.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • sam

    Thank you for this site!! So informative! I applied for ssi at age 20 in 2000(spinal injury) in Rockland county ny while I was still living with my mother(tht works f/t), I have never had contact w my birth dad) thy told me that’s all I’m eligible for (not ssd??). Finally was approved2+ yrs later,(I represented myself@the appeal, I didn’t go through a lawyer)and got my retroactive pay & abt 440 monthly n ssi. After 1 yr I sent them a letter to cancel my ssi (arnd 2003 or 2004)The only reason I did this was bc I needed major back reconstructive surgery and the Medicaid they gave me wasn’t. Covering the doctor I wanted to have my surgery by, and I was using the $440+ a month to pay for private health insurance (Aetna). Aetna didn’t allow me to carry public health insurance & I was afraid they wld find out I had medicaid, so I canceled the ssi abt 1 year after I was awarded it. My intention was to eventually reapply for it. Anyway I didn’t reapply for it until 2013 (10+ yrs later) during the 10 year gap, I relied on student loans, and worked off the books, never filing taxes. When I reapplied in 2013, they told me that I was only eligible for ssi, but once my mom turns 65, I cld collect ssd under her(is this bc my 1st ssi claim was when I was under 21 years old?) Anyway, my mom will be 65 in 10years. So when I reapplied for ssi in 2013, I was living in a homeless shelter in NYC due to a flood in my apartment. I was denied, appealed and won in 2015. However, after ending up homeless the shelter made me apply for cash assistance in 2013(public assistance/welfare) which was abt 250.00 per month in cash, and 200.00 a month in food stamps, and they also paid my storage fees of 220.00 per month for abt 1 1/2 years. Ssi had me get a bill from welfare bc I signed a document tht said I wld pay back welfare if approved for ssi. But the bill came to 8k+, which I was only expecting it to be less than 3k(bc welfare had closed my case several times so I was never on it all 12 months during the 2yrs. They seem to be asking me to pay back my cash assistance, storage fees, and food stamps. I was under the impression tht I wld only be paying back the cash assistance . I asked supervisers@welfare, ssi staff etc and no one Seems to knw if I was responsible for paying back storage fees and food stamps, and why should I pay back food stamps when I would of been getting them anyway on ssi.

    Next, I asked ssi. If I cld try to get retroactive pay from when I originally ended my ssi. (Arnd 2003/2004 till when I reapplied in 2013 ( bc I applied for the same condition(spinal injury). They said no but I wanted to know if I should try to get it/am I entitled to it.

    Also, since I applied under age 21 wouldn’t I of been entitled to ssi and ssd (ssd under my mom), but since they only gave me ssi, was I entitled to ssd also, & should I try to sue and   get ssd$$ from those years. Any information would be appreciated. Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sam,

      The agency that provided you with the public assistance should have regulations they can show you that confirm which assistance is subject to repayment. (I would expect the cash assistance to your and the cash payment of the storage, but not the food stamps.) In any event, only your back pay is subject to garnishment.

      Supplemental Security Income (SSI) does not pay for months before the month of application so you are not eligible for benefits between the termination of your last claim and the application of your current claim. You are not eligible for Social Security Disability on your own earnings record because, as you said, you worked off the books and didn’t pay taxes, which means you did not pay Social Security taxes.

      Social Security does provide disabled adult child benefits for the children of individuals who are either receiving Social Security Disability or Retirement benefits on their own earnings record or are deceased. To receive disabled adult child benefits you must be unmarried and continuously disabled since before age twenty-two. You indicate that you worked over the years. If you performed substantial gainful activity (SGA) for any period of more than six months, it is likely you would not be found to be continuously disabled. Currently $1,130 is usually SGA. The amount has risen over the years. A chart of the levels is shown below.

      SGA
      In calendar year 2016, $1130
      In calendar year 2015, $1090
      In calendar year 2014, $1070
      In calendar year 2013, $1040
      In calendar year 2012, $1010
      In calendar year 2011, $1000
      In calendar year 2010, $1000
      In calendar year 2009, $980
      In calendar year 2008, $940
      In calendar year 2007, $900
      In calendar year 2006, $860
      In calendar year 2005, $830
      In calendar year 2004, $810
      In calendar year 2003, $800
      In calendar year 2002, $780
      In calendar year 2006, $860

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Brittney

    Hi,

    My son receives SSDI and is 11. I am his rep payee. I currently finance my fiancé’s vehicle because his credit is poor. He has made every payment and I can prove this. I understand that because it is a second vehicle being counted as a resource that I need to get him to finance it. However, If I cosign as the secondary borrower does it still count against my resource limit?

    Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brittney,

      If your son is receiving benefits due to his own disability, he is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI, not SSDI). If he is receiving SSI and if having your name on the loan means that your name has to be on the title of the car (even if the title is held by the lien holder), the equity value of the vehicle will be reviewed in relationship to your son’s (SSI). The lower equity value of your fiance’s car or your car will count toward your $2,000 resource limit. Any excess will count toward your son’s $2,000 limit. If your son is receiving Social Security dependent benefits on a parent’s Social Security earnings record and is not receiving SSI, then what you own does not affect his benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • rose

    Hi Kay,
    My husband was approved for SSDI and started receiving benefits Dec 2015, he has not received his back pay yet. Every time he calls they say a couple of weeks, last time he called they said it was at the processing center, and that center is usually quick, give it 2 more weeks, well it has now been 4 weeks. We live in CT so not sure what processing center it goes to. Just wondering if you have an idea to were the back pay is. Thanks,

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rose,

      The phone number for the Boston payment center is (617) 720-0438. However, they are not set up to take claimant calls so you may not be able to get through. It is not unusual for it to take two months or more after the first monthly benefit for the back pay to be paid. The claim is likely waiting its turn for review and authorization due to heavy workloads related to budgetary restraints. If the wait goes over four months, your husband might contact his congressperson’s office to see if they can make an inquiry.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Rene’

        I have a question concerning benefits I applied for concerning my son. His father pass away in Nov at which time I applied for benefits. But every time I call SSA I get a different story as to why it hasn’t been processed. Last month they told me they were awaiting additional documents from one of the other mother’s that applied (it’s 3 of us total) and it wasn’t anything I did to hold it up. Now today I called and before I could ask any questions the guy came back on the line and said the processing folks had it verified my number and said someone would be calling me. My question to him as he rudely hang up was what does that mean? And how much longer before I receive a check?

        Thanks.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Rene,

          I understand the delay while applications are filed for all the deceased father’s children. I can’t explain what the representative meant about someone calling you. Ordinarily, if all the evidence was in, you would not get a call. All the claims would just go to the payment center and you would typically wait a month to three months for payments to start after they were sent to the payment center.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • sheron

      Dear Kay,
      I am in dire need of your advice. My son is presently 13 years old and we lie in new York for the past 3 years. I applied for SSi and I received it and have been receiving it for the past 2 years. he was born in the state of new York but we lived in the island where I reside. we receive food stamp amounting to $189 per month three months of us being here. I am here in the country on a student visa so as to be with him as he came here with health issues.
      We receive ssi of 433 at first and was increased to 773 when we were able to get our own place. now we have to move because it is a basement that is causing more health issues for him. There was a problem with his food stamp renewal and it was closed even though I did the recertification online before December 30,2015. however I was told to reapply until .
      Can you advise how to deal with a food stamp being authorized for $16 per month? my son has to eat organic food and that is a big drop. What can I do to get it back to 189 , I haven’t received a letter or nothing, it was known to me because I called. He attends school full time and so do I. What should I do?

      Also, the search for a new home with proper ventilation to assist his breathing issue is going to be costly? Will I be able to get more from SSI to assist with room and board?

      Why didn’t he receive back money from the date he was diagnosed (from birth ). I have noticed other persons writing stating the amount of back money they have received . What makes my son case different? as that would help us to acquire a proper home. I have just received a letter from SSI office for March 22 appointment thus any information that would be helpful
      will be greatly appreciated.

      Thank you
      Sheron

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Sheron,

        Supplemental Security Income (SSI) does not provide extra payment for a special diet or for higher housing costs. The amount paid is based on family income. If your son is now living in New York, he may be eligible for a New York SSI state supplement; I suggest checking with Social Security to make sure he is receiving it.

        With regard to the food stamps, I suggest that you go to the food stamp office and ask to have the application reviewed and the calculation explained to you. It is possible that an error has been made. The grant is based on various factors including housing and medical expenses.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Colin Campbell

    I’m a 63 year old military retiree and a disabled veteran. My disabilities are preventing me from working. I’m applying for SSD and it requires me to list all physicians and their contact numbers. The military is a transit population and over the years, my doctors have moved, facilities have changed and it’s impossibe to list my former doctors and their contact numbers. Many of which have moved, retired or went into civilian practice. How do I account for the disability related treatment I received? Will Social Security take this into consideration? I am being seen at a VA hspital and can list that information. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Colin,

      Put all the contact information for the VA clinics and hospitals where you have been seen. You do not have to put all the doctors names, but it would be good to list your current attending physicians and any specialist you have seen that you know still are at your current clinic or hospital.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Priscilla Jeffries

        I was approved for SSI from a judge on May 2014. I was also working at the time, just a part-time job at Bojangles. My last day at Bojangles was June 6, 2015. I apply for SSD on January 12, 2016, and was approved two weeks later. The letter said I was approved from from January 2015 to the present. The letter also said I will get my first SSD check on March 3, 2016. My question is, do I get any back pay or any retroactive pay since I was already receiving SSI?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Priscilla,

          If your Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefit is higher than your SSI benefit for months that you have been entitled to both, you will receive SSDI back pay. The full SSDI will be reduced by SSI paid for the same months.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Evie

    I have a question… I have been receiving SSD with a workers comp offset. The offset fell off in Sept (2015). I verified in July and again in Sept that it would fall off and my benefit would go to maximum. It still hasn’t… I’ve called our local office and she said she would call me when it updated, that the Payment Dept has it now. How much longer should this take and will I receive the back pay from September? …ok 2 questions 🙂 Thanking you in advance!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Evie,

      I have heard of it taking six months to get workers comp offset removed. When your record is updated, you should be paid the underpayment from the time the workers comp stopped.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Evie

        Thank you so much!

        • Evie

          Hopefully that means next month 🙂

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Evie.

    • peg

      My nephews receives $12500 from ssi through him moms s.s. he has a mental illness and was hospitalized for 18 months. What insurance is he eligible for. His mom has been told he isnt eligible becausehe receivesto much

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Peg,

        Your nephew may be eligible for insurance through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or if he is over eighteen, he might be eligible under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), however, tomorrow (January 31) is the last day to apply during the annual open enrollment period for coverage through the ACA.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Val

    I will be 62 March 2016, Im retiring at thst time. My question can I opt out for a Lump Sum for Retirement?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Val,

      Social Security retirement benefits are intended to provide monthly income for life. Accordingly, you cannot be paid a lump sum amount.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dan

    My wife has been receiving SSD for 5years. I will be turning 62 in 10 months and can ask for early benefits at that time. Can I receive any benefits from my wifes account at that time? If I can, depending on the amount, I would not file for benefits. I’ve been reading all the questions and answers and haven’t seen this one. Been searching many sites and this is the best one yet.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dan,

      You cannot file for spouse’s benefits based on age without applying and receiving benefits on your own earnings record also. You will be paid first off your own record and supplemented off your wife’s record if the spouse’s benefit is higher. In that case, the two together will equal the amount of the spouse’s alone. If you are not working or are earning less than $15,720 a year, it may be to your benefit to take benefits now despite the reduction. A Social Security claims representative can go over the figures with you to help you make a decision.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Sherrie Bates

    Dear Kay,

    I have been disabled since October 2012 and I was denied once, got a lawyer denied twice, and had my hearing on October 19th. The hearing went good and 2 days later the lawyer contacted me to amend my onset date so I did. I was found fully favorable on December 18th. I received my decision letter on December 24, 2015. So what I am asking is when I can expect my back pay and when my monthly checks will start? I really appreciate your help.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sherrie,

      It can take up to two months or more to get the first monthly Social Security Disability benefit. Back pay is usually released another month or two after that. If you were a also approve for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), if will be paid first and could be paid more quickly.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Sherrie Bates

        I was told today that my information has been sent to the payment processing center so what should I expect to happen now? Does this mean I will be getting my payments soon? My local office said they would call to review my information with me before I will receive payment but I have already spoken to them and verified my bank info. So should I expect a call from them?

        Thanks for your help.
        Sherrie

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Sherrie,

          It can take a month or two for your Social Security Disability (SSDI) claim to be processed to payment. Your back pay will be paid after the monthly benefits start. If you also applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the call could be to update your financial situation so that SSI payments can be calculated. If you have been approved for both SSI and SSDI, the SSI will be authorized by the local office before Social Security is authorized by the payment center and your SSDI back pay will be reduced by SSI paid for the same period.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Evelyn

    I went to my appointment. With the medical examiner on 17of Nov . I applied in Feb when should I here anything or my letter. Every thing went ok its been 9 going on 10 months.

    • Evelyn

      I am having knee sugery then my other knee then my 2time shoulder surgery. 1Surgery after another. Everything is in want to know when will I get my letter and when will pay start. I talked to SS AND THEY SAID THEY ARE WAITIN ON MY PAPER WORK FROM. THE JUDICATOR OFFICE

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Evelyn,

        I can’t tell for sure from what you have written, but I think you are saying that your claim is pending a medical decision in the Disability Determination Services. It typically takes two to five months for a decision and then often another two months for benefits to start. Note that the first five full calendar months after you became disabled are not paid. Benefits begin to accrue in the sixth month. If you also filed for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), benefits begin to accrue the month after application and usually start within a month to six weeks of medical approval.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Evelyn,

      The consulting physician has three weeks to submit a report. After Social Security receives the report, a decision could be made within a couple weeks, but it could take a couple months.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Chawanna

    I have a few questions!
    1st ? I applied for ssd/ssi on sept 11 2015 if I get approved do they pay from the date I applied for or the date I have claimed I been disabled?
    2nd ? If I am approved do my children get anything?
    3rd ? If my children does get anything can their father who helps support them, claim the children for taxes at the end of the year?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chawanna,

      If you are approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), SSI benefits will begin to accrue October 2015. If you are approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI), benefits will begin the later or September 2014 or your sixth full calendar month of disability.

      If your lifetime earnings have been high enough that your family maximum Social Security benefit is higher than your own benefit, dependent benefits will be payable for the children. Whether or not their father will be able to claim them as dependents on his taxes is a question to ask the IRS or a tax accountant.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Robert Taylor

    Hi what it is I shattered my heel almost 15 months ago now and I went back to the doctor Wednesday cause I’m still not able to walk on my foot and it hurts really bad I was hoping they was going to say they was going to be able to do something to fix it and I would be able to get back to work but instead they told me that I would never be able to walk on my foot right again and I would probably always have pain in it and they wanted to do a bone defusing surgery on me and it still wasn’t going to fix it that it might keep it from getting any worst but there was only like a 30%-40% chance for that and there was a lot of major risk i just wanted to know would I be able to get my disability

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Robert,

      Whether or not you are disabled under Social Security law is likely to depend on your work history, education, and age. If you have worked in the past in an occupation that does not require much time on your feet or have the ability to move into such a job, you may not be eligible. It takes two to five months to get a claim decision so, whether or not you apply, I suggest that you contact your state’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation to see if you can get services to transition into work that is within your capabilities.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • ARCHSR

        I was told by the dds examiner that a decisions been made but when I called ssa they told me no decision had been made what does this mean

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Archsr,

          Probably the DDS examiner has made the decision but not all DDS’s internal documentation has been completed and probably the decision has not yet been sent to the local office. If you don’t get a letter within two weeks or so, call DDS again and ask if the decision has been sent out.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Darren

    Hi and thanks for doing this.
    During my hearing in front of an ALJ, at the end of my hearing the judge asked if I had any kind of income? I told him I receive a pension from my prior job, though I forgot to mention my ex wife gets half and I also told him I was just awarded an LTD insurance claim?
    Will these answers affect his decision? Can he decide I don’t need SS Disability because I have other sources of income?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Darren,

      Your receiving other benefits should not affect the judge’s decision; however, you could write a letter to the judge explaining that you forgot to mention the LTD benefit approval and that your ex-wife gets have your pension.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Darren

    HI, I was present at my last hearing and the SSD judge approved my application but made a contract in which they would only go back to 2013. That was April and I have still not received a letter or benefits to date. I called and found that my case is sitting in the “writers office and when I contacted them, they said they had no idea how long before it was written up, and once done then the judge has to sign it. This does not seem right? Is there no time limitation, my health is terrible, I have no insurance. please advise, if there is any way I can get this done with

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Darren,

      Apparently, the hearing office that serves you is very backlogged. There is little that you can do about speeding it up. It will take a month to two months to get benefits started after you get the letter. In the meantime, I suggest that you contact your local state social services office to see whether you qualify for Medicaid.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Darren

        I understand a back log but there is no limit on how long it should take? What is the point of being approved but then not getting the benefits. This seems like it is a civil rights violation, since I am disabled and poor. Why would there be no 30-90 day limit on the writers? Please help me understand how this is possible. I only ave a certain amount of time to dispute things, yet tehy have unlimited time, by what you are saying this could go on for years? I have applied for medicaid, and waiting that is 435 days here in Georgia.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Darren,

          Workers can only work so fast, so it comes down to workloads. Most agencies are understaffed, which is the result of underfunding, which in turn relates to the decisions of the Congress and state legislatures on funding allocations.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • val

    My adult son has been incarcerated since 2009. He has children. Are his children able to receive any SSI or SSDI? My son has a finger amputation and some other disabling injuries. I am not sure if the amputation was due to a felony or if it happened after. I just found out about children of incarcerated parents may be eligible to receive money. Prior to this recent incarceration my son was in the juvenile system as well. He was a young father. At age 15 he was in a mental hospital on a 72 hr hold. I just would like advice on how to help his kids financially.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Val,

      Your grandchildren are not eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) unless they are themselves disabled.

      To receive Social Security dependent benefits, their father or mother would have to be deceased or eligible for benefits themselves. This means that your son would have to meet Social Security Disability (SSDI) standards and have enough work history to have been insured for benefits when he became disabled.

      Children can continue to receive dependent benefits even when their parent is incarcerated and the parent’s benefits have been suspended. I do not know whether your son can apply for Social Security Disability only for the purpose of newly entitling his children to benefits while his are suspended. I suggest that you talk with a claims representative at the Social Security office in your area. If you are unable to visit an office, you can try calling 1-800-772-1213 to speak with a service representative, but information on this fine point of the law would likely be more reliable from a claims rep. As an aside, if you have custody of your grandchildren, you might contact your state department of social services to find out whether your grandchildren are eligible for some cash support and/or health insurance.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Howie Marson

    I found your articles very informative. Would you please call me @ 561 xxx xxxx

    thank you

    HM

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Howie,

      I communicate with visitors to disabilityadvisor.com only in this comment-and-answer forum. (I removed your phone number from your post to protect your privacy.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Latasha

        How do I go about asking a question on this site??? I have yet to find the section to send a question, other than making a reply.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Latasha,

          Go to the very bottom of the last page of the article and click on the “post comment” button.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Stephen

    Hello, I’m an adult currently receiving SSD payments as disabled child benefits from my father’s years of working. I’ve heard that if I get married, I will lose all of my benefits and be forced to have my wife support me. Is this true, or does that only apply to SSI?

    Also, if my father dies before me, will I lose my SSD benefits?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stephen,

      If you marry anyone other than another person who receives disabled adult child benefits, you will not longer be dependent upon your father and your benefits will stop. If you do not marry and your father dies before you, your benefits will become survivor benefits and will increase in amount.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Stephen

        Thank you. I happened upon some information that states a beneficiary would lose their benefits if they “refuse to accept vocational rehabilitation services without good cause.”

        I’m using a vocational agency to find work from home, but all I’ve found is customer support (phone) jobs, which I haven’t accepted. I’d like to put my job search on hold while I improve my web design skills. I already have an associates degree and was not planning on seeking further schooling but rather improving on my own.

        I’m worried that putting my services on hold will be considered “refusing” vocational rehab services. Would it be better for me to take one of these customer service jobs and improve my web design skills around my working hours?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Stephen,

          You should discuss this with the Social Security Administration to be sure of the consequences of refusing the jobs. My opinion is that it would be of benefit to take the jobs and work to increase your skills on the side. It is usually easier to get a job when you have a job than when you are unemployed; there is a great deal of competition in the graphic arts field (not to say you couldn’t be successful); and it will show the vocation rehabilitation services that you are serious about your efforts to return to work. However, the decision has to be yours. It might be helpful to read about Social Security’s return to work incentives to understand the impact of sustained work on benefits. Information is available in Social Security’s Red Book, which can be found at http://www.ssa.gov or be requested at a local Social Security office.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Hi kay. My name is esha my son was removed from my home from dhs the allegations were neglect its been a little over a year he coming home in oct 2015 he was receiving ssi benefits i talk to them today and ssi said i had to reapply will he be eligable the same medical issues still exist ?and can i still be his payee and do dhs let them no why the child was removed.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Esha,

        What you have posted seems to indicate that your son’s SSI stopped when he was not in your care. If that is the case, then a whole new claim has to be filed and the review process can may take two to five months. If his SSI did not stop, your having to “reapply,” probably refers to your reapplying to be your son’s payee and being evaluated to determine whether you will be the best person to take care of your son’s finances and, thus, his wellbeing. I do not know whether or how DHS might communicate with Social Security about your son’s removal from your home.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • kelly

    I just started recieving disability benefits. I have been considering divorcing my husband for some time. Would my benefit increase if I am on my own? Can you say how much if it would increase? I don’t receive enough right now to live alone. thanks.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kelly,

      I need more information to answer your question. Are you receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability or Social Security Disability (SSDI)? Is your husband currently living with you? How much are you receiving now?

      Thank you,
      Kay

  • Hi I want to know I owe ssdi over pay and too much payment cannot afford for living and had vertigo bad been start miss work need to set up normal pay money so can afford for livong

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Scott,

      Visit a Social Security office and ask to set up a payment plan. Take with you a list of your income and expenses and an idea of how much you can afford to pay and still cover your basic needs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Sara Garner

    I have a question.If I’m currently 18 but my Father is just now receiving his back pay from 2006 will I also get back pay for the time I was a minor and did not receive it?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sara,

      If your father’s maximum family benefit is higher than his own benefit and dependent benefits are payable, you will receive back pay for the months before you turned eighteen. If you were still in high school after you turned eighteen, benefits will continue through the month before the month of your graduation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Sara Garner

        If he just got a letter of approval,how long would it take for the first check to come.And would it be in my name since im18 or would it go to my dad and he has to distribute it to me?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Sara,

          It can take from a month to three months for your father’s benefits to begin. Your benefits will not be calculated and paid until a month or more after his benefits start. The benefit will be paid directly to you.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Juan L Nivar

    Look like my question disappeared

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Juan,

      Your question has now been pulled up and answered.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Juan L Nivar

    Hi Kay,yesterday I Call to check the status of my case that is on reconsideration and they told me that my case it will take a little b longer bcuz they pick up my case along with others cases to make sure that dds department is making the right decisions. Well Kay that’s a good or bad sign?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Juan,

      Claims are picked randomly for quality review; it is not a sign or either approval or denial.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Juan,

      Claims are selected randomly for quality assurance reviews, so the review is not an indication of eithe approval or denial. It does mean you will have to wait longer for a decision.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • leo

    I can have or open a checking account, while I’m waiting for ssdi determination? And how much I can have on the account?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Leo,

      Please see my reply of a few minutes ago to your inquiry. You can have any amount in your bank account if your claim is only for Social Security Disability and not also for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI has a $2,000 countable asset limit ($3,000 if you are married and living with your spouse.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • leo

        Thanks Kay YOU ARE THE BEST ,THE NUMBER 1

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Leo.

  • leo

    SSd

  • leo

    My case is right now on reconsideration for sad,my question is ,while I waiting for the decision I can have a open chucking account or open 1, and have little of money there for pay bills ? Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Leo,

      Bank accounts have no affect on a Social Security Disability (SSD) claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • G.E.HUEY

    I’AM ON SSD,WILL TURN 65 IN OCT.2015.I THINK MY FRA IS 66 YRS OF AGE.CAN I APPLY FOR REGULAR SOC OR WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN I NEAR MY FRA AGE? NEED SOME HELP. GE,THANKS.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear G.E.,

      You don’t have to do anything. Your benefits will automatically be changed to retirement benefits when you reach full retirement age. The benefits will continue in the same amount; only the rules about work earnings will change.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Gil Birdsong

    I am writing in regard of my niece and brother-in-law, inquiring as to whether or not either may be eligible for SSI. She is 30 years old, was home schooled, has no G.E.D., has no drivers license, never learned to drive, has never worked and has been under a physicians care for the last six years for several issues including fibromyalgia, anxiety issues, depression and she is obese. She has no insurance and no other stream of income or assets and she has never received government benefits. Her mother, my sister, who did support her was on Long Term Disability from work, but passed away last month at the age of 59 and she is left in the care of her father whose sole means of support is $1,200 per month from SSDI. He is 62 years old but has medicare, I believe. My brother-in-law, her father, has no other assets, either. The car he owns is worth less than $1000 if that, his cash is exhausted and he owes thousands for my sister’s medical bills. My sister also had no life insurance and very minimal health insurance.

    I am trying to wade through all of these details and peeling the onion back to determine whether or not she or my brother in law are in any way eligible for some sort of benefit. I know at his retirement age at 65 he may draw on survivor benefits from my sister’s SS, but with the most reasonable information I have indicates she made a little over $50 thousand the last year she worked full time in 2013 and using the calculators online, I determined the amount he may become eligible for may not be widely different from what he is drawing now from SSDI. Is it possible he can draw both his SSDI and her survivor benefits now, though I realize the survivor benefits will be at a lesser rate? Is there any direction you can point me for information for assisting them?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Gil,

      Your niece can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits to see whether she is disabled according to Social Security/Supplemental Security Income law. Her financial eligibility would not be affected by her father’s income. She could also apply for disabled adult child benefits on both her father’s and mother’s earnings records, but to be eligible she must prove that she became disabled before age twenty-two.

      If survivor benefits on your sister’s earnings record are less than your brother-in-law’s own benefits, your brother-in-law is not eligible to receive anything on her record. I do suggest, however, that he have Social Security make a formal determination of his wife’s benefit amount rather than relying on the calculator. A couple points as an aside: your brother-in-law’s full retirement age is sixty-six, not sixty-five. If survivor benefits on his wife’s account were high enough to be advantageous, he could switch to reduced widower benefits now at his current age of sixty-two, but the reduction would remain permanent.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tabitha

    Hi. Need a advice.

    I am currently on SSI. I am search to find job but no luck. So I am a freelance as graphic designer. I don’t get much of clients. One client offer me $200 for my design. It is one time payment through Vander fill w-2 for tax pupose. Should I report to my SSI office?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tabitha,

      Supplemental Security Income (SSI) law requires you to report all earnings. The first $65 ($85 if you have no income other than SSI) is excluded and only half of the excess earnings counts. This means that only $67.50 or $77.50 of your $200 earnings will count to reduce your SSI. The reduction will occur two months after the month the earnings were paid, so you might want to save $67.50 or $77.50 of your earnings to use in the month that your benefits are reduced.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Clara

    Hi ,i’m waiting a alj decision as of December 2014,i am a 39yr d female n i have had along case since 11-11 i recently called the office n was told that the judge have to sign off on my case maybe change some dates, is what the representative stated to me. Can you tell me what u think that means? Also i have thyroid problems, high blood, depression, surge, sleep apnea, n i weight 400 pds. I am concerned that i did do some work after i applied for disability.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Clara,

      It is sounds as if the judge made a decision and the decision letter was prepared by the letter writing department and, now that the judge is reviewing the letter, he or she sees some dates are incorrect either because of clerical error or because he or she made an error with dates when rendering the decision. If your work was substantial and for a length of time longer than six months (or even possibly longer than three months), it could be the judge will approve with a disability onset date later after your last work. In any event, your appeal is moving toward your getting a letter probably within a month.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Leslie Weaver

        Dear Kay, I currently won my social security case. My question to you is I receive a pension of $1606.00 a month. How do I figure out what my social security payments will be?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Leslie,

          If your pension does not come from employment for a public employer or it it was a public The The amount of your benefit will be based on your earnings record. You pension will only affect your Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefit if it comes from work for a public employer who did not tax your wages for Social Security. If the pension is based on public employment not subject to Social Security taxes, the maximum you can receive from the two benefits is 80% of your “current average earnings” as determined by the Social Security Administration. 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.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • margarit

    I was wondering if I get low income housing,will it effect my ssi check or medicade/medicare.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Margarit,

      If you get government-subsidized housing, it will not change the amount of your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or affect Medicaid eligibility.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • heather rollins

    I posted a comment a few days ago..and didn’t get a reply or see the post I made…I have read your reply to a above situation that resembles my question..Is my post/reply in a different section I have looked but can’t find..
    Thanks!
    Heather

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Heather,

      Your post and my response are under the article where you posted, “Do I Have to Have a Representative Payee?”, which is under the “After Approval” tab at the top of each page of this Disability Advisor website.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kathy

    Kay I should tell you that this is for the Supplemental Security Income, not the regular SSI. And I do know that all of my bills must come first before I make any other purchases. I just wanted to let you know that I understood that.

    Thanks Again…Kathy G.

  • Kathy

    I would like to know, if my mother was appointed as my (guardian) or caretaker of my SSI money, does she have to be with me when I spend any of my money? I received my first check today, I tried to put it in the bank and they said I can’t do anything with the check that my mother is the only one able to take any funds from the account! The made she and I both very nervous. We don’t understand how this works and it takes forever to get anyone on the phone for help to explain this to us. Does she have to get everything I need? If I wanted some spending money for fabric because I like to quilt, does she have to be with me to get this or am I even allowed to make such purchases even after my bills are paid? Does she have to have an itemized statement for EVERYTHING I get? Soap, deodorant, personal items as pads, makeup, a hamburger???!! Please please help us understand more!!
    I plan to make an appeal on making my own decisions on my money, banking and so on. BUT do they have the right to stop my payments if I appeal? I’ve been a cashier on most of my jobs, even made payroll on one of my jobs. I’m a smart woman, but I’ve been through a lot with my nerves, depression, anxiety and panic attacks, fibromyalgia and arthritis. It just hurts like the dickens when I try to move and it does play on my nerves. So, how far do we have to go with the itemizing? Thank you ever so much…

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kathy,

      While our mother is your payee, she will have to do all the banking. She also must pay directly your shelter costs and groceries, medical care, bus tickets or bus passes. She should pay by check or debit card on the account your benefit goes to for everything she can. (If you live with her, she should write herself a check for rent or your share of shelter costs and/or food.) In the example of the quilting fabric, she could give you money to shop for that and then you would give her the receipt to file. If you are going to shop for personal care items or a haircut, the same would apply: estimate the cost and bring her the receipts. If money is available after needs are met, she could give you weekly spending money and the amount would be up to her based on the cost of your basic needs of the month and the amount that needs to be kept as a prudent reserve for the unexpected. For spending money, she should get a receipt book and have you sign a receipt for the amount given. All these recording steps will show that she has used all the money for you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Carl

    Kay, I requested more advice recently after receiving my unfavorable decision from the ALJ. I noticed that both of my posts have been removed. I do not understand why. Am I banned from posting? I was letting you know that my attorney filed an appeal to the AC for SS. I have read that this is just a waste of time but my attorney says that she has had success in getting the AC to remand cases back to DIFFERENT JUDGES for review and another hearing. She also says that if this does not work that she is going to Federal Court. My question was Is any of this worth going through and I worry about how long this will take. Can you give me any further advice on any of this? If you do not want me to write in anymore, please let me know why and I will respect your decision. Right now I am puzzled as to why my posts have been taken off of the website. Thank You for your help. Carl.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Carl,

      Posts are not visible until they are answered and duplicate posts do not appear. Please see my response on January 30. Also you have to look for the post and response under the article where you posted your comment. In your case this was “What is a Social Security Appeals Council review, and what can I do if the Appeals Council denies my claim?” which can be found under the “Appeals” tab at the top of the page.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Wendy

    One last bit of confusion. I agree that I need an attorney to push this through efficiently, given my case’s complexity. You have been very helpful, so, on the next working day, I do want to call the number you provided, in order to link up with an attorney. Question: Is that number for a single law firm in one location? That is, will I be given an attorney in my home State? If not, how do they go to court with me at the ALJ stage, in the event that my claim is initially denied? As my questions make obvious, I have no idea how the legal system works.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Wendy,

      You will be assisted by a law office that handles claims nationwide. The attorney will travel to represent you in court.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Wendy

        You are wonderful, Kay! I did start my claim yesterday, as you advised. And I will begin all the next steps you suggested next week. Thank you so much!

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Wendy.

  • Wendy

    Also, I had thought that if I use an attorney, they fill everything out for me, apply for me, as my proxy. It sounds like you are saying that I have to fill out the application myself, even when working with a lawyer. Is that right? If so, then I definitely will start the application process today, as you suggest. Does an attorney then take over what I have started?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Wendy,

      The attorney may help you complete the forms; but the attorney doesn’t know you and will go off only what is in your LTD claim file, so how good the attorney’s help is depends a great deal on how well you inform him. Don’t complete the full application form until you have everything gathered that you are going to submit, so that your claim isn’t determined on partial information. Just get it started to protect your filing date. Keep your LTD company informed on what you are doing and request attorney assistance for the initial claim, even though an attorney is provided only for an appeal.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Wendy

    Thank you so much for your advice! My LTD provider (which is in the process of deciding my conversion from STD to LTD), requires that I apply to SSDI if they approve my LTD. This is because they pay only the difference between my LTD entitlement and what SSDI contributes. Thus, it is to their advantage for SSDI to grant my claim. For that reason, they will provide an attorney to facilitate the claim (which, of course, will be compensated by me, from my successful claim, as with any attorney). Question: So, should I begin the claim now, as you suggest? Or should I wait until my LTD is approved and they provide an attorney?

    Also, can you remark on the four questions I asked at the end of my long post?

    Thank you so much!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Wendy,

      I recommend that you start your claim now.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Wendy

    Here are the facts. I am a professional woman with a graduate degree. I was diagnosed with early stage kidney cancer in 2010 at age 56. I had a partial nephectomy and fully recovered, but my employer of only 6 months told me not to return after my operation. I was devastated at that. I could not get another job in my field despite myriad applications, so I returned to school.

    In 2012, while a student, I was diagnosed with breast cancer stage 3C (more than 10 regional lymph nodes involved.) I had surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation over the course of the next 3/4 year. I reacted poorly to one of the chemotherapy drugs – after only a single dose, my toenails turned dark and fell off, and my feet went permanently numb. We stopped that drug, and I was given high dose steroids to try to counteract the side effects. I reacted badly to the steroids – my leg muscles went weak so I had to use a walker, had vertigo, was vomiting. I was hospitalized for a week, to stabilize me. I had serious chemo-brain throughout that year, as well. I reduced my schooling to only one course/semester and finally to none. I understand from reading the SSI Blue Book, that stage 3C breast cancer is a qualifying disability. However, I thought I could return to work after I regained my strength, so I never filed.

    Six months after treatments ended, and with my chemo-brain mostly but not completely gone, I accepted a high-paying position in another State near my mother, because she needed expensive Alhzeimers care which was beyond our budget. My income provided the cushion for us to pay our allotted portion of her care. I began that job in the summer of 2013.

    It was a rough winter. With a compromised immune system, I caught the flu in November (the real one, diagnosed via blood test) and was out of work for a few weeks, and no sooner got over that than I caught bronchitis in January and was out of work again. By spring I was well, but I never regained my strength. Often, I could not get out of bed at all. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? I don’t know. More missed work, but sporadic days rather than in large blocks. I was stronger by that summer (2014) so, working around the completion of an important project for which I was responsible, and with my employer’s approval, I scheduled reconstructive and reparative surgery for mid-summer 2014, expecting to be back early fall.

    I have not been back since. All h–ll broke out from that operation. While still in the hospital, burning electric pain shot down my inner legs. That lasted about a week, and then my inner legs just went numb. Six months later, both inner knees are still numb, so I guess that is permanent. Surgeon ordered nerve conduction study – damaged femoral/saphenous nerve.

    Worse, when I could get out to the store a couple weeks after the operation, I felt like I was 10 feet tall and tippy, and the people and merchandise was a confusing and dizzying visual assault. Off to a neurologist. She ordered brain scans. No cancer metastases, no evidence of MS lesions. Soon I developed double vision, but only in my left eye, and only when I looked to the left. I also developed a peculiar foot freeze and stumbling gait. Off to the opthamologist and movement disorder specialist. The opthamologist diagnosed sixth nerve palsy of unknown origin. The movement disorder specialist said that, because my stumbling only occurs when I glance left (as we do automatically when going through doorways, maneuvering through tight spaces, avoiding obstacles, or walking in unfamiliar places), it is a joint effect of the proprioceptive loss in my feet and now my knees, compounded by the double images from my eyes: my brain gets confused regarding where I am in space and momentarily freezes my movement. Obviously, driving is not safe, so now I have no way to get back and forth to work, even if I were strong enough. Which I am not. The crushing fatigue has returned, making it difficult to get up before late morning, and sending me back to bed with even minor exertion.

    But why is my sixth nerve palsied, so that I have double vision, and will it ever go away? Further brain scans. Nothing found. And why am I so tired? No one knows. Because of my extreme reaction to steroids during chemotherapy, my neurologist ordered a blood tests for myasthenia. No antibodies for found for that. However, I was fund to have pernicious anemia, and put on massive doses of vitamin B12. That has since improved. I also developed alopecia – round bald spots on my head. They have since grown back. Because myasthenia, pernicious anemia, and alopecia are each auto-immune disorders, I was tested for other auto-immune disorders – lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, srjogen’s, etc. All of those were negative, thankfully.

    The weakness spread. No only were my ocular muscles giving me double vision, but in the past couple months I could no longer hold my left hand fingers flexed or my left arm up. Right side is fine. I cannot hold pursed lips nor a smile – face droops into a snarl. My tongue tired and goes weak while I am eating. I cannot suck through a straw effectively. My voice muscle ache when I talk for extended periods. Sure seems like myasthenia. So I was sent for a repetitive nerve stimulation (RNS) and single fiber electromyogram (SFEMG) – apparently the gold standards for sero-negative cases like mine. Bingo! The RNS showed abnormal decrement (essentially the eletrophysiclogical mirror of the drooping muscles that I see when smile, hold up my arm, etc.). The SFEMG showed increased jitter.

    So I have myasthenia, after all. Turns out that my neurologist was correct in her suspicion of myasthenia from my reaction to the high dose steroids two years prior. But, why did this only come to light after this past summer’s operation? Turns out that anesthesia and muscle blockers given during surgery are dangerous for severe myasthenics, with risk of a respiratory arrest. For sub-clinical myasthenics, those same drugs can provoke a chronic and permanent exasperation. That is apparently what happened to me.

    Last week I was put on a trial dose of Mestinon. It is like a miracle drug. I can go much longer before my muscles droop. The drug only works for a few hours; then the symptoms return. Still, the temporary relief is wonderful. I still have the double vision and stumbling, but it is less severe with the medicine. I still have whole-body exhaustion, which is not improved with the medicine. The neurologist is sending me for a sleep study, since about half of myasthenics have a sleep disorder, as well. That has not been scheduled yet.

    But, regardless of what it shows, I am inside this body, and I know the difference between who I was several years ago and who I am now. Frankly, I feel much older than my chronological age of 60 – which is not surprising, being as I have been extensively cut, burned, and poisoned. I feel worn out, used up. To add to this, I have residual mental confusion – difficulty multi-tasking and staying on track. And I have serious lymphadema in my left arm, which requires a one-hour machine message treatment every day.

    I am still out of work on an employer provided disability program, at partial pay. My STD ran out last week, after six months. Now my case is being examined for continuation into LTD. Thus, I temporarily have NO income, until my LTD case is decided.

    I have read the SSDI Blue Book. I never took the SSDI disability for my stage 3C breast cancer, and I even returned to work, although not very successfully, as you can see. It does not appear as if myasthenia is a covered disability unless it is severe, which mine is not…yet. But myasthenia tends to progress during the first year or two, which mine already is doing. And 15% of newly diagnosed persons will have a myasthenic respiratory crisis during that time. Such crises are provoked by respiratory illnesses, stress, extreme temperatures, etc., but mostly illnesses. Without waiting out that time period, I do not know how bad my case will become. I am afraid to stress my body any more.

    I have tried to work and remain off disability. I even worked a year, although not very successfully, as you can see. But, as I said above, now I am weak and tired — worn out, used up.

    My questions:

    (1) If I never took breast cancer disability and instead struggled through work for a year before again becoming too ill to continue, will SSDI still consider my case under stage 3C breast cancer?

    (2) If my myasthenia does not meet the severity level required by SSDI, would they require me to return to work, given that the most dangerous period for a myasthenia is the first couple years after diagnosis? I am afraid to go back into a high-risk environment.

    (3) If my masthenia alone does not meet the severity level required by SSDI, will they consider all of my various limitations together to reach a conclusion that I am no longer employable? And, will they do that automatically, or do I have to ask them to do so?

    (4) If my LTD insurance caseworker determines that I can return to work (which I know I cannot), will that decision influence SSDI’s determination?

    I know this is long. I wanted you to have all of the facts. I eagerly await your reply. Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Wendy,

      First you need to apply for Social Security Disability. Secondly, you have a very complicated medical history and need a very knowledgeable and experienced attorney to pull all the pieces together and to make a case for your being disabled due to multiple conditions. Usually attorneys take cases after an initial denial, but an exception might be made given the complexity of your claim and the fact that you will have back pay due if you are approved, which will allow the attorney to be compensated.

      Mention that you are working up a timeline for when everything happened regarding your health because you have multiple conditions and complex medical care. (See below.) 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 the retroactive award at the time it sends your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Because your health history is so complicated, you should type up a time line beginning with the kidney cancer as back ground. Make a new entry in the chronology for each major change in your condition, each new illness, each new diagnosis, and each new treatment plus periods of starting and ending work. Also, bench mark the beginning of and major changes in disabling symptoms and medication side effects. For each event include the name of the medical providers who were treating you at that time for that particular problem. Then create a second document that lists all the medical providers, their addresses, and phone numbers and roughly the beginning and ending dates you saw them. Of course, include hospitals. When you have done this, give it to your attorney so the attorney can craft an argument for your approval. You can also get a medication history printout from your pharmacy. If you are not able to secure an attorney for your initial claim, submit the history documents with your claim.

      Lastly, you need to start your claim today (if you see this response in time) to avoid potential loss of a month’s back benefits. If you don’t see my reply today, then start the claim in February. You have six months to complete the application and still protect January (or February) as your application month. You can initiate the application by going online to http://www.ssa.gov and completing the first few pages and then saving the application. Be sure to record the online access code you will be given so that you can go back and complete the base claim for later. Claim the day after your last day of work as your disability date.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Chris Smith

    My wife is a cancer survivor. She is suffering a major depression and severe emotional problems. She is disabled and receive SSD also money benefit from a Company where she work. The company is constantly asking for medical documentation and proof from her doctor about the illnes. All these issues are stressing her a lot and afecting her treatment for recovery. What she can do ?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chris,

      It appears that the insurance company believes that your wife’s mental health could improve so they are requesting frequent updates. Really all she can do is accept that she has to submit whatever is requested. Failure to provide the information requested could cause her benefits to stop. I assume that the company knows she has been approved for SSD but still is monitoring for improvement.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Cate

    I am a treatment foster parent for a child who is in foster care for mental health needs. Both of her parents are dead and a couple has had legal guardianship of her for the past 10 years. She is 16 and has not lived with that couple for almost 2 years while she has been in various treatment facilities. How can I find out if they are receiving SS survivor benefits for her (they most likely have been). They are still her guardians and make all the parental decisions. In the last 2 years they have spent less than $300 on clothes or other needs, in fact, as a foster parent, I have been taking care of all her personal needs. The treatment facilities are paid for by Medicaid in NC. I would like to make sure her benefit payments are going into a trust for her and not being used by her guardians for their living expenses. How can I do that confidentially? Your guidance in helping me protect this child would be wonderful. Thanks so much.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cate,

      I suggest that you go to Social Security and take with you your paperwork that shows that you are the treatment foster parent and express you concerns. Social Security isn’t bound to pay benefits to the legal guardian. They typically pay benefits to the person with custody or closest contact with the child. Express your concerns and ask what they recommend to assure the child gets the use of the funds now or in the future for post-high school education or other needs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Cate

        Dear Kay,

        Thanks so much for your advise. I will definitely be contacting Social Security about this. She will need that money when she turns 18 and is out on her own. Her guardians are even making her pay 1/2 of her clarinet rental out of her $10/week allowance that I give her for doing chores. I am sure her SS check goes straight into their checking account.

        Cate

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Cate.

  • I am disabled and receive SSD, my children also receive a percentage of my benefits. On a video that I watched it states I have to keep receipts of how the money was spent and file it with social security office each year. The money was spent on house payment,groceries,school clothes and medical bills. The money that I receive and the kids receive all go towards these bills. What kind of receipts are they wanting? Will they except my 1040 tax where I itemize. It takes all of our checks together to meet these bills. Is there a form I need to fill out each year like you do for income taxes? Kind of confusing. Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Pattie,

      Keep receipts for school clothes and medical bills and any other purchases that are specifically for the children. You might also keep a log of cash expenditures for other money spent for the children including school lunch money, field trips fees, entertainment and allowances if they the money stretches that far. Indicate that the remainder goes toward shelter and food costs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Shareta

    My son has applied for Disability and it was pending for some time, When he last called they told him that it was in its last process and that his application was with the Doctors, My son is in a program with the Easter Seals of NC/VA he was Diagnose with Paranoid schizophrenia,

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shareta,

      Do you have a question?

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Keith Stokke

    My SSI claims representative says that lump sum back payments for SSI can be garnished for defaulted student loans though monthly payments cannot, but what I’ve found online says that not even lump sum back payments can be garnished. What is your understanding? Also, is it true that there is at least a 120 day period after notification of garnishment before it can actually take effect? Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Keith,

      Social Security Disability (SSDI) can be garnished for defaulted student loans. Garnishment can apply to both back pay and monthly benefits. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cannot be garnished. There is advance notice so you can object or negotiate amounts. I do not know how long you have to respond before garnishment takes effect.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jessica

    Hey I would like to know what do i have to do to be my own payee? And if i have my pay stubs from me working will that be enough to show that i can manage my funds and that i can work will that be enough?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jessica,

      You can go to Social Security and apply to be your own payee. You do not say what kind of benefits you are receiving, but both Social Security and SSI require that you report work earnings, so taking the pay stubs will serve two purposed.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jessica

    Hey Im 18 I would like to know what do i have to do to be my own payee?

  • Al

    Hi Kay,

    I have a question about filing taxes while on ssdi. When I figure out my adjusted gross earnings for the year, do I just include half of my total benefits (I read that in a couple of places) or the full amount?

    For example, if my benefits for the year will be 18,000, do I use 18,000 for my gross income for the year, or just 9,000?

    Thanks!

    Al

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Al,

      I am not a tax expert; however, I can tell you that there is an IRS worksheet that is used in conjunction with a 1040 or 1040a to calculate the amount of your Social Security that is taxable. You can go to http://www.irs.gov and search the table of contents to find the information that you need–or contact a tax accountant.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dear Kay,

    that must have been it, when i got food stamps in El Paso, they asked if i wanted to have medical for my kids, only i don’t remember having to submit my proof of disability for them to get coverage, my guess is, that they used my info they had for me already and just covered us all. It just seemed simpler.

    Thanks,

    Tammy 🙂

  • Dear Kay,

    i am on SSDI for many years now, and have been in non-stop pain for 30 years, back then they didn’t know what “Fibromyalgia” was.
    I had caught the Epstein Barr Virus in 1984 and though i did not actually catch MONO, instead my neck began to hurt and then it spread to the rest of my body, never the less i worked for 20 something years before i filed.
    I had 2 children in the last 12 years (very brave of me) and they were both on my FULL Medicaid Health Coverage (what ever Texas had) and i also have Medicare.
    Then we moved back to California and all have to get on MEDICAL.
    At which point i am told i cannot have more than 4,000 in resources.
    Well, i DON’T, but my concern is, when their Father finally gets his Visa and comes up from Mexico, i have to report his earnings to MEDICAL and might lose MEDICAL benefits for my kids and my self.
    In Texas, it did NOT matter what i made, we were all covered under my Disability.
    Of course if my Husband is back, we can afford coverage other than MEDICAL? i guess, maybe, the last time i checked, it was almost 800 dollars a month for a Family of 4, but since then Obama Care has gone into effect.
    My question here is, is it really that different in each State? i thought my kiddos would have full coverage under me out here since it is FEDERAL DISAB, but no.
    I get about 787.00 per month and my 2 kids each get 65.00 dollars under me.

    I wonder what Covered California is like and if it is any good.

    p.s.

    i have been trying to call the MEDICAL office since Thursday and ask them all this when i found out my Husbands Visa should be approved i a few months, but they dont answer….sigh.

    Tammy.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tammy,

      Medicaid eligibility due to receipt of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicare eligibility extend only to the disabled person who receives a federal disability benefit, never to the children. This is true in all states. Each state has its own requirements for providing free or low-cost medical coverage for other members of the family under that state’s programs. Obamacare is a health insurance exchanges and the coverages offered, both private and public vary from state to state.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tj

    My mom is stealing my money im 18 she keeps telling ssi that I am a border line individual (retarted) which is false so I cannot get any of my SSI payments switched in my name what do I do? She threatens to kicked me out etc if I try to get any thing switched in my name im afraid.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tj,

      You do not identify the medical or mental condition for which you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. If your illness has an organizatoin that supports individuals with your illness, you might try contacting them for advice and/or help. (For example, people with muscular dystrophy, could contact the closest Muscular dystrophy Association.) Another option could be to talk to someone at a free legal aid office. You could also talk with your doctor to see if he or she agrees you are capable of handling your benefits and apply to be your own payee, but if you do so you should have a place lined up to live that you can afford to pay for with your benefits, so that if your mother does make you move out, you have a place to go. Also, keep in mind that if you receive your own benefits and continue to live with your mother, you need to give her money to pay for your share of rent, utilities, and food.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Joseph

    How would i go about making my own self my payee? Where do i go to make my own self my payee? How long would it take for the discover express card to be transferred to my name?

  • Keith Stokke

    I applied for SSI last April and was judged disabled but because of a pension I didn’t find out I owned until late June, I was denied. I wont be receiving the funds until Nov or Dec of this year yet SSA says they were a “resource” for me back in April. The painting company the pension is from I worked for 16 years ago for 8 months and I had no idea I had it until I received a letter from Social Security informing me this late June. The pension puts me $246 above the $2000 resource limit .My SSI claims representative tells me that when I receive the pension and the 20% taxes are withheld it will bring me under the limit again and I will be eligible for monthly SSI but no back payment. Can it be true that a resource I didn’t know I possessed until almost July and which I won’t be receiving until Nov or Dec will deny me back payments from when I applied for SSI? I am due for a Reconsideration soon and I’ve gotten different responses from different people at the local Soc. Sec. office about whether the accessibility of funds, and when I acquired knowledge of them, makes a difference in whether I should receive back payments dating to when I applied for SSI in April. What is your take?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Keith,

      My take on the situation may not be how the law is interpreted; the situation is a bit in the gray area. If you get an unfavorable decision on the reconsideration, then I suggest filing for a hearing and argue that a resource has to be available to you for use for it to be a resource and that you couldn’t use money you didn’t know existed to pay for your shelter and food. Argue similarly that you can not access the money until it is released and therefore is not a resource.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Keith Stokke

        There is an online PDF funded by SSA called “How Resources Affect SSI Eligibility” which states among other things that “SSA makes resource determinations for retirement funds based on the ability to retrieve funds from the account”, and “The value of a retirement fund is the amount an individual can currently withdraw”, and “If individuals don’t know they own something, it is not considered a resource until they become aware of its existence. In the month the individual finds out, the item or money is examined under the income rules.” Unless this SSA-funded article is grossly in error, how is my situation a grey area? As soon as I found out about the pension, I filed for it; I have a statement from the pension fund people that I won’t have access to the money until Nov or Dec. One person behind the glass at the Social Security office said that it does make a difference whether a pension is available for current withdrawal; another said because it wasn’t Social Security’s “fault” that the funds aren’t accessible until November or Dec it should be counted as a resources of mine from the moment I filed; another had no opinion. How can I find out what the letter of the law is? Also, is filing for a hearing, as you suggested I do if I lose the Reconsideration,the same thing as filing an appeal, and if not, is it something that will similarly take months and months to occur? Finally,is it true that a resource that I can’t access is judged a resource by its value before taxes are taken out, and then when I am finally able to access it, it’s judged by its net value, at which time I will be eligible for SSI, but not back pay? It seems incredibly bizarre to me if true. Thank You.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Keith,

          Good research! The publication is very clear about being unaware of a pension plan. I suggest that you print out the online article and submit it for your reconsideration. That should help you get a favorable decision at the reconsideration, which is the first level of appeal. (A hearing is the second level of appeal and, yes, can takes months to get scheduled.) The responses from the service representatives you have spoken to are incorrect based on the publication you found. The gross amount of the pension plan will count as income in the month it is received, the same as the gross amount of wages or any other income counts. When you are spending down to be within the resource limit, I would expect the money withheld for the taxes to be considered spent.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Joseph@gmail.com

    To be my own payee all I have to do is bring a letter to the social security office from my doctor saying that im capable of handling my own funds etc? And how long will it take for my direct express card to be switch in my name?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Joseph,

      With a letter from a physician, it is likely you will be made your own payee, but not guaranteed. The change over should take a month or less.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Joseph

        why woudint it be guarenteed im 18 years old and I dont want a payee no more if I have a letter saying im capable of handling my own funds and I should be able to be able to be my own payee it dosent make any sense.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Joseph,

          Adults sometimes have representative payees if they are physically or mentally unable to manage their benefits to take care of themselves. If you can show that you can manage your money to take care of yourself, you will be made your own payee.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Ann

    If someone receives SSD and has two kids, do the kids also receive disability benefits? If so, what is the maximum amount for SSD and what is the percentage for kids?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ann,

      Payment of dependent benefits depends on whether the worker’s earnings have been high enough to provide not only a benefit for the disabled worker but also for his or her family. If the children are eligible, their benefits are called dependent benefits and each child can receive an amount equal to up to 50% of the worker’s benefit limited by the family maximum. Currently, worker’s benefits range from a few hundred dollars to a maximum benefit of approximately $2,600 depending on the worker’s earnings history and taxes paid on those earnings. Each worker can request an earnings statement from Social Security that will include his or her estimated disability and retirement benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Ann

        Thank you very much for your response and information. How can I find out if someone is claiming my child as a dependent and receiving benefits for them even though the child is not living with them and consequently the child is not benefiting from the funds?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Ann,

          If you have the social security number of the disabled or retired worker, you can simply apply for benefits for the child. Apply to be the child’s payee. You will be told if they are already being paid. If so, the benefits should be changed to your name because you have physical custody. If you are the adult with custody, that adult can take the action I described. You may be able to accomplish the same with just the child’s social security number if you don’t have the worker’s number.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Steven

    Where do i go to apply to be my own payee? and will that stop me from getting my money if i say i Have the judgement and that i am capable of handling my own funds

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Steven,

      Applying to be one’s own payee can trigger a medical review, which could result in a finding that a person is not disabled, especially if you are receiving benefits based on mental illness. However, the risk is not equal in all cases. I suggest that you contact your doctor to discuss your capability. If the doctor is willing to write a statement that you are capable of managing money, the statement should include the basis for his opinion (clinical observation and past handling of money) and also a statement that your being able to handle your own money has no bearing on your inability to work (assuming this is true). You can apply to be your own payee at your local Social Security office. If you are too far away from an office, you can call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to request the payee application forms.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jessica

    Dear Katrina,

    Where do i go to apply to be my own payee? and I also was wondering if I get a letter saying im cappable of handling my own money will that stop them from giving me any money period? And long will it take for me to get my direct express card in my name?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Katrina,

      Applying to be one’s own payee can trigger a medical review, which could result in a finding that a person is not disabled, especially if you are receiving benefits based on mental illness. However, the risk is not equal in all cases. I suggest that you contact your doctor to discuss your capability. If the doctor is willing to write a statement that you are capable of managing money, the statement should include the basis for his opinion (clinical observation and past handling of money) and also a statement that your being able to handle your own money has no bearing on your inability to work (assuming this is true). The ExpressCard in your name will be requested as soon as you application to be your own payee is approved. You should get it in a week to ten days after that.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • David

    Dear Katrina,

    How would I go about applying to be my own payee and will that stop me from getting my ssi money saying that im capable of handling my own funds. And how would they cancel the direct express card they gave to my mom. And give me a direct express card in my name.

    Sincerely,

    David

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear David,

      If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) based on a mental disability, asking to be your own payee can bring up the question of whether your condition has improved and whether you might no longer be disabled. If you believe that you are disabled, but can handle your funds,you might talk with your physician about getting a letter from him or her that supports continuing disability while still being able to handle money. Social Security would notify the Treasury Department to cancel the current DirectExpress card in your mother’s name and issue a new one in your name.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • David

    I am 18 yrs old my mom is my payee and im trying to get it switch so the ssi money can be in my name only how would i go about doing that I plan to be moving out soon and I want all my SSI money to be transferred to my bank account ASAP how would I go about doing this?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear David,

      You can apply to be your own payee. It could be helpful to your application to have your physician write a letter saying you are capable of handling your own funds and have the judgement and ability to pay for your housing, food and other necessities before other purchases.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • David

        Dear Katrina,

        Where do I go to apply to be my own payee and how long will it take for me to be issued my own direct express card and will they cancel the old card that had my mother name on it because i don’t want her having a dime of my name how would I get everything to be in my name. And could I get a letter fromy therapist saying that I have the judgement and ability to handle my funds.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear David,

          Please see my response to you first posting.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Katrina

    Hello,

    I have Puluminary Sarcoidosis and Neuro-sarcoidosis. I was finally diagnosed in Feb of 2012 after being hospitalized several times. I went on leave from my job. When I tried to come back they wouldn’t let me because they knew what was wrong with me… fell through some loop hole. Anyway I applied for disability in Nov of 2012. I’ve been denied twice… once while hospitalized. I have lost everything I owned, been evicted and forced to leave the state I called home for more than 8 years. I now live with my mother who is bipolar and taking care of my disabled sister.
    I have not wored since Feb of 2012. I have lost my hearing completely in my left ear and partially in my right ear. I can hear sound but it is very hard to understand someone in a conversation. This face plus balance issues is why I can’t seem to get through an interview.
    I am currently in NC awaiting a hearing date. I have worked in the medical field for more than 15 years. The denial letters are basically stating I am not disabled. Stating I can’t hear but I can see… also they were focased on my blood pressure.
    I am frustrated because I have been living with my mom (bipolar) for almost a year and the disablilty group I work with (not attorneys) are saying it could be March before I get a hearing date. I will not be able to stay with my mom that long and I have no where else to go and no one else helping me.
    Is there a way to speed up the process. I don’t understand with all the issues I have had and losing my jobs due to this disability how I can be denied with a hospital record 3 inches thick.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Katrina,

      You can apply for an expedited hearing based on financial hardship; however, there is no guarantee that the request will result in an earlier hearing date. Be sure that the “disability group” you are working with has all the information about all your conditions and limitations. Discuss your inability to get through job interviews because of your hearing. Also, discuss with them the need to draw attention to all your conditions.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • carla

    I have received 12 months of SSD. I was able to get approved by my hospital for financial assistance for my first arm (humerus) surgery. During the surgery, they found I had advanced osteoporosis. My surgeon now believes he’ll have to replace my ball of my shoulder. With my disability payments, they can no longer subsidize for my surgery and physical therapy. What options are offered to me. I am in my late 50s.

    Thank you!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Carla,

      After you have received twenty-four months of Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, you will become eligible for Medicare. In the meantime, you might find a source for help in one of the links on the following website: http://www.needymeds.com. Another alternative would be to investigate whether you are eligible for a government subsidy to enroll in insurance through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). The next open enrollment is November 1 with an insurance effective date of January 1.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kelly

    I have been on SSD since 2002. Now I have worked in the past but had to quit because my mental inpairment was making it hard to work. I held a job for 2 yrs from 2007-2009 and made way to much and SS said I had to pay them back 5000.00. I have 30 taken out a month for this which I am about to have increased because it will take till 2023 to pay it all back. I quit seeing a dr for my mental health for 2 1/2 yrs because my diabetes got out of control and had to take care of it which I have. I now have a disability review and my question was can I get cut off for not seeing a mental dr even though I see my own dr for health problems.I also just started last week to go back and see a mental dr for my problems. I was told I am SMI. I really do not want to go back to work because I don’t think I can hold down a job due to my SMI.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kelly,

      For your benefits to continue, your medical records have to show that you continue to be disabled. This is usually established with ongoing medical records. It would have been to your advantage to continue with regular mental health care while being treated for diabetes; but since you haven’t been, you will just have to submit the information that you do have available.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Melanie Aiello

    Hi,

    I have been receiving SSI benefits since I was 18, I’m 31 now. This month I did not get my check, so I looked into it and found out that I gross too much money at my job, so they stopped my benefits and say that I owe them over $11,000. I was unaware that I was making too much. I cannot afford with what I make to pay that amount of money back. I was hoping you could give me advice or suggestions of what I can do and what approach to take with this.

    Thank you,

    Melanie Aiello

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Melanie,

      If you can’t afford to repay and if you have been reporting your work earnings every month and therefore did not realize that you were being overpaid, you can request waiver of repayment based on the overpayment not being your fault and not having sufficient income to repay. You will be asked to fill out a financial statement.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • BJ

    I am on SSD. Prior to becoming sick I had attended college and had earned more than 100 credits. I am still disabled and wondering if I can take a class? How many credits are you allowed to take per term without it affecting your disability payments? Can you still receive medicare if you are disabled and work part-time?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear BJ,

      There is no limit on how many school credits you can take; however, if you are able to go to school full time or close to it, it does raise the question of whether you could be working full time.

      If you have not recovered from your disability, you can work part-time and continue to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) during a nine-month trial work period. Medicare continues during that time and can also continue during an Extended Period of Disability. Information about Social Security’s work incentives is available in the “Red Book,” which can be viewed online at http://www.ssa.gov or can be obtained in print form from a Social Security office.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Hello,

    can a person buy a house in Trust for a minor who does NOT have SSI, and it not effect the siblings in the house that DO have SSI.?
    The children will live in the house with their mother, the house bought for the minor in her (minors name), will get it when she is 18.

    thanks,

    Camilia.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Camilia,

      The month that you give the house to the minor, the SSI of the children in the same household could be affected for one month if their mother has income and part of it is being set aside (not counted) for the support of the minor receiving the house.(The value of the house counts as income to the minor.) After that, the house will have no affect on the other children’s SSI.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • ajb

    Kay is it possiable to get back pay before your monthly pay?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear AJB,

      It is possible to get back pay before monthly benefits, but in recent years the vast majority of the time monthly benefits start first, especially if Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims are also involved.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Anne Huff

    Hi. My friend says that the government is docking her disability checks because she has $3,000 in back taxes – and that she herself won’t get money until that is paid off. It sounds fishy to me. Could this be true?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Anne,

      Social Security benefits can be garnished for back taxes; however, a limited amount (15%) can be withheld from ongoing monthly benefits.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Beatrice Morris

        I am waiting for the ALJ to make a decision on my SSDI claim. I should get about two years in back pay if I get a possitive reward. I haven’t filed taxes since 2001. Will the IRS take my backpay for unpaid taxes even though I haven’t heard from the IRS about anything?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Beatrice,

          I can’t say for sure, but probably the can’t garnish. To garnish your benefits, the IRS would need to know how much you owe in taxes. If you have not filed returns they don’t know how much you owe.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Hi Kay..

    I receive SSD. I also have Medicaid, but was told that it will end because of the phase down period. I think that’s the word that was used.
    Anyway will I start receiving Medicair after my Medicaid ends? As I definitely will need medical coverage.

    Thank you,
    Andrea

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Andrea,

      You will be eligible for Medicare after you have received twenty-four months of Social Security Disability benefits, including back-pay months. When your Medicaid stops, the loss of insurance will be considered a “qualifying event” and you will have a short window of time (thirty days, I believe) to apply for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Depending on your income, you may qualify for a government subsidy to help pay the premiums. If you do not know how to do this, call the Social Security call center at 1-800-772-1213 and select the prompt for information about the Affordable Care Act. Also, local insurance brokers can help you work through the process at no charge. (They are paid by the insurance companies.)

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • diamond scott

    I went to s.s office yesterday they told me an amount of money they owe me and that I will get a check today meaning yesterday but it will go into my direct express account …..how long does it take?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Diamond,

      After the payment is triggered, it takes two to three business days.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Bill Pierce

    My wife’s SSDI has been approved effective Sept 31, 2013. Her first check scheduled for April. She applied back in 2011. We received a letter stating the SSA is doing a Determination on her claim after we appealed the determination date. They are saying take the monthly benefit or wait for the appeal now. This doesn’t make sense.
    Any thoughts?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Bill,

      When your wife appealed the disability date, which governs the related start date of benefits, the whole decision comes under review so it is correct that monthly payments will not begin until the appeal is settled. The reasoning behind this is that theoretically the appeal review could result in a finding of a later disability date or a finding of not disabled, rather than the same or earlier disability date.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Joe Puffer

    IYes I can, I applied for SSI August 12th 2012 I was approved fully favorable Jan 4th 2014 , for ACD benefits I was appointed being disable Jan 10th 2010, they are going to start paying from June
    2010 and Feb 2013 for SSI, I am asking how much in back pay will I get, and will some of it come from another sorce aka SSI takes from my other back pay. Thank you so much for your replys .

    Joe-

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Joe,

      I cannot tell you for sure the amount of back pay you will receive. I can tell you that usually SSI back pay will be paid first and that your back pay for Social Security Disabled Adult Child benefits will be offset (reduced) by an amount equal to the SSI paid for the same months. If your adult child’s benefits begin in June 2010 and your SSI begins in February 2013 as you state, then your Social Security for June 2010 through January 2013 will not be reduced.

      Best regards,

      Kay

      • Joe Puffer

        Thank you so much for the reply Kay, it helps a lot 🙂 have a great day

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Joe.

  • Joe Puffer

    Dear Kay, my lawyer told me to let it go and just wait it out, which was what I was saying, 2nd you still have not answered my back pay Questions, I would be very greatfull, I am sorry if it seems I am agrueing, I’m just very confused and just wanting some answers, thank you so much for replying 🙂

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Joe,

      Could you please restate your back pay question, so that I can attempt to respond to it.

      Thank you.

      Kay

  • Joe Puffer

    I do not get free housing , my lawyer said they are saying I do to not pay me as much due to me switching to ssdi . I should be getting 721 but in a month or so I’ll be off SSI.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Joe,

      You have posted several short comments, which seem to indicate that I did not understand your situation when I responded to your original inquiry about why you were receiving the amount of SSI that you are while you are waiting for your Social Security disabled child benefits. The SSI amount of $480 seems to indicate that your benefit has reduced by one-third for in-kind support and maintenance. If you are paying all your own shelter and food costs, then I suggest that you contact the Social Security Administration and ask to have a claims representative itemize the income is being used to reduce your SSI from the maximum of $721, which is the amount paid to individuals with no other countable income. (Future Social Security should not reduce SSI now unless it is going to be paid later in the same month.) If a mistake has been made about your income, you can request a correction.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Joe Puffer

    Thank you for replying the first time 🙂

  • Joe Puffer

    Kay, I am only going to be on SSI till ssdi kicks in, I get 480 now, my lawyer sais that will change and I will get much more . I asked about back benefits as well, you dis not answer me on that … Please reply when you can. Also I get CDB. With ssdi from what the lawyer told me.

    Joe-

  • Joe Puffer

    I was approved January 4th 2014 if that helps as well. I get 480 from SSI , will that stop from what I asked before?

    • Kay Derochie

      Joe,

      Please see my reply posted a few minutes ago. The additional information you provide in this current comment would indicate that you would receive $100 from SSI, if your Social Security disabled adult child benefit is $380.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Joe Puffer

    Good morning Mrs Kay.
    I got a fully favorable approval for both SSI and child disability Benefits, I Applied 20th of August 2012 whileI also got approved for CDB all the way back to January 10th ,2010 but am getting from June 2010 , my question is if my dad gets 780 a month how much will I get plus. SSDi since I am assuming that the CDB plus SSDi will cancel that out? I am so confused right now, how much will I be getting total with both ssdi and CDB? If I’m wrong I’m sorry.I am just trying to under stand it all. Thank you so much for your time .
    Joe

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Joe,

      If the family maximum on your father’s Social Security record is high enough, as a disabled adult child, you can receive an amount equal to one-half of your father’s gross benefit (before withholding for any Medicare premiums). If his gross benefit is $780, yours could be as high as $390. The maximum Supplement Security Income payment is $721. If you have income other than your Social Security, (including in-kind income in the form of free housing or food not provided by food stamps), then your SSI payment would be $361. On the other hand, if you are receiving free housing, your SSI could be as low as $81.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Candace Weese

    HI Kay,
    I applied for SSD October 1, 2013. I have been diagnosed with Chronic Labrynthitis/vesticbular neuritis. I also have heart problems. I had myocarditis in 2006. I got a packet in the mail that I had to fill out my last 15 years of jobs I had done. I also got a letter in the mail saying one of my doctors hadn’t replied back to there request for information. The doctor finally sent it in last Friday. I am just wondering if this is a good sign to getting approved? The interview I went to in October with the SSD person said he thought I had a 99 percent chance of getting approved. Also how long in Utah does it usually take? It is going on 4 1/2 months. I did get a denial for ssi which I knew I would be getting because my husband makes more than the ssi qualifications.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Candace,

      Medical decisions on claims usually take from two to five months, though it could be longer. The activity on your claim indicates that it is currently being eviewed and care is being taken to get all the information for a decision. You are moving closer to getting a decision now that your doctor has responded. If you have not already, be sure to return the job description packet, providing a good description of the physical requirements of each job.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Justin L.

    No matter how many mental issues/disabilities that someone may have, if they are working above the SGA amount does that mean that they will automatically be denied?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Justin,

      Yes, if a person is performing substantial gainful activity and the work is not a short unsucessful work attempt that ended due to disability, the person is not disabled according to Social Security Disability law.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Dear Kay

        I hope this gets to you. Right now I’ve been denied SSDI twice , the next step is a hearing. But I’ve been told an in person hearing will take 12-16 months. I’ve been given the option for a video hearing , which is a lot faster. I have a lawyer, my therapist will testify, some church members will testify and my daughter and a few other family members will testify as to how bad all my health problems have been. I’ve been out of work now for over a year. Why are my lawyers saying not to do the video hearing? I have absolutely no income and will be evicted if I don’t get approved. Please help me.

        Rebekah Hughes

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Rebekah,

          At an in person hearing the judge can see more than part of you. If there is any way you can wait for the in-person hearing, I would follow the advice of your attorney.

          Note that it will take some months for a video hearing also, maybe sixty days for a decision, and another couple months to get paid if you are approved, so having a video hearing might not help with your shelter problem. You may have to rely on the family to see if they can help with shelter. (If you haven’t applied for food stamps, consider do so.)

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Kristie Eskelson

    thank you for your reply. My lawyer claims they haven’t heard anything.and the SS 1-800 # said they didn’t have info on an approval or denial ? and I did apply for disability October 10 2010. and was denied …. I then got a lawyer cause the woman that set me up for my PCN said that you allway’s get denied the first time and I should get a lawyer.
    I went to court October 21 2013. they said I would get a letter in between 3 to 8 week’s (since then my phone has been turned off) My lawyer called about a invoice I had not relpyed to… (after I had called and left message’s 4 time’s) The only reason she called was because the invoice was returned. ( i had moved November 5 2012)
    but she did have my daughters number that I called and gave them in December 2013… when she repeated the wrong address I told her I hadn’t had that address for over a year and had reported to them the change of address and they said they would report it to SS… I asked if that could be why i hadn’t received my notification and she said yes…. she said she would report the address change to SS as soon as we hung up… I called the 1-800 # friday and the woman said they had received notice the day before.. 2 day’s after the lawyer said she would notify SS….. It’s been over the 2 month period and I can’t get answer’s from anyone.
    mean while I’m gonna loose my roof over my head and be living in my car….Please tell me what to do….
    SS said I would get notice of the address change within 10 working day’s……is this normal that all of this is going on? I’m assuming not but feel trapped I’m not getting the help from my lawyer and I don’t know how to contact a case person as you said………should I just wait it out??? is their a number I should call…. I’ve never had to do anything like this before and I’m not sure who or anyone that can help… I thought that’s why I had a lawyer..
    Thank you for any help and I know how busy you are and thank you for reading these and responding.. I feel your a life saver for anyone like me that can’t get ANYONE to help
    so THANK YOU AGAIN….

    K.Eskelson

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kristie,

      I suggest that you get the phone number of the hearings office, either from correspondence you have received, your attorney, or the local Social Security office. Call the hearings office to be sure that they have your correct address. That way you will know for sure that the address was corrected there as well.

      Next, I suggest open communication with your landlord. Tell him or her the date of your hearing and that the hearing was very promising and that you should have had a decision by now but the hearing office is running behind in their work. Say that you are trying to get bridge rental assistance from local social service agencies. Assure the landlord that if you are approved, as you think you will be, you will be able to pay all back rent. Contact the organization holding the loan on your car and do the same. Tell each that if you will keep them informed and will be back in touch in one month.

      Your next step is to contact social service agencies to see if they can help with some or all of your back rent. Explain the situation as you did to your landlord. If the agencies you contact can’t help, ask for a list of other possible agencies that might be able to. Keep asking till you get help or run out of agencies. (If your utilities are in arrears and in danger of being cut off, seek energy assistance for help with the bill.)

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Kristie Eskelson

    P.S I’ve had PCN for 3 years and it’s usually 5.00$…

  • Kristie Eskelson

    Hi I had my hearing October 21. at the hearing the employment expert said I was unemployable, the judge said I would receive a letter in 3 to 8 week’s and I’m still waiting.
    My Lawyer called more then a week ago about an bill that I had not replied to and repeated my address as the wrong address. when I told her that hadn’t been my address for more then a year I asked if that could be the reason why I hadn’t heard anything she said yes and that she would take care of notifying SS.
    I just went to fill a perscription and they said that i had Medicaid and it would be 3.00$ I’m just wondering if that could mean I got my disability ??? I called the toll free number and the woman said she didn’t have any other info on my case and she would contact my local office and I would get notice within 2 week’s???
    I’m really freaking out about this and have allot of unpaid bill’s and rent due… any help would be helpful Thank You

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kristie,

      If you have an attorney, the attorney must have a copy of the judge’s decision letter and should be able to give you a copy. That will tell you the judge’s decision. If you have not applied for Medicaid anywhere (including through the federal or state insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act [Obamacare]), then the fact that you have Medicaid may mean that you have been approved for SSI. That said, it seems unusual that the approval would be set up and produce a Medicaid card before you have had an interview to see if your financial situation has changed. If your attorney has received the judge’s approval letter, I suggest that you contact your local office and request an interview with your SSI claims representative.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

    • Patricia

      I have just applied for regular social security and have not recd my first check yet . I now have to go on short tern disabilty from work and have surgery . Can I draw from Cigna short term disabilty and social security . I am 65 and will be 66 on March 15

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Patricia,

        You can apply for both short-term disability (STD) and Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. If approved, you will receive the STD first. If Social Security is paid retroactively for some of the same period as the STD, you may have to use some of your retroactive Social Security to repay some of the STD. However, the first five, full calendar months of disability are not paid by Social Security so there may be little or no overlap.

        You do not say when you became disabled, but it appears your Social Security Normal Retirement Age is age sixty-six. If you are not disabled for five, full calendar months before you turn sixty-six, you will not be eligible for disability benefits. Instead you will have the option of applying for Social Security retirement benefits and Medicare. If you are able to return to work later, you could request suspension of retirement benefits until you stop work again.

        Sincerely,

        Kay

  • Taj

    Hello, I was wondering if you could help me. My mother has been out of work for over a year because she had a triple by pass surgery. She has been out of work for over a year and is unable to return to work because of health issues. She has collected long term disability and SSDI. Earlier this year, the Long Term Disability insurance company stopped paying her LTD claims because they stated she is able to work in a minimal fashion. Despite being unable to walk and stand for long periods of time, and having several Doctors state she is disable, they have denied our two appeals for Long Term Disability. What steps do we need to take from this point because. Does SSDI pick up the difference LTD doesn’t cover, or should we see about contacting a lawyer for any owed LTD benefits? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Taj,

      Apologies for the delay in responding. Our website has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      The amount of Social Security Disability (SSDI) payable to your mother is not related to receiving Long Term Disabiity (LTD) through a private or employer policy, so her SSDI will not go up because her LTD stopped.

      One thing to consider in deciding whether to appeal further is whether your mother has to be disabled from all occupations to continue receiving benefits or just from the the occupaton she was performing when she became disabled. If she has to be disabled from all occupations–including those that do not require prolonged standing or walking–and she thinks she is and she wants to pursue LTD further, given the two unsuccessful appeals, it would appear that she would need legal help.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Jannis Cluley

    I was granted a fully favorable July,11 2013 from a judge. I have received 2months and the 20th of this month November. But as for the back pay all I get is the run around,and I am just plan dizzy. I had an attorney,I got a letter in August of 2013 from social security saying the amount of my monthly benefits.And what I will receive in the back pay. ( yes I said what I will receive ) I have had so many different answers I am beginning to think they do not understand how too do their own jobs. I have done everything from calling my attorney’s office they have been paid. Too calling the SSA office which on all web sights says to do so you do not get lost in the cracks. I have gone to the local SSA office. The last time I went too the SSA office was Nov. 5th 2013 the women I got had my hopes up she said she saw what was going on.she said she was going to fix it. It was something to do with SSI. I have never received any SSI. I ask her how long before I might see the back pay. She said, she wanted to say a week. But she said she did not want to get my hopes up so she said two weeks. Well it’s been two weeks and still it is not in my checking account. What do I do next, all I hear from them and my attorney is 2 weeks. Well two weeks has come about 10 times. Thank you for reading this and hope you can help me. Jannis Cluley

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jannis,

      Your payment should have been sent when your attorney was paid. It would appear that the Social Security office needed to post on their computer that you were not eligible for SSI so the Social Security back pay could be released. You still have four days left of the last two weeks you were told. (That comment is supposed to make you laugh, not hate me.) Anyway, the explanation you got at your last visit to the office on November 4 makes sense, so you should be on the track to receiving payment. If you have not received it by the 20th (the day after two weeks), you probably need to go back into the office to see if the SSI indicator has been removed from your record.

      Best regards,

      Kay

    • Gene

      I became disabled in November-2002 and began receiving my SSD benefits 8/2003 at age 50. My question is will my monthly benefit amount increase at age 62. I started working and paid into social security at age 13 and worked until disabled. Also I have never been married and have not had nor been able to have children and feel that have been penalized for this by paying higher taxes thus making my paycheck mucj lower. Will I EVER see any of mu tax $’s? Does anyone agree with me
      My monthly check is <$1400. Is this fair? Just want an answer.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Gene,

        Your benefit will stay the same when you turn age sixty-two and the same when you reach full retirement age. Based on the figures and dates you have provided, you have probably already received Social Security benefits in an amount equal to double the taxes you paid in.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • i am from american samoa, and i was medically retired in april 2013, i was told that i would receive back pay, i have received my first check, but they told me at the local ssa office that i won’t be receiving any back pay, due to the fact that there is a large number of medically retired people from american samoa, my question will i still not get any back pay. thank you

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Tanu,

        What you are telling me does not make sense to me. With additional information, I may be able to provide some guidance. What kind of benefits have you applied for, Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or both? If you have applied for SSDI, do you have enough work credits to be insured? you live in the U.S.? Are you a U.S. citizen? Which benefit did they say you could get because “there is a large number of medically retired people form American Samoa?” Have you been found disabled by the Social Security Administration?

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Bernadette

          I have a disabled 20 daughter (disabled from birth) who began receiving $488.00/month a few months after 18th birthday. She pays 480 per/month for rent which is 1/5 of total rent.(five people in household). When I inquire about additional payment or increasing payment to take into account electricity, and food, I am not understanding what I am being told. Well how much do you want to charge her for food ? I say 200 per month. Well you can’t charge her that because you know she doesn’t have that to pay. then I say ok 100 per month for food. Like, I’m not wording it correctly – basically. and they say – she doesn’t have 100 a month to pay you. then I say well she only has 8 extra dollars a month and they say, well she needs some spending money. Is this a question for an attorney? I have read and learned a lot from reading other comments – but nothing this specific to my situation. I essentially want to increase her benefit, how do I do that?

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Bernadette,

            For your daughter to receive the maximum Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit, she has to either pay her share of shelter and food expenses if food is shared or pay fair market value (FMV) for the rent of a room and and board or FMV and buy and prepare her food separately. If she starts to do this, her benefits will increase to $733 beginning two months after the change.

            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 she does not have any savings she can use to pay her share or to pay FMV, you could stop using any of her money a few months until you save up enough that she can pay at least two months of share or FMV. Save the money in a bank account so you can prove she had the funds to pay it. Also keep in mind that she has a $2,000 resource limit, so don’t save so much that she isn’t eligible based on assets.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

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