Supplemental Security Income—SSI—the Other Disability Benefit

By / March 20, 2017 / SSI Benefits / 554 Comments

Learn about SSI disability for disabled children and disabled adults with limited income and assets. Find out where to get help with an SSI claim or appeal.

The Disability Advisor on SSI
Welcome! You have arrived at the seventh of DisabilityAdvisor.com’s seven Social Security Disability-related topics, Supplemental Security Income—SSI—the Other Disability Benefit.

The Disability Advisor website offers at-your-finger-tips answers to the most frequently asked questions about Social Security Disability and SSI. For example, in this section you can browse the twenty-eight articles for plain-language answers to the most frequently asked questions about SSI Disability. These articles address:

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Supplemental Security Income—SSI—the Other Disability Benefit
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  • Dear Jaycee,

    The $20 deduction that you refer to applies to the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program and other income that you have that is not SSI. (The $65 and half of the excess deduction applies only to work earnings.) All but $20 of your Social Security Disability (SSDI) is countable income for determining SSI eligibility, which means that once the SSDI starts, you will not be eligible for federal SSI. Some states pay an SSI state supplement that has slightly higher income limits. When your SSI claim is reviewed for calculation of benefits for months before your SSDI is paid, you will have an opportunity to inquire about a possible state supplement.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Johanna,
    You should receive your final installment, which will be the balance of your back payments, in October 2017. This can be paid any day of the month. If you haven’t receive this installment by the end of October, contact your local Social Security office.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

    • Johanna Chestnut-Jones

      Thank you very much, Jane.

      • Dear Johanna,
        You are welcome.
        Sincerely,
        Jane

  • Dear Catherine,
    If Social Security is contacting your for a financial review, it usually means you have been approved medically for disability benefits. You can never be sure of the decision until you receive your official award notice.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

    • Catherine

      Kay,
      When I go in for this meeting do I need to take information if I am going to college. Do they need to see copies of my FASA and Student Loans

      • Dear Catherine,
        I would take this information with you. Most student loans are not counted as income or resources for Supplemental Security Income, but will need to see these these records to document your file.
        I am giving you a reference to determine if your loan is countable as income or a resource https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0500830455.
        Sincerely,
        Jane

  • Dear Kim,

    If you have been at the hearing appeals level, you will receive a decision letter within about a week of the online status showing a decision has been made. The letter will advise you of an approval or a denial.You should receive a denial letter within ten days. If you have been denied at an initial claim or reconsideration, you will receive the letter in about ten days. If you have been approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) on an initial claim or reconsideration, the local office will authorize benefit. Depending on how long it has been since you applied, they may call or write to you requesting updated financial information. The approval letter will not be received until your non-financial eligibility is confirmed and payment is authorized. If you are approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI) on an initial claim or reconsideration, benefits are finally authorized by a central payment center and you will not get an approval letter called an award letter until benefits have been calculated.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear P,

    I can’t estimate how long it will be before you get a decision. Right now, what you need to do is to review all the information in the CD. If you don’t have a computer, public libraries have computers and a librarian would be able to load the CD for you to review. Check all the information to see if you disagree with any of it or if records you want considered are missing. If there are any corrections to be made, send a letter to the judge’s assistant explaining. If there are missing records, contact your medical providers to try to get them sent in right away and let the hearing office know they have been requested. Be sure to do all this in the time limit given when the CD was sent.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Robert,

    The fundamental criterion for whether an account is a countable resource for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit determinations depends on whether or not you can access the funds for personal use. So, the answer to your question probably depends on the how the rules of incorporation are written up. You would likely need to submit the incorporation papers and get a formal ruling. (Note that Social Security Disability [SSDI] does not consider your assets in determining your eligibility.)

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Steve,
    When you completed your application for disability online, you filed for both Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). You were denied SSDI because you don’t have enough work credits and the notice was sent from Baltimore. Your application for SSI was sent to the local office for processing. The application you mailed to the office will be treated as a supplemental application and will be processed with the online SSI application. Social Security will have to make a new medical determination on your case, which will take a few months. In any case, because your payments were just stopped this month; you should be able to have your benefits reinstated without filing a new application. Contact the local Social Security office and explain to them you didn’t receive your notice and tell them you want to file a reconsideration (SSA-561) requesting your payments be reinstated. If 60 days have passed since the original notice of closure was sent, you will have to also ask for good cause for late filing along with the reconsideration. On your good cause for late statement, explain you didn’t receive the notice because it was sent to the wrong address. If you are allowed to file the reconsideration and it is denied, file a hearing (SSA-501). If you are allowed to file the appeal, you can withdraw the new application and simply provide all the financial information needed for the annual redetermination.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Jessica,

    If you were still insured for Social Security Disability (SSDI) the day after the last denial or have worked since then to perhaps renew being insured, you can file a new SSDI application. The medical requirements are the same for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and you can file for SSI whether or not an SSDI application is possible. It takes the same amount of time for a medical decision for both, two to five months. When you file your claim be sure to list all your recent jobs and the reason you stopped working, especially if you stopped because of your health. If you are denied again, I recommend getting an attorney to help with the appeal.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jessica,

    Social Security will have to determine if you are holding out to the public as a married couple. Your having children together and living together does not create a marital relationship as defined by Social Security. The definition of marriage can be found in the regulations at https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0500501150 and https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0500501152. If you are holding out you will receive the couple rate of $550.00 each.
    If you do not hold yourself out to the public as a married couple each person’s SSI financial eligibility will be determined independently of the other’s.

    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Kim,
    You should receive a notice within 30 days after the decision is made.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Mserica,

    If you were approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your local Social Security office will calculate and authorize SSI payment. A technical expert is involved in one of the later steps of the processing of claims after they have been medically approved. Usually you will be paid your first monthly benefit within a month of the update interview and submission of any requested documents. Typically SSI back pay is paid in up to three installments six months apart and the first two will not exceed $2,205. However, if after your Social Security starts, you are no longer eligible for SSI due to your ongoing SSDI benefit, you can request the remaining SSI installments to be released. Also, if you have a compelling need for more than the initial installment, you may also be able to get early partial release of part or all of later installments
    If you were approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI), your SSDI claim will be sent to a central payment center, where they will double check that you were insured on the date of your established date of disability; calculate your benefit amount applying any offsets you might have, such SSI (see below), workers compensation, or public pension; and authorize payment. This can take two months or more. Back pay is typically paid a month or more after the first monthly benefit. SSDI back benefits will be reduced by the amount of SSI benefits payable for the months in which SSDI and SSI eligibility overlaps.If you were approved for both benefits, the SSDI benefit calculation will be deferred until the SSI calculation has been completed and will start a month to two months after SSI processing is complete.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Paul,

    You monthly payment amount is not based on when you became disabled, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits begin the month after application unless you apply on the first of the month in which case benefits begin with the month of application, so there is no special benefit package for someone who became disabled long before filing an application. The amount of SSI you are eligible for is based on your income and, if you are married and live with your spouse, your spouse’s income. If you are a minor living with your parents, your parents’ income is considered in determining payment amount.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kay,

    The maximum SSI federal rate for one individuals is $735. The couple rate is $1,100. This means that each person’s SSI will be reduced to $550. The number of children does not affect payment amount.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear TK,

    The child’s benefits should not be stopping at age sixteen. If the non-disabled parent was getting a benefit (young spouse or young divorced spouse) benefit for caring for a minor child, that benefit would stop when the child turned sixteen. The only exception would be if the child is disabled. You mention an IEP. If the child is disabled, the parent whose benefit is stopping could request a disability determination for the child for the purpose of having the young spouse’s benefit continued.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear McShan,

    Not exactly. It is the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) that comes with Medicaid and is paid on the first of the month. Social Security (SSD) is usually paid according to when in the month your birth date is; however, when you are eligible for both SSI and SSD, the SSD will be paid on the third.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Pat,

    Your current condition will be evaluated under the adult disability criteria, so the outcome could be an approval if you are unable to work and perform substantial gainful activity, which is usually defined as being able to earn $1,170 gross wages or net self-employment per month.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear McShan,

    Yes, it is possible to receive both SSDI and SSI when SSDI is low enough to allow SSI payment. When both benefits are payable, SSDI is paid on the 3rd of the month so that a person’s income all comes in close together. In June the 3rd is on a Saturday, so the SSDI is being paid on Friday the 2nd.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Christina,

    When your son turns eighteen if he is approved for continuing benefits because he is found to still be disabled under adult criteria, your husband’s and your income should you have any other than SSI will no longer affect his benefits. For him to receive maximum SSI, he will need to pay his share of shelter (and food expenses if you share food). With three in the household his share is one-third. . 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. However, he should not pay more than his share because if he does, he will be supporting your and your husband and his support will reduce your Supplemental Security Income.

    Although your son’s eligibility for SSI will be completely separate from your and your husband’s income, if you all eat together, evaluation of eligibility for SNAP (food stamp) benefits will likely consider your family’s income as a whole.

    From how you describe your son’s mental capacity, you should continue to be representative payee for your son’s benefits. You can involve him informally in management of the money by telling him how much is spent for housing and food and other necessities and then discussing with him how he would like to spend any that is left over and/or whether he would like to save up for something he wants.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kodey,

    You do not need to return the funds paid for your son and deposited to a dedicated account. I would think that you could us the money in any way for your son now that he is no longer eligible for SSI because the penalty for using dedicated funds for non-approved expenditures is to have an equal amount withheld from monthly benefits to be redeposited in the dedicated account.

    I did find a reference to the rules on use of the dedicated funds terminating upon cessation of benefits due to medical cessation of disability, but nothing about what happens with financial ineligibility; so I recommend that you check with the Social Security Administration before taking action.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Cheryl,

    Please see my response of a moment ago to your first post today. I am assuming that the $1,214 taxes you reference is for twelve months. If it is, then the monthly amount would be about $101 and total monthly expenses would be $602 + $350 + $101 = $1,053. That would put your brother’s share at $526. If you also have property insurance that could bring it up to the figures I explained in my first response.

    As I indicated, part of the basis for not being at fault could be that you were never asked for anything but your mortgage and utilities so you didn’t know that you were supposed to report property taxes and insurance or that your brother needed to be paying half of those. You can also petition to have the overpayment collected at a lower amount if the waiver is denied.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Cheryl,

    The overpayment of $27 a month would be calculated by a determination that your brother’s share was $47 a month more than he was paying. The first $20 in-kind income from not paying his share is excluded. This means that they determined that the shelter expenses were $1,094 a month and his share was half of that or $547.

    I would say that the grounds for not being at fault is that you had no way of knowing the payment amount was wrong because the expenses and rent payment stayed the same and Social Security did not notify you of the error or make any corrections at any of the past annual redetermination reviews.

    With regards to the taxes and insurance, the interviewer who asked you for the information may have assumed that your mortgage payment included property tax and insurance as mortgage payments often do. Part of not being at fault would be saying that you provide accurately all the information requested.

    Lastly, unless your brother is living with someone else and not paying his share or not paying fair market value as a renter, the reduction in his benefit is not because his rent is less. Is it possible that it is less because they are withholding part of his benefits to repay the overpayment. I suggest that you ask for an explanation of how the current benefit is being calculated.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Cheryl,

    Ordinarily, redetermination adjustments do not go back that far. However, the simplest way to deal with the overpayment could be to file a request for waiver of repayment on behalf of your brother on the basis that he cannot afford to repay and that neither you or he was at fault in causing the overpayment and had no way of knowing the payment was incorrect.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jerry,

    It sounds as if the benefit your son was getting is not SSDI (Social Security Disability) based on his own work activity but rather Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits. SSI is subject to reduction if a person is not either paying his share of shelter (and food if you share food) expenses or paying fair market value for rent. I will discuss this further below; but first, I’d like to mention that if your son has been disabled since prior to age twenty-two and your retirement includes Social Security benefits, he can apply for Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB) on your earnings record. CDB is payable to unmarried disabled adult children who become disabled before age twenty-two. If he is approved for CDB, your wife can also apply for unreduced young wife’s benefits even if she is not full retirement age because your son would be considered in her care.

    With regard to the reduced SSI your son is receiving, to receive the maximum SSI of $735 your son has to either be a renter in your brother’s home and pay room rent that is fair market value (FMV) for the type of room he rents and buy his own food or pay FMV for room and board (shelter and food) or pay his share of of shelter expenses and buy his own food or pay his share of food expenses also.

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

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

    If your son does not now have enough income and/or savings to pay either his share as a member of the household or pay fair market value as a renter or roomer and boarder, he could reduce his payment or stop paying anything for a few months to save up his funds until he has enough to pay FMV or his share for two months. Then you and he can report when he starts paying the share or FMV. Two months later his benefits will be increased to the maximum. You should save in a bank account to prove you have the money available.

    Note that if your son is approved for CDB and SSI is still payable and he pays FMV or his share, the two benefits, SSDI and SSI, combined will total $755 federal payments, possibly plus a small SSI state supplement.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Derrick,

    Please see my reply of a moment ago to your last comment. The online payment advisory shows any payment amount that is not the regular monthly benefit as a one-time payment.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Derrick,

    “One-time payment” means that only one payment will be issued in that amount; ongoing payments will be the usual $735. SSI back benefits are issued in up to three installments six months apart. The first two are limited to $2,205 each. This means that your first two will be $2,205 each and your last installment will be $727.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Danielle,

    Supplemental Security Income (SSI) does not pay dependent benefits, so no SSI benefits are payable for your children. I suggest that you contact your state or country social services office to find out whether your children are eligible for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tina,

    Please see my response to the first of the two questions you posted on the same day (two days ago). CDB continue throughout the lifetime of the disabled adult child as long as she continues to be disabled and is unmarried. The only exception to termination due to marriage is if she were to marry someone who was receiving a Social Security benefit other than a minor child or student child.

    Whether or not it is better to file a request for an Appeals Council review or a new claim depends on what transpired at the hearing and also on whether or not your daughter is still under age twenty-two at that time of the hearing-level denial. The appeal can take one to two years. To be successful, you have to establish that the judge did not follow decision guidelines. The review can result in upholding the hearing decision, overturning it, or remanding (sending back) the claim to the judge for more investigation and possibly another hearing. A new application requires submitting everything needed to prove the claim even if some of it was submitted previously. Additional interviews could occur.

    At present, I suggest you take one appeal at a time because your daughter could be approved at the hearing.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tina,

    I suggest following your attorney’s plan. If she is denied, you can apply for her again after she turns twenty-two; but for her to get Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB), you would still have to prove that she became disabled before age twenty-two. To have a chance of doing that, the last denial would have to have been rendered before she turned twenty-two. The reason is that in a subsequent new claim, you have to claim a disability date that is after the last denial. If you cannot get her approved with an onset date before age twenty-two, the only benefit she will qualify for is Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Rebecca,

    Your boyfriend can talk with his doctor about his ability to make sound financial decisions to take care of himself. If the doctor agrees he is capable of consistently using his benefits for shelter, food, and other necessities before other expenditures, the doctor can complete a form SSA-787. Then your boyfriend can take the completed form to Social Security and file an application to be his own payee. The form is not required, but it could help his application. It is available at http://www.ecpayee.org/uploads/8/8/7/4/8874367/doctor_statement_ssa_787.pdf.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Melody,

    If he is approved and paid, for example, in May, his back pay would be for seven months (November through May) and at $735 a month would amount to $5,145. This would require the money to be deposited into a Dedicated Account with restricted use. You can ready about Dedicated Accounts at https://www.ssa.gov/kc/rp_accounts.htm.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Derrick,

    I think that the representative was saying that they needed a statement from your godfather confirming what you told them and perhaps needing more detail. Hopefully, the statement that he just sent in was in enough detail that they can calculate and pay your back pay. If so, you could receive the payment within a couple weeks although it could take longer. If he is not helping you now and you are being paid $735 and have no other income and no one is paying your bills, the payment amount should be correct.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Sara.

  • Dear Sara,

    In the circumstance of living only with a spouse, increased rent will not cause your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to go up. Your husband’s income and assets will be considered in determining your continuing SSI eligibility and could cause your claim to be reduced or terminated, so be sure that you reported you moved in with your husband, not just that you moved.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Derrick,

    If you were over age eighteen when the application was filed, then a mistake has been made. I suggest that you go to your local office to get the situation straightened out. If you have any problems doing s, as to speak to a supervisor.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear DT,

    Supplemental Security Income (SSI) has the same medical requirements as Social Security Disability (SSDI), so it will not be paid until you have a medical approval decision. Your banking information was taken so that it would be on file in the event of an approval.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Derrick,

    Your income, assets, and living arrangements will be reviewed to determine whether you are receiving the correct amount of SSI at the time of the review and for the period of time since the last review. You will be asked for your bank statements for the period and proof of living arrangements and income if you have not kept Social Security current on those things.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Derrick,

    Supplemental Security Income (SSI) back pay should be paid within a month. Social Security Disability(SSDI) back pay takes longer. Perhaps two benefits are involved. If not, the information that you got from the person actually handling your claim is likely to be the more accurate.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Carol Lee

    I just recently started getting my benifits. I filled a dire need benefit letter and was granted my back pay. I did recieve my full SSI benifits of 735 and 276 on the 3 rd . Now they want to cut my SSI down to 479 I just don’t understand. I get letters saying they have withheld 8,000 for something all the numbers dont make sence ????

    • Dear Carol,

      I suggest that you take the letters to a relative or friend who is good at business to see if they can review them with you to make sense of them. If that is not successful, take the letters to Social Security and ask for an explanation of every part of the letters you don’t understand.

      Sincerely,
      Kay.

  • Dear Coty Lynn,

    It sounds as if your mother may need to find a way to reduce expenses so she can perhaps stop her part-time job. If she is not getting SNAP benefits (formerly called food stamps), that might be an option for her. If she rents, she might try to get into government-subsidized housing. If she owns her own home outright, she could consider a reverse mortgage. In a reverse mortgage situation, a bank would purchase your mother’s home back from her by paying her a monthly payment while she continued to have the right to live in the home as long as she lives.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Derrick,

    Social Security Disability (SSDI) usually takes about two months to start and usually monthly benefits are paid before back pay. If you were approved for both SSI and SSDI, SSI will be paid first and the processing time frame for SSDI will start after SSI payment has been set up. SSDI back pay is reduced by SSI benefits paid or scheduled to be paid in installments for months that overlap with SSDI eligibility.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Derrick,

    It appears you posted the same question twice. Please see my response of a few moments ago to your first post.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Derrick,

    Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are paid based on disability and having income and assets below SSI limits and the amount you are eligible for can change from month to month if you have changes in your financial situation. The review to get benefits started is to be sure you are financially eligible for all months and, if so, for how much. SSI back pay is paid in up to three installments, the first two of which cannot exceed $2,250. An exception to installments can be made if you have a specific compelling need for more to be released at once–such as catching up back rent to avoid eviction.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • Creativewriter Derrick DaMan

      Thanks Kay. I see online they have me scheduled for $735 for the month of April.. My case worker mentioned the backpay would be released this month.

  • Dear Michael,

    Please see my reply to your first post.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Michael,

    Your Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefit is based on your earnings record, so the amount is fixed except for small cost-of-living adjustments in some years. The only other way the benefit would increase would be if your part-time work and the taxes you pay on it are high enough compared to past earnings to raise the benefit. If so, an automated process will calculate the increase and inform you late in the calendar year after the year the work was performed. There is nothing you need to do to get the increase; also, if you are not notified of an increase you can be assured that none was due.

    You might look into other sources of income such as food stamps and/or help in paying your Medicare premiums if you have Medicare. More information about premium assistance is available at http://www.medicare.gov. Lastly, if you live in a state with an SSI state supplement, you might be eligible for the state supplement even though your income is too high for a federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit. You can determine whether your state has a state supplement by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Ken,

    Your mother’s Social Security benefits will not be affected by her living in the mobile home on the land you now own, whether or not you charge her rent.

    I am not certain that the termination of your mother’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) was correct under the law. Giving away property to drop below the SSI resource (asset) limit can bar a person from getting SSI benefits for up to three years. However, usually receiving or giving away an excluded (not counted) asset does not affect eligibility. Plus if she was living in the mobile home on the property when she gave it to you would mean she gave away property that was excluded and did not affect her eligibility. If she received the notice of determination in the last sixty-five days, she can formally appeal the decision. (The appeal period is sixty days from the date on the letter, but an extra five is allowed for the letter to have reached her in the mail.)

    Now that you own the property, if she is successful in her appeal that her benefits should not have been stopped because the property she gave away was excluded, she does need to pay your fair market value in rent, whether she stays in the run-down mobile home (for space rental on the land) or moves into the better one (as rent for the dwelling).

    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 mobile home rentals in your area and/or by choosing state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • Ken

      Kay,

      Thank you for the reply. It had been over the 60 days since her SSI was taken from her. They even made her pay back some money. She was only getting $82 a month SSI and $600 for social security retirement.

      The mobile home that is run down is still in her name. I have made her move into my home due to shape of hers. I am still paying the mortgage on mine. If I knew that SSI would help her pay the rent I would charge a rental fee but my fear is if she tells them she moved into my house with it without paying rent they will try to take more money from her.

      • Dear Ken,

        Your mother’s Social Security retirement will not be affected by where she lives or whether or not she pays rent.

        She could try reapplying for SSI to see what happens, that is, to see whether they tell her she is barred from eligibility because she gave away the property. If they deny her for that reason, the denial would give her a new appeals period and she could appeal on the grounds I described previously.

        However, there is another issue, the value of the vacant mobile home will count towards the SSI $2,000 resource limit. You could have a real estate agent view the home and write up a statement of its sales value in its current condition is worth less than $2,000 or a statement that it is not saleable if that is the situation. Another option is that she could sell the home if it is saleable as a residence or sell it for salvage if it is not. As long as she gets fair market value for it, selling it will not affect SSI eligibility. This scenario would require her to be paying you FMV rent where she now lives in order not to be receiving in-kind (non-cash) income from you in the form of free or subsidized housing, which together with her Social Security would put her over the SSI income limit.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Dear Rachel,

    If your son is barred access to the 401k, it will not count as an asset. For example, if the 401k plan will not let him withdraw from the 401k while he is working for the company or under a certain age, the 401k should not count as a resource. Also, because he can’t access it, the deposits by the employer should not count as income. The account would need to be reported at SSI redeterminations with proof from the plan administrator that he does not have access.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Emily,

    You can draw reduced spouse’s benefits when you reach sixty-two years of age. If your husband dies, you can apply for disabled widow’s benefits upon his death. If you divorce after being married ten years, you will remain eligible for these benefits. Currently, you can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to try to get a small supplementary income. You might also consider filing for food stamps and trying to get into government subsidized housing. You can learn more about SSI by reading the SSI articles on this website.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, RoseMarie.

  • Dear RoseMarie,

    The benefit you are referring to is a state-administered benefit, so I don’t know the answer to your question. If your daughter is not getting a federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit, I suggest that now that she is age eighteen and your income and assets do not affect her SSI eligibility, you apply for SSI for her.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jessica,

    You may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for a limited period of time until your Social Security Disability (SSDI) starts. Your ongoing Social Security is $23 above the federal SSI income level, so no SSI will be payable ongoing. Please check with the New Hampshire APTD office for answers to your questions regarding their program.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Elisa.

  • Dear Elisa,

    If you could prove you were incurring a debt with the landlord and that if you don’t pay the debt (pay the rent), you will be evicted, your benefits could increase; however, you would have a situation in which you soon would, in fact, be evicted.

    Another alternative is to start paying your share of the shelter expenses (and food if you share food) where you live. Once you start paying your share, your SSI will be increased two months late. If you don’t have enough income to pay your share, you can save up for a few months until you have enough to pay two months share and then start paying to get the increase.

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

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tammy,

    Part of your income is allocated for the support of your student child before any is counted as available for the support of your disabled husband, if your son is under age twenty-two and qualifies as a student (usually full-time attendance is required). The allocation will be reduced by your son’s wages (earned income) only if he either earns more than $7,200 in a calendar year or more than $1,790 gross in a single month. You do need to report his work earnings when you declare his status as a student child. If your son is earning below the limit, I estimate that your husband’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit will be approximately $277.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Tammy.

  • Dear Tammy,

    If you do not have minor children, your husband’s SSI benefit will be about $91 and in most states Medicaid insurance accompanies SSI eligibility.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Britney,

    I am unable to predict the outcome of your appeal. Time is short, but if you could find an attorney experienced in childhood disability claims, it might be of help. Otherwise, be sure to submit school records showing your son’s difficulties and explain how his seizures affect his ability to function outside of school. Tell how often they happen and whether he has any mental problems that persist after they occur and how long they last.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Sara.

  • Dear Sara,

    No, your husband’s income will not affect your Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI) benefits.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Sara,

    Social Security benefits are not affected by a spouse’s income, so I surmise that you are receiving federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and an SSI state supplement. I calculate that your SSI husband’s $3,000 wages will result in your SSI being reduced to about $51 month. Your husband’s benefits would have to be about $1,650 for you to receive unreduced benefits.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Karen,

    Social Security benefits are based on an individual’s earnings record, not on how much they do or do not pay for rent. Accordingly, I think that at least some of your mother’s income is or was derived from Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If that is the case and she was paying rent or room and board when she stayed with you, you and she can go to your local office and request a recalculation of benefits for the period in question. Request that her $500 contribution be considered. Your mother-in-law needs to explain that she was confused and thought the question had to do with bills in her name. As a side note, now that she is living alone, she might qualify for SNAP (formerly called food stamps), which would free up some money to pay part of the mortgage where she lives.

  • You are welcome, Tony.

  • Dear Tony,

    The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is intended to provide income to individuals who either have no income or low income from other sources. Stated another way, it is intended to supplement other income. Accordingly, the law requires people who apply for or receive SSI to apply for all other benefits available to them.

    Social Security spouses benefits are payable to individuals who have the retired or disabled worker’s child under age sixteen in his care or are age sixty-two or older. In your situation, you are still married to your spouse even though you are separated. When your wife became eligible for Social Security, you, who are apparently at least age sixty-two, became eligible for a small spousal benefit as well. Given the amount of her Social Security benefit, yours will be low enough that you will continue to receive SSI in a reduced amount. Your two benefits together will be $20 more than SSI alone.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Ryan Schooling

    Dear Kay,
    I’ve been on ssi since December of last year and we just raised to the maximum of 733. My question is I was told by an ssi rep the my fair share for where I live in nebraska is 400, now do my parents have to show that they received this money every month some way some how or is just seeing that it was withdrawn from my account by the access I’ve granted the govt enough? And if so how are some of the better was of doing that?
    Thanks for your time,
    Ryan

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ryan,

      I suggest purchasing a money order and keeping a photocopy of it or writing a check to your parents each month and having your bank provide a copy of the checks or print copies off an online banking account. If your parents are your representative payee then they would write the check to themselves or fill out the money order in their names.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tammy McMillan

    Hello,
    I was my son’s & husbands payee over 6 years ago. I had been his payee for over 10 years. Over 20 years for my husband. I asked my mom to take over for my son & she accepted. She did this for a few years, until SSI claimed she didn’t handle his money correctly because she was actually paying from her own income to help cover his expenses when his SSI wasn’t enough. And, she didn’t report it. When they looked over her yearly expenses report & the money spent vs. money taken in, didn’t match, they said she broke their rules & he had to have another representative payee. I asked my son about being his payee again & he said SSI told him I couldn’t be his payee because, somehow it was a conflict of interest. Is it possible that they can be holding me accountable for my mother’s mistakes when being his payee, as a reason for this conflict? Also, I voluntarily gave up my payee duties. It was never taken away or questioned, for that matter. I can’t possibly think of any other reason for them to have. When I have called SSI to ask about it, they say that because I am not his payee, they can’t answer my question. My son, while sitting right in front of me, twice, has asked his own payee to talk to SSI about it & find out what the conflict is supposed to be & after 6 months of waiting, she still hasn’t given us an answer. Thank you for your time.
    Tammy

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tammy,

      Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment amounts are based on how much other income, if any, a person has. Apparently, your mother bought things for your son with her own money. Depending on what she paid for her gifts could be countable income to your son resulting in his being overpaid. However, if she can prove that she did not give your son cash and what she bought with her own money was not food or shelter (rent and shelter utilities), her using her money for your son should not have caused him to be overpaid. If that is the case, the error she made is that she incorrectly accounted for what she spent when the report was supposed to only about how your son’s money was spent. The law will not allow release of information with written consent to anyone other than the payee, so you are not being singled out. To get clarity, you, your son, and your mother could go to the office together.

      I am unclear about the status of your son’s representation. Are his benefits suspended pending someone stepping up to be payee? If so and if you are willing, you can apply to serve as payee again.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kris

    My 6 year old daughter is getting ssi. I lost my job and have been unable to find one that will be enough to pay for her medical expenses. My question is this my mortgage is killing me, my parents have offered to pay off the loan and take partial ownership. I would continue to pay water power trash property taxes and insurance. How would this change her current ssi?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kris,

      First, you can work and earn money to help support yourself and your child and still have your child eligible for SSI and the accompanying Medicaid. As long as your earnings are below $3,057 every month, she will be eligible for at least $1 every month, assuming neither you or she has other income; and you can earn about $,1500 gross before there is any reduction in her benefits.

      If your parents pay off your mortgage all in one month, you daughter will be ineligible for SSI that month so they would probably also have to give you cash in the amount of her SSI to get you through the month.Because they have purchased ownership of the property with their payment, their names being put on the title should not affect benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ashley J Wingfield

    Hello Kay,

    I have been reading your advise to these different inquiries and I was hoping you would help me with my peculiar situation.
    I am the mother of 3 young kids. My oldest son (whom is 3) has just started head start this school semester in Ga. His pediatrician referred him to a speech therapist because he stated that he was delayed and later diagnosed him with a speech impediment (aphrasia, if I am not mistaken). He was approved for sessions beginning of July. He has been going to school like a said for about a month now and his teacher explained to me that he is not doing well in school. He failed his first diagnostic screening and she stated that if he fails the second one then she would have to refer him to a developmental specialist because he is not progressing. They also have a school administrator therapist separate of the private therapist that he goes to now. I was advised to apply for SSI for both he and my middle son ( whom will be 2 in October) because he just was approved for speech therapy as well due to a delay and impairment in speech. Upon completing the application for my oldest son’s disability I also stated about his severe eczema conditions that causes him to gain contagious infections and legions all over his body that may affect him having to be quarantined until the infection is gone.
    Finally my 9 month old has been having seizures since he was 3 days old, he has to go to Macon Ga (which is a 2 hour drive from where I live) so he can see his specialist. No one has fully came to a conclusion on why he has these sporadic seizures. I am a single mother that is ONLY in school and have to budget every month to get by with supporting my kids.
    Could you please give me advise as far as if I have means for SSI for my babies and what are the next steps I should take.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ashley,

      I suggest filing SSI disability claims for your two older children. Support the claims with all records and reports available from the Head Start program and all medical reports and testing from medical providers. You might now also file an application for your youngest, especially if he has any signs of delayed development due to the seizures or other causes; you may have more diagnostic information before the claim decision is rendered.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jewela

    Hi, I currently just started recieving my SSI/SSDI due to my rare eye disease. I’m really confused on the whole process. My local Social Security Office in Kentucky, told me during my review that I was going to receive $731but as of yesterday I received an letter stating due to the fact that I wasn’t paying rent for the two years I had an claim out, while living with my mother. They decided to deduct 288.33 from my hard earned money.
    They based the 288.33 off of my mother’s mortgage. How can they base it off of my mother’s mortgage when there not sending the money to my mom. Also my local office wanted me to submit any assets including cars. I submitted an bill for my car note which is 572.78.
    They told me my monthly amount will be 488.30 that’s not even enough to cover cost of my car note and they told me during my open claim that I couldn’t work.
    How can they be so contradicting?!
    I’ve been fighting for two years and now that I’m getting it I feel like, they are stealing my money.

    How can they say DON’T WORK during the process but then penalize me for not pay my mom rent?! I was told from three people from my local office I couldn’t work.

    Also why would they ask if I have any vehicles which I provided a bill from the Finance company, that shows how much is left on vehicle, how many months it’s Financed for and monthly payments which are $572.78.

    Now I left in a bad spot not only can’t I afford my car payment but I can’t even get my own place. When I received the reason to why they were with holding my funds, they didn’t even mention my vehicle only my mother’s mortgage, which she is now receiving help with from the government.

    Please help, don’t know what to do and feeling really depressed about the whole thing. I only have the one vehicle and once that is gone I wouldn’t be able to get back and forth to my doctor appointments. Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

    Sincerely Jewela

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jewela,

      Your benefit is being reduced because you are receiving free housing. The cost of your shelter includes half the mortgage and half of the other shelter costs. For you to receive the maximum $733, you have to pay for your own shelter and food (with or without food stamps). To do so, your must pay either fair market value (FMV) for rent (and food if you receive food from your mother also) or pay your share if start renting a room or pay room and board when you get income.

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

      If you will be renting a room, fair market value (FMV) for room is the amount such rooms are renting for in your geographic area. Social Security law does not specify an amount required to be paying fair market value for room because the economy is different in every location. You can figure out a fair market rental rate by looking at ads for room rentals in your area or by choosing state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. It will not list rooms, but it will list studio or efficiency (one-room) apartments. A room in a house would probably be about half of that amount. Fair market value for food, if you are being provided food, would reasonably be the maximum food stamp grant for one person, which currently is $194.00. When you start to receive benefits and get your back pay, you can start to pay either FMV or your share. Two months later, your benefit will be increased to $733 if by then you have no other countable income.

      You can do a limited amount of work and receive SSI, but work affects SSI benefits in two ways. To be considered disabled, you must be unable to perform Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA), which is usually defined as $1,130 gross per month. If you earn that amount or more, your SSI may be terminated. If you earn less, your SSI benefits are calculated based on the amount you earn. The first $65 ($85 if you have no other income) and half of the excess do not reduce your SSI. For example, if you earn $200 gross, your SSI would be reduced by $67.50 [$200-65]/[2].

      You can have $2,000 in countable resources. Resources are assets (things and money you own) that you carry over from month to month. One vehicle does not count toward the resource limit. (As an aside, you may not be able to afford that high of a car payment and may need to trade the car in for something that would be paid for or would cost much less. Alternatively, if someone pays the car note directly to the lender, it would not count as income because the resource is excluded.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tatiana

    Hello Kay,

    I’ve currently been thinking about applying for a part time job, moving out and maybe going back to school again..
    Considering the fact that I get SSI(733$), I’m not sure how much money I can make? Will it affect my SSI check?
    And if I were to apply to FASFA, be approved. Would that also affect my check/income?

    I would greatly appreciate your help..

    Sincerely,

    Tatiana

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tatiana,

      Whether or not student financial aid affects your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim depends on the kind of aid you receive and in some cases what you use it for. Any financial aid that is used only for tuition, school fees, and school books is excluded as income and does not affect your SSI benefit. A few types of government grants can be used for housing and not count. Some more information about this can be found at https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0500830455.

      The amount you can earn depends on whether you are under age twenty-two or not. If you are, you can work and earn $1,780 per month but not more than $7,180 per year. Half of the excess reduces your SSI. If you are age twenty-two or older, the first $85 (since you do not have other countable income) is excluded. Half of the excess reduces your SSI. Work study wages are considered earned income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kenni

    I’ve received SSI for several years due to being legally blind and not having enough work credits to receive SSDI. I recently started working and gross about $2230 monthly and I also got married recently; however, my wife is currently in school and doesn’t work. I know that she is considered an ineligible spouse due to her having no disabilities and I am aware that income is calculated when determining SSI payments. (- first $20 or $65 and minus half of gross income)

    Can my SSI be amount change due to changes in my marital and employment status?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kenni,

      You need to report your marriage and your earnings and BWE immediately. Your SSI benefit may be reduced or terminated depending on whether you have Blind Work Expenses (BWE)and how much they are. A list of some BWE are included below. If you wife has income such as student aid of a kind that is not excluded, your marriage could affect SSI paid to you.
      Service animal expenses
      Transportation to and from work
      Federal, state, and local income taxes
      Social Security taxes
      Attendant care services
      Visual and sensory aids
      Translation of materials into Braille
      Professional association fees, and
      Union dues.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Doreen Soucy

    Hi Kay, Hope you can answer my question. I want my 34yr. old daughter who’s single & renting an 1B/1B apartment & getting SSI for several years now to move to TN. (where my husband & I are retiring too) so I can keep an eye on her. Long story short, the rentals I’ve been inquiring into down there say she doesn’t meet the monthly rental requirement for even the cheapest apt. of $495 month. She’s paying $550 now where she’s at and doing fine, (she receives food stamps also). The apt.manager says that if I cosign for her, they’ll rent to her. Can I do this without her losing her SSI? I’m not giving her money just signing in good faith and I know she could survive.(The rentals are cheaper down south) I really don’t have any family up north that could keep a close eye on her (my siblings are all much older than me)and she needs my protection. I’m worried sick that I’ll have to leave her behind! Hope you have some good news for me, Thank you Doreen

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Doreen,

      As long as you do not give your daughter money or pay her rent or part of her rent for her, there is no problem in your co-signing for the apartment. When she reports her move, make a statement that you co-signed just to get her an apartment and that you are not paying her deposits or rent. (You can pay for a moving van or her things if needed and not affect her benefits as long as you pay it directly to the moving company. Pay by check or money order so you have proof.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • elizabeth

    how do i find my post where i asked about my ssi

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Elizabeth,

      Look for your question and my reply under the SSI article where you posted the question, which is “Will I Get Cost of Living Increases? under the SSI tab at the top of this webpage.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dan Que

    Dear Kay Derochie,
    Please give us your advice:
    * We are the parents/Guardians of our 18 years old daughter who has Autism.
    * She starts to receive SSI benefit.
    * She lives with us in our home and we have no mortgage.
    * I am her Representative Payee.
    Our question are:
    1) Can we charge her a monthly rental fee (you know we have no mortgage on the house)?
    2) If we can, what type of rental paperwork I should prepare?

    Hope to hear from you soon!

    Thank you for your help!
    Dan

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dan,

      Your daughter can receive a higher SSI payment if she either pays fair market value for room rent (or for room and board if you provide food) or if she pays her share of property tax and shelter utilities (and food if you all share food).

      Sometimes it is hard to prove a business rental relationship with an adult child because it is less likely you would evict for nonpayment. However, you could get rental agreement forms from a business stationery store and write up an agreement as to how much she will pay for room or room and board.

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

      Your daughter’s share if you are sharing as a single household 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, in your case, property tax. If the situation is one of sharing, you can sign a statement listing the shelter and food expenses for the whole household and the amount your daughter contributes.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Sonya gonzales

    Hello I hope you can help answer my question. Can my 16 disabled son’s ssi be counted on my FHA mortgage application? He has been diagnosed with severe autism since he was 4. Once he turns 18 he will be living at home. I am a payee for him and I will continue to be his payee as my son is severly autistic.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sonya,

      I suggest listing the SSI on the application and explain that your disabled child will continue in your care after he turns eighteen and that his income will continue to pay part of the shelter costs indefinitely.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Sonya gonzales

        Thank you for the reply Kay!
        I have to mention also if this makes any difference that my son although 16 has just finished 8th grade. He has been held back 2 years.
        So he will be a full time student for at least 4 more years.
        Maybe this wouldn’t make a difference. Again I do appreciate your reply so much as the question I asked is unique and not within the guidelines.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Sonya. The extra information does not change my response.

      • Bonnie

        Hello Kay,

        I have a question. My mother is 65 years old and on a limited income living in public housing. She is currently on disability but it will change to social security when she turns 66 in September. She inquired about applying for SSI, but she was told she is $30 over the income limit. Is there anyway to get around this? If she gets a Medicare Advantage plan with higher premiums would that reduce her income when they deduct for the premium? Any help would be appreciated. She only receives $16 in food stamps and is struggling to get by.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Bonnie,

          Your mother’s gross Social Security benefit before deduction for Medicare premiums is her countable income for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) so how much she pays in insurance premiums will not affect her ineligibility for SSI. Increased medical expenses might increase her food stamps. Other possibility is that she might qualify for assistance in paying for her Medicare premiums. More information is available at http://www.Medicare.gov.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Grace

      If a parent is receiving SSI and a the single parent’s teenager gets a job after school, will that affect the parents SSI ? The only ones in the household are the parent and teenager.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Grace,

        The child’s income will not affect the single parent’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit amount.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Eric

    Hi Kay,

    2014 I used to work part time while on Ssdi. Then I got hurt on the job and I don’t work no more. I reported to Ssdi that I don’t work no more due to my injury on the job. In 2016 SSA wants me to send my 2014 pay subs and they said that they overpaid me. I checked and the numbers don’t match up with my calculations.

    How does Ssdi calculate my work earnings for the overpayment situation? Do they go by how many checks in one month ? or do they go by 30 days worth of pay?

    For example I get paid bi weekly and that makes around 30 days worth of pay period. Sometimes I get 3 pay checks on the same month and that’s over 30 days worth of pay in one month.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Eric,

      You reference receiving SSDI (Social Security Disability) but posted your question under a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) article, so I am uncertain which kind of benefit you are receiving.

      If you are receiving SSDI and the overpayment is because they say that you performed substantial gainful activity (SGA), you are right that they should be counting when the money was earned, not when it was paid. If that is the case, I suggest that you appeal the overpayment and submit a statement that shows the amount earned from the first of each month to the end of the month and resubmit the pay stubs with a handwritten note that says how much of each pay check was attributable to each month the paycheck covered. (Daily rate x number of days in each month covered by the pay period.) If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), SGA is an issue, but the paychecks are also counted when paid for calculating benefit payments.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Gary Miyashiro

    I live in San Diego, California and I am receiving SSI and medicaid. I am 62 yrs old. My problem is that I have been getting money through my mother’s credit card to pay for my rent for many years now. I have to report to the SSA about this, what should I do? I believed that the money was from my late sister’s trust but it is not. I need the benefits of both SSI and medicaid.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Gary,

      Prepare a written statement about the situation and take it to your local Social Security office and submit it. If you previously reported the trust payments and they were verified by Social Security at one time as being excluded from counting and then later on, unbeknownst to you, the trust money ran out and your mother started to pay the rent, you can state that. Also take a statement from your mother as to the month and year that she first started paying your rent. If your mother has been paying the rent directly and you have no other income, your SSI will be reduced to $488.67. You will be overpaid and asked to repay the overpayment. You can request waiver of collection based on not knowing your situation had changed. If waiver is not approved, you can request partial withholding of your benefit to repay.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • laura

    We are 2 parents ( husband & wife) and we only have one child (2 yrs old) and he is diagnosed with autism. I work and earn around $3500 gross a month but my husband doesn’t work, no income and stays home looking after our child. Can we qualify for SSI and if yes how much a month? We have one car 2007 camry and have few thousand in bank and pay $940 rent monthly but very soon moving to our own condo and will be paying $1140 monthly mortgage.

    Please advise. Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Laura,

      Your earlier post and my reply are under “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 webpage.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tony

    Hello Kay,
    I was determined to be disabled and approved for disability SSI. The Administration calculated my back pay at $488.67 per month indicating that they valued the food and shelter I got from someone as $264.33 so they did not give me the full amount of $733 per month. When I called them and told them that I did not have food and shelter for free and that I owe money for food and shelter for those months to my daughter, the SSA officer told me that since I was not working and I did not have any other income or assets, Social Security assumes that I received food and shelter from someone else. The officer told me that this is always the finding/ assumption made by SSA when calculating back pay for SSI since the applicant has no income to support himself so they assume that someone paid for his food and shelter. Is this true that Social Security makes this assumption and decreases the payment of SSI or can I argue with them that I am entitled to the full amount of $733 per month for my back pay payments. I was just wondering if this is the kind of finding they typically make for people getting SSI disability benefits. They just recently increased my monthly SSI to $733 but they did not increase the monthly amount of back pay. Thank you very much for your response.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tony,

      Yes, the assumption of in-kind (non-cash) support and maintenance is made when a claimant is living with someone else and has not income or savings to be paying for his own shelter and/or food. You can rebut that assumption by filing an appeal based on the value of the free food and shelter being a loan. This is hard to prove without a written loan agreement that outlined the value of the food and shelter each month and how and when the in-kind loan was to be repaid.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Tony

        Kay, Thank you so very much for your response. You are such an incredible resource for all of us here.

        I have some more questions if you don’t mind answering them:

        1. When is the date of back pay calculated from for SSI benefits? I became disabled on October 4, 2014 and I applied for my SSDI disability on October 14, 2014 but I did not have enough credits so on December 5, 2014 my application was converted to SSI disability. Then I was determined to be disabled by a medical examiner on February 5, 2015 but my SSI was denied because I had an extra resource. I appealed and an administrative judge heard my case on January 15, 2016 and made a fully favorable decision.
        My SSI back pay was calculated from February 2015. Does this sound right to you?
        Should not I have been receiving back pay starting an earlier date? Should not back pay be calculated from the date I became disabled on October 4, 2014 or starting the date I applied for the disability on October 14, 2014?

        2. I used to reside with my spouse and our older daughter and her husband so we had a household of 4 and I was paying my equal share of rent and food. My wife recently moved out of our house and moved in with our younger daughter who had a baby to help her with the baby so now I live with my older daughter and her husband but I still pay my equal share of rent and food.
        Do I have to report to SSA that my spouse moved out and it’s 3 of us now each paying an equal share of rent and food? I just pay a higher amount of rent since my wife moved out but I still pay an equal share of rent and household expenses and food.

        3. My wife will soon be applying for her regular Social Security Benefits that she earned by working and having credits . The benefits will be $523 a month for her.
        Since my wife does not live with me, will her income of social security benefits be deemed to be my income and will my SSI of $733 per month be reduced because we are still married? A social security representative told me that my SSI should not be reduced since we don’t live together and she will be getting regular benefits and not SSI. Is this true?
        Is SSA going to be asking us for proof that my wife no longer resides with me ? If so, what kind of proof? She switched her credit card bills to her new address but has not changed the address on her driver’s license yet.
        Thank you again for all your help. I greatly appreciate it.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Tony,

          1. If you did not have excess resources, your SSI should have started the month after application. If December 2014 is considered your SSI application date, then absent excess resources or income, your SSI should have begun to accrue January 2015. Perhaps it did not because the SSI application was not initiated until January 2015.

          2. You need to report the change in household composition and expenses and the increase in your contribution that occurred when your wife moved out. Take a statement from the other people in the household and from your wife about the date she moved out. If asked for proof of the date, a statement from the daughter she is living with and the credit card statements should help. Also, it would be helpful for her to get the drivers license changed so no question is raised when she files for Social Security.

          3. You do not have to report when your wife applies for Social Security. Her income does not affect your SSI because you do not live together. Presumably, she will put down her new address on her application. She will be asked if she is married and she will list you, but her benefit is low enough that you probably cannot get benefits from her Social Security earnings record.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Tony

        Hi Kay, do you think it could work if my daughter and I write an agreement now to indicate that we had an oral agreement in place at the time for back pay repayment but just did not put it in writing at the time and are now putting the terms in writing or if I have my daughter make a statement/ affidavit that we had this oral agreement in place? I don’t think they will give it much weight since it’s after the fact, right?
        Thank you again!

        • Tony

          Hi Kay,
          I called SSA about my wife moving out and they asked me if she was the owner of the house. She is the signor of the mortgage and the title owner on the deed but we always paid for the house together in the past since we bought it in 2007. Would this be an issue for my SSI? Since she no longer resides at the property and she is the owner, would SSA consider this property as an excess resource for the purposes of my SSI benefits? I am confused because I am not the title owner even though I still live there and she is the title owner but she moved out and lives with our younger daughter now. I know that your property is not considered an excess resource if you reside there. Would this count as an excess resource for my SSI benefits since she does not live there now and she is my spouse? She does not receive SSI benefits – only I do through my disability. But she is now eligible to receive her regular Social Security benefits of $523 a month, which she has not applied for yet but will apply for soon. Please forgive me for so many questions but a lot of this information on SSI is so confusing and I really appreciate all your advice. Best regards, Tony

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Tony,

            The house is not in your name so it is not your resource. The issue in your situation is whether you are receiving income from your wife after she moved out in the form of her continuing to pay part of the mortgage, property taxes, and/or property insurance is insurance is required by the lender. If she is, all but $20 of the amount she pays will cause your SSI benefits tp be reduced. The maximum reduction is $244.33.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • Tony

            Thank you so much for your advice. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond to my questions. You are an invaluable resource for all of us here in helping us navigate through the complexities of this system. Thank you again for everything!!!

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Tony.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Tony,

          You might have an outside chance if the oral agreement included how she was going to repay, for example, when she got back disability pay.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Nisha

        Hi Kay,Ssi back is it a certain time of the month that they release the funds?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Nisha,

          Regular monthly Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments are on the first of each month. If the first fall on a weekend or holiday, it is supposed to be paid on the last business day before the weekend or holiday. Back pay can be released any day of the month.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Jenn G

    My son just recently got approved for SSI. In our state, the department of health and human services (which is also the same department that handles welfare benefits) is responsible for the payout of the state supplement. All the info has been reported to them and is entered in their system showing the date the ALJ determination goes back to (which is usually from the time of application). My son’s first regular benefit has been received by SSA however, the state supplement still has not been paid not has anything toward the back owed time period that the SSP should have been being paid. The state keeps telling me to talk to SSA, but the worker for my son’s case keeps telling me because the state is responsible for the SSP payoit, I have to speak to them. How do I go about getting my son his back owed SSP?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jenn,

      Try to find out from the state exactly what it is they need from SSA to pay your son’s back pay. Then you can go to SSA and tell them what the state is waiting for and ask them to send it. If the state can’t tell you why they are sending you back to SSA, ask to speak to a supervisor in the state office for help.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jenn G

        Thank you. I actually woke up to the deposit for the back SSP but I’m still waiting for my son to receive his back SSA.

    • Nancy H

      Hi..can’t figure out how to post, so I hit reply. I currently receive 739.00 on ssi. I am planning to get an apt with my parents. They live in Florida (I’m in NJ), and they want to be able to stay up north for 6-8 months of the year. I read some posts on fmv…confusing. The apt I found was 1475.00. Hud amount is 1440. I will be getting food stamps and help through the county with utility bills. i will be buying my own food. How much should I be paying for my share of the rent? Who should the lease be under?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Nancy,

        In the months that your parents are in the household, your share is one third of the rent. In the months they are not in the household, you would have to pay the entire amount of the rent not to have in-kind (non-cash) support and maintenance counted to lower your benefits. Maybe HUD will lower your rent when your parents are absent so that you can pay the rent.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Nancy H

          thanks for the reply…I was just using hud amount since I saw it in a post. I do not have section 8. I was able to meet expenses while my daughter was living with me, and she has since moved out. I don’t have too many choices, and since my parents wanted to spend more time up north, it seemed like a plan. Is there some way to estimate how much money I would lose on in kind support?

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Nancy,

            The maximum reduction for in-kind support and maintenance is one-third or $244.33.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • Bruce Fortin

    Dear Kay,

    I am a newly appointed trustee of a special needs trust. The beneficiary is on SSI, receiving full benefit of $733. After being homeless, she moved into an apartment and the trust began paying half her rent and other household expenses with roommate/boyfriend paying the other half. The trust and living arrangement was disclosed to SSA back in February and they have not yet reviewed or approved the trust. Assuming the trust is approved, she will have her benefits reduced by one third plus $20. Question: I assume the reduction is retroactive back to February 1. Is this correct? If so, how will they ask her to pay back the over payments? Can her monthly benefits be reduced by a certain percentage going forward? Would that amount be negotiable?

    Thank you!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Bruce,

      Depending on the structure of the trust, the amount of money used to pay the beneficiary’s rent and household expenses may count as income (except for $20.) or if paid directly to the landlord and the utility companies, it may count as in-kind income and be capped at $244.33. If she is overpaid and the trust cannot be used to pay the overpayment, she can request to have part of her benefits withheld each month to repay.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Bruce Fortin

        Thank you, Kaye – very helpful!

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Bruce.

      • Tambra Fenton

        I get $733 a month and i haven’t gotten my benefirs for august

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Tambra,

          You should visit a Social Security office or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and report non-receipt of your benefit. Either your benefits have been suspended and you failed to get the warning notice or your benefits went astray and need to be replaced.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Jared Alexander

    I currently get $735 a month from SSDI ($505) and SSI ($230). I live in an apartment where it’s based on income (I pay $210 a month). I only get $19 a month in SNAP benefits. I live in Shenandoah, Iowa (Southwest Iowa). I have Autism, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Major Depression. I used to work at Nishna Productions (sheltered workshop) but the crowds and loud noises made me quit. I know the SSDI amount comes from my Dad’s work record before he became disabled after a bar fight in 1993. I became Autistic when i was about five years old and I get a disabled adult child benefit. My mom is my representative payee. Will I be able to get more SSI or SSDI? My best bet for working would be working from home or a paper route because of my problems with loud noises and big crowds.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jared,

      If your mother has worked, when she retires and gets Social Security, your disabled adult child benefit could increase as a combined benefit off both parents’ records. That amount could be higher than the income you currently have. You can work and earn $65 a month without a reduction in SSI. For every $2 over $65, your SSI will go down by $1.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Amy

    Hi, Kay,
    I applied for ssi.
    My monthly income is $ 600. my monthly rent is $ 1,000. My son pays the rest of the rent, $ 400 directly to my landlord. But these are not gifts, they are loans, I have to repay. I live alone and I am a widow. I live in NYC. How much ssi in total, federal and state will I get? Thanks, Amy

    • Amy

      Hi, Kay,
      Why does it say my comment is awaiting moderation?
      From me or does it mean it awaits a reply by you?
      Thanks for your time and effort in replying to my post, Amy.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Amy,

        Posts are not visible to the public until I have reviewed them and answered them. See my response of about an hour ago.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Amy,

      For your son’s payments to be treated as a loan, there has to be a loan agreement that includes how much is being lent each month and when and how it is to be repaid. The maximum federal SSI is $733. The amount of state supplement depends on the state, but it will be less than $100 more. If your son’s payments are counted as income, your SSI will be $353.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Amy

        Dear Kay,
        Thank you so much for explaining!
        Amy

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Amy.

          • Amy

            Dear Kay,

            My husband was a naturalized US citizen, and so am I.

            We lived many years in the US, but the last 10 years abroad and he died there.

            Could this affect my ssi eligibility? I fulfill all other requirements to qualify for ssi.

            Thanks Kay, for such a great website where one gets an immediate reply to one’s questions and problems!

            Amy

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Amy,

              Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability or age-based benefits are payable only to people in residence in the fifty states and the North Mariana Islands. If you are living in another country, you will not be eligible. In contrast Social Security disability, retirement, dependent, and survivor benefits are paid to eligible individuals who reside in a variety of foreign countries, although payment is restricted to some countries. You can check with the U.S. Embassy where you live to file a claim.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Patty

    Is there a difference between charging “rent” vs. “room and board”, to an adult child living in the household receiving SSI?
    (Just received back pay so far, 1st check will come in June.)

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Patty,

      Rent is usually for a room (shelter). Room and board is for shelter and food. Commercial room and board situations are rare nowadays, so it may be difficult to prove that you are charging fair market value for room and board.

      Here’s one approach: Fair market value (FMV) of food would be equal to the maximum food-stamp grant for one person, which currently is $194. FMV for room is the amount such rooms are renting for in your area. Social Security law does not specify the amount required to be paying FMV for room and board because the economy is different in every location. You can get a FMV rental rate by looking at local room rental ads or by looking up your state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. It will show an efficiency apartment rates and room rentals would be less than that by at leas half.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Patty

        Thank you so much!
        What are the benefits vs. disadvantages to charge one vs. the other? 1.) I “think” if I paid for his food directly it could be over the $194.00, or even if I divided it by a third it would be over $194.00 (3 people in household)(I’m going to have to sit down and do some math with receipts) 🙂
        2.) At what point would I have to consider this income to me? At what point does this effect whether I can continue to claim him as a dependent on my tax return?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Patty,

          As long as he pays for his shelter and food, as explained previously, there is not advantage between sharing and paying rent. I suggest that you talk to a tax accountant or the IRS regarding your second question.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Patty

            Thank you!

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Patty.

  • Sarah Goldberg

    Hello Asking for a friend. Can a SSI Disability recipient take out a Parent Federal Student Loan to help their child attend college?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sarah,

      Yes, an SSI recipient can incur a debt including in the form of a student loan. A loan is not income; it is a debt that has to be repaid.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Wayne

    I just want to know why does SSI office want proof of my wife’s income and all my kids social security numbers, they said I’m approved just waiting for me to turn all that in- I’m new to this so I am just wondering

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Wayne,

      If you were approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI), the Social Security Administration (SSA) needs the information requested to pay your children dependent benefits and to determine whether, based on her earnings, your wife can also receive dependent benefits. If you were approved for Supplemental Security Income Income (SSI), your payment amount is dependent on family income and the number of minor children being supported by that income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Todd

    Hi,

    I was wondering if I move out of parents and have a family member as co-signer on an partement and use my SSI to pay all toward rent and co-signer pays rest of rent will it effect my SSI? Will it change the amount I receive or gets kicked off it?

    I’m confuse.

    thanks.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Todd,

      If the co-signer does not live with you, all but $20 of what the co-signer pays each month will count as income to reduce your SSI. The maximum reduction for this type of in-kind (non-cash) income is $244.33 even if the co-signer pays more.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Brenden

    I have a question.I am approved for both ssi and ssdi.How does assets affect your case when you are on both?I was told that I would get the minimum for ssdi and the rest would come from ssi.No one ever explains this situation.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brenden,

      Your assets are reviewed and considered in determining whether you are financially eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI); what you own does not affect your Social Security claim. Some assets are excluded (don’t count) in determining SSI eligibility, such as a home you live in, one vehicle of any value, and a $1,500 burial term life insurance policy. The limit is $2,000 or $3,000 for you and your spouse if you are married and living with your spouse. Any month you are over the limit, you are not eligible for SSI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jessica

    Hello so I work two jobs now how will this affect my daughters SSI

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jessica,

      Please provide your combined gross income from the two jobs, the number of parents including stepparents and minor children in the household. Then I can give you a general idea.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Michelle White

    Hello, my 7yr old son was approved medically for SSI back in January. I went for an interview in Feb. to follow-up on any non-medical paper work they still needed from me. I own a home in PA. and I generally visit NJ and stay the night, since my son goes to school in NJ under the care of my mother who has residential custody of him. Considering my housing situation, will my housing situation affect their final decision. I’m concerned because my interview seemed to not go so well. They were asking me for more information to send to them. Such as proof of home ownership and other related documents as well as any monies I may give to my mother since i told them I’m there majority of the time. They also wanted to see that I was no longer getting unemployment. Please help me with this, they seem to be dragging there feet on this one.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Michelle,

      You have a complex situation. First a determination must be made as to whether or not you live in the same household with your son. If you do, deeming of income and resources applies and it may be determined that the home you own in Pennsylvania is a countable resource because it is not your primary home.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Lily

        Hi
        was wondering if a disabled child isnt mentioned on a survivors benefit application and is put on ssi a year or so later. This child should have received cdb all along but got ssi for thirty years. is there any retroactive money because of this? Is the ssa at fault or the parent?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Lily,

          If the child was not disclosed on the application, it is the fault of the person who applied for survivors benefits. An application can be filed for Childhood Disability Benefits, but retroactivity will be limited to six months.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Shira Mozes

    My adult disabled son lives in our household and receives SSI. He pays his fair share of household expenses and therefore receives the maximum benefit. He recently was approved for SNAP benefits.
    How can we use his SNAP benefits? Should we reduce his monthly contribution to the household expenses by the amount of his SNAP benefit or is he allowed to contribute more than his fair share towards the household expenses?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shira,

      If your son is the only person on the SNAP grant, then he got the grant by saying that buys and prepares food separately from the rest of the family. Accordingly, he needs to do that. To continue to get maximum SSI benefits, he has to continue to pay his share of shelter expenses. He needs to report to Social Security that he is now buying his own food and continuing to pay his share of shelter. He should keep a copy of the written statement he makes for them in case any question arises at his next redetermination.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Shira Mozes

        Actually, I completed the application and stated that meals are included in the rent.

      • Amanda

        Hi Kay,

        Quick question: what if the amount given in SSI is decreased and the amount is no longer enough to pay the person’s “fair share?” Is it important that the share be equal amongst the people living in the household? Say a mother lives with her daughter who gets SSI, but the SSI payment is not half. The money pays completely for bills, but is not half of the expenses. Is that significant in determining the amount given?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Amanda,

          The share is always the shelter expesnes (and food cost 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.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Lawrence

    Hi, My adult son (18yrs) recently (in 2015) began receiving SSI (733.00 month) for disability from autism spectrum disorder. He lives at home, and as per our filing for SSI, have him pay 360 a month rent from his SSI. I transfer it from payee account, along with some food allowance to my account. This does not cover all his other expenses (meds, health insurance, food, clothes, phone etc). I was wondering if claiming him as dependent on my tax return will jeopardize his SSI benefits, or some portion thereof.
    thanks,

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lawrence,

      First check with a tax accountant to see whether you can claim your son–that is what percent of his total support you have to provide to claim him. With regard to his SSI benefits, if you are paying for his food, that is income for SSI benefit calculation. If you pay for anything other than food and shelter and you pay for it directly without giving him cash, your assistance does not affect his SSI. I recommend keeping very clear records and receipts for what you pay for with your own money so if you do claim him as a dependent, you can show that the money spent that lets you do that is not income for SSI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ai

    Hello,
    My mother and I are both on SSI, we have been living with my abusive grandparents my whole life, and now we NEED to move but the housing all requires you to make 3X the rent which we obviously won’t ever.
    My question is
    If someone Cosigns for a rental house or Apt. will it affect our income?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ai,

      Co-signers on your apartment will not affect your SSI in and of itself. If the co-signer or someone else pays the deposit and last month’s rent directly to the landlord, both your SSI benefits will be reduced by $244 two months later–but for just one month. If you can save some money in the preceding two months to get through the short month, that strategy might work for you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kenny Tran

    My SSI Amount just got reduced 1/3. They said 2 people had leaved our house to now i am paying less than the fair share expenses. there were 6 of us before and 2 members left. but we just have 2 more new members added to our household. how do we get them to redetermination for our case?
    thanks,
    Kenny

    • Kenny Tran

      sorry, this is for SSI

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kenny,

      Report that two more people have moved into the household and give the date they moved in. Also provide the current expenses and how much you are paying toward those expenses. Get a collaborating statement from the person who owns or rents the house if you are not that person. If you are the owner or renter, get statements from the other members of the household as to what each pays. You may be subject to the decrease in benefits for the months you had four in the house.

      The other thing you can do is about past months. You can figure out how much too little you were paying to be paying your share. If your contribution was less than $265 short of your full share, you can appeal the one-third reduction on the grounds that the reduction should be less than $265, that it should be the difference between your share and what you paid.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Nique

        Question : My daughter was born at 26 weeks gestation and at 5 I believe they found her not to be disable but two days later her doctor and I found out she has cerebral palsy ,well the bad news is I didn’t know how to go about getting it back now it’s been three year’s later and I’m applying again,I just need to know why is social security asking for my check stubs ,they stated they needed more information to decide and that’s the only thing they ask for ,can someone please help me ….

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Nique,

          Your daughter has to be both disabled and financially eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Accordingly, they have to assess her and your income and assets (and her father’s if he is living with her) to see if she is financially eligible.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Nique

            Thank you so much ,I was curious about why they needed my check stubs in order for them to find her eligible ,my daughter was diagnose 3 year’s ago but I didn’t know how to go about doing it ..So is their any chance she might be approved again ? They didn’t ask for anything else beside the check stubs…Thanks Kay 🙂

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Nique,

              I can’t tell whether they are screening for financial eligibility before or after a medical decision. Either way, it is possible that she will be approved.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Nique

            Only for the month of November Kay, they ask for check stubs ,I applied in December…

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Nique,

              That sounds like a clerical error because eligibility will begin with December if you applied on December 1 or January if you applied any other day in December.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

    • michelle

      My son started getting ssi in Sept he got one backpay installment he due another one hasn’t receive it do i have go back in social security or will it be deposited

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Michelle,

        Assuming your son received his first Supplemental Security Income (SSI) back pay installment in September, he is do the second one in March. If he does not receive the second installment by the end of March, follow up with your local Social Security office.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • michelle

          If my son first back pay if we live in broken down travel trailer can i buy him used mobile home with back pay so he have his own room

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Michelle,

            If you are referencing a residential mobile home that he is going to live in, you can use the money for that kind of purchase, but the trailer should be put in his name as owner.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • kathy

    I forgot to tell you my daughter is 22

  • kathy

    I have helped my daughter apply for ssi and are waiting on a hearing. my plans are to leave her and her sister my house when i die if she is on ssi how will this affect her I have a $60000.00 life ins policy that i am leaving to both but out of that they need to pay off the mortgage and my burial. At this time my pay off on the house is $35000.00 burial will probably be around $8000.00 I am guessing,so if i would die now they would split approx $17000.00 Iwant my daughter who is disabled to always have a place to live, her sister may live there with her husband but may not always because he is in military. Her sister does not want to be responsible for paying her sisters bills there will always be house taxes and insurance and utilities

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kathy,

      Inheritance of the house will not affect your disabled daughter’s SSI if she moves into it the month she inherits. The cash she inherits will make her ineligible the month she inherits it. In addition to paying off her share of the mortgage, she could also pay her share of the property taxes that are due for the year at that time. Her remaining assets for the following month will be about $8,500. Her asset limit is $2,000. She will become eligible for SSI again when she has used her excess assets to support herself to the point she is down to $2,000 or below. The money can be used for ordinary expenses, any deferred expenditures such as needed dental care, house repairs, auto repairs or to buy a car.

      When her sister and her husband live in the house, they should not pay more than two-thirds of the shelter utilities (excluding phone and cable). If they are not in the household for a whole year, they should pay only their prorated share of the taxes–for example, if they are in the house six months of the year, they should pay only one-third of the taxes (on-half of their two-thirds share.) If they pay more than their prorated share, it will reduce your disabled daughter’s SSI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Sheb

    I am the guardian of my adult son with down syndrome. His father died so he receives disability and death benefits from his dad. He does not work. Do I claim his income as part of my income on my taxes? Does he file his own tax return?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sheb,

      I am not a tax expert, so it would be best to direct your questions to the IRS or a tax accountant. I can only give you the general information that the money you receive for your son as his payee is not your money; it is his.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Tiffany M

      Hi Kay,

      I applied for SSDI in December and found out I was approved this past Friday (truly grateful). When I filed my application online I was under the impression that the information provided for the ssdi application would be used for the ssi application and someone from ssa would contact me to I assume complete the ssi application or determine if I met the initial criteria (I could definitely be wrong with that thought process). After calling ssa I found out that an ssi application wasn’t initiated so I have a phone interview scheduled for 3/7. I was wondering if approved for ssi will it go back to my initial date of application for ssdi or being that they’re separate programs will it be based on the 3/7 interview date? I’m just hoping to get something to tie me and my children over during the 5 month waiting period aside from welfare as the cash assistance really isn’t sufficient

      Thanks in advance for your help!

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Tiffany,

        Your SSI benefits will likely start based on the date you called to ask about SSI benefits unless you can make a case for thinking that you were applying for both when you applied for Social Security Disability (SSDI). (Usually SSA screens for SSI when the SSDI claim is filed.) If you are approved for SSI, it is likely any SSI back benefits from application time to when SSI payments actually start will be reduced to repay the state for welfare assistance.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Tiffany M

          Thank you Kay!

          • Kay Derochie

            You are welcome, Tiffany.

  • lilmonsta62

    I was just recently approved for ssdi, but at the moment, I’m receiving ssi until the non-medical part of my disability claim is approved. What I really want to know is: once I start to receive my disability, will the ssi that I’m receiving be deducted from the ssdi?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lilmonsta,

      Please see my response to your previous post.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Jack

      Does anybody happen to know if someone receive it SS survivors benefits for themselves and their son, if it would be affected if they apply for an FHA loan to buy a house? Please let me know thanks so much!

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Jack,

        Taking out a loan will not affect the receipt of Social Security benefits and does not have to be reported.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Salina

    Hello,
    My 21 year old son has just been awarded his first SSI check along with back pay. His monthly checks will be around $488 give or take. Anyway…of that money…how much would you deem a reasonable amount to go to his father and I for food and shelter? I am new to this type of thing and am a bit afraid of using it in the wrong way. Thank you for your time. 🙂

    • Salina

      By the way…his first payment with back pay is about $1466. Just thought I should include that. Thank you.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Salina,

        If your son can either pay fair market value (FMV) for room and buy his own food (possibly with food stamps) or pay FMR for combined room and board or pay his share of the shelter and food expenses for the household, his SSI can be increased.

        If you shop and cook for your son there are two ways to go. You can charge him fair market value (FMV) for room rental plus an amount equal to the maximum food stamp grant for one person, which I think is a little below $200. You can research FMV for a similar room in your area on Craig’s list or other advertising. The food stamp office should be able to tell you the maximum grant for one person. The other choice is for him, as a member of your household, to pay his share of rent or mortgage and property taxes (and property insurance if required by the mortgage holder), shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and food. His share is the total listed expenses divided by the number of people in the household..

        Note that to get the increase, you will need your son’s back pay for your son to pay either FMV or his share for at least two months because the benefits will go up for paying for his own shelter and food two months after he starts to do so.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Salina

          Hello Kay…thank you for all of that good info. I guess I should have originally stated that he still lives with us, we are still providing for him mostly. We were told that we should get him on SSI when we took him to a vocation rehabilitation place to help him to get a job that will last. So we did. Only I didn’t realize how much went into it…until now. I new that I would have to send his pay stubs(whenever he works) to show how much he makes but not much else. I am thankful for the help it will provide but I am not sure what to take out of his monthly payments of $488 for food and shelter. So I take it that it is up to us and looking into the FMV to decide how much of it goes to us for that? We have never gotten any help from the state/government in our lives…but we are aware of the fact that our son who has Asperger’s syndrome will not always have us around and the help provided for people for disabilities is awesome…but I’m just paranoid about it because it’s so new to me…and now up to me…and I don’t want to be owing anything in the end(believe me…I’ve been reading all kinds of horror stories on the internet.) 😉 Anyway….sorry for the rambling.

          • Salina

            By the way…not really looking for an increase in payout at this time.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Salina,

              If you do not want an increase in benefits for your son, then you may want to factor what your son’s other needs are besides room and board before deciding on the room and board charge. Note that if in the future you want his benefit to go up for any reason and he continues to live with you, he will have to have the money to either pay FMV or his share for two months so it might be advisable to save his back pay. But do keep in mind that his savings can’t exceed $2,000.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Salina

            Please disregard the last two posts I made. I read your comment more thoroughly and now understand. Thank you. 🙂

            • Kay Derochie

              Too late;I already responded. 😉

          • Salina

            It’s me again 🙂
            So I guess that I had assumed that of the monthly payments that he would be getting right now that some of it would go to rent and food money paid to us…but apparently not. At some point his payments would go up monthly? So…am I to contact an SSI official to let them know right away that he will be using some of his backpay and future SSI payments to pay us for housing and food? Sorry for all of these what seems to be and most likely is, ignorant posts made by me. 😉 Thanks again.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Salina,

              Let me see if I can give you some overview to help you understand the details I have provided. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is intended first of all to provide food and shelter. If someone else provides food and shelter or provides for part of it by collecting less than FMV from a renter or less than the person’s share as a member of a household, SSI is reduced. The reduction is capped at reduction to $488.

              The highest federal benefit of $733 is paid to individuals who pay for their own shelter and have no other countable income (including non-cash income in the form of free food and shelter). The first $65 ($85 if the person has no other income) of work earnings does not count to reduce the SSI payment. Half of work earnings above $65 reduces the SSI benefit. As long as income is low enough that eligibility continues, income in one month changes benefits two months later. Hopefully, this will help a little in your making a decision about what to do.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Kay Derochie

            You are welcome, Salina. When you apply for an increased benefit for him if you do, take a printout of what you are basing the FMV on. If you decide to have him pay his share, take proof of the shelter expenses.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • Salina

            Thank you so much Kay. 🙂 You have been such a great help in this. Have a wonderful day! 🙂

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Salina.

          • Salina

            Ok…so we might have him pay a small rental fee per month, somewhere between$200-300(I believe under FMV) and about $150 for food. This might seem dumb…but how do I show ‘proof’ of this?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Salina,

              You can write yourself a check off his checking account and submit copies of the cancelled checks.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Salina

            So until I go in and apply for him to receive the full amount…can I not use any of his money and backpay for rent or food? I also heard that I could just have my son pay a flat rate each month for rent that covered all the amenities rather than having all the monthly expenses divided between other family members…is that true?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Salina,

              You can charge your son room and board, but to get an increase to the maximum benefit, he has to pay fair market value (FMV) for the room. It is unlikely that $200 is fair market value. I suggest you research room rentals in your area for similar rooms to get an idea of FMV. Here is an excerpt from Social Security’s POMS manual regarding rental in a private home.

              Rental Liability — Room Rental Within a Private Dwelling:

              Room rental within a private dwelling is a form of rental liability. When an individual lives in the same dwelling with the landlord, he/ she must be in a separate household from the landlord’s in order to have rental liability. A separate household functions as a separate economic unit, and more than one economic unit may exist in a single dwelling. If the individual and the landlord do not function as separate economic units, the individual is not in a separate household and cannot have rental liability.

              Flat Fee for Food and Shelter

              A flat fee for room and board is a form of rental liability. It is a variation of separate room rental within a private dwelling. With flat fee, the individual maintains a separate household from the landlord and pays a flat rate for food and shelter.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Salina

            Wow Kay…you certainly are a wealth of knowledge. Thanks so much. 🙂 I have finally got this SSI stuff down now…I think. ;)haha We will do what I had said because as of right now…he does not need that extra money since we are fine with helping him ourselves…as we always have…but it sure is nice to know that there are options out there for people like him. Thanks again! 🙂 I promise…no more questions. ;)he Have an awesome day!

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Salina.

  • Amani

    Hi,
    I have a question, we are a family of four, me a stay home mom, my husband work with $1300/month income and a 4 years old son who has Autism and receives SSI $733/month, my 2 years old son just diagnosed with Autism and his social worker said we can apply for SSI for him too.
    so I want to know if he got approval, would his SSI affect his brother SSI and if yes could you please estimate?
    thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Amani,

      Your four-year-old’s SSI will not be negatively effected by his brother’s eligibility for benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Shavonne

    Hello,

    I’ve applied for disability and was told that I hadn’t worked enough to receive it so, they sent me paperwork for supplemental. I was than denied that because they said I worked to much (I’ve only had 2 part-time jobs that lasted maybe 6 months each in the past 5yrs) Last time I filed tax’s was 2012. They don’t deny that I’m disabled yet wont help me with either. I spoke to an attorney today and was told they couldn’t help me because I didn’t receive a letter saying I wasn’t disabled. I just don’t know what to do anymore. I have ton’s of medical issues and cant afford my medication which helps me in living a somewhat normal life.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shavonne,

      I understand the reason your were denied Social Security Disability benefits for not having sufficient work, but I don’t understand the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) denial. If you can tell me exactly what it says in the denial letter, I might be able to offer some suggestions.

      Regarding medication, you might try contacting the pharmaceutical company that makes your meds to see if they have a program for temporarily providing essential medication for free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Sarah Klein

    Hi,
    I have a question. I have relieved SSI for a long term disability. I was recent sent forms for review. I filled them out, nothing has changed aside from my attempting to work for a friend twice resulting in my being paid $145.
    I was just sent a letter (titled Retirement, Syrvivors and disability insurance) saying I do not qualify for disability benefits because I have no worked long enough to gain social security credits. But when I first started receiving SSI I hadn’t ever worked. The letter goes on to say I am not due any other social security benefits. The letter also states that they didn’t review whether or not I was disabled under their rules due to my not having enough credits.

    I am confused and scared since I have had SSI for the last 8 years with no problem, I cannot work and have bills to pay.

    My question is, what does this letter mean? I was told that I could work on Supplemtal security income. Even though I never had worked before. Now I’m being told I don’t qualify because I haven’t worked enough.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sarah,

      It appears the Social Security office checked to see whether you now had enough work for Social Security benefits in addition to or instead of Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The letter is about Social Security only and has no bearing on your SSI eligibility, which will continue if you are found to still be disabled.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Stacy

    Dear Kay,
    I receive SSI for my minor child. We’ve fought our case for four years so my child is entitled to back monies. They said I can only use the money for his school or work. Which is weird cause he is only eight years old and goes to a free public school. So social security told me I cannot touch the money but my lawyer got paid in full and all we get is the monthly benefit. What can I do??

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stacy,

      You really can’t do anything. If back pay for a minor child exceeds six months of benefits, its use is restricted to medical care, job training and education. You can save the money for when your child becomes an adult to pay for job training or education that might allow him or her to work. You can read more about acceptable uses of the funds at https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200602140.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Melissa

        Hi Kay,

        Really sorry for writing in this reply post but I don’t know how to start a conversation. I’m a non US citizen. Widowed- my husband was American. I reside in another country now. Myself and my son were receiving survivors . Mine ended when he was 16 , my sons to end at 18 …which he is now. I had applied for Disability for my son around when he was 16. Medicals were sent to Baltimore as a previous case worker advised, but then a year later Baltimore contacted O/S Social office and they then sent me the paper work. Been a very long process, doctors , forms etc. I have a new case worker who is not helpful in answering all my questions and is very vague. I have no idea exactly what we are entitled too. So mid last year all forms were sent off to Baltimore. Dec 2015 I received a letter which read benefits and amount which Will receive on or about 31st Dec 2015. He received nothing deposited. I look online and read all different things like …I should have mine continued because of his disability (looking after him) and possible back bay for him and myself?

        I was hoping that his benefits will smoothly convert from survivors to disability but that is now obviously not the case. Can you please shed some light on the situation please.

        Thanks

        Melissa

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Melissa,

          Please see my response to your first post.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Kristen Hepburn

    Hi, I have 2 questions. First, I get SSA for a disability and I’m a single mom with a son with a disability Autism, anxiety etc he will not ever care for himself. I’ve tried to apply for him for his own disability and I was denied twice and been told I can’t do that because I already get disability for myself?? Is this true? Can I not get him disability as well? I get very little. 2nd question my income has not changed in years and no cost of living increase but yet my SSI just went down out of nowhere. I just sent paperwork in to social security and social services at the end of 2015 to prove nothing had changed,the payments stayed the same for 2 months then letter that Ssi in being cut by most of the payment and nothing changed?!? How is this right??

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kristen,

      If you want to tell me the amount of your gross Social Security benefit and your SSI benefit before and after reduction, I will try to respond to your two questions.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dee

    Hello!

    I take care of my brother, who is disabled and receives SSI. I am also now his rep payee. For the past 2 years all of his benefits have been frozen and I have been paying for his rent, bills, food, etc.

    I am happy to say I finally have everything straightened out and he is back receiving his monthly check. I finally received the back payment check that I have been BATTLING direct express for and someone I know had mentioned to me that I could be entitled for reimbursement from that back payment that was owed since I was the only person taking care of his bills in the last 2 years. Is that true? What would I have to do to start that process? I have asked SS before over the phone and they seemed…dismissive… one person said that if my brother wanted to reimburse me that was his choice. But this is a fairly large amount of money (2 years of back payment!) and I dont want it to look like I am abusing my role as payee. Is there anything I need to know to go forward?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dee,

      The money will be paid to you as your brother’s payee; it will not be paid directly to you. It seems to me that your support of him can reasonably be treated as a loan and you can reasonably have him repay you for at least his basic care–food, housing, clothing, medical and dental co-pays as far as the money goes. If you have receipts for any of it, that would help prove you are owed.

      A second issue is that you may find that his benefits will be reduced for free food and housing in months while benefits were suspended. If that is the case, you might be able to get the benefits raised retroactively by repaying yourself for food and housing; however, because you are his payee, that is not as clear cut as if you weren’t.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Michelle B

        I am replying to this post as it seems that it is the closest to my situation. My daughter is diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. She is now 21 and has been diagnosed since age 14. My husband, who is much older, has been retired for the last 12 years and my daughter received retirement/survivor’s benefits up until she aged out. Once she did, we applied for SSDI for her, and she was first denied, but had her hearing on 1/28/16 and was approved.

        We have provided her sole support since the time her previous benefit stopped in 2014. So, my question is, what should I provide to show how much she owes us from her back pay? and secondly in what format do I provide that? Does it need to be a detailed monthly accounting of all monies spent on her in that time or can it be less detailed?

        Thank you for your time and help.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Michelle,

          Your post actually makes it sound as if your daughter will be approved for Disability Adult Child benefits on the Social Security earnings record of her father, not for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or SSDI, which is Social Security Disability paid on her own work record. However, regardless of the benefit, if she is not capable of directly the use of her funds and you serve as her payee, your ability as a payee to reimburse yourselves may be limited. Here is an excerpt from one SSA publication at https://www.socialsecurity.gov/payee/faqrep.htm

          “You may reimburse yourself for reasonable, actual out-of-pocket expenses you pay on behalf of the beneficiary. For example, we consider the cost of transporting the beneficiary to a doctor’s appointment (such as cab fare, mileage and tolls), postage to pay the beneficiary’s bills, and fees for money orders as out-of-pocket expenses. The amount of reimbursement must equal the expense you incurred for the beneficiary. You must keep records of your out-of-pocket expenses.

          We do not permit payees to be reimbursed from the beneficiary’s funds for overhead expenses. For example, you cannot reimburse yourself from the beneficiary’s funds for the costs associated with your utilities, rent, office equipment and supplies.”

          If you are made payee, I suggest that you take the detailed monthly accounting to Social Security and get guidance from them. If your daughter is made her own payee, then you can negotiate with your daughter how much of her back pay she is willing to give you to cover her support for the three years you have supported her.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Kristi

    Help! I do not know who to turn to. My ex husband is disabled and my 17 year old receives SSI. This is my daughter’s 1st year in college and the tution payments are high. I can not get a loan without a cosigner and her father will not help out. I understand if I show Social Security office she is enrolled in college, they will extend her SSI til she is 19. However, I do not want to sound greedy, but college is expense! Can I take my ex back to court to to help with college tution and my daughter still receive SSI? Or am I screwed because SSI is there to help with college?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kristi,

      I think you may be mixing up benefits. If your daughter is receiving benefits because of her father’s disability, not her own, her benefits will end the later of age eighteen or if she is still in high school after age eighteen until the later of her graduation or her nineteenth birthday. No benefits are available for college attendance. If she is receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income) based on her own disability, graduation from high school will not cause termination of benefits.

      As far as child support goes, I suggest that you discuss that with a family law attorney.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Dear Kay,
        Ssi hearing soon for my 11 y/o daughter who has ADHD,reading disorder (2-3 reading grade levels below), intermittent explosive d/o just started ADHD meds this month but not doing well headaches taking Naproxen, bedwetting taking ddavp. Resource since 2008 IEP Speech therapy outpatient. Tried everything alternative but had to start meds but no better. Chances of good outcome wit ADHD meds started this late.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Fanika,

          Your child’s eligibility will be considered for the period when you first filed the claim to present. If there is proof of disability, her specific treatment or lack of it will not keep her from being approved.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Fanika

            Informed today that my daughter’s ssi claim is in the MAILING process (decision made) but case has not been closed yet. 1.What is the ave time before receipt of the letter?2.Is this usually good since hearing was 2/5 and 3. Will another SSA office be able to see approval or denial before the letter reaches us to let me know or only when case is listed as closed?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Fanika,

              You should have the letter within a week to ten days. How long the decision took is not a sign of the outcome. Your local office may have information about the decision slightly before you, but they will not tell verbally. You have to wait for the letter.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Sooyoung

            I’m a single mom and I’m on a ssdi, also I’m a represent payee for my 20 year old son’s ssi. (He has his own apartment ) . Recently I received sec8 voucher for my apartment. If my 20 year old son wants to move in under prove of my landlord, what will happen to his ssi amount? Seems like I can have him pay his fair share of shelter,his own food to keep his ssi $733 yet I’m on sec8 and his represent payee so it will be decrease of his ssi?can you clarify for me ? Thank you ,kay.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Sooyoung,

              Your son can live with you and not have it affect his SSI, if you use part of his SSI payment to pay half of the rent and shelter expenses. You can either buy his food separately and prepare food separately or you can use part of his benefits to pay half of your shared food costs. Shelter expenses are power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage and ren.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

        • Had hearing with voc expert present. Alj didn’t ask ve any questions or have my daughter in room. Lasted maybe 15 min max but no decision on record given. Let him know she started Concerta after all other alternatives failed but having side effects since Jan 14th. He allowed me to explain the domains of which ones I felt she had issues with and why.5 out of 6 I discussed.no issue with manipulating objects. What are our approval chances since meds started 3-1/2 wks before hearing? He did listen to me.

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Fanika,

            If the judge found your testimony credible and the information in the claim file is sufficient to support the described limitations, you child’s claim might be approved, but you won’t know for sure until you get the written decision.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • What is the average time for approval letter vs denial letter? I read somewhere that approvals take a lo less time. Also which office will be able to say yea or nay local,ODAR,central line number? If approved could check come before the letter?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Fanika,

              The decision on a hearing will come from ODAR, the hearing office, in the form of a letter. ODAR will give you a status on a pending decision by telephone, but will not tell you whether it is an approval or denial. If non-medical information is needed, your local office will send a letter or call. The central call center staff depends on what they can see on the computer, so sometimes they cannot provide reliable status information on pending claims. Payment of Social Security Disability claims typically starts within two months of the date, which is the agencies guideline. It is authorized by a central payment center. If you also applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), it will be paid first and will be authorized by your local office.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Fanika

            The ALJ didn’t make reference to the teacher questionnaires from this school year that were submitted but only the ones from last year and denied at hearing level. Is this enough for appeals council to review bc i feel that she would have functionally had at least 2 marked domains compared from last year to this year.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Fanika,

              What you describe may be ground for an Appeals Council appeal; however, the rules for what you can submit at that appeals level are specific and strict. I suggest that you obtain an experienced Social Security attorney to review the denial and this year’s teacher questionnaire and help you formulate the argument for the 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

      • Susan Katherine

        Hi Kay, I’m married and We have 4 children and 2 of which whom are disabled, I’m a stay at home mom and my husband is employed with a gross income of $4000 a month…my question is, is are we even eligible to get any ssi payments because of my husbands income? Thanks

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Susan,

          If your family assets are not too high and your husband’s income is the only income the family has, your disabled children are financially eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), though not the maximum amount. If one is approved the benefit would be about $630; if both are approved they would be eligible for about $500 each.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          Sin

  • Annegelica

    Hi Kay. can I get Medicare if I haven’t worked before but have had ssi for several years? I never “formally” had a job but have been doing community services all my life until disabled at age 20.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Annegelica,

      Medicare is available to people who have worked and paid Medicare taxes and to disabled adult children receiving disability benefits on a parent’s earnings record. The health insurance you have access to through receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is Medicaid.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Annegelica Gregory

    Hi. I’m disabled and currently receiving ssi. But I am part owner of a family business, there are 12 of us. I own about 8% of it. Anyway when ssi asks if I own a car property ect. I say not but the business does of which I am part owner. Right now my check is quite low, is this affecting it and is there anyway I can change this. Also we each pay the property taxes monthly out of our own incomes (my ssi) can I count this in utility and does my phone count too? The business is actually having losses, not gains. Also I have a service dog can his expenses be included in my expenses. Please help!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Anneglica,

      If you have not done so, you need to report your ownership in the business even though it loses money. You need to report the business and present a copy of the business’s organizational papers so Social Security can determine whether you have any countable income or assets from the business and whether or not you perform work services for the business.If you do not receive income off the business, there will be no income to affect your SSI. You may not be considered to have an ownership interest in the businesses vehicle(s) if the business is a C-corporation and the corporation owns the business.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Hillary

    Dear Kay,

    I want to know how college supplied income (refunds and assistantships) are considered in SSI benefits. Are they treated like a working income? I learned that if you’re under 22 you can have extra income during school, but I’m already 25 and in graduate school. I’ve been offered an assistantship and I need to know how to proceed. I will not be able to afford living at my college location if My SSI gets cut/ not to mention I’d probably get so sick from having no insurance. I need the assistantship to boost my resume so I can eventually get a good job with insurance. Help!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Hillary,

      An assistantship will probably be treated as work income. The general rule for earned income is that the first $65 ($85 if you have no other income) is excluded and half of the amount above $65 (or $85) is counted to reduce your SSI benefits.

      What I suggest is that you develop a Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS). Ask Social Security to help you develop the PASS. In the PASS list your career goal and the education required to attain it. Then list your assistantship wages as necessary to keep in school to complete the education and reach the goal. If the PASS is granted, none of your earned income will reduce your SSI. The rules for a PASS are very specific so try to read all the rules and complete the forms carefully. You must do this before you get the income. Then be sure to follow the plan and report if anything changes. These links will get you started but they may not be everything you will need. https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ssa-545.html and https://www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityresearch/wi/pass.htm and

      I don’t know exactly what you are referring to as “refunds” in the context of college-supplied income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • jodie

        Question My son is disabled and we receive SSI benefits for him we have a truck 2007 and just bought a 2013 truck would that count against us?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jodie,

          The equity value of the less valuable vehicle will count toward your and his father’s (you say “we”) $3,000 resource limit. If your countable assets exceed $3,000, the excess will count toward your child’s $2,000 resource limit. The equity value is the value of the vehicle less the amount you owe on it. There is one exception: if you both work and you can show that have to have two vehicles for you both to get to work, you might be able to have the value of the second vehicle excluded as a resource necessary for self-support.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Neil

    Dear Advisor,

    I am posting this question on behalf of an old Asian couple. They both came to California as immigrants. They did not work in the US. Last year they became citizens and qualified for SSI and also got Medicare/Medi-Cal. Their children supported them before they started getting SSI.

    They want their children to support them as they did before. Children agree to continue to support them as well. It is a cultural thing with them – they feel proud if their children support them.

    They want to know if they ask Social Security to stop their SSI payment, can they still get Medicare and Medi-Cal? Or, do they have to receive SSI cash benefit to get Medicare/Medi-Cal.

    They are just afraid that if they refused SSI cash benefit, they will lose Medicare/Medi-Cal as well.

    Please advise.

    Thanks.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Neil,

      Medicaid based on SSI eligibility will stop with the cash benefits. They can, however, apply for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). They may qualify for Medicaid that way or they may qualify for another insurance with government-subsidized premiums. The annual open enrollment period ends January 31, but they can apply any time during the year if they apply promptly after losing another health insurance.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Hello my son is on SSI his home was paid for by his special needs trust can he have a roommate that does not pay rent? Since my son has no rent? The roommate would pay half of the garbage and page and prepare and keep his food separate.

        • Pg&e (gas and electric) not page

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Yvonne,

            Please see my response of a moment ago.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Yvonne,

          A roommate who does not pay more than half of the utility costs your son is liable for and buys his own food will not affect your son’s SSI benefits.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Neil

        Thanks Kay. I shared your response with them.

        They had hoped that their eligibility for SSI and therefore Medicaid would not change for declining just the SSI cash benefit. They need Medicaid not necessarily the cash benefit.

        Thanks.

  • Lorna Taylor

    Dear Kay Derochie,
    I am receiving SSI and Retirement SS.(my SSI was split when I turned 50 because I was told I had all my work quarters in and they were sending me two separate checks,equally the same amount of my SSI check). I was wanting to know about inheriting our father’s asbestos claims.(Both him and my mother are deceased).There are 5 siblings left to split any money that comes into a bank account our sister had to open for the checks to be deposited in.My question is after we start receiving that money (my share) do I need to report it to SS office,Irs office and Department of human services?And am I liable to pay taxes on our inheritance?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lorna,

      You do need to report the income from the inherited lawsuit settlement when it starts to Social Security and to the Department of Human Services if your are receiving assistance through that office. Your Social Security benefit will not be affected by the payments. The payments will probably count as income for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and, depending on the amount, will cause your SSI to be reduced or terminated. Check with the IRS about whether the payments are taxable.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • KRIS

    Hello, I am 64 years old and I will turn 65 years old on January 25, 2015. I was approved for disability due to my heart condition but because I did not have enough credits my case was considered a SSI based case. My wife and I had resources in excess of $3,000 at the time I filed. We had three cars. SS told me I did not qualify but the car was really my daughter’s. She was paying my living expenses and my bills and in exchange I gave her the third car. The fair market value of the car was $1,812. My daughter did not state the fair market value of the car in her statement to Social Security. She just stated that she paid for my bills and in exchange I gave her the car. The car is in my wife’s name. The title of the car was transferred to my daughter on May 18, 2015 but I applied for disability on October 4, 2014.
    Now I have a hearing in front of an administrative judge at the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review in January of 2016 to determine if I had excess resources. I want to show the judge that the car was given to my daughter for its fair market value. I will submit an affidavit from my daughter and she will testify at my hearing that the fair market value of the car was $1,812 and she paid it to me by paying my bills. Would I need anything else to prove that I was not in excess of resources?

    Would I be eligible to receive back pay from May of 2015 when the title of the car was transferred to my daughter? She paid my bills in February, March and April in exchange for the car. Is there any way I could be eligible for back pay and what’s the earliest date I would become eligible for it? Is it from the time title was transferred to her or from the time she made the first payment for the car?
    Also, I filed my taxes for 2013 late and now I am eligible for $355 in regular social security benefits. Would this make me eligible for back pay? I have an appointment with social security over the phone regarding my regular benefits and they told me that this will not change my medical disability approval. Thank you so much for any feedback/ advice you can give me.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kris,

      I suggest you get a 2015 reference book on vehicle values such as a Kelly Blue Book for older cars and photocopy the page that shows the value of your car. This will support your daughter’s statement.

      The first point you want to make is that you “spent” the car in exchange for the bills she paid for you. You did not give it away for nothing. This is important as related to restrictions on giving away countable resources. You should also present proof of everything your daughter paid and the amounts. (Receipts if she has them for everything she paid, not just the items listed below.)

      The second issue is in-kind (non-cash) income. If she paid everything directly, only rent or mortgage, shelter utilities (not phone or cable) and food are potentially countable income–so if those things are less than the value of the car, her payments should not count as income. SSI Back pay would probably begin the month after you transferred the car.

      Regarding Social Security Disability (SSDI), 2013 earnings that provided insured status would mean that you were insured by at least by January 2014. Benefits would begin to accrue the last of the first calendar quarter you were insured, your sixth full calendar month of disability, or October 2013 (twelve months before your application). Social Security back pay will be reduced by Supplemental Security Income (SSI) back pay already paid for the same months.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • KRIS

        Thank you so much. I really appreciate your help.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Kris.

      • KRIS

        I just wanted to clarify a couple of things with you. My daughter actually gave me cash most of the time and I paid my bills. How would you go about proving that she paid me fair market value of the car if this is the case?

        As to in-kind support, would it still be considered in-kind support if she did not pay for my utility bills and food directly but gave me money for these bills in exchange for the car and I paid them. I am sorry but I am just confused about the part where the in-kind support has to be less than the value of the car. Will my SSI benefits be reduced if the in-kind support was higher than the value of the car? But if the in-kind support equals an amount less than the current fair market value of the car, would not social security potentially argue that I did not receive a current fair market value for the car and penalize me for that.

        Lastly, for the SSDI benefits, it’s one of these three dates in your comment when the benefits will accrue, correct — “Benefits would begin to accrue the last of the first calendar quarter you were insured, your sixth full calendar month of disability, or October 2013 (twelve months before your application.”

        And if it’s one of these dates, how is it determined which date it would be?
        Thank you again for your time and help.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Kris,

          The only proof you would have of the cash your daughter gave you is her and your statements. Whether her payment for the car was cash or in-kind, it is still payment, though you may have trouble proving the payments she made to you. You have assessed the situation correctly: if she gave you more cash the the fair market value (FMV) of the car, the excess cash would be income to you in the month(s) you received it. If she gave you less cash than the FMV, the difference between the FMV and what your sold the car for would could keep you from being eligible for a short period. Basically, you will just have to present everything you can to prove your agreement and see what happens.

          With regard to when benefits begin to accrue, it will be the latest of the three points in time.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • KRIS

            Thank you so much again!!! Your advice is truly helpful and invaluable for someone in my situation.

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Kris.

  • Shelley

    My son gets ssi. Have always reported wages on time. Last year my husband got a one time pension payment from his old job. We got a copy of the check and turned that in with paycheck stubs. About 9 months later we get a letter saying our resources were over the limit by $3400 and was not elegible for ssi for the entire year and said we could appeal. We were only over the limit for maybe two months. We spent the pension on getting caught up on house and car payments. We have proof of this. We turned everything into the local ss office oct 29. Got a receipt. We sent in bank statements showing when we went below the 5k limit resource. I get a call dec 9 from the person looking at it and she said it does look like we were only ineligeble a few months and she was just waiting on some stuff from chase and she would call me the next day to let me know when ssi would start again and it would need final approval from her supervisor. Never heard back. Called and left message. I called both the field office and the national one and both say ssi payments are still suspended. How long should it take? One guy said up to a year,another said 90 days. Also, since they asked for bank records, are they going to go over every single transaction to see how we spend our money? Just worried that they are going to say I committed fraud by getting ssi when we got the pension. But, got pension on dec 23, got a copy of it along with paycheck stubs and put in ss drop box jan 3.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stephen,

      I do not think you will be suspected of fraud. You are likely to have to repay the overpayment if you knew your son was over the resource limit. It sounds as if the processing of the correction got side tracked sometime between December 9 and now. Perhaps Chase didn’t respond. If you haven’t received a corrective letter by about January 5, I suggest going into the field office if possible and asking to see the same person so you can inquire whether you need to follow up to Chase.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • My son mother passed in feb 2015. my question is: its been eight months i filed it in oct 2015. will i get back from when she passed?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mitchell,

      Survivor benefits are limited to six months retroactivity. Accordingly, if your son’s mother was receiving Social Security (not Supplemental Security Income [SSI]) and if she had enough work credits to provide survivor benefits, your child’s benefits will begin to accrue April 2015.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jovy

    Dear Kay,
    I hope you can be able to answer my question. My daugther started receiving ssi on march of this year.they just called me last week wednesday to schedule a second review the next day to update information on my daugthers case. My husband is the only one working he has a regular job and he also does 2 other side jobs that he gets pay from. I was only able to get his paystubs from his regular job, but not the verification forms from his other jobs because it was short notice. So they requested a 1040 form from 2014 which i send for them to see if it was consider a income which they have already count it like income. But after i send the 1040 form the ask for a schedule fee document that i dont have, i try my best to find that document. But i didnt had no luck, i have called to see if i can send other documents like the jobs verification forms and also the 1099 from last year from the other jobs. I just worry that i will lose my daugther benefits and im trying to do everything right and i havent heard from them yet and i left 2 voicemails this week. I guess my question is, Is my daugther gonna lose her benefits if i dont send that document and what can else can i do??

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jovy,

      I do not know what a “schedule fee document is. I think that they asked for a Schedule C, which should have been part of your last year’s tax return if your husband did work on a contract basis and was paid with a 1099. Provide your husband’s W-2s from 2014 and his Schedule C where he reported his 2014 self-employment earnings. (If he had work expenses that he could deduct on his taxes, his countable earnings from his self-employment would be less than the 1099s.) Have him contact his employer for this year to get a statement for any pay periods for which he does not still have pay stubs. Be sure to keep a copy of everything that you submit. While you are gathering these things, leave a message saying that you are trying to gather the proofs. Note that If your husband did not file a Schedule C as part of his tax return, he may need to talk to a tax accountant to be sure he filed his taxes correctly.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jovy

        Thank you for answering my question. I did send a 1040 form to them and try to called the person that help us do our taxes. We havent had no luck. Can i send them his 1099 and and verifications forms stating how much her get paid. Since i havent been able to get that one paper they requesting?

        • Jovy

          And if i dont send that schedule c form will i loss my daugther benefits??

          • Karee

            My 4 year old son gets ssi he got back pay and they he can only use it for therpy and modifcations to the house, but he can get that with his insurance. He has chromosome syndrome and don’t need modifications done. We need the money for other things how do help on that.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Karee,

              You may not be able to legally access the money in the dedicated account for the things you have in mind. The money can also be used for education and job training once your son is older, so it could pay for college or technical training that might allow him to be self-sufficient as an adult. Once he starts school he may need disability related services to help him in school.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jovy,

          You do have to prove family income for your daughter’s benefits to continue; however, if you tell them that you are trying to reach the person who did the taxes to find out whether a Schedule C was filed and, if not, how the 1099s were handled for taxes, they likely will not suspend benefits. In the meantime, submit the 1099s with a statement about waiting to hear back from the tax preparer about the Schedule C.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Derail

            Dear Kay,

            Is it possible for a independent person to get a part time even if that person has a small disability and is receiving SSI because it? Or will they take the SSI away since that independent person decided to get a part job?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Derail,

              Some work is allowed if you are still disabled (unable to work and earn $1,090 gross a month). If you earn more than $65 ($85 if you have no other income), half of the excess will reduce your SSI unless you are under age twenty-two and a student in which case the amount you can earn is $7,180 annually with no more than $1,780 in a single month. If you earn more than $65 or more than the student limit if applicable, your SSI will be reduced by half of the excess earnings. You can learn more about SSI work incentives in Social Security’s Red Book, which is available from your local Social Security office or can be viewed online at http://www.ssa.gov.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • kathleen grieger

    I am currently on SSI. My daughter 19, is in college, so I do get benefits. I am close to the edge of receiving. My question is this: When my daughter leaves, trying an apartment, is she a dependent to me, that I can “use”? Or not because she will be renting?As i said, I will most likely be discontinued when she is no longer involved.
    I had brain surgery twice, to fix the seizures and get someone to hire me, something I could not get, no matter how many places I tried. Terrible results from the surgery and even disability re-hab telling me I will never work. Am I really after that, without anything anymore to help us? Frustration abound.
    Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kathleen,

      The information you gave me doesn’t seem to go together. You would not receive SSI (Supplemental Security Income) or Social Security Disability (SSDI) because of your daughter, nor would your SSI or Social Security eligibility depend on her living in your household. At age nineteen, she would not be receiving Social Security dependent benefits. Therefore, I do not see a reason for your disability benefit to decrease. If am missing something, please let me know.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • kathleen grieger

        I am sorry, what seems clear to me is not always. One benefit, I did type cauliflower and not know it . ..
        I am on SSi for disability, not my daughter. I received it after my second surgery, and I was considered disabled for life. Thoughts, words, ideas are lost or mixed.Become mute often, more movement, harder seizures. While my husband with 2 college degrees is working custodial to keep insurance if I do need it once again. I was told, after my children were gone, I would no longer be under financial amount of income allowed to receive any support. We are by no means at all someone with money. the little bit I do receive now, and my pills covered mostly does help.keep us afloat. The problem is that I have not held enough time in working to get any other kind of disability Social security.I can have 1/2 the amount of my husbands SS when I get old enough, but no disability based on him. So strange to me. I let them cut me open three times to get rid of seizures, what scared others, to this. No jobs, no chance of work after trying as much as possible to nothing to help my trying to keep myself afloat.Hope this is clear enough. Appreciate your response greatly.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Kathleen,

          Thank you for the clarification.

          If you were going to lose your SSI because of your daughter, it should have happened when she turned age eighteen at which time none of your husband’s income was any longer allocatable for her support. Now that she is over age eighteen, her leaving the household will not affect your benefits. If your benefits did not change when she turned age eighteen, you might want to make sure that the Social Security Administration is correctly calculating your benefit based on your husband’s earnings and and based on no minor children in the household.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • kathleen grieger

            Dear Kay,
            thanks for the response.
            I do know that one automatically loses the ability for a deduction of a child once they turn 18. (No matter what the income). That was done when my son turned 18, 5 years ago. The only reason my daughter is still considered a “child”, is because she is a student(my son was not) and at home. The person I worked with directly when she turned 18, thought the same thing. Until someone corrected her, and she called me to apologize. And my daughter was covered once again.
            Back to the original question, it seems it will hang in the air as it has

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Kathleen,

              Your daughter’s moving out will not stop her benefit. Her benefit will continue to the earlier of when she stops attending high school or turns nineteen. Usually a child over age eighteen receives her own benefits directly. If you are still receiving her benefits in your name and she moves out, you need to use the money for her housing, food, etc. or have her file to receive her benefits herself. You own benefit will stay the same.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • dusty

    Dear Kay.
    I am currently on disability, and I am making about the minimum, around 733.00, and am living with my parents. I am paying 300.00 per month to them, and I’m wondering how to get an increase in the income… I’ve been wondering how to do this, I can’t hardly live on four bills a month… Please help!! Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dusty,

      You are receiving the maximum Supplemental Security Income (SSI). You are getting the maximum partially because you are paying your parents rent. If you have not done so, you might consider preparing your food separately and applying for food stamps. If you are able to work at all, you can earn $85 a month gross and not have your benefits reduced, though you do need to report the work and report your earnings every month.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • David Platts

    Dear Kay,

    My daughter is developmentally delayed to 1.5 to 2 years of age. She is incontinent, wheel chair mobile and non-verbal. She has the same emotional issues that a 1.5 year old child would have if she had a 25 year old body. Scratching, yelling, hair pulling, etc. is common. She has a seizure disorder and sleep disorder too. She needs 24 hour care. Though she has another care provider, the hours are not sufficient to cover round the clock care.My daughter is authorized for 275 hours of care and respite services per month. The other provider works 155 hours per month or about 36 hours a week. I remain with her the other 132 hours I’m a week or just under 600 hours per month. For this I’m compensated 120 hours per month.

    She is on SSI.

    Here’s the issue. I could not maintain our home, care for her and pay the house payment. The house was lost in 2010 as the value was lower than the balance owed. We (my wife and I) were advised to apply for Section 8. We did in my daughter’s name and we were approved. Since I am paid little for all the hours worked in order to care for my daughter, I believed that a caregiver would not pay rent under such circumstances.

    Upon our annual reviews in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, the SS interviewer agreed and my daughter received full SSI benefits. A recent interviewer determined it was not properly calculated. She decided that my portion and my wife’s portion of the rent should be 2/3 of the amount minus $20. Now, my daughter owes almost $7,500 in overpayment and has been reduced to under $500 in SSI benefits.

    No one else would work for so little. To me, her profound disability penalizes her and the care provider. How else can this work without an underpaid care provider performing the job at $2.50 per hour which is what it works out to? Essentially, she and the care provider are penalized due to the severity of her disability by all the servicing agencies.

    Is Social Security right in this determination? If so, why did the other interviewers in previous years not question the situation too? They were given the same information. The nature of the disability requiring a live-in care provider should matter without penalizing the profoundly disabled person and the care provider.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear David,

      If I understand the situation correctly, an error has been made. If your daughter is the only one receiving SSI and she is paying her share (one-third) or within $20 of her share of rent, shelter utilities (not cable or phone), and food if you all share food, then her benefit should not be reduced. If her food is purchased separately from yours for example because she eats different things, then she only needs to pay one-third of the rent and utilities. The rules that you describe should be applied to her contribution to the household, not yours.

      I suggest that you file a formal appeal saying that your daughter is paying her share of household expenses and her benefits should not have been reduced retroactively or ongoing. Provide documents to verify rent and utility costs and give a statement of the food costs for all three if you are sharing food. Also, state the amount of your daughter’s check that is used for the shared costs each month. If you appeal within ten days, you can request payment continuation in the full amount while the appeal is pending. If the appeal is denied, request waiver of collection of the overpayment on the grounds that 1) you and your daughter can’t afford to repay; and 2) the overpayment was not your or your daughter’s fault because nothing has changed since the prior redetermination after which benefits were not reduced, so you had no way of knowing that she was being overpaid.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • amanda

    hi kay,
    my name is Amanda and had just signed my daughter up for ssi for the first time she is a twin and her brother is on ssi too. they had sent me a letter stating Emma was approved for ssi but can’t get it because me and her brother get it and have meant the gudelines or something like that… why can’t she get a check if thay approved her.. it just doesn’t make since to me I though it was to help me with her with her disability’s please let me no if I should appeal this.

    • amanda

      thay said I am at the maximum im aloud but its just me and my son getting it justc doesn’t make since why not just deny her

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Amanda,

        Please see my response of a few minutes ago to your first posting. That response is based on your inquiring about Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This, your second posting, makes me wonder if you are receiving Social Security benefits and your son is receiving Social Security dependent benefits on your earnings record. If that is the case, then it is possible that the family maximum is already being paid out. What usually happens in that case, the amount being paid to one child is split between the two children when the second child is added to the record. The child should be added even if it doesn’t increase the family’s income.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Amanda,

      I think a misunderstanding may have occurred. Parents and multiple children in the same family can receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. First I suggest that you discuss this with a claims representative to be sure you understood correctly; if you are told the same thing by the same person, I suggest requesting to speak with a supervisor. If you have received a formal letter of denial, I recommend appealing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • latric

    Hello,

    Would you buy chance know if four disabled siblings in the same household, living with a guardian can all receive SSI?

    From what I know, SSI is income based and the payment is 733.00$ per person. If four children are disabled that comes to almost 3000$ a month. Does this mean the childrens benefits would be cut in half or would they each receive a payment of 733.00$ a month?

    Thank You!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Latric,

      Each child’s eligibility would be calculated separately, so potentially each child could receive the maximum $733. The parents’ income would be considered in determining the payment amount and whatever amount was deemed (considered) available for the support of the disabled children would be split among the four and used to reduce each child’s benefit. For example, if the parents’ income was high enough that $1,000 was deemed available for the disabled children’s support, $250 would be counted in determining each child’s benefit and the benefit would be reduced by $230 ($250 less $20 general exclusion).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Suzi Farrar

    My husband is blind/disabled. We know how to use BWE’s to save some funds, PASS etc. But here’s my problem. I am deemed every month and so is he. Our issue is with my non-disabled income linked medicaid. How do I show the amounts that are deemed as a reduction in total income? If they credit the deemed amount to him, my income remains within the guidelines for free medicaid, if they do not show the deemed income, I am above it and it costs me 400 a month. Also how do we show this to IRS as well?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Suzi,

      Your questions are outside my expertise. I suggest that you ask the Medicaid office what income you have to report and that you ask the IRS or a tax accountant about your tax filing options.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Rebekah

    My son is 8 years old and receives SSI for behavioral and psychological disorders. I received a letter claiming that an over-payment was made to him on the basis of his income having increased. Someone at Social Security misread a statement of child support payments he has received and input a rather large payment from 2013 as being from 2015. I filed an appeal and just requested the case review as I clearly explained the mistake and provided proof in my favor. I just found out that my appeal was not approved. Needless to say, my jaw dropped. While I find it hard to believe that two different federal employees can’t tell the difference between a three and a five, that seems to be the case. I have filed a second appeal and have requested a formal conference this time. My question is, do you think that they will admit their mistake and remedy the situation, or am I going to end up paying them back for a mistake they made? Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rebekah,

      I wonder whether you are applying the correct criteria in considering the child support. The support is counted in the month it is paid, not in the month for which it was due. That is, if 2013 child support was paid in 2015, it would count in 2015. If you are clear on that point and you still think an error has been made, then hopefully your explaining the error in conference will be enough.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Nicole

    I applied for SSDI for the first time in November 2014; I received my denial letter June 2015. I’ve since hired an attorney to appeal my case (on a reconsideration), and I’m still waiting to hear something.

    Am I eligible to receive SSI as well as SSDI? Should I have applied for SSI at the same time when I applied for SSDI?

    I’m thoroughly confused about SSI. Is it only for people have NOT paid enough in / worked enough? I HAVE worked enough and paid enough in to qualify for SSDI.

    If I am eligible for SSI, must I wait until I’m awarded SSDI?

    Basically, what I want to know is if I’m eligible for SSI as I have no income and can’t work due to a neuromuscular disease / while I’m waiting on my appeal for SSDI to go through. I’m also on food stamps if that makes a difference. I’m so confused, I hope I haven’t confused you as well. :/

    Thank you,
    Nicole

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nicole,

      Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability require that you be disabled. Whether or not you are disabled is determined the same for both programs. This means that you cannot receive SSI unless you are found to be disabled at your upcoming hearing.

      Some people receive both SSDI and SSI if their SSDI is low enough and their countable assets are low enough. Others receive SSI only for months until the SSDI starts because their SSDI is too high to receive ongoing SSI. The key difference between the two programs is SSI doesn’t require Social Security work credits for citizens and some aliens and it does require that your income and assets fall below certain amounts.

      When you applied for SSDI, you were probably asked questions to screen you for possible SSI eligibility as well, so your hearing may be for both benefits. I suggest that you go over the details of your appeal with your attorney to clarify what claims you have pending appeal.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Edmond

    Hello,

    Recently I have been approved for a disability case that lasted through both appeals (reconsideration and ALJ hearing. It was approved at the ALJ hearing the end of July ’15). I received a letter in the mail from SSI saying they want me to show at a appointment my bank statements since January 2014. Aside from the fact that is a lot of paper to print off I read up that income over $2000 in checking or saving accounts will put you over the limit for eligibility on SSI, but on the same hand I read that all school funds are not counted towards this limit. Even more I read that loans for school (perkins, stafford, ford) are not counted at all being they have to be paid back.

    My question is if I received tuition refunds from loans would this amount be counted towards my income that SSI will review?

    I ask being in 2014 I went to school for Fall ’14 and Spring ’14. I received approx $4k tuition refund (one around late Sept ’14 and late Feb ’14) and I have used the funds for school materials in addition to living expenses. I have about $1900 left in my account at this moment.

    Thanks for reading,

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Edmond,

      I suggest that you print out all the statements and take the statements and paperwork on all your student loans to your appointment with the Social Security Administration (SSA). The loans and some grants and scholarships do not count as income. Whether or not your loans count as a resource the first of the month following the month of receipt may depend on the source of the loan. You can get more information at https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0501130455.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Edmond

        Thanks.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Edmond.

  • E Sharpe

    Hello,

    I received a fully favorable decision on 8/12/15 from a ALJ. Online at my SSD account it says my estimated benefit will be $907. A question is will I possibly receive SSI also? Also when would back payments likely be disburse for SSD?

    A third question is on the approval letter the ALJ recommended that I have a review in 18 months. Is this guaranteed or a suggestion from the ALJ?

    Thanks for reading and any help is greatly appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear E.,

      If you qualify financially for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for the months before you receive your first Social Security Disability (SSD) payment is issued, you will receive SSI. SSI back pay is usually paid in up to three installments occurring six months apart with the first two not exceeding $2,199. However, because your Social Security is more than $753 and you will not be eligible for ongoing SSI, you can request that your SSI back pay be released all in one payment. Your Social Security back pay will be reduced by SSI paid for any overlapping months. Release of SSD monthly benefits start after SSI has been calculated and the SSD back pay is paid in one payment usually a couple months after the first monthly SSD benefit has been paid.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • E Sharpe

        Thank you Kay for the clarification. The mass amount if information can be overwhelming.

        One more question,

        In regards to the ALJ suggestion at the end of my favorable letter he suggests that a review be given in 18 months. In your experience do SSD review board usually adhere to the ALJ suggestions, or could I look to get a review sooner? (I am a 32 year old male with Osteomyelitis of the foot, diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy and most recently possible chronic kidney disease). I understand my age made the venture to receiving benefits long (it took over 2 years for a approval with representation and a amended onset date) so I know a review is inevitable.

        Again any insight is greatly appreciated.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear E.,

          Recommended continuing disability reviews are usually conducted. It is likely that your claim will be reviewed medically in eighteen months to see whether you have responded to treatment sufficiently to no longer be disabled.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • E Sharpe

            Thank you very much for your insight.

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, E.

  • lightning

    Hi Kay got a long question.
    Ok i am 31 i have been disabled all my life i get social security survivors and ssi disability. I got the survivors because my dad passed away when i was young and being disabled i couldn’t collected my own.
    My survivors is only 495 and my ssi disability is 258 . i live with my family there is 4 of us all on social security survivors and ssi disability . and my mom my payee .which i am also changing.
    My question is if i move out of my families house do you think my ssi disability will increase since i will be paying my own housing and utilities?
    See to what my understanding is they split the survivors between all 4 of us because my mom, sister, and brother are disabled and cant work.
    So i really dont know how it works.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lightning,

      Your benefits will not change if you move out because 1) as you said, your Social Security benefit is based on your father’s earnings record and the number of people receiving benefits on that record; and 2) you are receiving the maximum Supplemental Security Income (SSI) you can receive considering the amount of Social Security you receive.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Smith

    Hello Kay
    I received a fully favorable decision for ssi and ssdi by a alj on Feb. 5,2015, my onset date is October 11, 2011, may application date is May 23, 2012. I received my decision letter April 24, 2015. I got my first ssi backpay installment in May and received my first ssi check in june. My ssdi started July 2015 and I no longer receive ssi because of the ssdi. My question is… How much longer do you think I have to receive my ssdi back pay. Thank you for your time.

    • Smith

      Am I posting in the correct section.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Smith,

        It doesn’t really matter. See my response of earlier today.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Smith,

      I would expect that you would receive your Social Security back pay at least by the end of September or early October.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Smith

        Thank you much and blessings.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Smith.

  • Shirley B

    My husband has been disabled since 2013. I have vehemently disabled since 1998. I was denied from even applying for ssi back then because my husband made too much money.
    When my husband became disabled, we were living as room mates, although still legally married. I applied in his behalf for his ssdi, he was fast tracked and approved in a matter of weeks. I applied for ssi shortly after, was off Chinese denied, appealed and won my case in less than a year. Because of his income, I only receive $72 per month.
    I continued to take care of my husband and help him regain hits strength and motor/cognitive skills. In Jan 15, we decided to go ahead and make our “divorce” legal. I was to pay half of the
    Bills from Jan on. I had no choice but to get a pt job. So I did. Because of the job I was doing, I have caused further damage to my injuries, and have had to stop working.
    Our divorce was final in May. I informed the ssa, and never heard from them. I called to find out what was happening, they said I never reported any changes. I have reported “all”of my changes! So I had a sitdown interview with them.
    I was told that because my now ex husband and I live together, nothing changes, they call it “common law”. So they won’t pay the full benefit, just the $72 I’ve been getting.
    We aren’t married, we sleep in separate rooms, we share no intimacy what so ever. I still take care of him ( he gets lost going to the mailbox, can’t drive, has never actually paid a bill for himself in his life, I don’t dress or bathe him), and they tell me that the divorce doesn’t matter and everything will stay like it is until one of us moves out. My question is this; how can they do this? They are creating a huge problem of two people becoming homeless over this. Can they actually do this to us? How can I fight this?
    Thank you,
    Shirley

    • Shirley B

      Sorry I’m on my phone and auto correct is stupid!. That should read I have “been” disabled, not vehemently, and also “of course” it has nothing to do with “off Chinese”. My apologies.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shirley,

      Common-law marriages are specifically defined in the few states that recognize them. I suggest that you look up whether your state recognizes common-law marriages. If it does, look up the criteria to be legally married under common law (married without having gotten a license and gone through a ceremony.) If the state does not recognize common-law marriages, then SSI law will not treat you as married. If the state does recognize common-law marriages, research what criteria have to be met to have two people be recognized as married under common law. If your state does recognize common law marriages, it may be that one of the criteria is presenting yourselves to the public as married. If you tell people you are divorced and conduct your other business as divorced, that would be a point in support of an appeal. Note also, that in common-law states, the only way to dissolve a common-law marriage is with a legal divorce. So, you could also argue that even if you had been married common-law, which you weren’t, you have divorced.

      If you think common law doesn’t apply to you, I recommend filing an appeal and, if denied, appealing a second time to get a hearing. Use an attorney if possible, if you have to go to a hearing. Finally, be sure that you do not miss the sixty-day appeals period. The appeals period usually starts when you get written notice of a change. In this case, it was determined there was no change, so there would be no written notice; so the date you were told there would be no increase because you were married “common law” is the beginning of the sixty days. Be sure to put in the statement for the appeal that you were only verbally notified of the determination and the date of that verbal notification.

      Sincerely,
      Kay
      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • B.Allen

    I receive 889.40 in SSI monthly. I have been living with my son and paying half the rent and a little for utilities and buy my own food. Our rent is 950.00 utilities included.
    Recently, my son told me he wants to move to his own apt but would be willing to pay up to 250.00 of the rent if I could pay the other 700.00. That would leave me with 189.00 for food which I could manage. Will my SSI be reduced if he gives me the 250.00 for rent? Thank you for any help you can give.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Allen,

      Yes, your SSI will be reduced by $230 a month if your son gives you $250 for rent. As an aside, you may be eligible for SNAP (formerly called food stamps).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • JT

    Hello Kay,

    My brother is thinking of purchasing a second home for tax deduction reasons and having a place to stay a few weeks of the year. He would like to apply for an FHA loan. In order to do so my name would have to be on the documents as co-owner & declare the second home as my main residence, in order to qualify.
    I have been receiving SSI for the past 30 years and usually declare that I’m renting a room for $450 & pay some utilities. I live with a caretaker who is not related to the family.
    If he puts me down as a co-owner on his second home purchase, what do I tell SSI my share of the mortgage payment would be, once I move in?
    I’m planning on paying $450 towards the mortgage, plus I will pay half of the utilities. The other half of the utilities will be paid by my caretaker. My caretaker would also be in the position to pay the balance of the 50% of the mortgage as rent. In other words, we are thinking of splitting the mortgage 50-50 between myself and my brother. I’m paying $450 and my caretaker pays the remaining 50% of the mortgage minus the $450 I’m contributing.
    This way my brother is not paying any of my bills.
    Any advice on how to approach this with SSI without losing any of my benefits?

    Thank you, JT

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear JT,

      What you have planned is likely to lower your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. First your brother will be living there only a few weeks a year. This means that in most months he will not be a member of the household and his mortgage payments in those months (perhaps all months if he lives in the home a week here and there throughout the year) will be in-kind (non-cash) income for you, which will cause your SSI to be reduced to $488. Even if he were living there, your share of the mortgage would be one-third (three people in the household) or $600. If you pay only $450, you will be receiving $150 in-kind support from your brother and/or your caretaker and your SSI would go down by $130.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • JT

        Thank You for Your Reply!

        Could you give me an example on how this scenario could be worked out without having any deductions on my SSI?

        Should I pay more towards the mortgage?

        Or is it impossible because my brother is not residing at the home most of the time?

        Your time and advice is truly appreciated.

        Thank you, JT

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear JT,

          If your name is not put on the property and you and your care provider pay fair market value to rent the house and the two of you pay the utilities yourselves (or pay a flat rate for rent that includes utilities and is fair market rate for all), your SSI would not be reduced. You can find our fair market value by researching how much similar homes are renting for. I can’t think of a scenario that would work with you being an owner and the rest of the facts as you laid them out.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Jennifer Williams

      Dear Kay I am 33 I receive SSI and the amount of $733 a month I have 4 kids I get $198 a month in Tanf on three of my kids my one year old was just determined disabled will she also receive $733 a month or will it be A lesser amount my rent is $423 a month I also received $555 in food stamps

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Jennifer,

        Based on the limited information you provided, I would say that your child will receive $733 in SSI. Part of her back pay will probably be withheld to repay the public assistance you have been receiving for her.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • stacey

    So my son is now 8 he has been on meds for Adhd since he was 3. He has a fee angry oitburst sees a thearpist once every three months an a counselor when needed. Ive been told that he could be eligible for SsI benefits… Is this true.. An should i apply.. Just dont want to waste my time if there isnt a need i have twins who r 4 an am very on the go. Please let me know if u thibk i should apply

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stacey,

      Whether or not your son is approved will depend on how severely his conditions affect his functioning as related to the normal range of function for a child his age. The only way to find out is to file a claim. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a public assistance program; so for your son to be eligible, you must first meet the financial requirements. You can be screened for that before investing the time in completing the medical questionnaires for the claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Mary

    Hi

    My son is 26 years old and has no income other than SSI. I am his representative payee. My question is whether he can get a credit card…..

    Thanks,
    Mary

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mary,

      It is probably inadvisable for someone with low income at the SSI level to get a credit card. Whether he can manage to do it, I don’t know.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Heknows,

        While your suggestion is likely a good one, I cannot post third-party advice on this site.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Lisa

    Hello,

    My brother is 57 and receives a small SSI check due to mental illness. He lives with my father. We are in the process of needing to relocate my Dad to an Alzheimers facility. My brothers check is only $700 and his SNAP assistance is $70. Is there any other income or increase that would be allowed in order to help find a place for him to live. Without assistance from me he cannot live on that income and my fathers money will all go to the place he moves…:-(

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lisa,

      If your brother is receiving $733, he is receiving the maximum Supplemental Security Income (SSI)federal payment. He might be eligible for more in SNAP assistance if his expenditure for housing increases. If you help him pay rent, utilities or food in an amount of more than $20 a month, his SSI will go down; the more it goes down, the more he will need from you and the more the SSI will go down. You can pay other expenses without affecting his SSI if you pay for them directly. That is, you can pay his phone bill, buy him bus tickets, take him shopping for clothing and personal hygiene items, put gas in his car, as long as you pay for the item or service directly and it not housing, shelter utilities, or food.

      In an effort to have him pay all his own costs, I suggest that you research to see if there are any public housing units open that he could rent or whether there are complexes that are set up to serve people with chronic mental illness. Otherwise, depending on the cost of rentals in your area, he might need to rent a room or find a roommate to share an apartment, if his mental condition will allow shared housing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Cassie

    Hi. I filed for disability last month and received a letter asking me to complete a questionnaire about my physical capabilities. I did this and sent it in. I have had triple negative breast cancer twice and also chemotherapy both times. I am suffering form side effects associated with my treatments. I am currently going through a divorce also. My question is what happens to the child support I am currently receiving for my 3 children? Is it affected in any way? Also, I have heard that you are eligible to work up to a certain amount? Is this true and how does it affect your decision if it does? Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cassie,

      I cannot answer your question about child support with any certainty. I think it is possible that your children’s father would have to go to court to get the child support order changed, but I don’t know what the outcome of such an action would be. Perhaps you could consult with a family-law or divorce/custody attorney for guidance on the matter. Note that if your claim is for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) only, your children will not receive dependent benefits.

      If you are medically unable to earn $1,090 gross per month, your work activity should not interfere your being approved medically. The effect of work earnings on benefit amounts differs between SSDI and SSI. You can read about SSDI and SSI work incentives in SSA’s Redbook, which can be requested from a local office or viewed online at http://www.ssa.gov.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • James

    I am on SSI and am co owner on my home. The other owner and I want to bring in a roommate. The roommate would pay her share of the mortgage and food + utilities. My question is would her share of these costs count as income for me.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear James,

      As long as the roommate pays only her share of the mortgage, food, and shelter utilities, your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) should not be affected. If she is going to pay her share of non-shelter utilities such as cable or phone, she needs to pay it directly to the provider and not give you cash. If she gives you cash, it will be income considered in calculating your benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Renee

    Hi I have a quick question. I use to receive ssi awhile back. I was approved within 4 months. I was diagnosed with bipolar. I spent 5 years from the age of 13 to 18 in an inpatient facility. OK I took myself off ssi and got a job I worked for 3 years then my bipolar was triggered and I have been in a lost state of mind for almost 4 years….. I applied for ssi and ssdi 2 years ago I was denied I’m waiting on a court date….. Why didnt they take in to consideration that I was on it before for a total of 5 years?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Renee,

      Medical decisions for disability claims are always based on current medical conditions. Your prior hospitalizations and eligibility for benefits is helpful history, but is it is not the basis for approval now. If you to not have a Social Security attorney to help you with your hearing appeal, I recommend that you hire one. You can reach a knowledgeable Social Security attorney by completing the online form on this page to request a free Benefits Evaluation from Disability Advisor. 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 the retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • AMANDA

    When my grandson was born my daughter was told that he would be eligible for SSI. He was due March 13th but because my daughter’s bp had shot up he was born January 9th and only weighed 2lbs. 10ozs.. She had applied after his birth but they said it would be March before she would be seen. When she went in March she was told that she’ll know something in about 3 months. Well, he is now almost 6 months. We were told that he would be eligible for presumptive disability at least until 6 months and until a decision was made. They have not received anything and as of yet has not received an answer. Is this typical?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Amanda,

      The length of time that the claim has pended is not typical. Your daughter needs to follow up on the status of the claim and inquire with the Disability Determination Services regarding whether any additional information is needed from her or her son’s medical providers. She can also follow up with the local office about the non-payment of the presumptive disability, assuming it was a Social Security employee who told her presumptive payments were possible.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • zak

    KAY SORRY , I APPLIED IN MARCH 2015 AND APPROVED IN MAY 2015.

  • zak

    I APPLIED FOR SSDI AND SSI IN MARCH 2014. I GOT APPROVED IN MAY 2014 . I M 63 YEARS OLD MAN, MY SSDI PAYMENT IS 740 . THEY ALSO PAY ME 199 FOR SSI ,THEY SENT ME 597 FOR BACK PAY FOR SSI FOR APRIL TO JUNE , ALSO YESTERDAY THEY SEND ME 23 DOLLARS 3 TIMES FOR APRIL TO JUNE, MY FIRST PAYMENT IS DUE IN JULY 2ND 2015 OF 740 DOLLARS. THEY SAID THEY WILL PAY ME FROM JULY 2014. AFTER FIVE MONTH WILL PASS, THEY ONSET DATE HAVE 3RD JANUARY 2014 . NOWWW , ,, I WAS GETTING 554 EARLEY RETIREMENT SINCE AUGUST 2014. I M CONFUSED ABOUT MONEY 199 SSI AND 23 SSP., I BELEIVE IT IS DIFFER OF MY RETIREMENT MONEY OF 554, I SUPPOSE TO RECEIVE 740 FROM JULY 2015, SHUD I CLOSE MY SSI. MY SSDI IS MORE THAN SSI MONEY, WAT IS GOOD FOR ME TO GO FAST TRACK FOR MY BACK PAY FOR SSDI .

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Zak,

      I believe that you are correct that you are being $199 in SSI benefits to supplement your Social Security reduced retirement. Once your Social Security has been changed to the higher Security Disability rate, you SSI will stop automatically if your Social Security is $753 or more.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • zak

      thank u so much for reply , one more ‘Q’ I will get 739 as my disability , and after 24 months , I will be on medicare, if they charge me for medicare I will get only 639 dollars ,,is it TRUE? ot medicad will pay my medicare? I m confused , also if I get 739 a month , I believe I will intitle to get 34 dollars or more in ssi . please clear this to me .. thank u so much for your reply .

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Zak,

        Unless you are in a state with an SSI state supplement the maximum SSI you can receive is $14 because all but $20 of the gross amount of your Social Security counts as income. The $14 would be payable if you have no other income including in-kind income in the form of subsidized housing or food. Yes, there is a premium for Part B Medicare, which covers outpatient services. If you have Medicaid, Medicaid usually pays the premium.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • zak

          THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR INFORMATION AND YOUR ANSWERS TO;Q; YOU R DOING GREAT HELP TO US. GOD BLESS U .

          • Kay Derochie

            You are welcome, Zak.

  • Jo

    Hi Kay,
    I applied for my son to get ssi I. Jan 2015, u checked the status and they said a letter has been mailed out, my question is he has the same condition as my daughter who gets ssi as well, do you think he’ll be approved? Also since I have a direct express card for her payments will his payments go to the same card? Will his back pay come on her card?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jo,

      I cannot predict whether your son will be approved. It will depend on how severely he is affected by the condition. If he is approved, his SSI benefits will be paid on a separate Direct Express card; they will not be combined with his sister’s benefits and you, as representative payee, need to account for the use of the funds separately.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Cathie

    Hi,
    My minor daughter and I both receive $733 a month from SSI with no other government help, including child support. We are moving to a new state and will be living with my brother. How much in rent and/or utilities does she and I have to individually pay to not have any reductions to our SSI? Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cathie,

      To avoid a reduction in benefits, you either have to pay a flat fee rent that is fair market value for your rooms or if you are to be part of the household, each of you have to pay your share of rent and shelter utilities (not phone or cable). Each of your shares is equal to the total cost divided by the number of people in the household.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Cathie

        Thank you for answering. How do I find out more about the flat fee rent and fair market value? Again, thank you.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Cathie,

          Look through whatever media in your area advertise rooms for rent. If you are in a good sized city, there is likely to be a Craig’s List. Go to Craig’s List and search for room rentals. Look for rooms in houses or apartments that are similar to where you will live and look at the prices. If there is no Craig’s list, just search for room rentals and the name of the are ain which you live.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Clara

    Hi, i was just wondering if having worked while waiting on my hearing and making full time hours an automatic denial for disability?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Clara,

      The impact of your work on your pending claim depends on how much your earned per month and how long you worked and why your stopped, if you stopped.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Tasha

        Hi. I have a few questions
        First my son is 9 since he was 5 he was diagnosed with Adhd, anxiety, disruptive behavior disorder, and a non specified mood disorder… he takes Abilify depakote intuniv
        He’s been in two partial hospital programs , a crisis hospital unit and recently a residential children’s psychiatric home and has 2 iep from two different school districts
        I cannot work because I cannot leave him with anyone he has violent episodes at times and I have to go to his therapy twice a week and get him from Friday to Sunday no exceptions. (I signed a treatment for with group home that he has to come for visits on the weekends because it’s a transitional home and he will be released in 6 months if he makes progress), so I get public assistance which is only $313 a month for myself and two children…. I have been denied SSI and I’m waiting on the court date for my appeal… I filed in September 2014 for the hearing.. Is it exactly a year wait from the day that I filed?

        Secondly… recently I got a letter stating that I received subsidized housing in another state. I applied for section 8 in Tennessee and tthey just told me I have 3 months until an apartment is available for us. But what happens to my appeal if we do end up moving down south . We live in new jersey at the moment. I have a lawyer but she is on vacation so I want to know what do I do now. Right now I live in an hotel room like efficieny temporary shelter but the welfare pays the rent and they take $127 out of my cash grant which is 422.00 but I get whats left $313.00 for the month….. I’m worried that me moving will mess up my son’s case….. Who do I talk to what should I do now. This changes everything. 3 months will be here before you know it…. the last time I called the ODAR a few months back they said his case was even like put together or anything and it would be a long while. Any advice would help thanks.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Tasha,

          Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal benefit program so moving to another state will not affect your son’s claim except that his request for a hearing could be transferred to a hearings office in Tennessee. You need to discuss with your attorney whether a move would affect the attorney’s ability to continue to represent your son.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Ruben Ramirez

    Hi, I live in NYC. I applied for SSI in 2009 and I’ve been denied thru all appeal levels. I had a first hearing in July 2010 and then a second hearing in April of last year and I was denied in both. Took my case to federal district court in 2012 and then again a second time in October of last year. My case was remanded both times. For the second remand, my lawyer notified me just a month ago that the case had been remanded and that I will be going for a third hearing but he says he doesn’t know an approximate time of when the hearing will be. I did read somewhere online that remanded cases receive priority, but last time I received a remand, I waited over a year for a hearing and I’m afraid I’m going wait another year or more now with this remand. I’m very frustrated with this and I’m getting myself into a lot of debts just to make ends meet. I live with my dad and he helps me out but I still need my own money and this wait times ans constant denied by SS is driving me insane. Do you more or less how long I’m going to have to wait for the hearing? Why the court didn’t just approve my case on the spot rather than remand it? Also, my lawyer used to be an ALJ judge many years ago and I’m afraid that he’ll go in favor of SS rather mine because of that. I really need ur advice. Oh by the way my conditions is depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. SS has all my psychiatric medical records dating back from 2006 (when I attempted suicide) up until now. I’m also currently seeing a psychiatrist and a therapist and take medication daily for the depression/anxiety. I would really appreciate ur advice and info on this

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ruben,

      I can’t predict how soon you will get your hearing date, but your claim is still alive and that is good. Your attorney’s having been an Administrative Law Judge is an advantage to you because he knows the system very well. Also keep in mind, his payment is dependent on your getting approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Ruben Ramirez

        Thanks for ur advice. I appreciate it. I have ine more question that I forgot to ask you and that is that if I get a part time job while I wait for a hearing, will that affect my claim? Will I be automatically denied if I start working?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Ruben,

          How part-time work affects your claim depends on two things: how much you earn and whether your work activity indicates you could be working more. Usually, if you earn less than $1,090 gross per month, the earnings will not have an adverse effect on your claim.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Elle

    Can you be denied because you don’t have all of your checkstubs for the years you have been medically approved for?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Elle,

      If you applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you have to prove you are financially eligible so proof of your monthly work earnings are needed to calculate your benefit amount. Start with taking the pay stubs you have and your W-2 forms for each year; you may be asked to get the missing pay period documentation from past employers.

      If you applied only for Social Security Disability (SSDI), you don’t have to present proof of earnings for the correct calculation of benefits as long your employers reported everything correctly to the IRS. However, 2014 earnings may not have gone through the system to be available so providing proof of those earnings would allow inclusion of them in the initial calculation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Brian Christiana

    I was initially denied my disability claim, but appealed, and was awarded. I had been receiving a monthly check from Cigna until I would find out if I would be awarded. Cigna explained that whatever my award was determined to be would be considered “overpayment” by them, and they would be entitled to my lump sum back pay. I understood this. I received a call today from Cigna’s legal backer who represented me, Advantage 2000. I was informed that my back pay was to be paid back to Cigna for overpayment of benefits as I understood. I was then further informed that they expect me to pay 55% of the back pay I receive for my 2 children to Cigna as well. I was under the understanding that the children’s back pay was not eligible for Cigna. I am upset and confused by this, and am wondering if this is something I should or am bound to comply to. I was always advised by Cigna and Ad2000 that the overpayment applied to my award, not my children’s. Please advise. Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brian,

      I suggest that you obtain a copy of the full Cigna policy under which you are insured, if you do not have one. (The policy is different from a summary booklet.) Look for a section called “benefits from other sources,” “deductible benefits,” “offsets” or something similar. In that section it should tell you which Social Security benefits reduce your Cigna benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Nic

    Dear Kay,
    My mother is on SSI. I live with her as a caretaker/companion full time. We had been living in her home until she was institutionalized for a stroke. At her release, we moved into an apartment, the reason being her home had become considerably run-down, needing many and extensive repairs. It would need to be completely updated and made wheelchair accessible, as she is now in a wheelchair. We had the home looked at by a contractor and the estimate given for the repairs and to make it handicap accessible was nearly equal to the current value of the home. In the meantime, I reported the change of address and now 3 months later we received a phone call from SSA in regards to the change which essentially became a review of her situation. They questioned why she had not returned home & we said the home was not handicap accessible and that there is an intent to return, but did not report on the condition of the home. We were then told that there is a time limit on how long she can remain away from her primary residence and she has 15 days to send a letter stating her reasons for not returning home, the steps she’s taking to get herself back home (modifications, etc). Upon review of said letter they will let us know if they approve her temporary absence from her home. We are very worried and concerned about her benefits, future living arrangements, etc. Out of curiosity I asked what would happen if my mother decided to stay in her current situation (apartment) as she likes it very much, could she put her home in my or one of my brothers name. I was very curtly told that no, she could not transfer ownership and that it sounds like my mother has no intention of returning home, thus her home becomes an asset. While we totally understood the not being able to transfer title, it alarmed us that our question was taken as a fact and had to backtrack and reaffirm that no decisions have been made and it was not our intention to make it seem as though it were. We are stressing out about the letter and the short period of time we have to do it. In an ideal world, my mom would like to stay in the apartment, but not have to sell the home (such as it is) and leave it to me in her will, as I have spent almost 30 years caring for her full time. And btw, we split our living expenses or sometimes she pays more. Thank you for any help you can provide.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nic,

      Here’s an idea. She could rent it out and then it would be excluded as income-producing property. For example, if she rented it for say $600 plus the renter pays all the utilities, her SSI would be reduced to $153 (if she has no other income) because she would have $500 rental income. If she had to do repairs on it while having a tenant, for example, a $150 plumbing bill, then for that month her rental income would be $350 and two months later, she would have a one-time increase in her SSI to $303.

      If you go this route, she can make a statement that it took a while to decide not to return and to rent the house because it took some time to investigate the cost of adding a wheelchair ramp and other accessible modification and then to decide it was not worth it.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Nic

        Thank you so much for the reply, Kay. I really appreciate it. I had no idea renting was an option.
        Unfortunately, due to the badly deteriorated condition of the home, we would have to do major work before we could rent or have my mom move back in. Money is the issue. My mom has absolutely no other income other than SSI. If my brothers took out a loan to fix up the house, would that be considered income and would her benefits stop? We are at a crossroads. Any suggestions, tips, etc, would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much!

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Nic,

          Repairs made on the house would not be income to your mother. It could increase the value of the house, but that doesn’t really matter because the house will make her ineligible if she doesn’t live in it or rent it. You could ask to have it excluded as income-producing while you are fixing it up to rent. That might be granted if you do it expeditiously.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Nic

            You’ve given us lots to think about, Kay. We have more options than we ever thought. Thank you for all your help. You are a gem!

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Nic.

  • Katina grow

    Hi,I have a quick question and I hope someone has an answer.We live in Germany on military orders.My husband works as a DOD civilien at the health clinic in Wiesbaden.We have a son who is mentaly disabled and also has a Seizure disorder.He will turn 18 in July and he would be able to collect SSI in America,but bc we are living overseas and my husband is not activ duty the embassy in Frankfurt am Main told us he would no be eligible to collect it in Germany.My question is,if we are here on military orders should he not be eligible to get it SSI overseas after all or where can I get the exact answer for that?Thanks Katina

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Katina,

      Please see my reply of February 3 under the article “What Requirements Do I Have to Meet for SSI Eligibility,” which is where you posted your question. You find the article and comments under the SSI tab at the top of each page of this Disability Advisor website.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Barb

    You have always been SO helpful, Thank You so much! My husband has been diagnosed with dementia. He lost his job at age 61 due to cognitive impairment. He was a RN for 32 yrs. He took early retirement at 62. After writing you for advice, he applied for disability, actually I applied for him because he no longer understands or speaks. We applied in Aug 2014. Received an approved medical letter in Dec 2014. It stated we were just waiting for the non medical. When I logged in to SSA on Monday it said he was receiving disability. I have gotten nothing in the mail. Online it said his payment would be $1408. It says last year from Jan-Nov he received $1385, which he did not. He received $1170 with no deductions. Today was his payday and he received $1190 after no deductions. Our daughter (age 1) and I receive dependent benefits, our payments both went up $11 today. It stated online the first disability amount would be paid Jan 28, 2015. They also have him enrolled in Medicare, but won’t be active until May 2015. Is he eligible for any back pay?? He became disabled at 61 in Oct 2011, and is now 64 (65 in May). Thank you so much for any help. Our local SSA office is so busy you can’t even find a place to sit, and calling the 800 number I have waited up to 2hrs, getting very minimal information. Thank You!!!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Barb,

      Your husband will be eligible for back pay for the months he was approved for disability. He will be paid the difference between the reduced retirement and the disability rates. It can take three months after the monthly disability rate starts for him to receive the back pay.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jasmine mota

    Hi,

    My uncle is on ssi and also receives the the disability one mainly because he is disabled and had never held a job. I am his representative of payee. My question is since he lives with me I am now losing my home and is going to foreclosure. I want to know if he can help me by taking out a loan or credit card where I can make the payment and keep my home otherwise we are all homeless. Without ssi being affect or having him not qualify anymore.please help.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jasmine,

      The answer to your question depends on how Social Security would look upon your paying a loan that he incurred and whether that payment would be income to him. I am unable to answer that question.The second question is whether your uncle can get a credit card or loan if his only income is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). You might try to see if there are any mortgage relief programs that could help you or whether you all qualify for any government subsidized housing that is available.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jennifer

    Hi,
    My Fiance applied for disability before got denied he appealed it then he had a court date, but while waiting for his court date his cancer was in remission (he has CLL and it will always come back it’s treatable not cureable) and he was feeling a little better money was way tight behind on bills and he went back to work it was a like a month. Went to court and the judge was going to approve him for permanent disability but since he went back to work she only approved his back pay. We were okay with that because he felt fine. Actually we just didn’t know all the facts about his condition because like a month after court he had to quit his job because his cancer was back. Well he called his attorney and they said he would have to apply again so he did. Well he got denied, applied it denied again. Well currently he is waiting for a court date, but this time has not gone back to work because his CLL has really taken a toll on him even though after three times of chemo he is in remission. Well we are planning to get married soon, but now hie is showing signs of Richter’s syndrome which is an aggressive disease from CLL with a life span of 5-9 months. He is worried he wont even get his money and since we haven’t even got married yet I wont even get anything and what about my children (his step-children)? Can anyone please help??? Some input on this would be greatly appreciated maybe put his mind at ease since he has so much already.
    Thanks,
    Jennifer

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jennifer,

      I don’t have all the facts, but I wonder if an error was made in filing a new claim. You don’t say how long your fiance worked before stopping the work he was doing at the time of the hearing. After being eligible for twelve months, a person can have a nine-month Trial Work Period (if he hasn’t truly recovered) and after that there is a thirty-six month Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE) during which benefits are automatically payable for months in which earnings are below $1,090 ($1,070 in 2014).

      The bit of information you have provided without dates seems to indicate that your fiance should have been granted a Trial Work Period. You do not say how long ago all this was, but I imagine he is outside the sixty-day appeal period for the judge’s decision, so I don’t know whether anything can be done about it. Nonetheless, I suggest that you discuss the TWP and EPE with the attorney because perhaps a case could be made in his current claim for reopening the prior decision of a closed period of disability. On very rare occasion, prior claims have been reopened.

      If you marry, your children will only qualify for benefits if he was providing more than half of their support at certain points in time–when he became disabled or a couple other related points in time.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Hal Hart

    Hi Kay,

    My 34 year old is on SSI and disability. Recently his monthly payments were reduced by 1/3 and we are appealing the decision. A few years ago my son moved into an apartment nearby and since he had no job or credit, I had to sign as his guarantor. He is named in the lease as the tenant and is liable to the landlord for rent; by I still had to sign. We live in Orange County Ca and rent for a 1 bedroom is $1395 per month. Since his SSI and disability payments are less than that (about $860) I must supplement his rent payment. So each month I have an automatic withdrawal from my personal checking account to pay the rent. The difference in the amount of his checks and what he needs to pay for rent and food is about $600. He never receives cash from us and he lives on his own. This is the reason SSI has reduced his monthly payment. My wife and I are in our 60’s and we are using our retirement savings to help him live. Is there a way around this situation to get his monthly payment back to where it was and still be in compliance with the SSI rules?

    Thank you,
    Hal

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Hal,

      Your paying part of your son’s rent directly to the landlord is in-kind (non-cash) support and maintenance and counts as income for the calculation of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. (If you were giving him cash to pay the rent, his benefit would have gone down by $580.) The rationale is that SSI is supposed to pay for shelter and food and if someone pays for those things or part of them, then less support is needed from the government. One solution would be for your son to move into a rented room that he can afford. Another that would take longer would be for him to apply for government-subsidized housing, which does not affect SSI. Once he is paying all his own shelter and food costs again (except for food stamps), his SSI check will go up two months after he no longer receives support.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Hal Hart

        Hello Kay,

        Thank you very much for your time and reply. Very much appreciated.

        Best wishes,
        Hal

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Hal.

  • letty

    I have a 9 year old with learning disabilities. an has an iep in school.he’s also in a special day class I was wondering if he qualifies for ssi..

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Letty,

      It is possible that your son is eligible, but the only way to find out is to file an application.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Darrell

    Dear Kay
    I am confused on the monthy payment of ssi it says the FBR is 721.00 a month and even tho i havent got my awards letter or anything like that i did go to mysocialsecurity website and seen i am now recieving benefits but it says i will only get 594.00 could you explain why this is ..i live at my mother in laws house and she has been paying my part of the rent and utilities with the understanding that its a loan and i have to pay her back but im not even getting the full FBR amount and my mother in law sent a statement telling them it is a loan and expected to be paid back when i recieve my backpay..hopefully u can clear this confusion up….
    thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Darrell,

      If you have no other income, then the reduction is probably for the fact that you are not paying for your shelter. You have the right to appeal on the grounds that the free shelter is not a gift, but a loan. If you lose the appeal, plan to start paying your share of the rent and utilities when you benefits start. Two months later, your SSI benefit will be increased.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Deborah Kivela

    Dear Kay,
    I was awarded SSI in NC of $742.. I am disabled, divorced and living with a friend. My SS ,of $391 started Sept 10, 2014. My SSI was reduced , so both SS and SSI, did not exceed the $742 limit. I stated on my application, that I was expecting to pay half of the utilities , instead of rent. So, a month later, SSI sent a letter stating my SSI would be reduced again, as they took half of what my friend said the utilities average, and considered that half, as “income ” for me..So I now am scheduled to receive my $391 SS and only $89 from SSI I need more to live on per month. And I now have to pay half the utlilites out of that, and my Medicaid co-pays. Also, food, personal items and care of my 2 chihuahuas I have had for years, from my previous marriage. Isn’t that a backward way to figure that as income and reduce my SSI, by that much, then I have to pay that much out!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Deborah,

      Free or privately subsidized shelter is in-kind (non-cash) income and it’s value is counted as income in calculating your SSI payment amount. If you purchase and prepare your food separately from your friend, you must pay half of the shelter costs to receive the maximum SSI payable. That is, with two people in the house, you must pay the equivalent of half of the rent or mortgage and half of the utilities (excluding phone and cable). If you have any retroactive money coming as back pay, either from Social Security or SSI and you use some of it to start paying half of the shelter costs, your SSI will be increased two months later.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • ana

    Hello,
    I applied in 2009 for ssi and missed appointments. Ultimately i was denied. I applied again in 2012 online and was automatically denied. I applied again earliee this year and never received any correspondence. When i called they didnt have any rec of me applying 3 times only once. I really need help with this since ive been talking to dictors and no help. Ssa didnt even check to validate anything and i have all my evaluations . Also welfare deemed me unable to work years ago.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ana,

      Investigation of your current claim does not include looking at prior denied, closed claims. You need to submit everything you have about your medical history and your current conditions for your current claim. If you are denied and believe you cannot work, be sure to appeal. If asked to attend a consultative examination, be sure to attend.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • AJ

    Hey Kay,

    My disabled son was on SSI prior to my marriage. During my marriage, my son was not eligible for SSI due to my ex-husband’s income. I am going through a divorce now and would like to know if I am to able to apply for SSI once again?

    My son is 7 years old with a permanent disability. I am currently attending school to do something in the workforce and will be receiving $250 child support a month.

    I’m living with my ex-husband as a roommate so I can go to school and move on with my life. My ex watches my son while I’m at school for a few hours. I pay my ex monthly rent to stay in the house.

    Where I’m going with this is I feel like Social Security administration is going to deny my son SSI because I am living in my ex-husband’s home. I can’t afford a place of my own and I can’t afford a baby sitter. I really want to continue school so I can provide for my son and I. I may have to quit if they deny me SSI. I won’t be able to pay for his medications and incontinence supplies.

    Bless you Kay and I can’t wait for your answers and advice. Thank you for all that you do.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear AJ,

      You ex-husband’s income does not affect your son’s eligibility for SSI. If you were married and living with your husband for less than a year, you do not have to file a new claim, just report the divorce. A new claim is required if your son was ineligible for more than a year.

      Either way, your son’s SSI benefit will be reduced if he is not paying fair market value for renting rooms in your ex-husband’s house. (Benefits will also be reduced by his child support.) I assume that you are purchasing food separately, but if you are not, then you would need to be paying your son’s share of food costs and also his share of shelter expenses. If his benefits are reduced and later you can pay the amount needed to not have a reduction, possibly with back SSI benefits, your son’s benefits could increase two months after he is no longer receiving shelter and/orfood subsidized by his former stepfather.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • stephaney

    I applied for ssi in aug. Had over the phone appt oct.3. They sent me paper work to fill out about what i can and cant do. I sent it back.they asked for my med recs oct9 to doctors. How long from here does it take.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stephaney,

      Please see my response to your previous post.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • mark ropel

    Dear Kay, Thank you all the help you give US. Disabled, I’m 63, turn 64 in Dec, I get a Reg SS payment of $717, and SSI of $24, monthly. A Co I worked for, is offering me my vested pension 3 ways, Lump Sum 34K, $200 monthly starting Dec 2014, or $228 when I turn 65, Dec 2015, I’d want the $200 option, what would I lose? I guess the SSI of $24, my SNAP Is $45, do I lose Medicaid or any Disabled benefits, Rx costs etc. Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mark,

      If you take the $200, you will lose your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and your Medicaid eligibility based on SSI payments. You might qualify for Medicaid differently or for low-cost or subsidized insurance through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dear Kay,

    thanks 🙂

    Estelle.

    • Kay Derochie

      You are welcome, Estelle.

  • Dear Kay,
    just obsessing now…

    so i understand now WHY the lady at SSA office was questioning me, I knew my Mom had passed and didn’t see what the issue was with my Mothers Account, it is not Mine.
    But the lady did not know that as Administrator, i CANNOT touch the inheritance till the Probate is over, IF i am a beneficiary.
    I got my back up, because i miss my Mom and i am Very Sensitive Right Now, HOWEVER, since it is not MY Social, i felt i should not have been put on the Spot, but i see now that they were thinking i maybe got an allowance as an Admin. and also stand to Inherit, PLUS many people do Not know what “Administrator” means.
    So if i came across as a “Snippy Attitude” person, i apologize,
    i am still having Insomnia since my Mom passed.

    I told the SSA Office that as soon as i got this all straightened out,
    i would inform them of Any financial changes.

    She was Satisfied with that.
    This has been a Learning Experience.

    Thank you again,

    Estelle.

    • p.s
      the one question that i thought was probing,
      was, the SSA lady asked me WHY my Mom’s account kept going DOWN and then would go UP.
      Well, the answer for that was, i paid soooooo many bills, it went down, then my Grandmother DIED, and left my mom a little money so THAT went into my Mothers Estate Account as well.
      Pretty strange she should get that personal with an account that is not mine, ???
      oh well….

      Estelle. 🙂

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Estelle,

        Receiving public assistance including SSI means sharing a lot of personal information. It is the representative’s job to investigate to be sure that benefits are being paid correctly. This includes asking questions about anything that seems discrepant or out of the ordinary.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Dear Kay,

    i think i got it,
    tell me if i am correct or not:
    i finish my Mom ‘s Estate Taxes (next month, H&R Block should be done)
    at that point, all should be: “In” and “Done” then, my Estate Attorney (who is not that informative, but i like him anyway) will have Probate finished, and he should make it payable to myself and my brother, we have been petitioning the court for that, only i was holding it up due to my Promise to my my Mom about my Uncles, but i see now that is neither here nor there in Calif Law…

    She only wanted it to go to them so they could help me get a House and not effect my Son’s SSI, but she and myself included did not understand how that works, in the courts and with SSA, so YES, my Attorney should have told me that a Long time ago, but he is Not a Disability Attorney, he only does Trusts, Estates, and Probate.

    Anyway, so if the money goes to my brother and myself, the minute i close the Estate. i notify SSA, correct?
    and then i buy a home and show them the Escrow Statement maybe? ( and my bank statement of course)
    ALL my inheritance will go to a house, California is Expensive, as it is, i have to look in cheaper cities, so there will be
    no need for a Spend down.

    Have i missed anything?

    Thanks,

    Estelle.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Estelle,

      Sounds as if you have it covered!

      Kay

  • Hi Kay,

    i wish to add to that EXTREMELY long question/story…
    Everyone in my Family signed a: “Waiver of Accounting” so there should be no problem with the Court as to my abilities as Admin.
    my concern was SSA, they Scared me, i was not expecting that call and let me tell you, i have my own little income, and could still make it without my Son’s SSI check, however my Boy is one of those kids that i don’t think will Ever be capable of Driving a car, a bus he could take, but never drive. He is soo in his own world.
    So my concern was to not jeopardize his Benefits, he is still young, but i am 50 in November, and i will not be around forever to take care of him.

    Having said that, just HOW much does SSA care about what the “Estate” of my Mom does, the lady asked me WHERE DOES THAT MONEY GO WHEN YOUR MOM DIES?
    and that hurt, because my Mom has been gone for 3 something years, and i told them that years ago.
    I assumed they knew Mom had Passed.

    Sorry, i am done now.

    Estelle.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Estelle,

      Social Security cares because if you inherit, it will affect your son’s SSI payments. Please see my response to your prior posting for specifics. Be sure to report as soon as probate has been completed and the money can be distributed. Provide documentation of the distribution at that time. As far as the future goes, when you son turns eighteen, your income and assets will not affect his eligibility. Shortly before he turns eighteen, you need to apply for him to continue to receive SSI as an adult. If he is eligible, his benefit amount will be based only on his own income and assets (or his and his wife’s if he marries) and whether or not he is paying for his own food and shelter costs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Thanks Kay,

        i knew you would respond soon,
        i think you are Great !!!
        Very Helpful, thank you.

        🙂

        Estelle.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Estelle.

  • Hi Kay,

    i have a question about SSI.
    My son is on SSI and anything I make effects him (of course)
    my concern is, i got a call from the SSA office and they wanted to know what my “Part” in my Mothers Estate is, i am Administrator, and i told them this YEARS ago, and every time i go for an interview as well, PLUS brought them Proof.
    The Woman who called me asked me why my Mother’s Account kept going up and down.
    I told her, that i pay my Mom’s bills, and she left me in Charge of my Brother, so i pay his bills as well.
    (I am STILL doing my Mothers Taxes and must leave the Estate Account Open for a while until i am done)
    Then her Mother, (my Grandma) passed away, and more money was put into the Estate Account of my Mom.

    Are you using this money for yourself? she asked, i said no. Are you going to get some of this money one day? i said yes.

    Here is the thing, my Mom didn’t want to mess up my 11 year old boy’s SSI, he has Autism, so she told me that the money should go my Uncles and they could buy me a Home, and i even asked SSI about this before, and they said this was okay just report the House purchase and my son’s SSI would be on hold for that month (s) that the house was bought.

    Okay, her comes the worry part on my behalf, she thought my Mom was still ALIVE! my Mom passed away in 2011 and the Estate had to go to Probate, since my Mom did not leave a will, Mom and i only
    talked about “What if” something happened to her, no one ever really gets around to actually making a will right away, then she had a sudden Heart Attack and Died.
    I was made Administrator by the Courts.
    My Brother is Autistic as well, and i was made his Guardian, i paid all his bills from the Estate Account etc…

    So here is my question, i kept an accounting to the best of my ability, but i have moved twice and when i stored some boxes at my Brothers apartment, he THREW SOME OF MY THINGS OUT LAST YEAR, THINKING THEY WERE MY MOMS PAPERS !!!!
    Arrg, he was also a Raging Alcoholic and in his Drunk Grief Stricken state (over Our Mom, she had died in HIS apartment) TOSSED out all 3 of my Boxes !
    I was dumb founded, i hoped the courts wouldn’t question me, but my Estate Attorney said i was doing a good job at emailing him a monthly accounting, and not to worry, BUT I NOW DON’T HAVE ALL THE PAPER WORK TO BACK UP MY SPENDING!!!
    HELP.
    Any way, to make a long story short (too late)
    my question is…

    would the SSA Office ask me for proof of spending to show it did not go to me?
    or is HER Estate Account Transactions NONE of their business?
    I never put money into MY personal account,
    the Estate Account is in HER Social anyway, (of course)

    I just don’t wish to get in trouble, AND i tried REALLY Hard to do everything right so my Mom would be Proud of me.

    Any thoughts?

    thanks Kay,

    Estelle.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Estelle,

      It is unfortunate that your paper documentation is gone; however, the estate attorney may be right that the monthly accounting will be enough. If asked to provide proof for the period for which documentation was lost, start out by having the estate attorney submit documentation directly to Social Security. That may be all they will ask for.

      There is another issue; however, and that is that your mother died without a will. In most states, there is a predetermined order of inheritance when a person dies without a will: spouse, children, siblings, and so on. If that is the case in your state, you and your brother will inherit; you will not be able to divert the money to your uncle. The month in which probate closes and the money is available for distribution, your son will be ineligible for SSI. You can, of course, use your inheritance to buy a house, which is an excludable resource; but until you have spent down to $4,000 or below, your son will remain ineligible for SSI.(Your resource limit if your son’s father is not in the household is $2,000 and any excess counts toward your son’s $2,000 resource limit.) If, to follow your mother’s wishes, you give any of the money you inherit to your uncle, your son will remain ineligible for the length of time you could have used the given-away money to support yourself and him.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ruben

    Hi,

    I’ve gotten denied for SSI so many times that at this point I’m frustrated, confused, and lost any hope in getting it. I first applied in 2009 and I’ve been denied at all appeal levels. I went to federal district court in 2012 and my case was remanded last year and then I had a second hearing with an ALJ in April of this year (my first ALJ hearing was in 2010). My case was denied again when I received the denial letter in July, despite that the ALJ had all my medical records on file (which are a lot of records by the way) and also despite that this was a remanded case. I’m not sure what to do at this point. The denial letter says that I had 30 days to appeal with the appeal council but those 30 days are long gone and that I also have a chance to appeal again with the federal court between the 61st and 121st days of the letter (which means I can go now to the court to appeal again). Is it worth it to go to the federal court again to appeal again and have the case probably remanded again and then have to wait forever for a hearing just to have it denied again? This seems like a huge waste of time. Not sure what to do. My disability is depression, bipolar, anxiety, sudden and unexplained mood swings, dysthymia, and a few other things.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ruben,

      At this point you have nothing to lose by appealing to federal court again.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ruben

    Hi Kay,

    I posted a question not too long ago. Thanks for your answer. I have another question. I applied for SSI in April 2009 and I have been denied at all levels. Went to Federal District Court and my case was remanded, had another hearing, and then was denied again recently. The denial letter states that I can appeal either by the Appeals Council within 30 days of receipt of the letter or at the Federal District Court after 60 days have passed from the date of receipt of the letter. What do you think is better, appeal now with the Appeals Council or wait for after the 60 days have passed and then go to Federal Court? I’m undecided on which one to go for. Also, I never had a lawyer at anytime since I first applied. Should I get a lawyer at this point?

    Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ruben,

      I do think you need a legal opinion regarding which way to appeal, an opinion that based on the facts of your particular claim and the reasons for the second hearing denial.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Linda E Joyner

    My brother recently was approved for SSA and received his first two payments (July and August). When he receives his first installment of back pay, is that separate from the monthly allowance?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Linda,

      Back benefits are usually paid separately from monthly benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Linda E Joyner

    My brother recently was approved for SSA and received his first two payments in July and August. He was also approved for back payments. When should he receive his first back pay and will he receive the back pay in addition to his monthly allowance? Additionally, will it ALL be loaded to his direct rewards card.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Linda,

      Your brother’s back pay could take another month or even two to be paid. It will be loaded onto his DirectExpress debit card.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Viera

    I did apply for dis. in2011, My case is on federal level now, I also before I got denial from admin judge apply for ssi and medicaid. I was deniad dis and ssi. I was told while my case in on federal level to start a new disability claim( I have 4 more serious conditions than in 2011- and I am treated for it).. Law firm I did use, instead of putting new claim and new ssi(medicaid request) .. just appeal in ssi which did belong to the firs case ( which is out of soc. sec system) .. I was waiting 8 months .. and I just got a letter from soc.sec. office.. that my claim is denied based on judges ruling on first claim( and it should be already second level—-????,,,,,,, I believe that law firm made mistake( they paralegals did).. now they do not want to continue.. because …waiting on another judge hearing.. will be based again on the first claim and they are saying, that if they do not win or my federal will, they will not get pay….!!!,,, I have question… if I do not appeal this one, and wait 60 days and more days.. can I actually start new claim ( as it should be done last year) based on current conditions and my medical and hospital treatment ?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Viera,

      I do not know whether you can file a new claim simultaneously with an appeal pending in District Court. I suggest that you consult with your attorney.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Ruben

    Hi Kay,

    I live in NYC and I applied for SSI back in April 2009 and I was denied at all levels. Finally, me and my dad took my case to Federal District Court and my case was remanded back to Social Security for another hearing because SS admitted they made many mistakes with my claim when I went to my first hearing in July 2010. I had my second hearing in April of this year but the decision was delayed because of missing medical records from 2011 that I couldn’t obtain before the hearing. The ALJ then received those records in May. I called the hearing office this past Tuesday and they told me that a decision was mailed out on the 25th, which was last Friday and that I will receive the decision in the next 7 to 10 business days. I found that odd because a letter travelling within the same city usually takes no longer than just a couple of days to receive. I told a friend this that receives SSI, she’s been on it for a few years now and she told me that approval letters go to a payment center before reaching the claimant and that’s why its going to take 7 to 10 business days for me to receive it and that denials go directly to the claimant. Not sure how true that is and my friend could be wrong. I don’t want to get my hopes up until I receive the letter.

    What my said friend is true or not? Ur info will help a lot because I’m already tired of waiting so long and been fighting for this for years now and I really don’t want false hopes right now. I don’t have a lawyer and I never had one by the way, was that a mistake on my part?

    I’m 27 years old and my issues are Depression, Dysthymia, Anxiety, and level one Bipolar Disorder (not sure what they mean by level 1, but that’s what it says in some of my medical records).

    Last time I had a job was in 2011, 3 years ago and haven’t worked since

    Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ruben,

      My apologies for not responding sooner. By now you should have received the decision letter. Have you?

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Ruben

        Its ok Kay,

        Yes I did and it was denied again. Thought it would be approved since it was a federal court remanded case and I also submitted more evidence. Not sure what to do now. I feel like giving up. The letter says I have a right to appeal to the appeals council or file another action at federal court. My psychiatrist told me that without a lawyer, its very difficult to win, no matter how severe the case is. She (my psychiatrist) recommended me a lawyer and I have an appointment with next week at the lawyer’s office. You think its a good idea to have the lawyer take my case and continue? Because at this point I really feel like giving up

        Thanks

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Ruben,

          Given that the physician is suggesting that you continue to pursue benefit, I would follow her advice and get a lawyer to continue pursuing benefits either as an appeal or by filing a new claim.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Blake

    I am now 42 and have received a final decision from an ALJ that was appealed and upheld. It was a no! heres the problem….l have degenerated discs in my L4L5 and L5S1, also a tear in one disc thats herniated. My advocates and I still have not received a paper copy of the decision and I am supposed to file a federal appeal in the district court by this Wednesday. My advocates have requested a paper copy of the decision and an extension for the federal appeal. My current advocates will not represent me in a federal court. I can not seem to find any attorney that will represent me in federal court. My disability is legit, it’s to the point that my toes go numb and my feet hurt so bad randomnly that I can not walk or concentrate on anything but the pain. This is not to mention the constant pain in my back and down my legs. I have a pain consultant group that does all they can….pills, shots, therapy etc….and now I am at my wits end. I feel awful for my wife who works 50+ hours a week just to keep us afloat. Anybody have any ideas on what I can do. At last check my we earned $180 a month too much to qualify for SSI. We (thankfully) have no children at this time.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Blake,

      Your sixty-day appeal period should not begin until you receive a written denial from the Appeals Council either upholding the judge’s decision or declining to review the decision. However, if your advocates are saying that you must file the appeal in federal court by Wednesday, do so just to be safe. You will have time to continue to try to get representation while you wait for a court date.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Blake

        Hi Kay,
        I have contacted at least 20 attorneys including SSDI “specialists” et al…when I say No One, I mean NO ONE will take my federal case. I have contacted EVERYONE including the White House who referred me to the FTC (who incidently can not help me), the SSI who told me there are no cases heard beyond the ALJ decision. And when I attempted to explain to the lady at SSI there was a way to file a federal case in district court she told me “well sir you obviously know more than I do so you figure it out”. when I tell you Kay that I am being stonewalled, I mean I have exhausted all possible options that I have intelligently researched. I filled out your form that reads For a FREE, no obligation evaluation of your disability claim, fill in and submit the evaluation form below . – See more at: http://www.disabilityadvisor.com/ssi-disability/#sthash.Xuc45qPZ.dpuf, so you should have my contact info. I NEED REAL HELP!!!!! I need an attorney in Phoenix AZ that is willing to file a federal appeal in a district court on my behalf. No one at the “help lines” can help me. Please email me your contact info so we can talk….PLEASE….burlacher1@gmail.com
        Thanks

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Blake,

          Thank you for your inquiry. By now, an attorney should have contacted you.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

  • Linda E Joyner

    My brother was recently approved for SSI and received his first check on July 3rd. He originally applied in Oct 2012 and received paperwork indicating it was approved from May 2013 until May 2014. I know that the back pay is provided in three installments. When will he receive his first installment payment?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Linda,

      If your brother has not received the first installment of his Supplemental Security Income (SSI) back pay within a month, he should follow up.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Hello,

    My question is can a person buy a home in trust for a minor, so as not effect her brother’s ssi.
    I wish to purchase a home for my niece, only her brother is on ssi.
    He is under 18 as well.
    This home will be paid in cash, no mortgage.
    She will be 18 in 1 year and the home will be hers.
    Her Mother, my Sister is not to be on the Deed, she is not responsible.

    I am stumped.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Anne,

      What the SSI recipient’s sister owns does not affect the SSI recipient’s benefit amount. In the month that you give the house to his sister, it will count as income to his sister. If at that time she is still under eighteen and living with the SSI recipient and their mother, the gift of the house might affect the amount of SSI payable in that one month.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Thank you Kay….

        !!! 🙂

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Anne.

  • Whitney

    I don’t see my question anymore and haven’t got a reply..wonder y?

    • Whitney

      Oh it says my comment is awaiting moderation.

  • hi, my name is jenny. This is my question: My older sister is obeist. She weighs 460 pounds. I’ve been helping her because of her weight she cant work. and hasn’t worked in 25 years. But i am leaving the country and wont be able to help her anymore. she is going to stay with our brother. She has no income and has applied for welfare and will be only approved for food stamps and some medicaid. If she stays with my brother and sister in law will they consider there income is she applies for ssi? or if I decide to help my brother with her part of her room and board will they consider that and my sister in laws and brothers income?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jenny,

      Your sister can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If she will be approved, her free housing will cause a reduction in her benefits whether or not you give your brother some money to help cover her room. If you give money directly to her, there will be further reduction. Once benefits start, if she starts paying for room, her benefits may be increased.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Michelle Jackson

    Question if I applied for SSI in 1996 and then again last yr I went in front of a judge and was denied. I need to resign up b/c I HAVE INJURED MY HAND AND ONLY HAVE 20% USAGE left. My accident attorney says I need to resign. So will I recieve back pay from the other times I signed up if approved this time. It’ll be on the same basis but another injury added. Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Michelle,

      If you are approved on a new application, benefits will be based on that application no on prior applications. All of your conditions will be considered, those you have before and your new injury.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Hi Kay,

    well i tried to understand your answer, as it is a good and knowledgeable one, but i am slow.
    I think also i am not explaining in detail enough, so your good answer was based on my question, which was not clear enough.

    Okay, he goes, my Uncle wants to buy my Sister a House, she is not on SSI , but her Son who is Autistic is.
    The house will be completely paid for, no Mortgage, she WILL be responsible however for the property taxes.
    I heard that her income effects her Son’s Disability, but her income wont really change, she will stop paying rent and start paying taxes though.
    She is on Section 8 paying about 409.00 dollars a month, but her property taxes will be estimated at about 416.00 per month if you break down 5000 thou a year in taxes (5k divided by 12= roughly 416.00)
    Now, she will lose Section 8, but who cares? she will get a Home.
    So reporting the house in the form of taxes instead of rent is what i am wondering.

    This is a confusing one.

    Daven.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Daven,

      Thanks for clarifying your question. Your nephew will be ineligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in the month that the house is put in your sister’s name because the value of the house will be counted as her income. After that, the house will have no effect on his eligibility.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Dear Kay,

        this is a difficult issue because the money will not go into her account, it will go straight to the Tittle Co.
        But since it is still considered income, how should she do this? shouldn’t there be proof of cash gift? like a copy of the check that was written?
        ( to show SSI ) or just maybe the escrow closing statement….
        Dunno.

        Your answers are way cool, thank you much.
        This is a great place to ask questions.

        Daven

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Daven,

          I would think that a copy of the escrow documents would answer all the questions. If not, Social Security will ask for anything else they need.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

          • Thank you,
            that is very helpful, i think this is do-able. Cool.

            Daven

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Daven.

  • Hello,
    good question here:

    if a person who is on SSI has a family member that is buying them a home,
    would this effect the person receiving SSI? the money would go from the family member straight into escrow, kind of like a home bought in Trust, the money never would go to the person directly.
    Is this still considered income?
    and also, when you tell the SSA office that you have moved, do they care if you rent or own?
    does this effect anything? i think it would effect the person if they are receiving food stamps or medical i guess, because anyway, if a house is paid for, the person who owned it would still have to pay property taxes right? that is kind of like paying rent, 4-6 thou a year.
    Other than reporting the living change to food stamps and medical,
    the SSA office, do they care or not…?

    Any insights here?

    Thanks,

    Daven.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Daven,

      If the person is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and not Social Security, the value of the free shelter, which would be the monthly mortgage payment,property taxes, and utilities (regardless of whose name is on the property) counts as in-kind income in determining payment amount. The maximum countable in-kind income is $260 even if the mortgage payment is more. If the person is still receiving SSI and the property is in his or her name when the mortgage is paid off, countable income will stop. If the person is receiving Social Security Disability, not SSI, then there is no need to report the payment of the mortgage to the Social Security Administration. If he is receiving SSI, then a report should be made right away.

      There’s no difference between being a renter or a homeowner. What matters is whether or not someone else is paying the shelter costs.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Kari

    i applied for disability in 2-11… yes i used a lawyer service.. last year FINALLY saw a judge.. who denied me… various reasons.. but my lawyer appealed his decsion which is really darn good, as i was going to see about it myself… i have quite a few issues. the most recent being i cant hardly read a book without a high powered magnifying glass and my right hand has suddenly developed interesting issues… to the point i can no longer use a mouse with it or type.. this chicken pecking that im doin now is a real pain for my left,,, anyway.. this federal appeals.. how long does this take, and is it true that any records submitted AFTER the denial and the beginning of this appeal wont be even looked at? im darn near blind and im right handed and 2 of the 5 fingers are stiff and dont work, i had to drop my former primary due to her being only a Nurse Practicioner .. i wish some one had told me back in 20 11 to get a new dr… my mental health dr is driving me insane.. ive made my appts and they call the day before and say shes not goin to be in, so we reschedule and they do the same thing… im starting to get super depressed and looking for an MD is exhausting .. any tips , ideas… anything , any bone you can toss me about what i should do , as reaching my lawyer is about as impossible as finding a darn primary, and getting my mental health stable or at least back where it was in nov of last year.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kari,

      It can take up to two years to get a reply from the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council will listen to reasons laid out by your lawyer as to why the judge’s decision was incorrect, but new evidence generally will not be considered. If your appeal is not successful, you can file a new application. As far as fiding medical providers, if you have insurance, I suggest that you ask your insurance company for a list of physicians in your area that accept the insurance. Otherwise, to make the process easier, you might just systematically call all providers in your area until you can find one.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Annette

    My son draws social security off his deceased father’s record as a disabled adult child.IN 2011, I received a letter from social security that stated that his income affects his ssi. His social security benefits were 663.00-20.00 that they don’t count.They also counted 224.66 as the value of food and shelter (which after researching I understand now, that it’s considered in kind support after reading your blog ). I never told them that I was providing food and shelter.My son currently pays 383.00 a month in rent ,utilities and purchases his food separately. He receives 709.00 in ss as a disabled adult child. I would like to know if I could reapply for ssi benefits for him so that he could have full medicaid benefits. I am trying to get him into a sheltered workshop – adult day program because of his disability and they require full benefits from medicaid .The $709 is his only income so my understanding is that he would be under the fbr for ssi which is 721 and as long as I provide proof that he’s paying 1/4 of rent,utilities he may qualify for sis even if it’s a dollar. He does have medicare and Medicaid which pays medicare premiums only. I’m sorry this is so long but when I finally realized what social security was talking about, it was too late to appeal. He has been disabled all his life. Until he turned 18 , he couldn’t get ssi because of my income. Sorry this is so long .But I may have to quit my teaching job if I can’t get him on full medicaid. Thank you so much for helping so many people with your knowledge.
    Annette

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Annette,

      It sounds as if your son will be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if he pays his share of housing costs and continues to buy his food separately. When you re-apply, be prepared to provide proof of the amount of rent and utilities (excluding phone).

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Annette

        Thank you so much for answering my question. Good bless you.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Annette.

  • Mae Taylor

    Thank kay,when I recieve SSdi back n 2004 to 2006 i receice back then 736 dollarn my onset was Nov 26 2010 would i get backpay
    start from May 2011 is there a increase will be put on the amont since 2006 was 736 until now.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mae,

      Your benefit will be more now because there have been cost-of-living adjustments in some of the years between 2006 and 2013.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Mae Taylor

    Thank Kay,I receive my ssi payment on 6/23/14 and wait on my ssd award letter now.are payment do you know will i be get two payment since i was approve for both i get my 1st check on 7/14 of 471.17.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mae,

      If you continue to be eligible for both Social Security and SSI, the payments will be made separately because Social Security is paid as an earned benefit from the Social Security Trust Fund, which is funded by Social Security taxes on work earnings, and SSI is funded out of the general treasury as a public assistance program.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • kim

    I received 1 installment in jan I understand there will be three (yes there is enough money for that) can you tell me when I will get the second one I am on ssi and get my money on the 1st but I don’t see it coming in july 1st payment, would it show it on my payment verivacation

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kim,

      Back Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are paid in installments six months apart. The installments will be in payments separate from the regular monthly payments. If you have not received the next one by the end of the sixth calendar month, follow up with the Social Security Administration.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Mae Taylor

    hi,I applies for (ssd) n (ssi) on Dec2010and when n front of ALJ on March 2014 ,I recicenotice of decision favorable what is my next step that i need to do and how long will it take to start my benefit i was fully favorabe June 2014 back and2004 i was disable n whena back and 2008 but start too work n was just pay for 04-06 and reciece the fully favorabkle letter and 9/08 and the award letter 10/08 why is it take so long now.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mae,

      I suggest taking your fully favorable hearing decision to your Social Security office and ask to have an interview to get the payment process started. YOur Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will probably be paid first and then your Social Security Disability (SSD). It can take a month or more to get the first benefits and three months or more after that before you get your full SSD.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Sue

    Hi Kay i was approved for ssi in april 2014 by the alj with my onset disability date of jan 2014. My case was selected to be reviewed by the appeals coucil. How long can this take? The review council has had my case since may 6. Can the appeals council overturn the alj approval & if so does this happen alot? Ive been stressed & worrying about this.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sue,

      Please see my reply to your earlier inquiry.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Sue

        Hi Kay. For some reason i cant see my other inqury or your reply. Thats why i had posted the question again. Im sorry it must be my phone.

        • Kay Derochie

          Not a problem, Sue. Your question posted on May 31 and was answered on June 2.

  • i get ssd but when thay aproved me thay got me to singe a waver on my back pay is ther any way to get the back pay now it,s been 4 years

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Russ,

      You were given the choice of accepting a determination of a later disability date than your claimed and receive benefits or get a denial that you would have had to appeal. You made the decision to waive the earlier disability date and back pay associated with it. You cannot change your mind now.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Edwin

    I applied for SSI in April 2009 and I was denied at all levels, so I appealed at Federal District Court sometime in 2012 and the case was remanded because of numerous mistakes the ALJ made at the first hearing which was in July 2010 I think. I had a second hearing on April 1st of this year which was just two months ago. I’m 27 years old and my condition is depression, anxiety, and other mental issues. Anyway, I couldn’t obtain the most recent hospital records myself before the hearing, so the ALJ requested my permission to obtain them himself. On May 16th I received a CD and a letter from the ALJ saying that he obtained the most recent medical records that were missing and to look at the CD to make sure those records were accurate, which I looked at and the records were correct. I had ten days to notify him of any errors or if I want a supplemental hearing but since the records were accurate, I didn’t notify of anything.

    Now, my two questions are:

    1. Since this case is remanded by Federal Court and I had additional evidence that I didn’t have before, are my chances of winning high?

    2. Since more than 10 days passed since the day I received the CD and letter, when will I get the decision in the mail? I’m frustrated with this long wait and I have no income, I depend on my parents for financial help and I haven’t worked since I was 20, which was 7 years ago. Any idea when will I receive the decision in the mail?

    Thanks

    Oh and by the way, I don’t have a lawyer and I never had one

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Edwin,

      It could still be a month or more before you get a decision. The current records will help a judge decide whether you are disabled now but would not necessarily help your claim all the way back to 2009.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Marie70

    I applied for disabilty for the 1st time on 10/2014 still no decision received a call the other day for a reminder of SSI interview on the phone is this a good or bad sign? So stressed

    • Marie70

      Sorry I meant applied 10/2013

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Marie,

      It sounds as if your claim has been medically approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and that the telephone interview is to go over the non-medical factors that govern eligibility and payment amount. When you have the interview, you can ask if you have been medically approved to be sure.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • judee bordem

    Can a person receiving ssi also collect survivors benefits. When their spou@se dies?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Judee,

      With a few exceptions, people receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are required to apply for all benefits available to them, including Social Security survivor benefits. Whether or not your SSI benefits would then continue in a reduced amount would depend on the amount of the survivor benefits.

      To be eligible for disabled widow’s benefits, which are reduced from what they would be at full retirement age, you have to be age fifty or older. To be eligible for reduced widow’s benefits based on age alone, you have to be age sixty. You can be any age and be eligible for surviving young wife’s benefits, if you are caring for the deceased worker’s child, who is under age sixteen.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Nikki

    I have 4 kids (2 disabled) and have been renting from my mother. I have been getting SSI for both of the disabled kids. My mother has occupied the house again, and I need to move. I am unable to work due to child’s disability. One option I have is to move in with the father of 2 of my children (1 of those is disabled). We would have separate rooms and live as roomates. He would continue to pay me child support, as he has, and I would pay 1/2 of the living expenses. Will they count his income, even though we share expenses and are not married? I can’t afford to lose SSI and my children’s Medicaid.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nikki,

      You need to discuss the potential living arrangement with a Social Security claims representative, not a service representative, and present the idea that you and your children will be renting rooms from the father of one of your disabled children. They can then tell you how they will handle that. However, here is what I think would be the situation. I think that Social Security will say that your disabled child’s father is in the same household with his father and that the father’s income will be considered in determining the SSI eligibility and payment amount of that child. If so, some of his income will be allocated for the support of his non-disabled child if the allocation is more than the child support.

      Your other disabled child’s father will not be in the household; therefore, to avoid a reduction in benefits, that child would either have to pay his or her share of shelter expenses (rent or mortgage and utilities, excluding phone) and his or her share of food OR pay a flat rate for room and board (or for room only and buy food separately from the father of the other child.) If Social Security says you are all one household, then this second disabled child would need to pay one-sixth of the shelter costs (and food costs if shared) because there are six people in the household.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Tiffany Ann

    Hi my fiance gets ssi benefits of 721 a month I don’t have a job I’m still waiting for employers to call me back we are unable to pay all our bills with just that one income of ssi we have a child together that’s 10 months old is it possible that he can add her to his case so she can receive benefits also ,

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tiffany,

      It appears that your fiance is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI makes payment only for the disabled person, not for dependents. I suggest that you contact your state’s department of human services and apply for aid to families with dependent children and/or foodstamps. Good luck with the job hunt!

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • melissa

    Hi I applied for SSI in California for my son who is 8 yrs old. He is in special ed and he was diagnosed with ADHD and Mild Retardation. His case was closed and sent to local office. I just did review and only docs required were my check stubs. My questions are how long after review will it take to receive money. Also does SSI send resources or referals for help? Do I have access to his records from state psych and pediatrician

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Melissa,

      Your son’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will likely start with a single monthly payment followed by a back payment. If his back pay is more than $2,163, it will be paid out in installments six months apart. It can take from two weeks to two months for benefits to start.

      Social Security does not send out a list of resources or referrals. I suggest that you contact your state or county social services department and ask them what resources are available to meet your son’s needs, or try dialing 411 on your phone to see if your area has a 411 directory of services in your area. Another source would be ARC (Americans for Retarded Citizens). Your school district may also have programs that would be of value.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Ruben

    Hi, I live in NYC and I filed for SSi back in April 2009. I was denied at all levels. I even went to Federal District Court and my case was remanded back to the ALJ. I just had my second hearing this past Tuesday, April 1st (the first hearing was in July 2010). Anyway, to, I suffer from depression (which has been severe at times), also anxiety and some form of bipolar disorder with psychotic features (according to my medical records). I’m currently taking Seroquel for depression and anxiety and I see a psychiatrist (once a month) and a therapist (twice a month). Was in the hospital for suicide attempt back in 2006 as well. I submitted all my records to the ALJ, except records from two hospitalizations which both happened in 2011 but I was not able to obtain those on time so I the ALJ had me sign a paper stating that they (SS) will obtain those missing records. That’s all that’s missing. Anyway, the hearing was long, it last nearly an hour and he mentioned that a supplemental hearing is possible as well as he might have to talk to a vocational expert. Is this vocational expert thing good or bad? If there is going to be a supplemental hearing, will it be a long wait again?? I waited over a year for this past hearing I just had. I’m really frustrated right now. I don’t have a lawyer and I never had one. I’m also 26 years old, I haven’t worked since 2007 (got fired for threatning to punch a supervisor in the face back in 2007) and I was expelled from school due to a low GPA and poor grades. I told these two things to the judge. What do you think of my case? Ur info would help ease my frustration. Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ruben,

      The fact that the District Court remanded your appeal to the judge is a good sign. It is also good that the judge is being thorough in getting your 2011 hospital records. The supplemental hearing with the vocational expert, if needed, will probably not occur until after the judge receives and reviews your hospital records. If you do have another hearing with a vocational expert and you disagree with anything the expert says, you have the right to ask questions of the expert or correct any misconception the expert might have.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • ivanetta

    I filed for ssi for my son who has a learning disability in Alabama in Feb 2010, he was approved there in June of 2010, I moved back home to Illinois that following sept of 2012 and by him having an IEP already set in place the school put in for benefits here in Illinois,dds sentletter that stated he was still disabled under there rules in July of 2013 the 23rd to be exact. I would like to know how does a concurrent reconsideration case goesand what to expect next now that his file has been sent back for pprocessing, will they go back from the onset date in Alabama or fromillinos he was 5 when approved he is 12 now. Patiently waiting on chi

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ivanetta,

      I am not able to get a clear understanding from what you have written of the situation with your son’s SSI application. Could you please clarify a few points? Then I may be able to respond.

      1.Did you son start to receive benefits from his SSI application? If so, was he receiving them in Illinois after the move?
      2. Are you sure the DDS was processing a new SSI claim. It does not seem possible that the Illinois DDS would process an SSI claim when one had already been approved in Alabama. Could it be that your son’s claim up for a scheduled medical review of his existing claim to see whether he was still disabled? Another possibility is that Illinois has a state supplement that has some requirements beyond the federal standards to be newly eligible for state supplemental payment.
      3. You wrote “reconsideration,” which is an appeal of a denied claim or other adverse action, but you say your son was approved (twice). You don’t mention a denial. Did you mean “recertification”?
      4. To what entity is his file being sent for processing?

      Thanks,

      Kay

  • Samantha

    Hi,
    On SSI, can we sell things we own for cash without reporting it as income? Will this deduct my SSI?

    I have designer clothes and shoes that I have sold to people over the last months.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Samantha,

      Yes, you can convert a resource to cash by selling it. The cash you receive is not income; however, if you sell a resource (including excluded resources, such as a car), the money from the sale will count toward the resource limit if you still have it on the first of the following month. You do not have to report if you do not go over the resource limit, which is $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for couples.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Samantha

        Thanks!

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Samantha.

  • Grace

    I have many questions that the government is not clear on and I obviously don’t have money to pay an attorney. I have a mental disability and part of it is that I can’t hold a job, which is outlined in my disability. It got worse over the past 10 years and I have had a few jobs, but never held them for more than 6 months. I am not able to claim SSD because I do not have enough “credits” –5 years of straight working within the last 10 years. Although before 2001, I had jobs that paid a lot of money. I can’t hold a job, I am at a high level (Vice President) which takes a long time to get a job (although since 2001 have taken any and all jobs offered to me), this 5-year working rule doesn’t seem to be fair in my situation. So I am left with SSI which, although I have decreased my bills to almost nothing (and do nothing because I can’t afford anything, even tv), and running up my credit cards and debt, it is not enough to live on. It is way below poverty level, what is going on with our government. Not everyone is scamming, but the system almost seems to set honest people up to scam in order to survive.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Grace,

      It is true that it is difficult to live on the amount the Federal budget allows for SSI payments. It is also true that people who have gradually become ill sometimes don’t work regularly enough to be currently insured as is required for disability benefits by the time their condition becomes fully disabling. I suggest that you contact your state or county department of social services to see whether you quality for any benefits you may not be receiving, such as food stamps or energy assistance for heating bills. You might also look into whether you qualify for subsidized housing. Additionally, some power companies have energy assistance programs and some telephone companies have special rates for disabled people. If you are well enough to work a few hours a week, the first $265 of gross work earnings ($285 if you have no other income) will not reduce your SSI payment. Finally, looking to the future, you may be insured for Social Security retirement benefits, which may well be more than your SSI.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Grace

        I also asked a questions above which stated that money received from a family member will result in a % being deducted from SSI. Does the $285. also hold true for both work or family help? can I take out a loan from a family member and not have it reduce my SSI? I have electric and food stamps, but have never heard of subsidized housing, is that help with paying rent? or does that mean living in a special government house? please tell me how to apply for subsidized housing.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Grace,

          I am now responding to the last two of your three questions. The first $85 of work earnings does not count to reduce your SSI; then there is a $1 reduction for every $2 you earn over that amount. This work incentive exclusion applies only to earned income, not to unearned income. For the Social Security Administration (SSA) to consider a loan from a family member to be a loan, there would have to be a real expectation and ability to repay, which it doesn’t sound as if you have.

          Subsidized housing can be either housing owned by a government entity or Section 8 housing. Section 8 housing is property owned by private landlords who have entered into an agreement with and have been authorized by the government to provide rental housing that is paid for in part by the government and in part by the tenant. The tenant usually has to pay one-third of his or her income toward the rent; the government pays the rest. Individuals who want to live in subsidized housing of any kind have to complete an application and qualify financially. In many areas there is a waiting list, so you could have to wait a while to get into the housing after you qualify.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

          • Grace

            THANK YOU so much for your time and consideration. You are really helping people who are lost by the ambiguous guidelines given to us by social security. smiley face.

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Grace.

      • Grace

        According to what I have been reading, the first $65. is not deducted — are your numbers correct? $265? where can I find this info to document?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Grace,

          As indicated in my response of March 18, if you have no other income, the first $85 of work earnings does not count ($20 general exclusion and $65 work earnings exclusion). SSI benefits are reduced one dollar for each two dollars above the excluded amount.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

  • Grace

    I have been getting SSI for 8 months now and recently had another interview –the ss department was questioning my ability to pay rent. I receive $720. from SSI, but my rent is $900. I have been using credit cards. Can a family member, a spouse I am separated from, my mother, give me money to supplement without messing with the amount given to me by SSI? I keep seeing this $2,000. a month limit in handouts, but by what means can I get this extra money without disturbing my SSI payment? Also, will have to show that they give me this money or can they just pay the bills I need paid? I am a private person and prefer that my family not know I am on disability.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Grace,

      Supplemental Security Income (SSI) has a $2,000 limit on resources. Resources means savings and other things you own. The $2,000 does NOT refer to income you can receive in a month. Any cash given to you over $20 a month is income and counts dollar for dollar to reduce your SSI. However, if someone pays your rent or utilities (not including phone) directly to the landlord or the utility compan or buys you food, then the maximum that will be counted is an amount equal to one-third of the maximum SSI payment or $240. For example, if a family member paid $400 or $500 or %600 directly to your landlord, only $240 would count against your SSI. One thing to note: if you family pays your phone bill directly or purchases you clothing or household soaps and paper products, those purchases do not affect your SSI because they are not shelter or food.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Grace

        thanks so much. Can I get a roommate to split the rent and if so, will that person have to be listed on government forms? I don’t feel comfortable having a roommate who knows my situation, it feels invasive.

        • Grace

          since my rent is $900., I was only going to get help for $200. –but if the government takes some of my pay away, I have to ask my family member for more money. that makes it more awkward. is there any way around this?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Grace,

          You can have a roommate to split rent and utilities and it will not affect the amount of your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as long as she pays no more than her equal share. The simplest would be for you to buy your food separately; otherwise, you would have to document sharing the food costs also. You will have to declare her in the household. You might be able to get around having to tell her that you are on SSI if you buy a receipt book with carbon copy forms and give her a receipt for what she pays. Then you can show Social Security the carbon receipt book and the rent and utility bills in your name to show she’s paying only her share. They might or might not accept that. They might require a statement from her regarding the amount she pays.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

  • lyttle combs, jr.

    also, i talked with my ssi worker today and she informed me that my claim was closed feb. 14, 2014. what exactly does that mean? Is that bad news?

  • lyttle combs, jr.

    thank you very much for your time and advice. lyttle combs,jr.

  • lyttle combs, jr.

    i was approved for ssi in march 2011. however i was incarcerated from may 21 2012 until december,2013. i had to sign back up so how long will it take before i hear something. and is this common and what are my chances of getting my benefits back. also had to have another physical exam. it has been around 75 days since i signed back up.. if approved, will i get backpay from the day i was released which was december 2, 2013.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lyttle,

      I am responding to your three posts. If you are still disabled and eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), benefits will begin the first of the month after the month in which you applied; or if you applied prior to release, the first full calendar month after release, that is, January 2014. I do not know what the SSI representative meant when she said that your claim was “closed February 14, 2014.” Usually “closed” would mean that your eligibility was terminated; however, eligibility is by calendar month so that seems unlikely. I suggest that you ask the representative what she meant.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • How long does it take to receive my back pay check from ssi.my social security account says it was mailed on 2/13/2014

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dorothy,

      If the payment was sent by mail, I think it should have been received by now. Is it possible that it was deposited directly to your bank account? If you have not received the payment by the 25th, you need to put in a claim for non-receipt so that the payment can be replaced.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • shelli heiss

    ive applied for benefits in 2020, i just had a ALJ hearing and am waiting for the decision. now ive just recieved a call from social security that i need to have an interview with ssi to fill out an application for ssi. i quess i was suspose to fill out this application when i signed up for ssdi. if my decision was to come back as approved, and my application appointment is scheduled until next week, is this gonna take awhile to process. how long will it take to finally get my money after ive been approved?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shelli,

      The guideline for the judge to issue a decision is sixty days, but many take longer. Once you receive the written decision from the judge, if it is an approval, it can take an additional sixty days to get payments started.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Didi

    My husband finally received a “fully favorable” approval letter from Social Security Disability after years of appeals. Yesterday he received another letter telling him he had to bring proof of just about everything (where he lives, ALL household expenses, car loans, etc.) and all MY paystubs before they can determine if he’s entitled to benefits. I refuse to give them MY information; I fail to see what all this information has to do with the fact that he’s sick and cannot work. Can you tell me why they are asking for all this information? Are they trying to deny him based on my income? Can they deny him based on my income?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Didi,

      Your husband apparently applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is one of the two disability programs that the Social Security Administration (SSA) administers. SSI is paid to disabled persons whose countable income and assets are below a certain limit. The government deems (considers) that families are financial responsible for their family members. Therefore, a portion of your income may have to be considered in calculating whether he is eligible for SSI. If you refuse to provide the requested information about your income and assets, his SSI claim will be denied and nothing paid. He may also lose eligibility for Medicaid health insurance which in many states is a secondary benefit to getting SSI. For additional information about SSI, you can visit the articles under the SSI tab on disabilityadvisor.com

      Your husband’s and your income and assets do not affect eligibility for SSD. If you husband also applied for Social Security Disability (SSD) and he had sufficient work credits on the date that Social Security says his disability began, he will be eligible for SSD without your providing your financial information. If your husband has at least twenty-four months of back SSD benefits coming, he will also be eligible for Medicare health insurance.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Ralph

    Hi Kay, I receive SSD now for about 3 years is there any way to get more money since SSA never tells you the rules about how things work, also they told me I get to much monthly to receive SSI?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ralph,

      Your Social Security Disability (SSD) benefit amount is based on your work earnings up to the time you became disabled. Your payment amount will change only under two circumstances. First, if there is a cost-of-living adjustment because the cost of living as recorded by the consumer price index has increased in the prior year. Your check received in January 2014 should have included a 1.5% increase. Second, if you work while disabled and earn substantially more than one of the years prior to becoming disabled, your claim could be recalculated. This would rarely occur for someone who is disabled.

      To get SSI, your Social Security and other countable income has to be less than $741.00. You might investigate state and local public assistance such as food stamps and energy assistance to help with your heating bill.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  • Sherry Morrisette

    Dear Ms. Kay,
    If I’ve been approved for SSI and decide to move, say to Calif. Will I have to reapply and go through the process all over again..?
    P.S. It took a year to get the benefits I was awarded. I appreciate your response please.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sherry,

      Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal assistance program available in all states. You will not have to reapply if you move to California, but your payment amount will have to be redetermined. You will have to provide information about your living arrangement in your new home. This means that you will have to provide information about who lives with you and how much you and any others in the household contribute for shelter and food expenses. It is worth noting that California is one of the states that pays a state SSI supplement for which you might be eligible to receive.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Sherry Morrisette

        Thank you very much.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Sherry.

  • Ruben

    Hi, I applied for SSI back in April 2009, so its going to be 5 years now dealing with this. I’ve been denied at all appeal levels, so I took my case to Federal Court in April 2012. In February 2013 the case was remanded back to the ALJ because the ALJ made many mistakes on my case when I went for a hearing in July 2010. I’m still waiting for the 2nd hearing and its been a year now that the case was remanded? How much longer is this going to take? I also stopped seeing my psychiatrist in June 2010. Is there any chance of getting approved? I don’t have an attorney by the way. Also, since I stopped my seeing the psychiatrist, if I get approved will the retroactive payments be from the day I applied for SSI until the day I stopped seeing the doctor, or will it be till some other day? Also, can I receive monthly checks if I get approved? I haven’t worked from the time I stopped seeing my psychiatrist in June 2010 up until now, I still get depressed and anxious at times (though its not consistent like before, now it just comes and goes, but when it does come it gets severe to the point where I don’t even want to eat), I also had a short temper as well, and I still do to this day. I got fired from my job for poor performance a few years ago, before I even started treatment. I honestly don’t feel like I can handle the stress of a job right now. Should I go back on treatment again? And if I do, will that affect my case in a positive way? Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ruben,

      Please see my response posted at 5:33 on January 19.

      Thanks,

      Kay

      • Ruben

        Hi, I don’t see a response from the date and time you mentioned. I see a gap from January 11th to the 20th. Thanks

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Ruben,

          Here is the response I wrote on Jan. 19.

          It will be more difficult to establish disability during periods that you have not been getting treatment because there is little proof of your condition or your limitations. If you are approved back to the date you claimed, your SSI benefits will start in May 2009. It is hard to say how long they will continue without a continuing record of treament.

          If you are really not sufficiently “energized” to get up and go to work, I would encourage you to get professional care and continue with it even in periods you don’t feel too bad.

          It would be a good idea to secure an attorney if you can find one who will take your case given the lack of medical records.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

  • Allie Van D

    I’ve received a payment on January 2, 2014 for a SSI when I haven’t received anything from Social Security about being approved for my benefits?
    I had been receiving benefits on a child’s claim until last year when I turned 18. I have reapplied, but I never got a letter for approval or disapproval. ALSO – I was sent a packet from Social Security to see another psychiatrist about my condition next week.
    Am I approved, or was this a mix up?
    (I didn’t send the check back yet, I haven’t opened it – should I return in to the Social Security office with VOID written on it?)
    Thank you, so much.
    x

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Allie,

      It would appear either the request or the check is an error. Before you cash the check or void it out, call the person who sent you the request to go to an exam and see whether they still show your claim as pending a medical decision or that a decision has been made. If they say the decision was made and there is no need to go to the exam, then you were probably approved. I would, nonetheless, also call your Social Security claims representative to confirm the approval before cashing the check. (By the way, it is not uncommon to receive payment before the approval letter, but the examination request makes the approval suspect.)

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • mary

        Hi i called Social Security and did an application for SSD and SSI and i was told because I have two vehicles one worth 5000 and 1 worth 8000 bought 1 for my daughter and she pays the loan I can’t live on just the SSD what should I do should I put the car in someone else’s name or sell it,my daughter needs the car sosi my sister took over the loan and like to order. Har would I be able to get the SSI and should I wait in between any amount of time the time I give my sister the car and have her take over the loan. Thank You kay.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Mary,

          First be sure that if did not have excess resources that your SSDI income or other income would allow payment of SSI. You do not say how much your estimated Social Security Disability (SSD) is. The maximum federal Supplemental Security Income is $721, which will be reduced by all but $20 of your SSDI. If live in a state that has a state SSI supplement, then if your SSDI would reduce the combined federal and state amount.

          If you qualify for SSI in terms of income and you give away the car, including putting it in someone else’s name, the asset that you give away will make you ineligible for SSI for the period of time over which you could have supported yourself (at SSI support levels) had you sold the car instead of giving it away. How long you would be ineligible depends on the amount of SSI you would otherwise be eligible for.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

  • Umang Mehta

    Hi Kay
    MY father is retired and going to apply for SSI in NC. My mother is dependent on my father. my mother does not work. My parent are going to leave with a relative by paying them Rent $800 Including utilities. No food included. Need to apply for Food Stamp. My father get $355.00 from Social security. No other income.

    Question: This is my parent situation. Need guidance?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Umang,

      The Social Security Administration is going to want to know how your parents can pay $800 a month rent when they have only $355 a month income. For example, are they using savings? Is someone else paying the rent?

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Kim

    Hi Kay
    I have a head injury and memory problems I filled for ssi and ssdi in July. I was sent to a psychiatrist by dads for a cognitive memory test. I just received a letter stating now they want me To go for a more formal cognitive memory test and iq test with a psychologist . I’m trying to find out if this is a good thing . And why this is happening

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kim,

      Please see my other reply of earlier today. You are being asked to have another examination because more information is needed for Social Security to decide whether or not you are eligible for benefits. Be sure to attend the apparently more extensive examination. If you do not attend, your claim will be denied.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  • Jocelyn

    I applied for SSI Disability during my medical retirement from active duty. I was denied benefits twice and I received a letter and paperwork to submit for a hearing. I stated that I am unable to appear before the judge due to the situation will irritate my condition but I have not heard anything. I have since moved from my previous address due to my retirement and I do not know how to update my address information. In addition to my move, my paperwork for my claim and the letter for the hearing has been misplaced by the movers so I am not able to find the information to inquire about my hearing. How can I find out about my case and status?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jocelyn,

      You do not say whether you actually filed the hearing request or not. A call to the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 should tell you whether you have a hearing pending and if not, the date of your reconsideration denial. Social Security must receive your appeal within 65 days of the date of the denial. Tell the representative that you want to file a hearing and request the papers be sent to you. The date you call will be treated as your hearing application date (though you must also complete the necessary papers.

      Whether or not you have already filed your request for a hearing, two things are very important. First you need to legal representation for your hearing as soon as possible. (See below about how to find an attorney who is well-experienced in Social Security Disablity claims.) Second, your chances of being approved are much higher if you appear at the hearing. If you do not appear, even though you give reasons, the judge has far less to go on than if you are there answering his or her questions. Of course, you do not want to exacerbate your condition unnecessarily, but being present at the hearing is very important to your claim. Keep in mind that you can have someone you trust attend the hearing with your for support and you would also have your attorney in your corner.

      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 at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • John P. Winant

    I am lost

  • Renee

    I receive SSI benefits, but the ADLJ appointed a representative payee. I didn’t really understand at the time what that was and how it worked. I didn’t understand why one was appointed since my case was not based on my inability to handle money, but on a personality disorder. My question is, if it’s more than 60 days since the decision, how do I go about getting the SSI paid to myself? I’ve always been able to pay bills and such. It’s not an improvement in my condition because it was never a problem. Would the change affect my benefit amount if I was never incompetent to handle my finances in the first place. I get the full amount allowed now and my sister is my rep. payee.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Renee,

      To have the benefits paid directly to you, you need to give Social Security medical information that supports that you are capable of handling your own funds. I suggest that you talk with your treating psychiatrist or psychologist. If your medical professional agrees with you that you can handle your funds and have been able to all along, ask him or her to write a letter saying that you are capable and that you have been capable since before the date Social Security found you to be disabled. Then take that letter to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and ask for the paperwork to complete to become your own payee. Social Security guidelines will likely result in SSA contacting your sister to see if she has any concerns about direct payment.

      A couple notes: First, you can potentially become your own payee at any time, including after the 60-day appeal period has passed. Second, you are right to bring up the issue that establishing that you are capable of handling your funds could result in an investigation that you may have recovered from your disability. You have already indicated that this is not true, so it is important for your provider’s letter say that your disability has not affected you ability to handle money.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  • richard

    I am age 54 and have not worked in years. Can someone tell me how much I would receive if I were approved for SSI or SSI disability? I can’t understand the way they are explaining it on their website. The dr. has recently disabled me. I do not own any assets.
    Thanks,
    rmccourt223@gmail.com

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Richard,

      The amount of SSI you can receive depends on your income and, if you are married, on your wife’s income and the number of minor children you have in the household. It also depends on whether the income is earned or unearned, in cash or in-kind, and not all income counts. There are some exclusions. The maximum SSI payable in 2013 is $710, which you would receive if you have no countable income. The best thing to do is to apply for SSI disability and get a formal determination of disability and payment amount.

      Assistance with your application may be useful to getting an approval for SSI.

      Best regards,

      Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Richard,

      If you are approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability, the maximum federal benefit is $721.00 monthly and is paid to individuals with no countable income. If you are married and living with your spouse, part of our spouse’s income may be deemed (considered) to be yours (available for your support) and will reduce your benefit. If you are not married but receive free food or housing from someone, the maximum benefit will be reduced possibly to as low as $480 monthly.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • ok I have been denied. well I called @ they said it doesn’t matter how I file my appeal, what ever way was comfortable for me. then I receive a call from a woman telling me that she was my social security person, & I didn’t have to do anything, she was doing it for me I haven’t heard from her or social security so I don’t know whats going on in my appeal process, please help me with awsers

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Judy,

      Because you have been denied, it is time for you to get legal help with your claim. A knowledgeable attorney will analyze why you were denied and address the points that need to be made to overturn the denial and win you benefits on appeal. I recommend obtaining a Social Security attorney to handle your appeal. You pay the attorney only if you are awarded benefits, so there is no financial risk. The attorney fee is set by Social Security and Social Security pays your attorney automatically from part of your back pay. All very easy.

    • raquelle lilly

      Kay derochie…I was told that a decision was made on my case and I should receive an award letter but I been waiting since October..how much longer will my wait be?.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Raquelle,

        If you were approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI) at a hearing, it can take two or three months after you get the approval letter for benefits to start. If you were approved on initial claim or reconsideration, the time frame can be shorter. If you were approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and have not had an interview for a financial update, contact your local Social Security office and request an appointment for the interview.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • anthony vaughn

          Kay,
          I’ve been on disability for 5 years, and I just started college online and only taking one 3 hour class online every 5 weeks. I study only an hour and a half a day. I am 50 years old with physical complications from diabetes and deal with leg joint pain, which I am presently taking Dr. prescribed medication for. I was sent a letter from the Social Security Administration called a ” Disability Update Report ”
          Questions: How do they find out about you going to college ? Although I am 50 years old, and attending classes online and taking up one 3 hour class every five weeks, with study time, only an hour to an hour and a half a day. I am 50 years old, would my age be in my favor in determining me keeping my benefits? Do you think that they would stop my disability based on this information that I gave you ? I would like toknow what I can do to keep my beneficts from being stopped. I would appreciate you advice on this very much,
          Anthony

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Anthony,

            I doubt that the Continuing Disability Review was initiated as a result of your taking online courses. It is routine for claims to be reviewed with a future disability review date of a certain number of years. If you are still really disabled and have ongoing medical care to support that your condition has not improved, your benefits should continue. I suggest that you let your doctors know that your claim is being reviewed and that you or Social Security may request information from them.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

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