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