Benefits for parents of adult disabled children

I am 56 yrs old and have not worked for the past 14 yrs because I am caring for my child who was born disabled. Before that I only worked part time while raising 4 other child. My husband always worked, but he divorced me after 28 yrs of marriage, so he could enjoy life and did not enjoy the life with me caring for our disabled child.

If your ex-husband is receiving any kind of disability or retirement benefits, then your son may also be entitled to benefits. Depending on the situation, you may or may not be entitled to benefits if your son receives benefits on his father’s account. If your ex-husband is not receiving those kinds of benefits, then your son may be entitled to Supplemental Security Income. There are complex rules that apply. You should contact the Social Security Administration to apply for benefits for your son in the event he is not receiving SSI. If your ex-husband is not receiving benefits, your son is not entitled to benefits on the father’s account. The best way to contact the Social Security Administration is to call them at 1-800-772-1213 and set up an appointment to confirm what your son is eligible for, if anything. I would do that and then determine if you need to see a lawyer

I have been a homemaker for the last 20 yrs why can I not get ss disability through my husbands ss?

I have an auto immune disease called Hoshimoto’s disease I am on a lifetime dose of thyroid meds and if I don’t take them I risk stroke and poss coma. I am also disabled with copd (have a disable parking permit for that) My husband has a 401k that keeps me from rec medicaid through state assistance . I applied several times for ss disability but have been denied because I did not work… but what about my husbands ss am I not entitled to his benefits after 20/21yrs of marriage?

It is difficult to answer your question without more information. There are two programs that provide disability benefits to individuals. They are Social Security Disability and SSI. As you know, you are not eligible for the Social Security Disability on your own account because you do not have enough quarters. You are ineligible for SSI because of your husband’s income and possibly joint assets. You are only entitled to benefits on his account if you are age 62 and he is receiving either disability benefits or retirement benefits (assuming he is currently alive). If you are under age 62, and you are married to him and he is alive, you cannot be paid on his account.

Would vertigo qualify you for disability benefits?

I HAVE HAD CONSTANT VERTIGO FOR ALMOST 10 YEARS! I WAS A SUBSTITUTE TEACHER AND EVEN HAD TO QUIT MY JOB! I HAD TESTS DONE 9 YEARS AGO AND THEY DID DETERMINE THAT I WAS SUFFERING FROM VERTIGO BUT NOT MUCH CAN BE DONE TO HELP OTHER THAN VESTIBULAR REHAB. BUT EVEN THIS IS NOT VERY HELPFUL. MY QUESTION IS AM I ELIGIBLE FOR DISABILITY BENEFITS , AND WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO GET THEM? THANKS.

It is impossible to say it is if you are eligible for benefits based on what you have said. The general definition is that you are unable to do any kind of work full-time. The rules become more lenient after you turn age 50. If you feel you are unable to work in any job or you are over age 50, then you should strongly consider applying for benefits. You should hire an attorney. It is too difficult to do by yourself. You should hire someone before you apply. The process is long. It could take up to 24 months or more. You will probably not have any income during that time. You will probably need some kind of current diagnosis and treatment for the vertigo. It can be difficult to prove cases with testing from nine years ago. Under certain circumstances, you could work part time and still apply. The bottom line is that even if there is no definitive answer, you should consult with a lawyer about applying for benefits. There is typically no upfront cost to consult.

How long does it take to apply for benefits and get a reply?

The social security process is not a quick process. First you must apply. Generally there are two applications-one for Social Security Disability and one for SSI. After that, the SSA orders your medical records. They then usually set up appointments with private doctors for an evaluation. They will send you forms regarding your activities during the day and the kind of symptoms you have. After that, they will make a decision. That takes approximately 4 months from the time you apply. If you are denied, and you appeal, that next phase takes approximately 2 months. If you are denied a second time, you request a hearing. It takes approximately another 14 months for the hearing to take place. The approximate wait time is 20 months from the time of application to the hearing. After that, if you win, it is usually another 60 to 90 days to get the decision. It then take another 30 to 45 days for the monies to be paid.

Children and ADHD

Q. I am trying to get SSI for my son he has ADHD and I could use the help and the support. What is the next step?

A. If your son is 22 or under, he may make a child’s claim. Children’s claims are very difficult. They are usually more difficult than an adult claim. This is especially true of a claim for ADHD. Also, if he is under 18, the income of his parents can reduce or eliminate the benefit. Even if he is between the ages of 18 and 22, he can make a claim as an adult, but would have to give up some of the advantages of a child’s claim. The key advantage of being determined disabled as a child is that when one or both of the parents die, retire or become disabled, the child can be paid on the parents account and receive Medicare. You need to strongly consider getting treatment. Many people have ADHD and are able to work. You have to show it is serious enough to prevent fulltime work. Maybe it affects his concentration or maybe he distracts other workers. In order to show that, you typically need to get a current diagnosis and treatment. If he improves on treatment to the point he can work, he may entitled to benefits from the time he applies through the improvement.

Can I work and continue receiving benefits?

Q. Can I make money doing surveys for cash while on SSDI? I am deaf and on SSD for years. I recently discovered that I can make money answering surveys online last October & have made $530 in 2012 and filed taxes form under ‘other’ since I didn’t know how to claim those earnings. I haven’t reported it to the Social Security because I was thinking I am under SGA levels anyway & don’t have any w-2 forms or any paperwork showing my income, just deposits into my bank. Now I’m reading up on this and realize I probably should report it to them? Is it too late? Will they stop my benefits for doing surveys? I’m guessing that I can make maybe $5000 – $7000 in 2013 if I continue doing this. I am deaf and it’s hard for me to find a job so this is perfect way of supplementing my SSD income but I will continue only if I’m allowed to keep my benefits.

A. First, you should always report any earnings to Social Security. This is true regardless of the source and regardless of the amount. That way, they can never claim you did not tell them. I would let them know by certified, return receipt mail. I would make copies of everything I sent. That way, you have proof you notify them
Now, for the second and more important question. The Social Security Administration has determined that for the year 2012, the ability to earn $1010 per month is evidence that one can work and is not disabled. That is gross earnings. That means earnings before taxes. Each year has a different breakpoint. It has typically gone up each year beginning around 2001. You can look up the amount each year on the Internet or you can call Social Security. If your pre-tax earnings are what you claim they are, there should not be a problem. Remember, even if you are less than $1010 per month, Social Security can claim that your medical condition has improved and you are able to work. They use the $1010 per month to make a determination that once you reach that level, you are no longer disabled. However, earning less than that does not mean that you cannot be determined that you have improved. I believe at your level, you are pretty safe.
There is a program called Ticket to Work that is administered by the Social Security Administration. To be quite honest, I’ve never quite understood how the program works. You may want to talk to them about the details concerning that program. There are also very specific rules about returning to work and having a trial work period. It is too complex to discuss in this answer. You should talk to a Social Security lawyer about this issue.
In the meantime, you should report your earnings as described above. She then talked to a Social Security attorney about both the Ticket to Work and the trial work period. He may not be able to talk to a lawyer without paying them. In that instance, you may just want to speak with someone at the Social Security Administration. I would suggest not using the toll-free number. Rather, I would go into the local field office and talk about it with someone there. Typically, the people answering the toll-free number are not familiar with all of the rules. The people in the field office work in very specific areas and they have very specific answers.

Income after you have started receiving SSI

Q:My daughter is receiving an amount of money which will bring her over the $2000.00 limit allowed by SSI to have as an assest. What is the best way to handle this excess money and is she able to spend it down any way she wants?

A:Remember, she does not have to spend it, but she will lose benefits as follows. The month the money comes in the $2000 will be regarded as income and she needs to report it. If it stays in the account the next month, it is an asset and needs to be reported. She can spend the money any way she wants to, but it must be accounted for. That is to say, there must be a paper trail such as a check. It is best to use the money for a third party need-car insurance, food, etc. By that I mean that if she uses it to pay off a debt from a friend or relative, that could be a problem unless there is good documentation of the debt. Often, after reporting, it may take months for the Social Security Administration to make the adjustments.

Do Not Wait to Apply

Over the years, I constantly talk to clients who have waited years after they stopped working to apply for disability. Often they tell me they thought they might get better and get back to work. Other times, they were waiting for the right medical treatment to submit. That is a huge mistake. If you stop work, whether it’s because you were laid off, got fired or quit, and you have some physical or mental limitation that you feel prevent you from going back to work, at the very least you should talk to an attorney to see what rights you have and the practical effect of applying for either Social Security Disability or SSI. Even if you are laid off, it might be the right time to apply. Very often, people work with disabilities. They have an employer who is willing to work with them. Because of economic issues, the employor may no longer be able to keep that employee. Either because of the age of the employee or often because the condition gets worse, applying after you were laid off may make sense. Sometimes you may be fired or laid off because of your disability, but the employer gives another reason. If you feel you have been fired or laid off because of disability, you may have certain legal rights in addition to applying for Social Security Disability or SSI. I personally am not an expert in those other areas, but can refer you to attorneys who are. In the meantime, it is important to speak with me to see if the disabilities that you have and for which you may have been fired or laid off might qualify you for Social Security Disability or SSI. As you might expect, if you have quit because of disabilities, then that is the right time to speak to a lawyer. Waiting will not help the case. It might be that you will not qualify for Social Security Disability or SSI, but you will not know unless you speak with an attorney.

NPR and their series on Social Security Disability

Recently, NPR (National Public Radio) broadcast a number of stories in regard to social security disability. We, in the disability community, felt that many of the stories were misleading and inaccurate. The responses have been varied. Past Commissioners of the Social Security Administration wrote a joint letter of protesting the series as inaccurate and misleading. I include some links to the responses.
www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/04/18/177745599/former-social-security-commissioners-and-others-respond-to-our-disability-story

Disability in Florida

disability-ssiIf you are a Florida resident and have found yourself unable to work because of an injury, illness, or impairment, you may be eligible to receive disability benefits. We recommend you investigate eligibility for disability in Florida, disability for Social Security, SSI and disability, and worker compensation laws.

Working people in Florida do not have the benefit of state-mandated temporary disability insurance. However, our state does work together with the Social Security Administration to determine a person’s eligibility for the Federal long-term benefits.

To ensure that you have short-term disability, private insurance may be purchased, either individually or through your employer. It should be remembered that Social Security does not cover short-term disability. However, in those cases, you may be able to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation is designed to coSver you when you are out of work for a temporary illness or injury. If your medical condition turns out to be more permanent, then you may seek Federal benefits. In Florida, it is the Division of Disability Determination (DDD) which makes determinations as to the eligibility for these benefits.

Residents of Florida who apply for long-term Social Security Disability Insurance should apply directly to the Federal agency or to the state’s Department of Children and Families for assistance under Florida’s Medically Needy Program. This state program supplements Medicaid payments. As of August, 2010, Floridians could apply for these benefits while still working if their gross income fell to less than $900 per month.

To qualify for these benefits, you must be suffering an illness or injury that will severely impair your ability to work for at least one year. The disability may be either physical or psychological. When applying, it’s required that you provide medical proof of your condition from a physician with your benefits application. Applicants for benefits must also prove that they are unable to perform any work other than what is required by their current position.

This procedure may seem pretty simple. However, receiving your benefits without the assistance and support of an experienced disability attorney can be difficult. Unfortunately, qualifying for disability benefits can be difficult; in fact, at times it can seem impossible. Yes, the state and Federal disability systems exist to help you when you’re in need; unfortunately, convincing the government that you have a legitimate need for those benefits can be hard to accomplish. Having the help of an experienced attorney may greatly help your chances of being approved. There is much that disability lawyers can do for you; including helping you file your claim, processing all the complicated paperwork, and handling your appeal.

Having a professional and experienced attorney working with you can make a big difference for your claim. You have already been knocked down once by being left unable to work, you don’t need to be knocked down again by the very system that is supposed to help you get back on your feet.

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