The touchstone in disability cases is the ability to work. More specifically, the test is whether an individual can perform a Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). One of the first tests of whether work is SGA is earnings. In 2015, earnings of $1,090 per month (before taxes) suggests the work is SGA.
However there are exceptions to this. One of these is for sheltered work as defined in 20 CRF404.1574(a)(3). Here is what you need to know: Continue reading Disabled soldiers: WTU earnings and Social Security disability (what you MUST know)
As if being disabled isn’t enough. You lost your earning power, your savings, your private health insurance. And in the two years it took to get Social Security to approve your disability case, you have go rack up massive credit card bills just to get by.
Now the collections agencies are calling and sending nasty letters.
What can you do? Can Social Security benefits be garnished by a creditor?
Continue reading Can creditors garnish Social Security benefits?
This one will make you mad! Social Security frequently has single decision makers (SDMs) complete forms describing what an individual can and cannot do in the workplace.
What’s a single decision maker?
- It’s not a doctor.
- It’s not a PA.
- It’s not a nurse.
Give up? A single decision maker is the title given to the Social Security technician who decides if you are disabled. That’s right! A SDM is a bureaucrat! Continue reading Playing doctor: SDMs in Social Security disability cases
Disabled children under age 18 can receive Social Security disability benefits under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, or “Child’s SSI.” In order to qualify for children’s disability benefits, Social Security requires that the child:
- Is not working at a job that Social Security considers to be substantial work; and
- Has a physical or mental condition (or a combination of conditions) that results in “marked and severe functional limitations.” This means that the condition(s) very seriously limits his or her activities; and
- The condition(s) has lasted, or is expected to last, at least 1 year or is expected to result in death.
Note: some conditions result in presumptive disability decision. If your child has one of these condition, he or she may be able to be instantly approved.
However, the majority of children’s disability cases focuses on the second part, the requirement of that a condition produces “marked and severe functional limitation.” There are several ways of doing this: Continue reading Social Security Disability Benefits for Children
What does it mean if the Administrative Law Judge or Vocational Expert mentions “non-competitive work” during a Social Security disability hearing?
“Non-competitive” refers to types of work:
- Competitive work is, well, just regular work; with no set-asides, no accommodations beyond the norm.
- Work that is performed under special circumstances or that is set aside for disabled individuals (for example: work through Goodwill Industries) is typically viewed as “non-competitive.”
SSR 05-02 (a Social Security Ruling) provides guidance about what constitutes “work under special condition.” Continue reading Social Security Hearings: Competitive and Non-Competitive Work
If your Social Security disability case has been denied. You need to know how long you have to file your appeal. You only have so much time before your deadline.
If you miss that window of opportunity, you may be back to square one.
So, here is how to make sure you get your appeal in on time! Continue reading How long do I have to appeal my Social Security disability denial?
If you are like most people, you probably have never had to think about what you would do if you became disabled. What would you do if you suddenly could not work? How would you pay your rent or mortgage? How would you afford to see your doctor? Continue reading What disability benefits does Social Security provide?
I was recently asked if Social Security child’s benefits continue for a full-time student who is 18 or over.
Here is the answer in a directly from Social Security:
No. At one time, SSA did pay benefits to eligible college students, but the law changed in 1981. Benefits stop when a child reaches age 18 unless he or she:
- Is disabled; or
- Attends a secondary (grade 12 or below) or elementary school full-time.
In general, benefits end when:
- The student graduates [high school]; or
- The student turns age 19 and two months, whichever is first.
Normally, benefits stop when a child reaches age 18 unless he or she is disabled. However, if the child is still a full-time student at a secondary (or elementary) school at age 18, benefits generally can continue until he or she graduates or until two months after he or she reaches age 19, whichever is first.
Here are the applicable regulations: Continue reading Can a 18 year old full time student still get Social Security child’s benefits?
Children can get Social Security benefits if they have a parent who is receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI). 20 CFR 404.350 is the regulation dealing with who is entitled to Social Security child’s benefits. Generally, the child has to qualify as the parent’s child (more on this in a moment), be dependent on the parent, unmarried, and under 18.
What happens in cases of grandparents, step-parents, or parents who adopt children? Are their children entitled to Social Security child’s benefits?
Continue reading Can adopted children receive Social Security because of parent’s disability?
When a disabled individual receives Social Security disability insurance benefits (also known as DIB, SSDI or Title 2 benefits), their spouse and/or minor children may also be eligible to receive Social Security benefits. These benefits paid to the spouse or minor child are called “auxiliary benefits.”
Wait a minute, I’m on SSI, but my kids didn’t get any Social Security benefits.
Continue reading What are Social Security auxiliary benefits