Tag: social security

Commonly Approved Conditions for SSDI

Commonly Approved Conditions for SSDI

Commonly Approved SSDI Conditions
Do you have a question about a commonly approved SSDI condition?

Commonly Approved SSDI Conditions

Have you or a family member been struggling with a disability? Has this disability made it impossible to work as a result? Consequently, people who would most benefit from assistance don’t think they will be approved. Check out this comprehensive list of commonly approved SSDI conditions.

Cancer

If your cancer symptoms or treatment have made it impossible for you to work, you will probably qualify for social security. This is especially true if the cancer has metastasized (spread to other parts of the body) or is in its later stages. Recently diagnosed cancer patients do not normally receive coverage until they begin treatment.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, is a disabling disease of the nervous system. The disease begins slowly. Most persons with MS will not know it for many months. However, MS can get worse fairly quickly. Full diagnosis effects the probability of approval. By the time a social security hearing is scheduled and completed, the disease will have progressed. This means that your chances of qualifying is much higher after some time has passed. So, people with MS will most likely find approval for SSDI.

Heart Problems

Heart problems occur commonly in older people. So often, heart problems come along with numerous additional disabilities. Full diagnosis with any other conditions you may be suffering from can make or break your case. These can include any circulatory system problems, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Once fully diagnosed, include these details thoroughly in your case description. These more minor disabilities are not as commonly approved SSDI conditions.

Mental Disorders

There is a wide range of conditions under the “mental disorder” label. Conditions that may qualify are neurocogitive disorders, intellectual disabilities, schizophrenia, autism, and also learning disabilities.  Neurocognitive disorders can range from Alzheimer’s disease to the effects of a traumatic brain injury or stroke. Intellectual disabilities refer to a low IQ. Anxiety and other mood disorders are the most common mental disorder to be approved for social security. Many people who apply for this reason worked their whole lives, possibly with their condition.

Back Problems and Musculoskeletal Disorders

Musculoskeletal disorders, or those that affect your bones, joints, and muscles, are very commonly approved SSDI conditions. Degenerative disc disease, a spinal injury, or amputation may also qualify. Many of the musculoskeletal disorders can cause back problems. Older people tend to also suffer from back problems the most.

Conditions Not Approved

Social Security is a way to support those with disabilities and their families. Not disabled? No coverage. If you do suffer from a disability but still work, you will not find coverage. Many of the above listed conditions may be manageable to continue working. For instance, some sufferers of anxiety are able to use self-care methods or medicine to control their symptoms. Someone suffering from back problems may work in an environment where they are able to move about freely, and may remain at work. Certainly, the severity of the condition is a big factor in what is approved and what is not.

What’s Next if I have one of the Commonly Approved SSDI Conditions?

Do you suffer from one of these commonly approved SSDI conditions? Has this condition worsened? We are ready and willing to help. Be sure to fill out our Contact Form, to the left this page. This handy form will help us- and you!- understand what you may quality for. So, call (602) 952-3200 today!

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute a representative-client relationship.

Are You Getting Enough from your Social Security Disability Insurance?

Are You Getting Enough from your Social Security Disability Insurance?

how much ssdi
Wondering how much SSDI you should be receiving? Contact SSDA USA today!

Many people receiving Social Security Disability Insurance assume they are receiving the correct amount. Usually, they are. But there are a variety of factors that can influence how much SSDI you receive.

Here’s the gist:

It’s impossible to know right off the bat how much an individual will make from their SSDI. There are many factors to consider, everything from work history to disability status. Because of this, let us from Social Security Disability Advocates USA explain some common factors that affect how much SSDI you and your family can receive.

Employment Income

To qualify for SSDI, an individual must have a condition that 1) will result in death, or 2) has lasted or will last for no less than a year, and 3) prevents them from working above the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) limit (which, in 2018, is $1,180 or $1,970 for blind people).

You must consult your total work credits and work earnings to calculate your monthly SSDI payment. For most people, 40 work credits (approximately 10 years of work) is the prerequisite for collecting SSDI benefits. Younger people do not need as many credits, however. When calculating SSDI, SSA agents use a formula on your work earnings to figure out how much SSDI you will receive monthly. Check out this SSDI calculator for more info.

If you earn a monthly amount equal to or greater than the SGA, your benefits will likely stop. Working part-time and earning below the SGA will not necessarily stop your benefits, but you could see a significant reduction.

Medical Improvement

The entire point of SSDI is to aid disabled individuals. If you see any kind of medical improvement, you could see a reduction or even a halt of your benefits. A medical improvement is any kind of improvement that would allow you to go back to the work you were doing before, or even some new kind of work.

Incarceration

Crime charges and incarceration for more than 30 days will result in the reduction or cancellation of your benefits. You will be able to reinstate your benefits once you leave, but you will not receive any Social Security benefits while you are in jail/prison.

Family Changes

Sometimes, certain arrangements in the family can reduce or cancel benefits. For example, if you are a dependent receiving SSDI based on your parent’s record, your benefits will likely end if you turn 18 or get married. If you are receiving SSDI benefits based on your own record, however, getting married will not affect your SSDI benefits. Reaching retirement age also cancels your SSDI benefits, since you cannot receive Social Security disability benefits and Social Security retirement benefits in tandem.

Still Wondering How Much SSDI You Qualify For?

If you still have questions about Social Security, Social Security Disability Advocates USA is here to help! We work tirelessly to help you with any concerns you have, so call us anytime at (602) 952-3200. Additionally, you can contact us online and utilize our LiveChat feature. Don’t wonder anymore about Social Security. Contact us today!

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.

Holidays and Your SSDI (What you Need to Know)

Holidays and Your SSDI (What you Need to Know)

what can social security money be used for
Have questions such as ” What can Social Security money be used for? ” SSDA USA is here to help!

While the Social Security Administration (SSA) does its best to serve retirees, the impoverished, and the disabled, there are so many rules that it can be difficult to understand important information. Questions such as, “ What can social security money be used for? ” and “ How does work affect my social security? ” are quite common, especially during the holidays.

Here’s the bottom line:

Social Security isn’t as complex as it seems. Once you unravel the thread, the rules of Social Security are much easier to decipher. So, allow us from Social Security Disability Advocates USA explain the basics to you.

What is Social Security?

Social Security is a federally run program that aids people who are retired, impoverished, or disabled. There are a variety of programs that are run by the Social Security Administration, and they all have distinct rules on how to qualify.

Let’s go over them now:

Social Security Disability Insurance

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is for people who are disabled. The SSA defines “disabled” to mean that 1) You suffer from a condition that is expected to result in death, or 2) That has lasted or is expected to last for 12 months, and 3) You are unable to earn above the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) limit.

The SGA for 2018 is $1,180 per month, or $1,970 if you are blind. For 2019, the SGA is $1,220 or $2,040 if you are blind.

Earning above the SGA will result in the loss of your SSDI benefits.

To qualify for SSDI, generally, you must have earned 40 work credits. If you earned the maximum number of credits (4) per year, then that equates to 10 years of work. Younger people need to have earned fewer work credits, generally.

Supplemental Security Income

Supplemental Security Income is for people with limited resources who are blind, disabled (still according to the SSA definition of disabled), or age 65 or older. There are no work credits required, and qualifying for this program is entirely need based. It is possible to qualify for both SSI and SSDI.

Retirement Benefits

Retirement benefits can be collected as early as age 62. However, you’re usually better off waiting until your full retirement age (anywhere from 65-67). This is because the SSA will reduce your benefits if you retire before your full retirement age, so be careful when you choose to retire.

Before you collect retirement benefits, you must have earned 40 work credits. The SSA uses a formula to calculate how much you will receive. In short, the more you earned during the time you were working, the more you will receive.

When Do I Get my Social Security?

When you get your Social Security payment depends on a few factors. 1) The type of Social Security you qualify for, and 2) Your birthday.

If you’re receiving SSDI, your birthday determines when you will receive your payments:

  •         1-10: Second Wednesday of the month
  •         11-20: Third Wednesday of the month
  •         21-31: Fourth Wednesday of the month

When Wednesdays occur on federal legal holidays, you will be paid the Tuesday before.

This means that for December, 2018, people born on the 21st or later will receive their benefits after Christmas, so prepare in advance for holiday shopping!

If you’re receiving SSI, you should receive your payment on the first of the month. If the first of the month is a federal legal holiday, you will receive your payment the day before, unless the first is a Monday. In that case, you will receive your payment the Friday before the first.

If you receive both SSDI and SSI, you should receive your payments on the third of the month. If the third falls on a weekend, you will receive payment the Friday before.

You should also keep in mind that Social Security benefits become available to you the month after you become eligible, usually. For example, if you become eligible in November, 2018, you will not receive your benefits until December, 2018.

How Do I Receive my Benefits?

The Social Security Administration stopped mailing paper checks effective March 2013. Because of this, there are now two new methods you can choose from:

Direct Deposit

You can choose to have your Social Security payments deposited directly to your bank account. This is a highly popular option since you don’t have to worry about losing your check or that funds will not be transferred if you are out of town.

Direct Express® Debit Card

The alternative to direct deposit is reloading your Direct Express® debit card. This card works anywhere that accepts MasterCard®. You can also use this card to get cash back from grocery stores, or to purchase money orders.

How Does Seasonal Work Affect My Social Security?

Seasonal work can affect your SSDI or SSI payments, depending on a few factors. It is important to first note that seasonal work does contribute to your Social Security work credits.

If you have SSDI, earning above the SGA limit can reduce or entirely cancel your benefits. However, there is a safety net: the trial work period. The trial work period is a nine-month period in which you still receive your SSDI benefits while working. This is to encourage disabled individuals to go back to work, if possible. If your work attempt is unsuccessful, or you were let go because of your disability, you will still continue to receive your SSDI benefits. In addition, if you continue to earn above the SGA after nine months, you will no longer be considered disabled, and your SSDI benefits will stop.

If you have SSI, earning above certain income limits, or possessing above certain asset limits, can reduce or cancel your benefits. For 2018, the individual income limit for SSI is $750 per month, and the asset limit is $2000 ($3000 if a couple). Unlike SSDI, SSI does not offer a trial work period, and the moment you obtain SGA, your benefits will stop. Certain things such as receiving free food or shelter could be counted as income (called in-kind income), and a variety of other things (such as parental or spousal income) could affect SSI eligibility.

What Can Social Security Money be Used For?

Many people wonder “ What can Social Security money be used for? ”Generally, there are few restrictions on what you can use your Social Security funds for. Restrictions include purchasing anything illegal, for example. However, just because there are few restrictions doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be wise with your money.

You should always spend your money on necessities before luxuries! Use your Social Security money to pay for food, your rent, your utilities, and other essentials before purchasing luxury items. In addition, purchasing luxury items can cause you to lose your benefits. For example, the asset limit amount is $2,000, so if you have more than that in the form of assets, your benefits will stop.

Have Questions About Social Security?

Contact Social Security Disability Advocates USA today! We at SSDA pride ourselves in our commitment to helping you with all your Social Security needs. If you have any questions about your Social Security, call us anytime at (602) 952-3200. Alternatively, you can contact us online or check out our LiveChat feature.

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.

Do Your Children Qualify for Social Security Benefits?

Do Your Children Qualify for Social Security Benefits?

child social security benefits
Have questions about child social security benefits? Contact us today!

Social Security isn’t just for adults. Your children may be eligible for child social security benefits based on certain conditions. So, let us at Social Security Disability Advocates break down some of the basics for you.

Social Security Disability Insurance

If you become disabled and are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), your child may be eligible for benefits, too. The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers biological children, adopted children, and dependent step-children to be children of a disabled individual. Generally, children must be younger than 18 years old. Your children must also have a valid birth certificate and social security number. Grandchildren and step-grandchildren may also qualify, but only if 1) their parents are no longer living, 2) they have lived with you for 12 months (or if under a year old, their whole lives), and 3) you provide at least half of their financial support.

The amount of SSDI benefits your children receive is dependent on how much you receive in SSDI benefits. The Social Security Administration puts a family limit of approximately 150% – 180% of your SSDI benefits. This means that if, for example, your family limit were 150% and you have two children, each child would receive 25% of your benefit. This is because you still receive 100% of your benefit, and both children receiving 25% make up the remaining 50%.

Your children will generally stop receiving benefits the month before they turn 18, unless they are still in high school. In that case, they will stop receiving benefits after they graduate or two months after they turn 19. If your child became disabled before age 22, they may continue receiving benefits indefinitely under some conditions.

Supplemental Security Income

Unlike SSDI, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can be given only to individuals who make little to no income and are 65 or older, blind, or disabled. SSI benefits cannot do not apply to a child based on a parent’s disability status. However, if the child suffers from a disability and makes little to no income, they may be eligible for SSI. The amount of SSI given varies state to state, so visit your local Social Security office for more exact information regarding payment. For 2018, children must meet the following requirements to qualify under the disability definition, and therefore be eligible for SSI:

  •         A child who is not blind must not earn more than $1,180 a month. A child who is blind must not earn more than $1,970 a month (these earning change annually)
  •         The child must have a physical condition, mental condition, or a combined physical and mental condition that result in “marked and severe functional limitations.” In other words, the child’s disability must severely limit their activities.
  •         The child’s condition must have been disabling, or expected to be disabling for a minimum of 12 months, or the condition must be expected to result in death.

When applying for SSI for your child, you will need information such as school records, medical records, and other such documents that give information about your child’s disability.

Still Have Questions About Child Social Security Benefits?

Contact Social Security Disability Advocates today! We work hard for you, and we are always available to answer your questions. Give us a call anytime at (602) 952-3200. If you prefer to contact us online, visit our website and check out our LiveChat feature.

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute a representative-client relationship.

Look Out for the Latest Spoofer Social Security Scams

Look Out for the Latest Spoofer Social Security Scams

social security scams
Keep an Eye Out for Social Security Scams!

Phishing scams are evolving! Usually, a scammer who phishes for information tricks the victim into entering personal information – such as credit card numbers, usernames, passwords, etc. – on a fraudulent website that looks and feels genuine. However, earlier this October, the Acting Inspector General of Social Security warned against a new and prevalent type of scam: spoofing.

What is Spoofing?

Spoofing is the malicious and fraudulent practice of sending communications from an unknown and suspicious source that is disguised as a source the receiver may know.

Essentially, people will receive a phone call that looks like it is from 800-772-1213. That is the authentic number for the Social Security Administration, but the call is not coming from the SSA. In fact, it could be coming from anywhere in the world. The scammers then take advantage of primarily the elderly and non-English speaking and pretend to work for the SSA. The scammers say that they don’t have all your information, e.g. your Social Security number, on file, or that they need more information to increase your benefit payment. In addition, such scammers may threaten to cancel benefits if you refuse to confirm the information they ask for.

In addition to this, RoboScams do just the same thing – just with a pre-recorded or synthesized voice, not an actual person. Both forms of scamming are prevalent, so be careful!

One man in Mercer County lost $2,200. An Austintown woman lost $13,000 to social security scams. Do not fall for these calls! Remember, Social Security employees will never threaten you, and they will never offer a raise in benefits for an exchange of information.

How Do I Avoid Social Security Scams?

There are a few things you can do to prevent being the victim of such scams.

  •         First, list your phone with the do-not-call registry. This will reduce the number of calls you receive from scammers and telemarketers.
  •         Next, sign up for your phone provider’s robocall alert service. Such a service notifies you that an incoming call may be spam or coming from a scammer.
  •         Third, download a call-blocking app. There are many free apps along with some you must pay for monthly that can intercept and reject robocalls before the call even reaches you.

What Do I Do if I am a Victim?

Of course, even after taking the necessary precautions, you still may receive phone calls from scammers trying to steal your information. The bottom line is this: if you receive a call that appears to be from the SSA but seems suspicious, hang up. The FCC recommends that you call 800-772-1213 (yes, the actual number for the SSA) and report the spoofing call. In addition, you can report the call on the SSA website. If you’ve already fallen prey to a scammer, contact the SSA immediately.

Have Further Questions About Social Security?

If you have any more questions about social security, Social Security Disability Advocates is here to help. You can reach us 24/7 at (602) 952-3200. If you wish to contact us online, visit our website and check out our LiveChat feature.

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute a representative-client relationship.