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Spacemom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-28-07 05:05 PM
Original message
Any advice?
I'm in the process of applying for SSI. My husband works and we just recently purchased a home, or I should say, he did, as I have no income. Should I even bother applying?

I'm currently dealing with major depression, diabetes and high blood pressure. Just filling out the forms online is causing major anxiety, I'm sure actually going in to turn everything in will really throw me for a loop.
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rusty60 Donating Member (15 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 06:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. You have a problem
Edited on Fri Mar-09-07 06:48 PM by rusty60
My family just went through this issue and since you are married your husband's income will keep you from receiving benefits much less having the money to buy a house. As long as you are legally married you have to include your husband. The idea that the house was bought by your husband while legally married will shot your claim down. We were told if we just lived together and not legally married then we could get benefits. Also, if you have bought a house within a six month period you could not even apply.(Rules change from State to State) Be honest because they will check records to see what you and your husband own. We could not apply because our total income was over 750/month. That is one reason some people get divorced so one partner can get help. Remeber it could takes years to even process a claim.
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Bluestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 08:16 PM
Response to Original message
2. Are you applying for disability?
I'm confused by the poster. I was just approved for Social Security Disability and there were no questions about my husband's income. My husband has a very good job and it would have definitely disqualified me if this were true. Maybe the poster is confusing disability with regular social security. The determination of the amount is based on how much you have paid in to the system and you are approved or turned down based on whether or not you can perform the job that you are trained to do.

My advice from my experience--get an attorney. I, too, filled out the forms online. The website is horrible, and asks for the same information over and over again. It took me 12 wasted hours to fill out these forms and I was turned down twice. I got an attorney and it took a year to get a hearing. If I had gotten an attorney in the beginning, I would have probably been accepted right away. The reason? The attorneys do this every day and know how to fill out the forms. The govt regulates how much the lawyers can charge--it is limited to 25% of your past disability claim. In other words if your claim date is 1/1/07 and you get approved 11/30/07, they take 25% of the amount for 11 months and nothing going forward. You should get an attorney who does nothing but social security disability cases--google it and start calling. They all charge the same (government regulates) so you can't be taken advantage of. Good luck to you.

If you don't get a lawyer, you can also call the local SS office and they will help you fill out the forms--fewer questions and they give you help.
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rusty60 Donating Member (15 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Big Difference
There is a huge difference between Soc Security and SSI. SSI which you stated you are applying for is not social security such as SSA. I would suggest you ask them before you fill out all the papers on-line and save you the time since the requirements for SSI does have an income level for a married couple.
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rusty60 Donating Member (15 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-09-07 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
4. Go to this site and it will explain what SSI is for.
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MaryBear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-26-07 12:26 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. The link provided by rusty60 is a good one
Edited on Mon Mar-26-07 12:27 AM by MaryBear
It will tell you what and how you qualify. If you do qualify for a program, the key will be to get your doc to clearly document your disability. Good luck.
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marcicj Donating Member (13 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-10-10 04:36 PM
Response to Original message
6. Sorry you are going through this
Why not contact an attorney and just ask. They have free consultations and will tell you if you qualify. Just a suggestion.
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-14-10 10:13 PM
Response to Original message
7. SSI or Social Security Disability??
The test for both are the same on the issue of Disability, i.e. if you are disabled for SSI you are disabled for Social Security Disability. The difference is how other income into the family is counted. SSI is presently set at $674 dollars per month (with most states supplementing that amount by $20 on up) but is reduced by any other income the the family is receiving for the same month. Social Security Disability looks only at your work history and set the amount of benefits on what you paid into Social Security. Notice the difference, SSI is a set amount reduced by any other income, Social Security Disability is a set amount based on your work history (i.e. Social Security Disability is NOT reduced by your husband's income, while any SSI is).

I mention this for many people confuse these two programs for both are run by Social Security, but the funding source is different (Social Security Taxes pay for Social Security Disability, General Revenues i.e. Income Taxes pays for SSI).

The issue of disability is the same for both programs, i.e. are you capable of working? If no, then you are eligible for both programs IF you meet the NON-disability requirements (i.e. Paid into Social Security, OR the income restrictions for SSI below).

SSI for a couple is set at 1 1/2 of the value of a Single person i.e. $1011 per year. This is the first step in determining Income eligibility. The second step is to determine your spouses source of Income (Is it "Earned" or "unearned income"). Since your Husband is working his income is "Earned Income". You take his gross income for the month (NOT his take home, his Gross income i.e. before taxes) then subtract $30, then you subtract 1/3 of the remainder (This is called the $30 and a 1/3 rule). The remaining amount is then used to reduce the SSI amount for a couple on a dollar for dollar basis starting at the $1011 SSI grant amount for a Couple.

Basically if your husband's Income is more the $1546 a month you are NOT eligible for SSI.

i.e. $1546-30=1516 1/3 of $1516=$505.26, thus you must subtract $505.36 from the $1516 income which equals $1010.74, but if your Husband earns $1547 less $30 equals $1517, 1/3 of $1517 is $505.67. $517 less $505.67 equals $1011.33, which exceeds the $1011 SSI amount for a couple.

Now, in addition to Income Restrictions you have asset restrictions when it comes to SSI (But NOT for Social Security Disability). The asset limit for a couple is $3000 PLUS the house they are living in (No matter the cost or if it is 100% paid for), one car (If needed for Medical treatment, which is about anywhere with the possible exception of New York City) AND household goods (i.e. whatever is in your home, no matter the price).

Now I did NOT go into the details of the Physical requirements of Disability for SSI or Social Security Disability for they are very detailed BUT I give you a word of advice, provide Social Security Every place you have sought medical treatment NO MATTER HOW LONG AGO, for something in the past MAY mention you present problems. Social Security can NOT rule you disabled without some sort of Medical evidence to support the decision you are disabled. Secondarily, if you are denied (and most people going for depression are) appeal immediately, do NOT wait to see an attorney, just file the appeal and then look for an attorney. I have had several clients come into my office AFTER the end of the 60 day appeal period because they thought only an attorney can file the appeal. In Social Security the appeal (Technically a Request for a Hearing) is a one page form that you just have to fill out with your name and address and return to Social Security. Just a word of warning, file the appeal as soon as you get the denial.
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