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Hackensack Disability Law Blog

What is deeming with SSI benefits for children?

New Jersey parents who have a child who is disabled will often have questions about Supplemental Security Income. Understanding how parental income and resources are deemed when the decision is made whether the child can get SSI-related benefits is key. A disabled child under age 18 who has working parents might still be able to get SSI benefits. The Social Security Administration will assess the parental income and resources before making its decision. This is a foundational aspect of the SSA's decision.

There will be deeming when the parents have income and resources, and if the child is under 18 and lives with the parents or lives away at school but is home for weekends, holidays, when there are school vacations and the child is under the parents' supervision. Deeming will be applicable even if there is a stepparent in the household.

What medical evidence is necessary for disability benefits?

For people in New Jersey who are seeking Social Security disability benefits, there are various criteria that must be met before they can get an approval. One of the most important factors in the case is meeting the medical requirements. Evidence is integral to this process. The Social Security Administration must receive the evidence in the proper form. Knowing and following these requirements is imperative as many people who might otherwise have been approved for SSD benefits are denied for the simple fact that they did not give the proper evidence.

When the applicant has gotten treatment for the medical issue, evidence must be provided to the SSA. Included should be copies of the medical records, reports from doctors and recent test results. This is applicable for any injury, illness or condition that prevents or hinders the ability to work. The SSA will request this information from the treating sources, but, if the applicant already has the information, sending copies to the SSA will expedite the claim. However, if the applicant does not have the information, the application should not be delayed because of it.

What is the Listing of Impairments for SSD benefits?

Sometimes, the basics are the most complex matter for New Jersey residents who are seeking Social Security disability benefits. To be approved for SSD benefits, there are certain criteria that must be met. A key part of that is the Listing of Impairments. Knowing about this foundational aspect of getting disability is essential when a person has an illness, condition or disability that leaves them unable to work and in need of SSD benefits.

The Listing of Impairments describes the conditions that the Social Security Administration deems to be of sufficient severity that the person will not be able to perform gainful activity. Most are of a permanent nature or are believed to end with the person's death. Some items on the list have a duration for which they are expected to last. For other issues listed, they must be expected to last continuously for a minimum of 12 months. There is a Part A and a Part B in the Listings.

How is my income factored in with SSI benefits?

For New Jersey residents who are seeking Supplemental Security Income through Social Security disability, the word income has several meanings. The person who is receiving SSI might be getting income from other sources. There are rules as to what counts when calculating the SSI benefits and what is considered income. This is key when seeking and receiving SSI benefits.

There are four different kinds of income: earned income, unearned income, in-kind income, and deemed income. Earned income is wages from work, net earnings for those who are self-employed, certain royalties, honoraria (stipends and the like), and sheltered workshop payments. Unearned income is income that the person receives but did not work for, such as Social Security, a pension, interest, cash from others and similar payments. In-kind income is food or shelter that the person gets without paying or paying less than its market value. Deemed income is part of the income of the spouse or parents with whom the person lives, or a sponsor if the person is an alien.

Can I get SSD benefits and workers' compensation simultaneously?

For New Jersey residents who are receiving Social Security disability, there are times at which they are also getting other types of benefits. A concern that many have centers around how their SSD benefits might be affected by those other types of benefits. Workers' compensation benefits and other public benefits can impact how much the person receives in SSD benefits. If the benefits are from private sources, it will not affect SSD benefits. Veterans Administration benefits, state and local government benefits if taxes were taken from the person's earnings, or Supplemental Security Income are all shielded from reduction.

Since workers' compensation is paid after a work accident with injury or another condition, it is paid through insurers or a federal or state agency. Those who are getting SSD benefits and workers' compensation benefits will have the amount reduced, as the total received cannot go beyond 80 percent of what was earned prior to the disability. Any amount that surpasses 80 percent will be reduced commensurately from the SSD benefits.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and SSI

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a difficult condition to live with. The endless exhaustion can make simple tasks a challenge. While the major duties of a job sound daunting, even the little things take a toll. It’s a constant uphill march – and getting a medical diagnosis can be equally challenging. After the diagnosis, you may qualify for SSI under the right conditions.

What are the income limits to receive SSI benefits?

A person who lives in New Jersey and is blind, disabled or age 65 or older and has low income and limited resources can apply for Supplemental Security Income. There are certain rules that the person must follow. Included in those rules is a limit on their income. Before applying, the person must understand how much they can earn. If they earn too much, they might be ineligible.

Income is classified as a variety of different moneys that come in. It can be wages, Social Security, pensions and more. Similarly classified as income is food and shelter. All income that a person receives will not be counted toward the determination as to whether they qualify for SSI or not. The Social Security Administration will not count the following: the first $20 of income per month; the first $65 earned from work per month and half of whatever the person earns over $65; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits - previously referred to as "food stamps; if the person is given shelter from a non-profit; and most home energy assistance.

If I attend school and work, are my SSI benefits affected?

New Jersey residents who are receiving Supplemental Security Income will obviously meet the income requirements and have a qualifying disability. For those who are under age 22, however, they might want to attend school and work despite their illness, condition or injury. A problem that might arise is that the amount of money they earn could be considered too much to continue qualifying for SSI benefits. Fortunately, there is the Student Earned Income Exclusion.

This exclusion is a provision that allows anyone under the age of 22 who regularly attends school to exclude their earnings from SSI calculations. The amount changes on an annual basis and, for 2017, it is $1,790 per month and $7,200 per year. The changes are based on the cost-of-living index. This exclusion will be applied first prior to any other exclusion. The term "regularly attending school" must be understood before using this exclusion.

What are work incentives under Social Security Disability?

For many New Jersey residents who are receiving Social Security Disability benefits, their first goal is to return to work. However, they are confronted with the very real concern that they will try to work and find they are unable to continue. It is a worry as to whether they can get their benefits again and the speed at which this can occur. Fortunately, there are work incentives for those getting SSD benefits. Knowing what the work incentives are as well as their requirements is important before making the attempt to get back to work.

The person has the right to a trial work period. This is a set amount of time at which the person can try to get back to work for at least nine months. While using the trial work period, the person will keep getting the SSD benefits in full no matter how much they are earning. This is contingent on reporting to work and still having the disability. Currently, the trial work month will be a month in which the total earnings go beyond $840. For the self-employed, it will be a trial work month if they earn more than $840 post-expenses or work more than 80 hours in their own business. The nine months will fall within a 60-month period.

What should I know about a redetermination of my SSI benefits?

Getting approved for Supplemental Security Income through the Social Security disability program might give New Jersey residents some piece of mind, but they must be aware of certain rules and requirements to continue receiving SSI. For example, the Social Security Administration will review various aspects of the recipient's life to make certain that the payment amount is accurate. These aspects include income, resources and living arrangements. For a person who is married or is a disabled child under age 18 who still resides with their parents, the spouse or parents will also have the above factors reviewed.

These reviews are conducted once in one to six years. Even if the recipient reports changes to the SSA - as they are obligated to do - the SSA might still conduct a review. Redeterminations are done over the phone, in person or via mail. When it is done over the telephone or in person, the recipient will be informed in a letter as to what date and time it is scheduled. When it is done by mail, there will be a form to fill out, sign and return. Some people have a representative payee and that person can fill the form out and sign it for the recipient.