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Disability

Social Security Disability Backlog Tops 1 Million

There are currently more than 1 million Americans waiting for a disability insurance determination from the Social Security Administration.

About 10.5 million people get disability benefits from Social Security. An additional 8 million get disability benefits from Supplemental Security Income, the disability program for low-income people who don't qualify for Social Security.

Quick Answers to Several Social Security Questions

This post has very good answers to the following questions :

Q. I am 61 but want to work until age 70. What happens to my wife if I die before I start retirement benefits?

A. The wife will receive survivor benefits equal to your retirement benefit, less any benefit she may be receiving.

Q. Why wasn't I offered retroactive benefits?

A. Retroactive benefits can't be paid prior to age 66.

Q. I am raising a grandchild who has a father in prison and an irresponsible mother. Can the child get benefits on my record?

Disability Applicant Claim Denied on Appeal

A woman recently appealed her inability to be awarded Social Security disability by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit affirmed the decision of the ALJ, meaning the woman was not awarded Social Security disability payments.

Although this is one specific case, it is instructive to read the decision if you're considering filing for or appealing a Social Security disability decision.

Social Security Disability Benefits Taxable if Your "Base Income" Exceeds $25,000 or $32,000

Just like Social Security retirement benefits, Social Security disability benefits are taxable if your "base income" exceeds $25,000 (single) or $32,000 (married).

Your "base income" includes half of your Social Security benefits, plus other income (including tax-exempt interest).

One-Page Overview of Social Security Disability

Here's a good overview of Social Security disability which answers the following questions :

Who does the SSA consider disabled?

What is the SSA’s definition of disability?

What evidence does the SSA require to prove my medical condition?

What if my medical condition is not in the Blue Book?

Does the SSA have any other requirements for disability benefits?

What if I am able to earn a small income?

If I am unable to work, am I guaranteed disability benefits?

Are SSI and Social Security Disability Payments Exempt from Bankruptcy Claims?

If you receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits and file for bankruptcy, your checks are usually safe.

If your benefits come from SSI, which is a welfare program for the needy, they are always exempt from creditor claims.

However, SSDI payments technically qualify as "work" income, so they may be subject to bankruptcy claims.

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Good Article on Social Security Benefits for Divorced People

This is a good article which outlines Social Security benefits for divorced people. The article refers to "divorced women", but it also applies to divorced men (especially if the woman had higher earnings).

Excerpt :

The law says a divorced woman, who was married to her ex-husband for a minimum of 10 years, is due essentially the same benefits as a woman who is currently married to her husband.

National Social Security Advisor Certification Available

If you're looking for advice on Social Security benefits, it may be useful to find someone with the "National Social Security Advisor" certification.

Although the NSSA appears to be a privately issued certificate, it seems to convey some level of knowledge about Social Security benefits. Finding a financial advisor with NSSA certification may be something worth exploring.


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Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration