Monthly Archives: January 2012

Children Can Also Receive SSI and Disability Benefits

Many types of Social Security benefits are available not just for the person directly involved (the retired person or the disabled worker), but also for dependents in that person’s family. Children, in particular, are often eligible for financial support if their parent becomes disabled or passes away or if the child becomes disabled. Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits, which we discussed yesterday, are also available for children. To qualify for SSI benefits, a child must be under 18 or, if he or she is attending school, the child must be under 22. As with regular SSI benefits, the child must be blind or disabled. The definition of “disabled” is slightly different for children than it is for adult, though. The child’s condition must be expected to last longer than a year, and the disability must seriously limit the child’s activities. There are certain conditions that qualify a child to immediately…
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SSI Benefits Provide Assistance, No Work History Required

Although the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) administers Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits, SSI benefits differ from what we normally think of as Social Security benefits. SSI benefits do not require a work history; both Social Security retirement and disability benefits require Americans to have paid into the system. As a result, SSI benefits come from the Treasury Department’s general funds and not the Social Security trust fund. Despite the different sources of funds, SSI benefits have the same aim as retirement and disability benefits – provide financial support to older Americans or those with severe disabilities. SSI benefits are available for three groups of people: Those aged 65 or older The blind The disabled Although there are no work requirements for SSI benefits, there is an income requirement, as the benefits are intended for older or disabled Americans with limited means. The SSA takes several different kinds of income into…
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Payroll Taxes Are the Main Source of Social Security Funding

Democrats and Republicans in Congress fought until the last days of 2011, but they ultimately decided to renew the payroll tax cut for 160 million workers. The only problem is that they renewed it for just two months. On February 29 of this leap year, the tax cuts are set to expire. As a result, members of Congress are at it again to extend the cuts through for all of 2012. Cuts for the rest of 2012, though, mean that Congress needs to find $160 million to make up for the lost revenue that the cuts cause for government coffers. While Social Security benefits have generally been off limits from budget cuts in past discussions, extended payroll cuts lessen Social Security’s status as largely self-funded, forcing Social Security to draw funds from other sources. By self-funded, we mean that Social Security has never had to borrow money from outside its…
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Types of Social Security Benefits That May Require Taxes

About one-third of Social Security beneficiaries have to pay taxes on their benefits. Whether you have to pay taxes depends on the type of Social Security benefits you are receiving and your total income (see Monday’s discussion for the latter). Today we cover the types of benefits and their tax liability. Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) Benefits SSI benefits are not taxable, so you will not have to include them when you file your tax return. SSI benefits are available for those suffering from a disability who earn a low income. Unlike Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, SSI is not based on work history. Social Security Survivors Benefits The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) pays these benefits to children and other family members of workers who pass away. Almost all children are eligible for these benefits in the event that their working parent dies. The benefits come from the years of work…
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