Monthly Archives: September 2012

Changes That Come with Age and Caring for Children with Disabilities

For most people, changes in disability benefits only become an issue when a person retires or is able to reenter the workforce. However, there is a smaller group of people, those who have children with disabilities, who need to plan for when their child becomes a legal adult.  Parents who collect Social Security disability benefits on behalf of their children should be aware of the changes that occur when that child turns 18 and not assume that benefits will continue as before. When a child with disabilities turns 18, the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) standards for disability qualifications change. The SSA will end disability benefits unless that child qualifies for benefits as an adult. When a child is under the age of 18, the SSA used the parents’ income to determine whether to award disability benefits. After 18, the child’s own income and any savings are the basis for financially…
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Can I Work and Still Collect Benefits?

On Monday we mentioned one woman who collected Social Security disability benefits, but still worked part-time at a non-profit organization. Are people permitted to work while collecting disability benefits? This is a common question among those considering applying for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) as well as those who just want to understand the whole system better. As with many legal situations, the answer is: it depends. According to the SSA, there are particular circumstances in which a person can work without risking losing their benefits. The SSA allows a trial work period, wherein a beneficiary can test his or her ability to work. A person can work for at least nine months while still receiving his or her full benefits amount. After this period, beneficiaries may continue to work for 36 more months while still receiving benefits, as long as these benefits are not considered “substantial.”…
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Americans on Disability Speak Out Against Political Rhetoric

The Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Americans who receive Social Security benefits have been a frequent topic in the 2012 presidential election. Social Security affects most people in this country, whether they are paying taxes or collecting benefits. Some people take offense, however, to the generalizations that politicians are making about people who receive Social Security benefits. A journalist from the Huffington Post talked to one woman who “bristled” at Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s categorization of people like her as “entitlement-addicted” non-contributors. Sandra Johnson, who is 62 and collects disability benefits, worked for decades before crippling arthritis and two bouts of breast cancer forced her out of the workplace. Johnson still works part time at a local nonprofit, but her disability benefits help her survive each month. Even with financial assistance, she does not earn enough income each year to pay income taxes at the federal level. Social Security…
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Paperless Benefits: SSA to Switch to Electronic Deposit

On Monday we discussed the ongoing shift away from yearly Social Security statement mailings to an online system, excepting persons 60 years and older. This decision was mostly a cost-cutting measure, but it also added the convenience of allowing taxpayers to access information about their Social Security status, amounts paid and other relevant Social Security Administration (SSA) information regarding retirement and disability benefits.   Statements are not the only SSA mailing soon to become a thing of the past. As we reported last year, the SSA is on its way to eliminating paper checks in favor of a direct deposit system. At this point, only about six percent of benefits recipients still receive paper checks each month, and those numbers should continue to decline. In addition to reducing cost, this new method, called the “Go Direct” program, could make receiving benefits easier and less stressful for many people to access…
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