Sunday, November 18, 2012

Social Security Doesn't Allow the Disabled to Marry

There are multiple kinds of disability benefits. I'm going to touch on THREE (3) kinds that fall within the 'disability' benefit category.

  1. SSDI/DAC 'Adult Disabled Child'
    The SSDI program pays benefits to adults who have a disability that began before they became 22 years old. We consider this SSDI benefit as a “child’s” benefit because it is
paid on a parent’s Social Security earnings record.
For a disabled adult to become entitled to this “child” benefit, one of his or her parents:

  • Must be receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits; or
  • Must have died and have worked long enough under Social Security.
These benefits also are payable to an adult who received dependents benefits on a parent’s Social Security earnings record prior to age 18, if he or she is disabled at age 18. We make the disability decision using the disability rules for adults.

SSDI disabled adult “child” benefits continue as long as the individual remains disabled. Your child does not need to have worked to get these benefits.
      2. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a Federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes):
blank spacerIt is designed to help aged, blind, and disabled people, who have little or no income; and
blank spacerIt provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.

-- This is referred to as 'the United States biggest Welfare program' by Social Security.


Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, provides benefits to individuals who are disabled or blind. SSDI is funded by employees’ contributions to the Social Security trust fund, or the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) social security tax paid on yearly earnings.
In order to be eligible for SSDI, your loved one must have:
  • Paid some of these taxes in recent years
  • Worked and paid social security taxes long enough to be covered under social security insurance.

To sum it up for you SSI is out of general taxes, is for low income people only (with disabilities) and is considered welfare.

SSDI is based off taxes you paid into the system while working, and you are only eligible for SSDI disability payments after paying into the system long enough. Your SSDI payment will be based upon what you put into the program via taxes.

SSDI/DAC is an SSDI benefit that a disabled child (or adult) may claim, based upon what the parent put into the SSDI program from their earned wages (taxes)

Now for the fun stuff.

I receive SSDI from my work history AND DAC. Social security works like this:
If you get approved for benefits and meet each programs criteria, you must be individually approved for each program. So if you apply to all three and meet the criteria of all three, you will get three approval letters--one from each program.

Now you MAY collect multiple checks from a combination of these three sources. BUT, you do not get 'full benefits' from either.

For example, you are approved for 400$ a month from SSDI based upon your work history, and also approved for DAC payments based upon your fathers, with a benefit of 900$. You would receive 900$ total from social security, as that is the MAXIMUM you are entitled to. You would receive 400$ from SSDI and the remainder from DAC. You cannot collect more than the highest benefit total you are entitled to.

The reason they do this is each pool of money is different. SSI funding is from general taxes, SSDI is based of your work taxes and DAC off your parents work taxes.

Anyhoo, I get the DAC and SSDI. (I will explain why I do not get SSI at the end) Both entitle me to MediCARE, and the DAC entitles me to Medicaid as well (as a supplement of sorts) despite the income boost. (if it was just SSDI I would have to qualify with medicaid under the medicaid rules, pregnant under 21, or income guidelines)

I was researching about SSDI, DAC and its rules (I have had it since October, I am learning still) and came across a query of 'What happens if I get married on SSDI?'- The answer? Nothing will change. (From social security)

So I decided to look, what happens if you get married on SSI? Since SSI is a needs based program they could cut or remove all of your benefits, if your partner made over a certain amount of money each year, kind of like food stamps, since the program is considered welfare.

So last but not least I googled the DAC benefit. I was floored.
Direct from Social Securitys own website (HERE)  I found this:
If he or she receives benefits as an adult disabled since childhood, the benefits generally end if he or she gets married. However, some marriages (for example, to another adult disabled child) are considered protected.

Something here is not right. So I did some more digging. Yep, its true. Unless I marry another adult disabled child ACTIVELY RECEIVING THE SAME BENEFIT, I will lose mine!
That means no medical, no payment, NOTHING.
Upon contacting someone I know who used to work for Disability Determination within SSA, I was told I would lose my SSDI benefit based on my work record too! (I do not know if this is true, I must find a way to link a confirmation or denial of this)

I am FLOORED. I cannot, despite days of searching, find a justifiable reason as to why this one category gets singled out.
So suddenly I am not disabled because I decided to get married,and instead of rewarding me like the government does with marriage (taxes, health insurance benefits, death benefits, legal rights and so on) I get dropped?!

I have some issues with this, which I am sure will raise hell in others eyes. I am sure I will hear you are bitching about free money from the government blah blah blah... save it. Read it all and then complain if you need to.

One, I can cohabitate with someone for the rest of my life, even be engaged and cohabitate indefinitely  and keep my benefits but the second I get married out the window that goes?
Why does every other category of disability get to marry, without penalty? 

Half the reason I am disabled is because I cannot work. I am medically needy and could not find health insurance, even through a spouse most likely, that would accept me with all of my 'pre existing conditions'
Even if I did find a company willing to take me, the premiums would be astronomical, in addition to copays, prescription benefits, deductibles and out of pocket reimbursement expenses, that would bankrupt anyone in a matter of weeks.

Without this medical care I would die.

So my spouse would be forced to take on the financial burden of my inability to contribute to household coffers, astronomical medical costs and the physical responsibility that comes with my medical issues.

I wouldn't marry myself with that kind of baggage!

So, I would like to ask social security and law makers, why do you stop Disabled Adult Children from getting married and being able to live?

If you are interested in perhaps bringing attention to this click HERE.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

An Update on Life

I am long, long overdue to update the details of this.

I am not 'homeless' per say anymore. Well for now.

I got an apartment, with a lease and all at the end of July and moved in August. The ONLY reason I was able to do this, is Social Security pulled their heads out of their butts and FINALLY approved me for DAC and SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) in early July.

I had been receiving SSI for many years, but due to my mothers filing for retirement in 2010, an automatic review was done, which included applications for benefits under SSDI and DAC.

This approval letter meant my income was going to go up.. a lot. Well a lot to me. It was to increase by 62%.. but not for at least 120 days.

I convinced my adoptive mother to 'loan' me the money, the difference between benefit amounts each month, so I could pay rent on a tiny crappy apartment.

She agreed. (I have since paid her back almost 3k by the way, I wrote that check tuesday :) )

This place sucks, its a brand new complex filled with idiots, rowdy college kids puking off balconies at 3 am (even right now)  and they do NOT keep up with the place, but its a place to live!

All utilities are included in the rent for the most part, so at least I know a generally consistent number that I have to pay, even if it is 54% of my income.

My little dog and my cat are both back and happy, although *I* hate living on a third floor walk up and having to walk my dog 5 times a day (I wonder if this is an ADA thing, I didnt get to pick which apartment and I do have handicapped parking for mobility issues) and we are all generally ok.

I have decided it is in my best financial and medical interests to leave this state and move back to one with better benefits and a system that does NOT have its head up its butt (I'll touch on this in the next post) which for now is probably Pennsylvania.

I am simultaneously horrified and excited at the same time. I do not like change, and although I may hate the way this state conducts itself and treats its  neediest citizens, I have become accustomed to the area I live in , as well as the people and oddly enough, the presence of the US Army.

Im not really sure when I will move, or where I will move to if at all, there are many variables (like finding suitable housing that does not mind my cat/dog, being near a medical center that can meet my needs, financially moving all my crap back up there..) but I'm working on it.

All and all things are alright. Not perfect but alright.

Friday, November 16, 2012

I can never marry...

I'm still tweaking it but THIS is why.

Not that anyone will ever read this stupid thing, but it makes me feel better sometimes to whine.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

On a lighter note

This has me in freaking tears. I'm not necessarily for either candidate (even though Obama won re-election) but the look on the mans face as he scoots cross the screen just makes me cry.

Humor in every day life. :)