Social Security Disability Information based on Frequently Asked Questions

As a local attorney with an office located in the western suburbs I get lots of questions from people that call or just walk in. Overtime you start to see some of the same questions come up again and again. In an effort to help you better understand this process, we’ve organized some social security disability information based on frequently asked questions from our clients and visitors.

A few questions that have come up lately are:

The marriage must have lasted at least 10 years; the ex-spouse must be at least 62 years old; they must be un-married, and they cannot be otherwise entitled to benefits equal to or greater than the ex-spouse.

Social Security will find that the ex-spouse is not entitled to draw a monthly benefit from the ex-spouses Social Security disability if that ex-spouse is entitled to claim Social Security benefits either on their own or someone else’s Social Security record or entitled to a pension from the government or for an employer who did not pay into Social Security.

All in all, this is a reasonable approach to protecting an ex-spouse of advanced age who may not have any other source of significant income.

Yes, if they are under 18; or 18-19 and full-time high school students or if they are disabled adult children (18 or over with a disability that started before they turn the age 22).

Qualifying children can receive benefits equal to 1/2 of your disability insurance benefit… Subject to the “family maximum. “

In short, SSA will pay you and your qualifying family members (spouse, divorced spouse, children, disabled children, and disabled adult children) benefits, but only up to a point, AKA the family maximum. Basically, this means that SSA caps the total amount of money that a family can receive based upon a single disabled person’s primary insurance amount (PIA). Under current law, the family maximum tops out at 150% to 180% of that PIA.

The PIA represents the monthly benefit to which a disabled (or retired) individual is entitled (how much you get a month). This amount is derived from your monthly earnings record and specifically looks at your earnings over time. Because Social Security benefits were created to help the most needy or vulnerable SSA has adopted a formula which they apply to your earnings record that treats low-wage workers more favorably. Specifically, there are three “breakpoints” – earnings from $0 to $895; earnings from $895 to $5,397, and earnings over $5,397. The formula treats the first $895 of earnings most generously.

These general questions are based on visitors and callers to our office. If you have specific questions as it relates to social security disability information, we encourage you to call us today.

For disability matters as it relates to multiple sclerosis read our post on the topic here.

Tips on personality disorders

Tips on personality disorders

For people with personality disorders, interacting with others can be very difficult, if not impossible. Depending on the nature and severity of the personality disorder, interacting with others or “social functioning”, in the Social Security lingo, can be so seriously impaired. So much so, it may render the individual disabled. Read on for a few tips when considering the complexities of personality disorder & social security.

Tips on Multiple Sclerosis

Tips on Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) can be disabling. There is no cure for MS and its “causes” are equally vexing. Our current understanding is that MS is an autoimmune disorder that distorts the normal activity of nerve impulses. These tips on Multiple Sclerosis are offered to help you better communicate with the Social Security Administration.

Supplemental Social Security for Families of Children with Autism

Supplemental Social Security for Families of Children with Autism

For the parents of children on the autism spectrum, there is nothing more important than assuring that their child is receiving both an appropriate education and adequate medical attention.