Social Security Can a Blessing for People With Disabilities

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Social Security Can a Blessing for People With Disabilities

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When my father passed away in 1991, I became eligible for Social Security disability insurance after being an SSI recipient. It did not take away the pain of his loss but it helped me to function more easily in the world without him. If a parent is disabled their children may receive Social Security benefits until they reach the age of 18. The number of credit you need to ensure that a family member is eligible for survivors benefits depends on your age when you die.

Qualifications for  Social Security

Generally to be eligible for Social Security disability benefits a person must have 10 years of work 20/40 quarters. The younger you are the fewer quarters you need. When I turned 18 I became eligible for supplemental security income even though I lived with my parents. The income eligibility requirements for SSI are as follows an individual can earn no more than $750 per month and can have no more than $2000 in assets.

A disabled couple can have no more income $1025 per month and have no more than $3000 in assets. The rules regarding employment income and SSI are very strict you must pay back one dollar and benefit for every dollar you earn. As an example when I was on SSI in the late 80s my father eventually $250 for a needed new American printing house for the blind recorder. The Social Security Administration was going to reduce my benefit. I had to agree to pay it back and $50 monthly installments to my father in $50 per month installments.

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Age for Benefits

The number of work credits a person has at a given age determines whether they are eligible for Social Security disability benefits. If a person becomes disabled prior to the age of 24 they must earn 6 credits within the 3 year period before their disability starts. If you become disabled after the age 24 you must work half the time prior to the onset of your disability. The onset date is the date disability starts. If you’re disabled and were working there is a 4 month waiting period in which your income must be below the substantial gainful activity amount. There is also an emergency procedure for getting reinstated if you have to stop working. Please contact your local Social Security office to obtain current and accurate advice as to your eligibility.

Disability Rules as Defined by the Social Security Administration

A disability must last a year or more and affect a major life activity. The individual must be unable to perform any substantial gainful activity. Substantial gainful activity is defined as any month in which the individual earns $1170. It is possible to receive what is called a trial work. This is a nine-month period in which the disabled person can earn as much as possible and maintain his benefit. After the trial work. If the person continues to earn benefits payment of benefits would stop. It is possible to have to try work periods without losing benefits. I had one trial work. Of 9 months during my years in law practice and another trial work. When I worked for the Social Security Administration. I strongly advise that you consult with the Social Security Administration to determine actual eligibility since the rules can change.

Disability and Job Market

As I’m sure most of you already know it can be difficult  finding a job when you’re physically disabled. Upon my graduation from law school in 1994, I applied for 1500 jobs which I believed I was qualified for and did not receive any job offers. Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, employer’s are required to pay for reasonable accommodations. They are not required to pay if the accommodation would represent a hardship given the size of the business and its resources. 1 of the reasons I believe I was not hired by any private law firm or District Attorney’s Office could have been the accommodations.

The Bucks County District Attorney’s Office where I was employed as an intern in the summers of 1992 and 93 did not hire me after graduation instead they hired a hearing impaired attorney that would require less commendation than I. I may have needed. In this area constitute speculation and I have no actual proof. As we discussed in an earlier post title I of the Americans With Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination based on disability in hiring. If the reason for the employer’s not hiring is based on! another reason other than disability the employer can refuse to hire you.

Generally, the employer is not permitted to ask questions regarding your disability during a hiring interview. It must be noted that there have been occasions where I did not get hired because I did not discuss needed accommodations. My experience has shown that it is probably better, in the long run, to discuss needed accommodations when you are close to being hired. If the employer is truly interested I believe that they will make reasonable adjustments for you.

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