01-07-2001, 08:16 PM
I am thinking that I may need to apply for Social Security benefits for my IC at some time. Hopefully never, though. I have some general questions. I don't pay into any disabilty insurance at work. Does that mean I may still qualify?????? And how much does one get?? Not to be greedy, but I am in CA, where rent alone can drain finances. Anyone have any advice or knowledge? Thanx
Jean from GA
01-08-2001, 02:27 AM
As a recipient of Social Security Disability Insurance for one whole year now (WoW!!) I can give you a few tips of how the process worked for me. First, if you've worked at all you've probably paid into Social Security. Go to their website - you'll have to search for it I can't remember the address - and read the requirements for qualification. I'll just bet you do. Then start the process as soon as you stop working. Many people have had to wait years for an approval. I was lucky, it only took one denial and 11 months for me to be approved. Some things I did which I believed helped to speed the process... After your first denial (almost everyone will be denied the first time) get you congressman involved. This means that every time SS communicates with you he also gets a copy. The ICA has a terrific letter and packet of information which they will personalize and send to you to include in you appeal. When you appeal include letters from co-workers, family, etc. outlining the differences in you now and when you were healthy. Get to know one person at your local SS office and call them if you have questions. You can request a review of your social security record and they will be able to tell about how much per month you'll receive when you are approved - around $1000 to $1200 is a ballpark figure. KEEP COPIES OF EVERYTHING! They can and do lose important stuff like physician's reports, etc. Make sure your doctor(s) emphasize that you are medically unable to do any work. The Fibromyalgia website has some very good tips on qualifying for SSDI. Also, two years after you become disabled you automatically are a candidate for Medicare. I received my card in the mail last week and even though I have excellent insurance, getting this was very reassuring. If you are denied the first time, you may want to consider getting an attorney to help you. They cost nothing up front, but make a percentage of your backpay when you win. I didn't do this, but would have if I'd been denied again. I know this is a lengthy letter, but these ideas helped me and the money I receive from SSDI has filled in the gap that was left by my having to retire six years early from education. Good luck and feel free to e-mail any questions you have. Of course, I can only offer advice about what worked for me here in GA.
01-08-2001, 07:15 AM
You live in CA, which is actually good news. In CA, you have 3 options: 1. Soc Security 2. private disability insurance through work (sounds like you don't have this one) 3. State Disability.
State disability is available for 1 year in CA. I would suggest this as the first step. It isn't as difficult to get as Social Security. Jean had some great ideas about Soc Security.
Let us know if you have any more questions or need help. BTW Where do you live? I live in San Carlos. About 1/2 hour south of SF.
01-09-2001, 12:30 AM
The amount you get depends on how much you have paid in. I have been getting SS for about 5 years and they just gave me an increase to $503.00 a month. I am also able to work part time and I live in Vermont, so its possible those factor into it.
01-10-2001, 09:13 AM
If you are not widowed, then your Social Security would be based upon your earnings, or what you paid into Social Security. The more you earn the more you may be entitled to.
Get a copy of your earnings statement by writing to the Social Security department.
This statement shows what you have paid in over your lifetime.
If you are widowed and over 55, you can apply under your deceased spouses social security. At least that is how it was in 1990, when my spouse died. I was told that if I never remarried, and became disabled at 55 or after, I could apply under what he paid into Social Security, and would receive the highest of either my own, or his dependent upon how much had been paid in. I don't know if the law has changed since 1990.
I am not disabled, so I never have had to apply for this, and I am under 55, so it wouldn't apply for me anyway, as when you are a single widow,under 55, you only receive a $255.00 dollar amount for burial, when your spouse dies, unless you become disabled at age 55, or retirement age of I think its still 65? Then, if you have never remarried you can collect your deceased spouses, Social Security.
Hopefully, my IC stays under control, and I never need disability, as I would rather work. (unfortunately since I was fired in 1996 it has been really hard to find full time permanent work.)
You may want to request a copy of the statement that social security provides, showing whom you have been employed with, and
the wages earned per year with that employer.
It is very important to check this information every once in a while, anyway, because social security FRAUD does occur, like say maybe someone says that they are you, and uses your number.
Those taxes are also a requirement of your employer, so it is very important to check your W-2's from prior years taxes, against your Social Security statement, as employers do make mistakes too,or maybe, they are not a real reputable company, and don't pay into the tax system.( hard to believe, but this can occur) The Social Security department has been also know to make mistakes.
The taxes that I am referring to are the taxes taken out of your paycheck, under the Social Security column. Employers are required to pay this tax.
If you are widowed and under 55, unless the law has changed, since 1990 (which I sincerely doubt.) you cannot get your deceased spouses social security.
So if you are a housewife, that has never paid into Social Security, then I believe that you can apply on your own for another type it comes from the same Social Security system I believe, but a different branch. I think? Supplimental Security Income( aka SSI).
That amount isn't going to be much, because Social Security is based on what you have put into it.
If you become disabled before retirement age, its called Supplimental Security Disability (aka SSD)
If you have children and are widowed, those children are entitled to social security too, until they reach the age of 18. They should already be receiving this, as when you lose your spouse and have children, this would be something that you should immediatly apply for.
As far as the state of California, in the late 80's and early 90's if you were off of work due to childbirth, surgery, etc. then you received 2/3rds of your weekly income,from state disability. As this comes from a state disability fund, and as IC is a disability, then it seems to me that this is something that you may want to check into first, unless you are fortunate enough to have a private insurance through your employer.
I had surgery while living there, and was off for 6 weeks and received state disability.
Someone else mentioned that you can get state disability for up to a year from California,(It sounds as if the laws haven't changed too much in 10 years) if that is your case, you should probably apply there 1st.
Unless of course, you have private disability through your employer, then you should go there 1st.
Anyway, I'll stop rambling now (LOL) Good luck!
Please remember that the amount that you receive is based upon what you have paid in.
That is why you should request a copy of your social security statement every year, or so, especially with all of the company mergers that seem to be occuring out there in the workplace.
Good Luck, take care, best wishes : )
Ruth : )
Hopefully neither you nor I never need to apply for Social Security Disability, but just in case I hope this helps!
Also for your information, you may want to get a copy of the medicare handbook provided by the Social Security Administration. This handbook explains Medicare part A and B.
Take care : )
[This message has been edited by Ruthie (edited 01-10-2001).]
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