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Questions About Social Security Disability

The Seattle Times recently published a Social Security Q & A that answered common questions about Social Security Administration (SSA) programs. Here are a few of the questions they answered:

Q. Will Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments be reduced if I work?

A. In many cases, your SSI benefit will be reduced if you work. And if you earn over the threshold amount ($1,433 per month in 2011), your benefits will stop.

Q. Can my children receive SSI benefits if I am getting them?

A. No. SSI benefits are for individuals rather than families. Disabled children may be eligible for SSI - but for themselves rather than because a parent receives benefits.

Q. Who pays for SSI?

A. Everyone who works pays for Social Security with each pay check. In addition, employers also pay. In both cases, the payment is known as the FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) tax.

A. How do I prove I am disabled?

Q. This can be complicated. The Social Security Administration has a manual called the blue book that lists the conditions - known as impairments - that will automatically qualify someone for SSD or SSI benefits. In addition, if you can demonstrate that your condition - even if it is not listed - prevents you from working, you may qualify for benefits.

The SSD and SSI application processes can be challenging, and people applying usually have many more questions than the few answered here. Many applicants benefit from having a knowledgeable advocate to guide them through the process.

Source: Seattle Times, Social Security Q & A, Dec. 8, 2011.

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