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Q&A With Charles Binder

Question: I was wondering if you can help people that are on SSI-SSD get more money cause I feel I'm not getting what I suppose to get.

Charles Binder's Answer: There are two possible answers. First, the Social Security Administration could be miscalculating your benefit rate. It happens though not often and usually only when there is an offset for a pension or for worker' compensation. But more common is that your earnings are not posted correctly or on rare occasions not posted at all due to a computer flaw or your employer not filing your FICA taxes. Either can be fixed if you have the original W-2, but usually this requires an in person visit to the district office. SSA stopped sending out your earnings record a few years ago but announced recently that they will start again but everyone can request it (you can download the form to request a copy of your earnings record HERE). It is wise to check your earnings record every year or so to make sure that your correct earnings are posted.

The other problem is that many of my clients are unhappy with how much they get. Your monthly check may not be enough to live on. There sadly is very little I can do about that. I have clients who worked "off the books" and then are stunned by how little they get from Social Security. For them I have no sympathy-- you cheated the government and you cheated yourself. But people who made very little money do not get very much back though far more than the actual contributions in most cases. If the amount you are getting puts you below the federal poverty level, you may supplement your retirement or disability check with SSI but that only puts you up to the poverty level and it depends on whether you have other assets.

**Do you have a question about Social Security Disability that you'd like Charles to answer personally? Leave your question here as a comment, send us a message with your question on our Facebook page, or send a quick email to We ask that you be respectful with your questions, and avoid questions specific to your own claim as we are unable to answer them publically**

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