The SSI dilemma

Discussion in 'General Parenting Archives' started by Fran, May 18, 2006.

  1. StepMomLMP

    StepMomLMP New Member

    The whole thing IS very confusing - thanks OTE for the general information - it is helpful - since StepGFG owns absolutely nothing and won't have a car or a drivers license hopefully he will be able to proceed. He might be able to work on a minimal basis in some type of special program for individuals like him and with constant supervision. Someone would have to keep up with him every second - or work doesn't get done. or he would walk off with 1/2 the merchandise....

    Again - good luck Fran - wish mySO luck in the future and thanks for all the info.
     
  2. STILLjustamom

    STILLjustamom New Member

    I have found this thread very informing. Thanks everyone.
    Does anyone know how the rules apply to someone OVER age 18, living at home? Can he still apply for disability?
    When my son is released he wants to try for benefits (probably SSDI because he has worked SOME, but not sure if he has put enough in or not).
    He will also need Medicare since he will have no longer have my insurance after age 25. I know this will all be a long drawn out process and I hope he will not get too frustrated by it. I think we will have to request his medical records from the prison to prove his diagnosis, etc. I am hoping a social worker through MHMR will be able to assist him in getting this going. Anyone have experience with this? We are in Texas also.
     
  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member


    In this case, and in most SSI cases, it's only income if there is $$$ involved. A check written to difficult child is income. A check written to the phone company is not.
     
  4. neajle

    neajle New Member

    I agree with Witzend. If you wrote a check to something other than difficult child, I think that would be okay.

    jean
     
  5. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Melissa, difficult child was approved is short order. I can't complain about the process which I heard was awful. Guess that speaks to the amount of disability my difficult child has at present.

    Gifts can be given. Gift cards can be given.
    A check is considered income.

    If your child is at home over 18, they will ask if he pays rent. I said No, because he has no income. It shortens the check. Now that he will have an apt. they increase the amount.

    If you are approved for SSI, you are automatically given Medicaid. If difficult child makes enough money to get off ssi, he will lose the medicaid. This is a difficult one since having no medical insurance is a problem. At present, medicaid is our secondary but if difficult child's company no longer covers him, it will be his only.

    Of course, I have to keep records of where his money is spent as his representative payee. Wait until they see the gadgets he bought. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/bright_idea.gif Yep! he is my little Einstein.
    Fortunately we have a paper trail of credit card expenses for tuition, travel, etc.
    You would think that having parents to help out would make the bureaucracy happy.
     
  6. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    Glad difficult child was approved. Gadgets...!!
     
  7. transformtriumph

    transformtriumph New Member

    My boys were both easily accepted also. Here, if you are accepted by Regional Center, SSI automatically accepts you because Reg Ctr standards are even higher. We also have Medi-Cal waivers for the disabled. Maybe he could get a Medicaid waiver??
    What about a Special Needs Trust for him? Do you know how that dovetails with SSI?
    I did find this info: "...the Social Security Administration made three important changes to the SSI program rules. These revisions became effective January 1, 2005:
    • Clothing is no longer considered in-kind income. Formerly, if an SSI recipient received any clothing from a third party (including a Special Needs Trust), his SSI benefit might be reduced. This is because clothing (along with food and shelter) was considered in-kind income. Now the trustee’s job should be easier, because she can use trust funds to pay for the beneficiary’s clothes without reducing the SSI benefit. (However, food and shelter are still considered in-kind income that can reduce the SSI benefit.)

    • The $4,500 limit on the value of an automobile has been eliminated. Formerly, if an SSI recipient owned an automobile, it had to be worth $4,500 or less, unless it was specially adapted, required for medical transportation, or needed because of distance or geography. Now Social Security disregards the car’s value.

    • The $2,000 limit on the value of personal items a recipient can own has been eliminated. Formerly, the value of a recipient’s personal property (such as furniture, computer, jewelry, etc.) could not exceed $2,000. Now there is no monetary limit on that kind of property. Note, however, that the new law affects only personal items. SSI’s strict $2,000 limit on liquid resources (cash, bank account, savings bonds, etc.) remains unchanged.
     
  8. OTE

    OTE Guest

    For those of you with more basic questions that aren't in the pubs on the ssa.gov website here's the basic regulations.

    http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/cfr20/416/416-0000.htm

    typical teen: I was aware that the $2,000 on personal property was eliminated but not that they were including jewelry in there! The car thing was never a real problem that I was aware of assuming that the disabled person needed the car for transport to doctor's appts, therapy, etc... aka "medical transportation". Per the above here's the rule on jewelry:
    "Items of personal property ordinarily worn or carried by the individual; or

    (ii) Articles otherwise having an intimate relation to the individual.

    (2) Such items include but are not limited to: Personal jewelry including wedding and engagement rings, personal care items, prosthetic devices, and educational or recreational items such as books or musical instruments. We also do not count as resources items of cultural or religious significance to an individual and items required because of an individual's impairment. However, we do count items that were acquired or are held for their value or as an investment because we do not consider these to be personal effects. Such items can include but are not limited to: Gems, jewelry that is not worn or held for family significance, or collectibles. Such items will be subject to the limits in §416.1205.




    A trust can be written any way you want. If you want to have the diabled person be able to benefit from it while not losing SSI and Medicaid it can be written that way. The term "special needs trust" is a bit broad. No one can say that every "special needs trust" will avoid effect on SSI and medicaid in your state... that's why lawyers make money on these things. You need to do it specific to your situation.

    Witz... do you have the SSA manual on SSI handy... I need to dig through there for the answer on the check vs gift card vs paying a bill question. Keep in mind that the paying a bill thing depends on whose name the debt is in and what kind of debt it's paying. eg if it's paying the mortgage on the diabled person's house it counts as housing and would count as unearned income.

    Just a mom... the website above answers your question on housing. It would count as provided housing. Yes, he still gets something, it's a question of how much. When he applies the SSA will run the numbers on both SSDI and SSI and determine which he will get more from and will do the application which is better for him. Keep in mind that SSI gives him Medicaid and SSDI gives him Medicare. they're very different.
     
  9. OTE

    OTE Guest

    Fran, I found the SSA manual on line.

    The whole manual on SSI is on line if anyone has any other questions.
     
  10. STILLjustamom

    STILLjustamom New Member

    thanks OTE, I will read through it. I know it is going to be a challenge to get these benefits for him, so I want to be prepared.
     
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Excuse me while I panic. *shudder*

    OTE - Thanks ahead of time from me for the info.

    Fran

    Might be a good idea to place this in the archives. God knows I'll probably
    need to look back on it occasionally. After just now reading through it my
    brain is threatening to shut down.

    There is no way at this point that I can see us setting up a trust type fund for
    T when we are gone. (gonna have to go back and read that part over again) So?
    What about inheritance?? mother in law is not gonna live forever, and I have no way of knowing
    ahead of time what might have been willed to T given his disability. mother in law may be
    leaving him a bit more considering his circumstances. Who knows?? Wouldn't surprise me.

    Can you put an inheritance into such a fund after it's inherited??

    This is not making me want to take the SSI plunge. But there is no other real choice for T.
    He has too many issues, and too many docs he needs to be treated by. Neuro,
    ophthalmologist, oncologist, psychiatrist..... Wallie world is determined not to give him fulltime.
    (big surprise) So he can't get the insur they offer.

    I'm thinking T brings home approximately 1000.00 or less a month from work. Is he gonna have to
    have them cut his hours? or quit to get his benefits?

    Is that 2000.00 limit a month or year?

    Ouch! My brain hurts.
     
  12. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    This thread contains some very helpful information and links.

    Please consider archiving it.

    Glad the process turned out to be less of a PITB than anticipated, Fran.
     
  13. OTE

    OTE Guest

    Daisy lover, yes it takes a very long time to get all this straight. I spent many years reading tax law and have an accounting degree so I've got a leg up on reading this stuff. But it took many me many, many hours of reading and talking to SS examiners to understand all the finer points... and it changes all the time. It's just never easy at all.

    Right now you're making a common mistake which is to confuse income and assets (in accounting terminology). Income is what you bring home this month from working, investments, etc. Earned income is from a job. Unearned income is from investments, etc (and gifts when you're talking about welfare programs.) Assets or "resources" in SS language are things that you own, with or without debt attached. The $2,000 limit applies to this last thing, "resources". That would be the money in your pocket, checking account, house, car, etc, etc. But only something that you can "liquidate" which means turn into cash to spend. There's a different limit on income. Give yourself time and keep re-reading it. Sadly perhaps, some day it will begin to make some kind of sense. But I do think it helps to have a financial/ legal background to make sense of it.
     
  14. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    This is very helpful. Thank you.

    (You mean no one wants to buy my electric bill? :wink: )

    [ QUOTE ]
    Right now you're making a common mistake which is to confuse income and assets (in accounting terminology). Income is what you bring home this month from working, investments, etc. Earned income is from a job. Unearned income is from investments, etc (and gifts when you're talking about welfare programs.) Assets or "resources" in SS language are things that you own, with or without debt attached. The $2,000 limit applies to this last thing, "resources". That would be the money in your pocket, checking account, house, car, etc, etc. But only something that you can "liquidate" which means turn into cash to spend. There's a different limit on income. Give yourself time and keep re-reading it. Sadly perhaps, some day it will begin to make some kind of sense. But I do think it helps to have a financial/ legal background to make sense of it.

    [/ QUOTE ]
     
  15. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Thanks but it's still clear as mud.
    You are right OTE, it will take reading and rereading.I can only take a little at a time.
    I know inheritance can cut difficult child's benefits. (if he keeps up the attitude, it won't be a problem) /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hot_head.gif

    A happy day will be when difficult child earns enough to not have to receive any of this. I resent that it affects what I want to do for my son. Apart and separate from what he can do for himself.
     
  16. OTE

    OTE Guest

    This afternoon I had this sudden thought that maybe it's not obvious to everyone that a spec needs trust can be set up at any time. It doesn't have to be about inheritance. Wealthier people set it up and fund it early on. The will may put more money into it but it's been in existence since toddlerhood in some cases. And I would offer "Rainman" as an example of that.

    My point is that if you set up the trust now with only a few thousand in it the trust could pay your difficult child now as needed/ as authorized by the trustees. So if the trust is set up correctly, and that's going to vary by state, the trust could give the difficult child money now without any problems with SSI or Medicaid. And this is what would typically be done if a parent were putting a child into a long term placement such as Rainman. The trust would then pay the bills for the child for life as the trustees (in Rainman's case the guy who ran the program) see fit.
     
  17. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Thanks for the head's up OTE. This may be the way for us to go. It doesn't have to be my retirement fund or my life insurance policy. Just enough to help difficult child.
     
  18. Abilene

    Abilene New Member

    I haven't visited this site in a long time, but I'm glad I logged on last night and found this thread.

    Dex took difficult child to SS office on May 9 to apply for disability income. difficult child hadn't worked enough for regular SSDI, but should qualify for SSI. difficult child has been living with me for almost a year now. He has not worked in over 2 years. He has not interacted socially with his friends in 10 months. He does not go out or make or receive phone calls. He goes to his psychiatrist every 3 months for medication monitor. He has no health insurance, so I pay for his Adderall out of pocket, psychiatrist gives him samples of Effexor, and dex pays psychiatrist. difficult child has no income. I pay his car insurance on 1989 Chevy Caprice, and I pay rent on a storage unit for his college furniture.

    Dex is on disability himself, due to rheumatoid arthritis.

    I learned a lot from this thread and agree that it should be archived.

    Abilene
     
  19. mom_in_training

    mom_in_training New Member

    You have to be careful with the verbage written up in the special needs trust fund, It could very well :censored2: some of our deserving children out of ssi and other benefit's that they by all mean's should be entitled to. Revocable verse's Irrevocable can make a drastic difference.....
     
  20. Jen

    Jen New Member

    I have no suggestions only support.

    It is just another example of the results that occur now, because of SSI system being abused in yrs way past.

    Jen