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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Social Security and SSI

    Hello,
    I have tons of questions about California's laws to SSI. First my mother was told she couldn't get Social Security because she didn't work 10 years at the same job or place of business. Is there a 10 year law? I did a little glancing and seen an amount but not a time frame. My mother is disabled and cant work. She is buying a trailer and doesn't get enough for her bills and food. She said she didn't qualify for food stamps and I cant seem to find what you need to qualify for it. I know she doesn't make enough, so how can I help her fight or appeal? My father died and he was getting Social Security but from what I understand nothing was transferred they just stopped all payments and then billed my mother for some overpayment from him years ago. My mother needs to get some help but I have no idea where to start. I have been helping her in every way I can but its getting to the point that I'm going to have to have her move in with me and my family. I really don't want to take that Independence from her and I don't want it seem as a burden on my family or on my mother. I live in Washington state and I'm not even sure what would change if she was forced to move here with me. Where can I fine the qualifications for Social Security? More importantly what is the difference from SSI to Social Security? I'm sorry to burden anyone with my issue but I have no clue where to turn and I'm getting loops at the Social Security office. Anything would be greatly appreciated.


    Thank you for you time.
    -NM

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,044

    Default Re: Social Security and SSI

    www.socialsecurity.gov has all the answers to your questions, but it is a huge site and your questions are pretty large in scope.

    1. SSI is a federal program, administered by the Social Security Administration and is paid to disabled and elderly who have limited income and resources. It is a welfare type disability program. Disabled people who have too much other income or too many assets don't qualify. Each state can add money to the federal benefit. California adds more than any other state, although this year, the state has cut their part of the SSI payment twice and rumor has it that it will be cut again. But that is rumor.

    SSI recipients who live in the state of California do not qualify for food stamps because California pays cash instead. In other states, SSI recipients can get food stamps but get less cash.

    2. Social Security disability is not a welfare program. It is more like insurance. Yo u have to pay the OASDI/FICA taxes when you are working to become "insured" for Social Security retirement or disability or for survivor benefits to be paid. Generally, a disabled person needs a minimum number of lifetime credits (roughly 10 years of work) and you have to have five of those years in the ten year period before you became too ill or too injured to work. That is the short answer.

    3. Social Security and SSI consider someone disabled if they are unable to engage in substantial gainful work because of their medical impairment and that impairment is expected to last 12 months or longer. But a person still has to be low income for SSI and be insured for SSDI.

    4. There can be widow's benefits paid if your mother were 60 or disabled widow's if your mother were 50 on her deceased spouse (assuming she was married to him when he died). There can be benefits for some divorced spouses as well.

    5. Sounds like you are getting the right answers from Social Security, perhaps not explained really well, but you don't like the answers.

    How old is your mother? What year did her husband die? How long were they married? Were they divorced? How many years did she work and pay Social Security taxes? How much did she make those years? SSA sends you a Social Security Statement every year with your earnings. You could read your statement for a brief explanation of Social Security benefits. Or you could try the web site. Everything you want to know is there, if you can find it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Social Security and SSI

    You pretty much answered my questions. Thank you very much. I have a hard time finding my way around most of the documentation for SSI. From what your saying it doesn't sound like she worked long enough. She fell four months short for her 10 year. She is disabled to the point it seems she is more of a liability to a company then a benefit. All the medications the doctors have her on make that so even more. She was married to my father when he died as well. I have a hard time understanding how California government expects anyone to live off what she gets a month. Looks like the inevitable is going to have to happen. I may not like it but we have to play with the cards we are dealt and make the best of them I guess.

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,044

    Default Re: Social Security and SSI

    California actually has the highest state supplement to the federal SSI program in the country. No other state pays SSI recipients as much as California. SSI recipients in California often live in subsidized housing so rent is based on income. Others share lodging to reduce the costs.

    I do not anticipate that California will pay more in the near future. At all.

    She will get less money in Washington state.

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