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Common Questions About Social Security Benefits and Money

 

How does the SSA expect me to pay bills, buy food, and live when I have no money?

Unfortunately, our team hears this question often, but it is one we cannot answer.

Cases can take years, and we understand that during that waiting period you could easily run out of money, but there is nothing anyone can do. The government is a slow moving machine, and unfortunately, there are very few options for speeding it up.

We do, however, do everything in our power to avoid unnecessary roadblocks so that your case moves as quickly as possible.

How does the SSA calculate my monthly benefit amount?

Your monthly benefit amount depends on the type of benefit you receive.

For SSD, your monthly benefit depends on how much you contributed during your working years. Therefore, the more money you made and contributed, the more you receive in monthly Social Security.

For SSI, the amount is the same for all applicants, which is now $750 per month for 2018 recipients.

I receive monthly benefits, but it is not enough. Can I request a higher payment?
Unfortunately, you will not receive higher benefits upon request. The amount you receive each month for SSD is based on your contribution; not your cost of living. Therefore, you can only tax the amount you have contributed. If receiving SSI, you receive what the state feels you need to live on, which is at poverty level and not any higher.
Can I work to earn a living while waiting for my SSD application to finalize?

Unfortunately, this is a difficult question to answer. You might be out of work and try to return so that you can thrive, stay at work a week or even a few weeks, then decide you need to leave. In this situation, the judge would consider it an “unsuccessful work attempt,” which means you still qualify for benefits.

Working part-time or sporadically to pay the bills while waiting for your application may also be perceived as unsuccessful.

If you manage to work despite injury or illness, and you consistently earn 25-30 hours per week, then the judge will deny your appeal. Generally, those who qualify for SSD or SSI cannot work, struggle to work, and fail at going to work.

I was successful with my claim, so can I work and still receive by Social Security benefit?

For the 2018 year, you could work and earn less than $1,180 per month and still be considered “not working.” However, even if you are earning less than that does not mean that the SSA will say you are capable of working. Instead, they could rule you are simply underpaid; therefore, your monthly income is insignificant and they can deny your benefits.

So, do not use your monthly amount. If you want to be considered “not working” and receive your benefits, it is best to not work at all.