Finally!!! Fully Favorable SSDI Decision!

** Originally posted by Momelie **

After my hearing on Feb 26, I finally got the decision today, fully favorable.

WHEW!!!!

They found that my disability date was October 1, 2005, and my application date was September 27, 2006. Which is the one that determines the back pay?

Does anyone know how long it takes from here until I actually get a monthly check in the back?

I've felt so scared and worried through this whole ordeal - nearly 3 years of hurry up and wait. But I'm so glad the decision has been made!

The judge was very nice, and never even called the vocational expert to testify. I was amazed!

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** Originally posted by szorzi **

Congratulations! I think your back pay will date to the sixth month after you became disabled. How long it will take to get it depends on the state you are in.

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** Originally posted by Momelie **

I'm in Florida - probably one of the slowest, lol. Certainly one of the busiest, it took almost 3 years to get it through.

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** Originally posted by rosc2112 **

Presumably you get backpay to the Sept 2006 date. Don't be surprised if it takes another 6 months for them to start coughing up any money.

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** Originally posted by Dreamonstage **

Grat's! I had my first check and back pay all sent to my bank within the last four week's.

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** Originally posted by MikeK **

Congratulations! That's the best news that I've heard in a very long time.

Mike

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** Originally posted by Momelie **

Thanks!

I talked to my attorney, and he's very optimistic that things will happen quickly. Evidently, our district has recently come under scrutiny for being very slow, so they are trying to do better, LOL!

One thing I need to find out, though, is if/how I might be able to still work part time. The order said something about me being able to do a 36 month trial work period. Wonder how that works with me being an adjunct, and only working a few months at a time? I'm definitely under the earnings quotient, but wondering about the time frame. Right now my job category (since I'm still a student) is SS exempt but fully taxable as income, but when I graduate next spring and become an adjunct that will change, I assume.

Oh well.....

Also, when the checks start coming, do they take out taxes? I'm assuming this is taxable income, correct? And how are taxes on the back pay handled? Do I need an accountant?

Thanks for being so patient with all my questions!

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** Originally posted by MikeK **

I'm at work (which means that I shouldn't be here :rolleyes: ) so I need to keep this brief.

Former poster Elaine (IHurt) discussed something called "Ticket to Work" back in 2006. I'm not at all familiar with it, but Elaine discusses it in this post: http://www.psoriasis.org/forum/showthread.php?p=214212&highlight=ticket#pos t214212.

I hope this helps.

Good luck!

Keep us posted.

Mike

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** Originally posted by szorzi **

SSDI income is taxable. No, they don't withhold taxes from the checks. If you earn enough (including SSDI) to owe income tax, you will need to pay it yourself.

You should be able to find info about the Ticket to Work program on the SS website.

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** Originally posted by rosc2112 **

I'm assuming this is taxable income, correct? And how are taxes on the back pay handled? Do I need an accountant?

This should probably be a new thread, to make it easier to find in searches, cos I'm also curious about the tax aspects of SSDI income. I know from my husband's ssdi as the only family income we never had to owe taxes. But now that we will have 2 ssdi incomes, and because I got 3 yrs backpay all at once, I'm betting we'll get slammed with taxes for 2009.

I'm gonna be fighting em all the way if we do. AFAIK, the backpay is just that - 3 years they SHOULD have been paying me and therefore would not have owed taxes for those years cos we're still well below poverty level even with 2 ssdi incomes.

I know most states exempt ssi/ssdi income for tax purposes, unless you make a fairly large additional income. SSDI imposes certain income limits before they start deducting from your monthly check ($900/month I believe.) You can research the ticket to work program on SSA's website.

I didn't find it much help for getting back to work for such things as retraining for a new field of work, prolly better off getting into your state's Dept of Rehab program if you can. DoR will pay for school, transportation, tools, etc, to help you get into a new line of work.

But, as I found out in California, you have to be pretty well self-educated about DoR to be able to really benefit. If you simply rely on their counsellors, you won't get the benefits you really need, they will not help you maximize your IPE. I had a 4 yr fight with them just to get a disabled friend a laptop computer - DoR never even told us she was entitled to a tech eval, which found she would benefit from certain assistive and communication technology (laptop, etc.) Boy I could tell you horror stories about that DoR, but suffice it to say, you have to be persistent, you have to know what you need and what you're entitled to and keep pushing to get it.

I think most government "assistance" programs are guided by the idea that if you take their initial rejection to heart, that saves them the money and hassle of actually helping people. It's been my experience you just have to keep pushing and demanding that the rights and entitlements this government created, are actually given as their own laws and rules provide.

As I told that DoR office during an on-record admin hearing, if you're not going to fulfill the purpose and mission your agency was created for, then your agency has no right to exist. They stopped fighting us after that :)

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** Originally posted by cflame **

One thing I need to find out, though, is if/how I might be able to still work part time. The order said something about me being able to do a 36 month trial work period. Wonder how that works with me being an adjunct, and only working a few months at a time? I'm definitely under the earnings quotient, but wondering about the time frame. Right now my job category (since I'm still a student) is SS exempt but fully taxable as income, but when I graduate next spring and become an adjunct that will change, I assume.

Momelie, have you been working or going to school while waiting for approval of your disability?

Thanks,
Christa

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** Originally posted by DEBAK **

You can have SSDI hold taxes out, just contact them for the form. If you dont then you need to pay taxes quarterly or else you will also pay a fine for waiting till the end of the year. It sounds as though you have been in school all this time...how did you ever get SSDI approved if you are a student and/or are planning and capable of working why did you file for SSDI?

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** Originally posted by rosc2112 **

You can have SSDI hold taxes out, just contact them for the form. If you dont then you need to pay taxes quarterly or else you will also pay a fine for waiting till the end of the year.

SSDI isn't usually taxed, unless you make additional income? Sounds like sales taxes you're referring to.

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** Originally posted by Momelie **

Yes, I've been in school the whole time. I'm getting an MLA (Master of Liberal Arts) in Humanities. For the last year I've been a graduate assistant in the department, teaching freshmen.

Its not exactly a career path, LOL! Even the judge couldn't figure out what on earth I can do with that degree! Actually, all I can do is teach, and as all the doctors said, nowhere near full time. Right now, my department is making all kinds of accomodations for me, such as having my classes in rooms near my office, only scheduling me for two mornings a week, putting a couch in an AV room next to my office so I can rest when needed (I park my scooter there, too), getting me a "clicker" mouse for my lectures, and letting me lecture from a rolling stool when needed. My department chair wrote a letter about the accomodations, and how they work with me, and would be happy to hire me after graduation, but only in a part time capacity. My other doctors also wrote letters that stated that there was no way I can ever work full time, lift, etc, and that I would always have to miss several days a month. Not to mention the fact that with the pain killing drugs I'm on, I could never pass a screen!

The judge was asking me about it, and laughed when I said I had the highly technical dry erase board with an arrow on it to tell people when I was on the couch or not. He asked why I'm doing this and I just told him that no matter what my prognosis was, there was no way I could just sit home and watch soap operas or court TV - I had to use my brain while I still have it (Lyrica, y'know), so I decided to study art, since my parents wouldn't let me when I was in college for the first time. That was when he immediately called the hearing to a halt without consulting the vocational expert, and said he had enough information.

Oh, and the IRWE's! Did y'all know that the monthly allowable earnings can be offset by the amount of money you spend each month on your medical needs that allow you to work? For those of us who are on biologics (I'm on Remicade) and other expensive meds, this is HUGE!

I knew going in that it would be risky to do this. Why did I do it? My attorney told me that the process would take a very long time and that I should go about my life just as if this weren't going on. So when the opportunity arose, I kept him informed of each contract period, and he gave me the green light. It worked, evidently. But the premise is absolutely truthful - I cannot, and probably never will be (without a miracle drug, or just a miracle) able to work full time, ever again. Between joint damage making my R hand useless, and my SI joints not being far behind, along with a couple of other diagnoses (diabetes being one of them), it was pretty much a given.

But with the taxability........

Does this mean that my DH's income is going to affect my SSDI?!?!? Uh Oh!! Our state doesn't have a state income tax, but if I'm reading correctly, my SSDI with either just add on to the joint income, or will his income (as part of monthly household income) reduce my benefits? I could be completely bollixed up by that! Yikes!!!

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** Originally posted by cflame **

I'm really glad you received your disability award.

would you be willing to refer your attorney??

All I have encountered with regards to applying for disability is that you cannot be working or attending school during the entire application time.

As such, I would really like an opportunity to speak with your attorney.

Thanks,
Christa

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** Originally posted by szorzi **

Does this mean that my DH's income is going to affect my SSDI?!?!? Uh Oh!! Our state doesn't have a state income tax, but if I'm reading correctly, my SSDI with either just add on to the joint income, or will his income (as part of monthly household income) reduce my benefits? I could be completely bollixed up by that! Yikes!!!

His income will not reduce your benefits, but if your joint income is higher than a certain amount, your SSDI will be taxable. SSDI, like regular SS retirement income is counted as income. We must add my SSDI to my husband's income for tax purposes. Some people don't pay income tax on SSDI (or SS retirement income) because they don't make enough total to owe taxes, not because it's not taxable.

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