Posts in:July, 2020

Congress Must Act Now to Avoid a Potential Benefit Reduction

Posted July 10, 2020 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Opponents of Social Security are latching onto the worldwide COVID-10 (Coronavirus) pandemic and resulting economic collapse to, at best, undermine confidence in Social Security and, at worst, slash its modest benefits. Here are the facts.

Despite fearmongering to the contrary, the Social Security Administration will continue to pay benefits in full and on time. Social Security has a reserve of $2.9 trillion, which provides more than enough cushion to ensure that benefits will continue without interruption, no matter how long the pandemic lasts. When looking at the long-term — the next three-quarters of a century and beyond — the pandemic will be wholly absorbed, as the Great Recession was.

While benefits are secure, the unprecedented conditions of the COVID-19 economic crisis have unearthed a technical glitch. If left uncorrected, a COVID-19 notch will result: Those turning 60 this year – more than 4 million workers – and their families will receive substantially lower Social Security benefits than workers (and their families) with identical earnings who turned 60 last year.

Fortunately, the solution is easy and straightforward. But Congress must act.

Social Security’s earned benefits are based on each worker’s individual earnings history, which is appropriately adjusted to reflect the growth in aggregate economy-wide wages. This structure is ingenious and fair, has numerous advantages, and works extremely well in almost all economic times. But these are not normal times.

Thanks to the pandemic and the economic collapse, aggregate wage levels are likely to decline substantially this year. Because this drastic decline in aggregate wage levels is so unusual, our Social Security system does not take that possibility into account. Congress must fix that understandable oversight to avoid the COVID-19 notch.

Full article:

Contact our office today if you or anyone you know would like to learn more about qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits.

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Family Benefits for Social Security Disability Recipients

Posted July 3, 2020 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

One of the most important things about Social Security disability benefits is payments to qualified family members. It is also one of the important distinctions between Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI/RSDI): only workers who have paid taxes into the system are eligible for full family coverage.

A family member may be eligible for a monthly benefit that is up to 50 percent of the worker’s disability payment. There is a limit to the total amount of money that can be paid to a family on one Social Security record. The limit, known as the family maximum, is between 150 and 180 percent of the primary worker’s disability benefit. This is true whether or not the spouse actually depended on the worker for support. Family benefits are not paid to SSI applicants, although a disabled spouse or child may be independently eligible.

Those who may qualify for family benefits include:

• An eligible child, which can be a biological child, adopted child or stepchild. A dependent grandchild may also qualify. There are complicated rules for children of common law marriages and illegitimate children, eligibility here may depend on state law.

• An ex-spouse over 62 may qualify if the marriage lasted over 10 years, and there is not eligibility on another record. This has no effect on the amount of benefits the worker’s current family receives.

• The Social Security program also pays benefits to adults who have a disability that began before age 22. These adults are paid regular disability on a parent’s Social Security earnings record. A child may have drawn SSI benefits until the time a parent retired, became disabled or died. This benefit comes into play after one of these events, and is important – it can take a disabled adult out of the vast asset restrictions of the SSI program.

• Children can qualify separately for SSI if they meet Social Security’s definition of disability, and if their family’s income and assets fall within the eligibility limits.

If you or someone you know is unable to work due to a medical condition, please contact us for a free evaluation of your claim!

Read more about family benefits here:

By: Joyce Trudeau Premier Disability Services, LLC®