Financial Analysis Help Needed Re Social Security Disability

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DDD, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm going nuts. difficult child#1 (aka easy child/difficult child) has been approved for Disability retroactive to 2008. I am his Representative Payee. I am not a dumb bunny but I am having a hard time figuring out which way to jump. Here are the relavent facts: He will get over $30,000 retroactive within the next couple of months. Part of it is arriving now. His "past" payments can only be spent on something big for his benefit.

    This week I find out he will be receiving over a grand a month, plus medical coverage, and food stamps. He has to "account" for how he spends not only the back pay but the upcoming monthly income. Sigh. SO I am trying to find a house for him to buy (the one I "thought" we had was lost) so we will know he has a home in the future after we are gone.

    IF I spend all his backpay to buy a house with a small mortage then his expenses will not qualify him to receive the generous monthly income of a grand. It seems like a catche twentytwo situation. Really I don't know whether to zig or to zag. Should I find a house with a mortgage that justifies him keeping his monthly income? OR should I have him spend prox twenty for a house and the other ten for a new used car with a monthly payment?

    Then, to complicate matters, he has a SO who cooks/cleans/accomodates him etc.. She also gets food stamps and once he has a home she will be sharing that home. As a result his income will be reduced and likely she will also lose her food stamp support.

    This is one of those times where there is no much to be considered (and I have NO experience with government methods!) and I'm waffling...not my usual. If you have input I'll feed it into my old brain.
    DDD
     
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    OK, what about these things- medical expenses, car insurance, house insurance, personal property tax, costs for lawn care, gas money, car upkeep, house upkeep (renovations, upgrades, and general maintenance). I'm pretty sure he'd be allowed to put a small portion in savings each month for emergencies- that's just prudent. What about utilities, tv, internet and a phone? I can't imagine that all these things on top of a grocery bill would be less than $1000/month.
     
  3. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Am only going to comiserate because when SO was going thru the process, I wanted to claw at my face everytime a phone call came in or we received a letter requesting documentation that we had already provided numerous times :(

    Some things I did learn. SO was a signer on my checking account -he never deposited any money or took any money out, but by virture of his name on there, he was denied his disability as he had "use" of my money even though I could prove everything that was on my statement was mine.

    You do have a limit on how much you can have in savings, or how much you own. They do check from time to time SO's banking statements - a 10.00 birthday check from his dad caused him to get 10.00 less that month, and anything that even smacks of "life insurance" will give them a stroke. SO has a policy for his burial -the limit is 2,000, course Ca says you can only have 1,500 and they want him to sign over the balance over that. I had to fax over the entire contract because the 50.00 payment per month showed it was paid to an insurance company.

    Marcie
     
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Is there someone you can talk to about maybe putting the house in a "trust" for him? Maybe that way it wouldn't actually be "his" but he could make "rent" payments or something?

    I dunno. We're in the middle of this too..........but I'm not working yet so income from me is not an issue at this point. But we're trying to figure out how to document which bills Travis is helping to pay when they're paid online. (one issue with being rural is many places are not located here)

    We did get our foodstamps and medical.......thank goodness. I nearly choked on the foodstamp backpay because they did it clear back to July. (I am NOT complaining.....but wow! Was not expecting it either)
     
  5. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Things I would consider:

    If he has a mortgage payment, will he be able to make the payment and not spend the money somewhere else on his own?

    Do a lack of expenses reduce the amount he will receive dollar for dollar? For example, if they declare fair market value rent to be $400, but he doesn't have that because his home is paid for, does he lose $400 a month or does he lose a smaller amount?

    If he's going to lose that amount dollar for dollar, I'd buy the house outright and not worry about a mortgage payment with interest. Then you don't have to worry about it getting paid, and he won't be paying interest. There will also be property taxes and home owner's insurance to consider, and those together will probably be about as much - if budgeted monthly- as rent would be. Not sure how SSI counts those expenses.
     
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    He is not allowed to have over $2000 saved at any time after he has spent his distribution. The SS counselor stressed that and then kinda laughed and said if you own a mansion and a BMW that's aok (smile/chuckle) as your house and your car are exempt from the asset rules. I'm really leaning to upping the price level of the house, getting a doable mortgage instead of aiming for payoff and buying a newer more dependable car.

    If the house and car are paid for then the only expenses he would have would be electric (150 oe less) water (50 or less) real estate taxes and home insurance (150 or less) and home maintenance which would be minimal. All medical would be covered as he has Medicare and Medicaid including pharmacy. TV, internet and phone likely would be 150
    a month too. IF he gets food stamps he's be saving more than allowed pdq.

    He did laugh when I told him "as a taxpayer who still works I agree with the government....you don't need over a grand a month plus benefits" you and other disabled people deserve support but not more discretionary income than I have working full time in my old age. He got a big grin and said "it is more than I expected". This is stressful.
    Furthermore I think that if we croak and leave him a few grand he'll have to account for it. on the other hand maybe he could put the money as a payment against the home mortgage balance.

    Why do I get analytical at two or three in the AM on work nights?? Yikes I have birthday company coming next week and have to get the house clean. Sigh. Night...oops....Morning. DDD
     
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    DDD, you need to call FL Social Services and ask them what the income levels are for a single person for Medicaid for the Disabled. I dont think he is going to meet the income qualifications for medicaid for the disabled for long once he goes of SSI and if he is going to get over a $1000 a month, he wont be on SSI for long. He will be on SSDI. I realize all this is so confusing.

    SSI- Supplemental Security Income. Basically a federal welfare program for either the children or adults who are disabled but have never had the ability to build a working history for them to draw disability off of.

    SSDI- Social Security Disability Insurance. This is what employed workers have paid into with their social security and FICA taxes all their working lives. This has a much higher limit. Oh and another difference is that this program will also give a benefit to your spouse and children if you actually get more than the minimum amount of SSDI.

    One thing with SSDI, if a parent becomes eligible for SSDI and they have a child who is deemed eligible for disability prior to the childs 22nd birthday, that child also shares the PARENTS SSDI benefits. Just an FYI. I am betting that is why your son is eligible for SSDI.

    Okay...now onto the lump sum. I didnt have to account for my lump sum at all because I only got SSDI. Now I didnt have a payee either. That may have been the difference. No one has ever asked me what I did with it. I had a year to get that money out of my account before it would have effected my medicaid because as soon as I heard what my monthly payment would be, I went down to the Dept of Social Services and applied for Medicaid for the Disabled because here the monthly limited was 825 at the time and I was getting 748 when I started. I have had a few increases in COL and now get 767 and the monthly limit is 850.

    The type of medicaid I get pays all my copays, covers my first $200, and my 20%. It also covers my part D. I think you are going to be able to get your son covered for the type that covers his copay for his Part B cost, and then the help with his Part D. Not the other. You are going to have to get him a Medical Advantage Plan. Do some very good checking with pharmacies, doctors offices and such for the cheapest one. It might be he could get the United Health or United Health one that they advertise for O down a month. Especially if he doesnt have a ton of medical expenses a month.

    I have not heard of them taking SSDI dollar for dollar unless he is working. I own my own home and have 2 cars. Not an issue. Its also not an issue with Tony living with me but we arent married and we dont get food stamps.

    I will tell you a secret and a tip. All either of them have to do is claim that they cook and eat separately and they can both get their own food stamps. They just both write a statement to that effect. Have her put her food into one cabinet in the kitchen. Happens all the time. We all know its not true but it happens all the time. Its one of the things we used to just expect as caseworkers. They have no kids together and are not married. Its fine.

    In order to get him more food stamps, I think I would get him a house with a low mortgage payment but buy him a good used car without a payment. That would be just me. Car payment doesnt give him a higher amount of food stamps but a mortgage will but he still cant get over the single person limit. If your difficult child can find someone who gets them, ask them what the single person limit is so you are have an idea. Here it is 200. SC is about 275.

    Have I given you enough ideas?
     
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Is the car and insurance in his name or are they paid for by you? I would assume that if you bought the car and have paid his insurance in order to keep him going until this disability came thru, he could pay you back for the car and then get it in his name and get his own insurance policy. This would save you some money and then if you needed to use the cash to help him pay for something in the future (clothes, buying household items, fixing a roof leak, whatever), it would be easy enough to do without that actually being a cash gift to him. I don't have personal experience in this area so take my ideas for what they are worth! I'm just thinking out loud and trying to come up with ideas. I have heard of people who don't even drive being able to justify having to pay for their own car so someone could drive them around though.

    Also, I used to work with a man who went to an attny and had the attny write a legitimate Bill of Sale so he could "sale" his son a car in a way that legally built up his own credit. Of course, this meant if the son abused the car privilege, the father could issue something and get the car back; the father didn't make him pay full monthly payments is indicated in the Bill of Sale in order to help the son out financially. IOW, he told him he'd forgive half the monthly payment as long as he worked or went to college, or something like that.
     
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the feedback. I'm going to visit the Disability office before I go to work this morning. The gentleman seems to be knowledgable and caring...and he is also disabled. Really I am no rocket scientist but I've never read so much material that didn't jive since I started working in my teens.

    :) Forgot to add that I want him in HIS house before 12/31 for a number of reasons. I want him to get his homestead exemption filed this year AND if he doesn't have a house he and his girlfriend are moving into my house. She has some good points but I don't think we're meant to share a house, lol.

    Bt the way he gets SSI and SSDI (two separate checks that total a grand plus). He got his Medicare card in the mail yesteray but allegedly he will be eligible for both medicare and medicaid. Stuff keeps coming every day. Oh yeah I have reams of paper on three separate pharmacy plans. He's been assigned to one but can switch to another. More reading! It's like War And Peace for government survival. I'll let you know what happens next. DDD
     
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

  11. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    You're talking about a lot of money, and complex choices. Perhaps it is worth it to enlist the advice of a disability attorney to sort thru the rules and guidelines. Oftentimes they are willing to take their fee when SS actually come thru.
     
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