It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Disabilities Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 03-14-2010, 09:08 PM   #1
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 140
nancyjo HB User
What are monthly SSDI benefits based on?

People keep telling me I should apply, but I honestly can't even afford to take ST or LT disability through my job b/c I cannot survive on 60% of my income; it's too low.

When I turn 62 (long time from now) I will qualify for 50% of my ex-husband's SS benefits. He worked and made a very nice annual salary all the years I stayed home with our kids, so given the option of 50% of his or 100% of mine, his will be the best way to go.

I'm just wondering if SSDI benefits might also be based on his income; if so, I might be able to apply and get enough to live on. Short of that, however, I am going to keep taking pain meds and having procedures so I can work! I enjoy working, but the long commute and stress are taking a toll on my pain level AND my stress level.

Thanks so much for any advice,
nancyjo

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 03-14-2010, 10:11 PM   #2
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: California
Posts: 341
lizzy76 HB User
Re: What are monthly SSDI benefits based on?

It is my understanding that you have to have worked for a certain number of years before you are eligible for SSDI. However, that said, I have no idea how things work when you are married and your husband is your sole provider. Wish I could be of more help!

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 03-15-2010, 12:51 AM   #3
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southeastern USA
Posts: 379
roses4lace HB User
Re: What are monthly SSDI benefits based on?

You will have a choice. Your SS benefit will be either 100% of your benefit, or 50% of your ex-husband's benefit, whichever one is the larger benefit. You can't receive both, only one. This is true whether you are applying for disability, or for retirement. When I applied for SSDI, my ex was already on SSDI, so I had the choice of half of his benefit, or all of mine. Mine was the higher benefit.

 
Old 03-15-2010, 03:14 PM   #4
Facilitator
(female)
 
SpineAZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 5,106
SpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB User
Re: What are monthly SSDI benefits based on?

SSDI is based solely on your earnings history. I believe the maximum monthly SSDI benefit right now is around $2600/mo. Every year, about 2 months before your birthday, you should be receiving a statement from SS that lays out retirement projections and disability projections is you were to become disabled at this time. If you have not received this, or perhaps misplaced the statement, go to www.ssa.gov/mystatement

However this statement likely won't make any reference to your ex-spouse's SS (I'm married and my statement only lists my benefits and no indication of spouse benefits).
As to SS Retirement, for a worker retiring at age 66 in 2010, the amount is $2,346/mo This figure is based on earnings at the maximum taxable amount for every year after age 21. This is because SS taxes are only removed from about the the first $100,000 of earnings (as of 2008). So millionaires would still only get $2346/mo retiring right now because only a small portion of their earnings are subject to SS taxes. There's a more detailed chart available at www.ssa.gov (under maximum table earnings)

Also, if you were to go on LTD from your employer just be aware that anything you receive from SS is deducted from your LTD. So for a basic example, if your LTD is $3500/mo and you are awarded $2000/mo from SS then you'd get $1500/mo from LTD (so that the total you receive from both sources is $3500).

SSDI continues until your retirement age and then is converted to SS Retirement.

I am on LTD right now and likely will need to apply for SSDI soon as my LTD carrier usually makes recipients apply when they've been out of work for one year. For me that will be 4/2010.
__________________
Rt thumb fusion '13. R&L thumb arthroplasty '12 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS' 11. Fusions: L5-S1('87), L4-S1('93), C5-C7('06), L3-S1('10), C4-C5('13). C5-C7 foraminotomy '08

 
Old 03-16-2010, 05:18 PM   #5
Registered User
(female)
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: California
Posts: 1,777
mscat40 HB Usermscat40 HB Usermscat40 HB Usermscat40 HB Usermscat40 HB Usermscat40 HB Usermscat40 HB Usermscat40 HB Usermscat40 HB Usermscat40 HB Usermscat40 HB User
Re: What are monthly SSDI benefits based on?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nancyjo View Post
People keep telling me I should apply, but I honestly can't even afford to take ST or LT disability through my job b/c I cannot survive on 60% of my income; it's too low.

When I turn 62 (long time from now) I will qualify for 50% of my ex-husband's SS benefits. He worked and made a very nice annual salary all the years I stayed home with our kids, so given the option of 50% of his or 100% of mine, his will be the best way to go.

I'm just wondering if SSDI benefits might also be based on his income; if so, I might be able to apply and get enough to live on. Short of that, however, I am going to keep taking pain meds and having procedures so I can work! I enjoy working, but the long commute and stress are taking a toll on my pain level AND my stress level.

Thanks so much for any advice,
nancyjo
You would have to apply on behalf of yur on disabilites . If you have enough work credits for SSDI , and win your claim, then it will be on your own record , not his . Your kids get benifits because they are minors off your husbands record until they reach 18. If you have children , thenthe kids would get half the amount the parent recieves , if more then one child the income is split between them .
An adut has to apply on her own based on her disability.

Last edited by mscat40; 03-16-2010 at 05:21 PM.

 
Old 03-31-2010, 06:07 PM   #6
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 140
nancyjo HB User
Re: What are monthly SSDI benefits based on?

Thanks, everyone. My understanding is that you have to pay your own health insurance premiums while on STD or LTD; is that correct? If so, any income I received on either would be used up paying my insurance premium, with very little left to pay bills.

Every day at work I am waiting to be fired, part of which is due to extreme panic disorder issues I'm currently dealing with. In a calm, rational state of mind, I think I'm a valued employee (I do lots of very specialized work for entry level pay b/c when I was hired they said I couldn't earn more due to no experience in this industry), but the panic is overwhelming me to the point of being completely paranoid. I can't discuss this with my supervisor (though co-workers go to her with their health issues and she IS a friend as well as supervisor) b/c I'm afraid it will make me a "target" and they will decide they can do without me. I applied for a job online last weekend in the same industry, but now am terrified that the company I applied to has notified my present employer...you see the paranoia, I'm sure.

We have a benefits coordinator at our home office who told me once that any medical issues shared with her are confidential; would it be in my best interests to tell her what I'm going through? Would that somehow protect me from being fired? I don't make enough to even pay my monthly bills (child support only lasts one more year, and that bridges the gap), and yet, I have to have health insurance.

I had to go to urgent care on Monday to get a prescription for a tranquilizer before I could even go to work -- it's really bad. I am trying so hard to be a good worker and get ahead (am also in school), and yet, I feel like my life and mental/physical health are a complete train wreck. I'm sure some time off to be in a day program (NOT going to the hospital) might be a good idea, but I just don't see how I can do it; I will be screwed from ever finding work in my field in this town again.

I appreciate any input; I'm just not at all sure what to do and am clearly beside myself.

Thanks for listening,
nj

 
Old 03-31-2010, 06:59 PM   #7
Facilitator
(female)
 
SpineAZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 5,106
SpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB User
Re: What are monthly SSDI benefits based on?

Hi NancyJo:

Every employer is different in how they handle STD and LTD. There are so many variables. In my experience most often during STD you continue to pay your medical insurance at the same rate as when you were at work. Some employers will sever your employment at LTD and then COBRA would be an option. Other employers have concessions in place for continuance of medical coverage. For example, while on STD I received 80% of my pay and had the same premiums deducted for medical insurance (and dental, etc) as I did while I was at work. When I went on to LTD my employer then moved me to "Retiree/LTD Medical Coverage" so I pay what retirees would pay for medical insurance. (This amount is much more than I paid when working, but this is not the case for every employer). However I can stay on this coverage until I reach retirement age or until my LTD claim is terminated (if I am found to be no longer disabled under the LTD plan's definition of disability). If that were to occur I would then be eligible for COBRA. It's important you get the STD and LTD policies in your hand, for future reference. However, my STD/LTD plan did not indicate how the medical insurance would be handled, that was in the employee manual (which a co-worker in another state printed and sent to me when I realized I didn't have it).

You mentioned that you are worried you may be fired. Please note: If you are fired you will no longer be eligible for STD or LTD. STD can only begin if you are found to be disabled on the last day you worked AND you were not terminated from employment. You can not get fired on a Monday and then call Tuesday and say "I'd like to apply for STD". Just as you could not get fired on Monday and call Tuesday and say "I'd like to enroll in the Life Insurance program". Don't laugh but if you get pulled into some meeting where you thing "you are fired" is definitely coming then you go to Benefits and say "I need to leave immediatley due to a personal emergency" and then after getting treatment call the employer and say "I may need to take some STD time". I can tell that you are worried about how to judge this, but take a step back when you can and if you are getting the message that your performance is not acceptable them seek to go out on STD. Keep in mind, STD can be as little as a few weeks. I saw many claims of employees with panic or anxiety disorders and some needed only a few weeks to get a good medication and counseling regimen in place before returning to work. If no confidential information has been shared with co-workers, they'd go back to work and say "Oh, it was my gallbladder, I had to have it removed". And they'd say that because 15 years ago they had their gallbladder removed and no one would know it was anything other than that. You have the right to privacy in terms of your medical information and your co-workers and supervisors, so they don't need to know why you were out, even if they bug you for an answer.

Any discussion you have with your employer should not contain any confidential information regarding any of your conditions. Although she has stated any discussions with her are confidential you should not divulge your diagnosis, medications, etc. There is a certain amount of confidentiality which must be maintained by all HR and Benefits staff, but their first loyalty is to the employer, then to the employee. If the employer administers their own STD and/or FMLA on-site then they will be privy to some information but that will be after you have formally filed a claim.

When I ran into severe spine problems last year I did talk with HR (located in a different state) and all I said was that "I have significant health issues that may require some accommodations" and the HR person directed me what to do. I did divulge that it was a "possible spine problem" problem but did not want her to have any specifics of my condition. Perhaps say "I have some stress issues that are causing me some personal concern" and you could add, if you are worried "I want to know if at any time my performance or anything becomes of concern to my supervisor or affects my work and request that if this occurs someone will please speak with me immediately so I can work on improving whatever is necessary." While some states are "at will" employment, in which employment can be terminated at any time, most employers have a pre-set policies, in writing, as to how to handle any performance issues. Perhaps they speak to the employee, then if performance does not improve a written warning is issued, etc. So it is in your best interest to have a copy of the company's employee manual in your hands.

I do understand your concern about going on FMLA or disability and then attempting to return to work. I am only 43, on LTD, and am not sure if returning to work is viable because of my health. However, if I do return, I'm relatively sure many people in my industry would have a way to know (if they don't already) what has been going on with me. I live in a very large city (Phoenix) but my industry tends to be "everyone knows everyone" so I share that concern. In terms of financial survival on LTD I am lucky that I have additional financial resources and even with my husband currently on unemployment we are surviving (but not thriving). And, if we really ran into trouble, we could uproot and move to Michigan where my parents live since they've got room for us. My husband is not a fan of this plan but we know it's an option. I only wish you had additional financial resources which would allow you to easily go on disability.

If you have worked for your employer full-time for a while you likely are covered under FMLA which gives you job protection if you go out on STD for up to 12 weeks (most employers run STD and FMLA at the same time, concurrently). If so, if you can adjust to a decreased income for a short period perhaps some intensive treatment of 6-8 weeks would allow you to return to work.

Many employers have the Employee Manual, STD Plan and LTD Plan on the internal intranet. It sounds like you may be the type of employee that uses the computers/systems and if so you'll want to print those all out right away and review the most important aspects (1) Benefit % (2) How long STD lasts (3) How long LTD lasts (4) Medical insurance when on any type of leave.

Let me know if you have further questions.
__________________
Rt thumb fusion '13. R&L thumb arthroplasty '12 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS' 11. Fusions: L5-S1('87), L4-S1('93), C5-C7('06), L3-S1('10), C4-C5('13). C5-C7 foraminotomy '08

 
Old 04-01-2010, 09:51 PM   #8
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 140
nancyjo HB User
Re: What are monthly SSDI benefits based on?

Thank you so much for all the info, SpineAZ -- that is most helpful. I know my company's employee policy info is posted on our website, so I will look at that tomorrow.

I did email our Benefits Coordinator yesterday, asking for clarification on our new behavioral health benefits. I simply told her I have a personal issue I have been stressed about and would like to talk to one person in particular, but need to know if our policy now covers a licensed social worker or if I would have to see a psychiatrist. I have not yet heard back from her, so of course I'm worried about that, too!

Even though I don't think they have ANY concerns about my ability to do my job (and do it VERY well, always with a great attitude, and am not one of the "complainers"), your suggestion to ask to be notified of any concerns by my supervisor in the area of job performance is an excellent one. I only know of one person who has been fired from my company, and he clearly needed psychiatric treatment (multiple personalities, stalking other employees), whereas no one at work sees the panic I live with. To the watching world, I am happy, full of confidence, and extremely outgoing...and yet, the panic disorder causes me to worry incessantly about losing my job.

I am so glad you have options as far as family and income -- options are a good thing! I am going to discuss all of this with the psychiatrist's nurse next week and see if she thinks I need to take some time off. If so, I will at least know what my options at work are and how to proceed. Again, I appreciate the advice you have shared with me so I can be prepared if necessary.

Take care,
nancyjo

 
Old 04-01-2010, 10:13 PM   #9
Facilitator
(female)
 
SpineAZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 5,106
SpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB User
Re: What are monthly SSDI benefits based on?

Many employers offer what is called an EAP - Employee Assistance Program. So your employer may offer you the name of the EAP service company and their contact information. Then the EAP can let you know what services are available based on what the employer purchased. Some EAP plans are telephonic support only, some offer a few one-one-one sessions with a counselor or social worker, etc. In any case often the people you speak with via the EAP can refer you to further services in your community.

The EAP usually "contracts" with service providers. For example, one of the big EAP's that exists is ComPsych. If your employer gave you ComPsych's number you may then call them, and then get a call back or referral to someone ComPsych contracts with for the services you need. {Keep in mind I use ComPsych only as an example of an EAP service provider}. And, an EAP is totally separate from your employer so it's 100% confidential. They will let you know what they can do for you, etc. So use them as much as you can. I would say most frequently I saw employer's who wanted the EAP to provide 3 telephonic support calls and up to 3 one-on-one visits with a counselor or social worker and then referral as needed. When you max out what is available via the EAP the counselor, social worker or psychologist is required to refer you to services in your area that may be able to further help you.

If you have medical insurance you may have some behavioral health benefits available through that as well.

Please note that all of the EAP information I provided is just based on examples of what I have seen in the industry. Your employer's offering may be very different.
__________________
Rt thumb fusion '13. R&L thumb arthroplasty '12 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS' 11. Fusions: L5-S1('87), L4-S1('93), C5-C7('06), L3-S1('10), C4-C5('13). C5-C7 foraminotomy '08

Last edited by SpineAZ; 04-01-2010 at 10:20 PM.

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
What are my chances? half step Disabilities 5 04-09-2011 06:47 PM
Differences between SSI and SSDI correysjo Disabilities 6 01-05-2010 12:18 PM
What to do now? cm1247 Disabilities 3 02-08-2009 12:40 PM
I have a plan that pays 60% of my income....what about the other 40% mintz Disabilities 42 09-30-2007 07:42 PM
Need advice on the progression from STD to LTD to SSDI GracefulOne Disabilities 5 08-05-2007 09:44 PM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Sign Up Today!

Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

I want my free account

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:07 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!