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Old 08-25-2011, 09:08 AM   #1
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SS Cap on earnings.

Spine thanks for all your excellent information.

How to fix SS.

Don't cap the earnings- why the heck? Stopping it at $100,000?? that's barely middle class anymore.

I realize the old "I'll never get out what I put in" but that's what taxes are. Like income taxes- I'm not getting all the "perks" that low income people get, free housing etc. My family ends up paying into taxes every year. I never see all of that money back.

I pay $100/mo for home/car insurance. I have definately never seen that. It is a law to have insurance on your car but not your health. (***)

Anyway, am I the only one that thinks the cap is way too low??

Pup

 
Old 08-25-2011, 09:15 AM   #2
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Re: SS Cap on earnings.

Answering my own post.

I also think they should put limits $ on backpay. Esp SSI as money was never paid in by the disabled person. I could see a certian amount or a year but people who receive $5-10,000.... It's a nice boost but a ton of money that isn't needed for immediate survival.

I'm not saying no backpay but not 4 years worth. We need to keep the fund solvent, there are people who get $50,000 backpay!

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Old 08-25-2011, 09:58 AM   #3
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Re: SS Cap on earnings.

I've been fighting for over 4 1/2 years for my disability. I better get my backpay! We've had to borrow and let things go around the house to make ends meet. When I win there is a lot of catching up that will have to be done.

 
Old 08-25-2011, 10:08 AM   #4
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Re: SS Cap on earnings.

If the amount of annual salary tax cap was raised....there would be the same problems. Then the maximum monthly SSDI benefit would have to be raised proportionally and that would lead to the same problems that there are now.

A person who earned $500,000/yr for 20 yr only gets around $2400/mo in SSDI becuase only the first $106,800 of earnings are taxed for SSDI. If we now tax all $500,000 maybe his benefit for SSDI needs to be $8000/mo.

What I will agree is payroll taxes for OASDI should not have been reduced 2% in 2011. If you are running out of money don't decrease what you take in for the program.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:44 AM   #5
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Re: SS Cap on earnings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pupcake View Post
Answering my own post.

I also think they should put limits $ on backpay. Esp SSI as money was never paid in by the disabled person. I could see a certian amount or a year but people who receive $5-10,000.... It's a nice boost but a ton of money that isn't needed for immediate survival.

I'm not saying no backpay but not 4 years worth. We need to keep the fund solvent, there are people who get $50,000 backpay!

Pup
I applaud you Pup for wanting to to keep SSDI solvent but most ppl want that backpay I am afraid<LOL>. The backpay is really the right thing to do if SS does not approve you right away. Think about it>>>>

1. You apply for SSDI in Jan. 2007.
2. You finally get approved in Jan. 2011.
3. Since they found you disabled and if you were disabled in Jan. 2007 and SS agrees, you have every right to recover this backpay. Had they approved you right away, there would be no lumpsum payment but the early onset monthly payments would add up to the same thing.

* If SS limited the backpay, they would put a lot of lawyers and disability advocate firms out of business I am afraid (LOL). Most ppl would then have to go the daunting SSDI process alone.

Last edited by BlueSkies14; 08-25-2011 at 10:50 AM.

 
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:52 AM   #6
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Re: SS Cap on earnings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSkies14 View Post
I applaud you Pup for wanting to to keep SSDI solvent but most ppl want that backpay I am afraid<LOL>. The backpay is really the right thing to do if SS does not approve you right away. Think about it>>>>

1. You apply for SSDI in Jan. 2007.
2. You finally get approved in Jan. 2011.
3. Since they found you disabled and if you were disabled in Jan. 2007 and SS agrees, you have every right to recover this backpay. Had they approve you right away, there would be no lumpsum payment but the early onset monthly payments would add up to the same thing.

* If SS limited the backpay, they would put a lot of lawyers and disability advocate firms out of business I am afraid (LOL). Most ppl would then have to go the daunting SSDI process alone.
I absolutely have to agree with you BluesSkies. If the system wasn't so clogged up, there wouldn't be these problems. OTOH, if these judges wouldn't hold back a ruling for months on end, it would help too.

Doesn't it make one wonder how many months of 'back pay' can be chalked up to judge's holding back on their written approvals?

 
Old 08-25-2011, 10:56 AM   #7
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Re: SS Cap on earnings.

I didn't address that one (missed it in the post) and Blue Skies is 110% correct.

Backpay is based on when you apply, when you are determined to be disabled, etc.
*I last worked in 4/2009
*5 mo waiting period SSDI May, June, July, Aug and Sept
*SSDI may begin Oct 2009.
*Applied for SSDI 8/2010
*Denied 12/2010
*Recon filed 01/2011
*Recon denied 06/2011
*ALJ in 8-16 months (or more)
*If awarded in 2012 or 2013 I may have 36-48 mo of back SSDI due to me
*SSDI benefit will be approx $2000
*Back pay will be 36-48 mo of SSDI so $72,000 - $96,000 due to me (which in turn is due to my LTD ins co as they offset my SSDI from my LTD).

Yes, it's a load of money. But 100% due back to me (or anyone who applies). If not for LTD this money, for many people goes to repay medical bills, utility bills that are in default, repay friends/family, get a home out of near foreclosure, buy a vehicle to replace that which was repossessed, and of course $6000 to the atty.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:01 AM   #8
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Re: SS Cap on earnings.

There are some ppl who say let FICA be voluntary. IOW, let ppl choose whether they wish to contribute or opt out. The problem here is that many ppl who would choose to opt out would not take the money to invest for their future retirement/disability/medicare. You would then have a group of ppl disabled (unable to do SGA anymore) w/o any disability income protection and forced to accept SSI/medicaid.

 
Old 08-25-2011, 11:04 AM   #9
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Re: SS Cap on earnings.

BlueSkies:

Just like people who work for an employer that offers LTD at $5.00 per paycheck deduction and the employee turns it down. Later becomes ill and now wants it, but can't get it. Once you opt out you can only get in via full medical underwriting.

My hubby has a young co-worker who was choosing benefits. He relayed to her stories of healthy people who ended up drowning in debt due to medical costs (the stair you trip over and shatter your leg, the appendix that bursts, the pneumonia that you've never had before). She opted OUT of medical insruance. 3 wk later taken to the hospital unable to breathe well. 3 weeks in there, still undiagnosed lung disease, thus far probably $30,000 in debt over a decision she made since she was "healthy". SO, you are right. People would opt out and then complain when they had no Medicare, no SSDI, no services whatsoever.
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Last edited by SpineAZ; 08-25-2011 at 11:05 AM.

 
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:11 AM   #10
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Re: SS Cap on earnings.

I understand needing & wanting the backpay, but huge amounts... no. Esp in SSI benefits.

With SSDI it is an insurance to help you live for the rest of your life- not buy you a house. I went without income due to my disability and we had to declare bankruptcy- I do understand falling behind on bills. But is there a need for serious windfall?

How 'bout SSI- should the applicant who has never worked get a bonus $50 grand?

Just thinking.

They can't change it now, I understand that.

Spine- about raising the cap, why can't they raise it without increasing the benefits. Capping the benefits at $3000 or whatever.

Pup

Right now the "middle" class pays a higher % of income into the system. Perhaps if they could take the same % from everyone? Or let the middle class invest their own retirement?

How about review panels that review things by condition rather than age? Specialists in fibro, or spine, or depression? They would be better trained on the subject, would that speed things up?

I'm being hypothetical. How would you guys fix it?


Pup

 
Old 08-25-2011, 11:13 AM   #11
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Re: SS Cap on earnings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpineAZ View Post
I didn't address that one (missed it in the post) and Blue Skies is 110% correct.

Backpay is based on when you apply, when you are determined to be disabled, etc.
*I last worked in 4/2009
*5 mo waiting period SSDI May, June, July, Aug and Sept
*SSDI may begin Oct 2009.
*Applied for SSDI 8/2010
*Denied 12/2010
*Recon filed 01/2011
*Recon denied 06/2011
*ALJ in 8-16 months (or more)
*If awarded in 2012 or 2013 I may have 36-48 mo of back SSDI due to me
*SSDI benefit will be approx $2000
*Back pay will be 36-48 mo of SSDI so $72,000 - $96,000 due to me (which in turn is due to my LTD ins co as they offset my SSDI from my LTD).

Yes, it's a load of money. But 100% due back to me (or anyone who applies). If not for LTD this money, for many people goes to repay medical bills, utility bills that are in default, repay friends/family, get a home out of near foreclosure, buy a vehicle to replace that which was repossessed, and of course $6000 to the atty.
Yeah, I agree Spine. I am just really sorry for those ppl who don't have LTD or enough savings to sustain them while they wait on SSDI. The SSDI backpay does help but nothing can really undo the damage done from foreclosures, bankruptcies, repossessions, ruined credit, and the physical and mental toll on your health.

 
Old 08-25-2011, 11:26 AM   #12
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Re: SS Cap on earnings.

It's not a windfall. I take exception to it being called that. A windfall is an unexpected bonus amount of money such as inheritance or lottery winnings. SSDI iss what is due to the claimant. Backpay is replacement of a portion of the person's income and is indeed intended to pay for their housing, transportation, etc. If they've managed to hold on to their house by borrowing from family $30,000 and are awarded $30,000 the family can be paid back.

You've seen my scenario. If someone else was disabled the same day and same reason and same age and approved for SSDI in Nov 2010 and gets their $2000/mo starting Nov 2010 - BUT then I have to wait 4 yr for SSDI approval, then I don't get compensated retroactively? Indeed I am entitled to it. Unlike the lucky person who was quickly approved my case took 4 yr so I get all that is due to me.

So we penalize those who have approval significantly delayed by SS but award those who get quick approval? The financial position of the person doesn't matter, nor does their other income, etc. So in fairness to everyone you are awarded back to your "benefit begin date" then you are paid back to that date as well.

If I total my car today and it's worth $10,000. Insurance fights with the other ins co of the offender who hit my car and they take it all the way to court. It takes 3 yr for a final disposition of litigation to finally find the other party 100% at fault. Now in 2013 when the case is settled that same care would be worth $7,500 via blue book value at time of settlement in 2013, I get $7,500? No, I get the $10,000 value of my car at the time of accident, not when the legal stuff is settled.
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Last edited by SpineAZ; 08-25-2011 at 11:34 AM.

 
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:31 AM   #13
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Re: SS Cap on earnings.

You can only raise the tax cap when proportionally increasing the SSDI benefit. So while there may be some extra funding if high earners don't claim SSDI, it's not different from an overall actuarial perspective. It's the same problem with different numbers.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:34 AM   #14
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Re: SS Cap on earnings.

Pup>>>>>How much backpay were you awarded? I really don't know how to solve it. I do know if you don't have enough money to fund the program anymore, you have to do one of three things. Discontinue the program, put more funds back in the pot, or slow the rate of funds left leaving the pot. They will not discontinue SSDI I am afraid. So, eventually, expect to see taxes go up, SSNRA (SS normal retirement age) go up, and make it more difficult than it already is to obtain benefits as Vann has said so many times here. I also think like Vann said that there could be more pressure put on to do CDR's and kick any questionable claimants off.

 
Old 08-25-2011, 11:36 AM   #15
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Exclamation Re: SS Cap on earnings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pupcake View Post
I understand needing & wanting the backpay, but huge amounts... no. Esp in SSI benefits.

With SSDI it is an insurance to help you live for the rest of your life- not buy you a house. I went without income due to my disability and we had to declare bankruptcy- I do understand falling behind on bills. But is there a need for serious windfall?

How 'bout SSI- should the applicant who has never worked get a bonus $50 grand?

Just thinking.

They can't change it now, I understand that.

Spine- about raising the cap, why can't they raise it without increasing the benefits. Capping the benefits at $3000 or whatever.

Pup

Right now the "middle" class pays a higher % of income into the system. Perhaps if they could take the same % from everyone? Or let the middle class invest their own retirement?

How about review panels that review things by condition rather than age? Specialists in fibro, or spine, or depression? They would be better trained on the subject, would that speed things up?

I'm being hypothetical. How would you guys fix it?


Pup
So in other words, if I'm permanently disabled/unable to work/have no income. I file timely, have worked and properly have paid into the system. My case is denied at 1st and 2nd levels taking about 12 months; Appealed to the ALJ which takes another 8-12 months -- during which I have no income and have relied on friends and family, claimed bankruptcy, lost everything. The judge finally gets around to hearing my case at the back end of the 12 month waiting period... THEN I have to wait yet again for him to approve or deny.. He takes another 6-10 months to approve me and agrees that my onset date is nearing 3 years ago = onset meaning I am qualified to have received SSDI, --that if had they agreed with my doctors on my original application/level 1 they had not denied me, I wouldn't have had to borrow, beg and claim bankruptcy, lose my home, there wouldn't be much of any back pay due....
and you believe we should all give that up?
Really?
Really???

We aren't robbing a bank here. It is money we are deserving of once we are become disabled. I don't know why you would think other wise.
I never expected needing the SSDI.
Not ever.
I've worked over 40 years and paid into the system. Unless someone is a con who really expects to claim SSDI? Seriously.

But if you feel that strongly about this maybe you should call your atty and tell him that you don't want your back pay.. -- no wait. Your atty would have a cow, --he wants his money. So, other than his fee, he should call SS and tell them that you don't want the remainder of the back pay.
Maybe that will make you feel better about all getting your SSDI.

 
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