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Certificate of Disability

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Old 10-03-2008, 09:37 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southeastern USA
Posts: 380
roses4lace HB User
Certificate of Disability

Has anyone heard of a certificate of disability from Social Security? I went today to apply for a homestead exemption. According to Alabama law if you are "totally and permanently disabled" a person will qualify for exemptions, but they want this SS certificate and two doctor letters. My Fully Favorable letter (which I have used elsewhere as proof of disability) wasn't what the county tax office wanted.

To confuse me even more, Alabama law says the state Commissioner of Revenue can issue certificates of disability and any person who is drawing "any pension or annuity from the armed services or a company or governmental agency as being permanently and totally disabled shall automatically be granted a certificate of permanent and total disability by the state Commissioner of Revenue."

But that is not from Social Security. I'm so confused. I left their office in tears. I seem to have all kinds of pieces of paper, but not what they want.

Is my SSDI a "pension or annuity" from a "governmental agency", and should I call the state office to get a certificate? But, the local office isn't asking for one from the state office, they want it from SSA.

I took my Fully Favorable letter to the downtown office, and they wanted two letters from doctors instead. I looked on the web, and their satellite office says they accept two letters from doctors OR one letter signed by two doctors OR a certificate of disability from Social Security and one letter from a doctor.

I'm going in circles, and don't know what to do. Can anyone help me with this?

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Old 10-11-2008, 04:16 PM   #2
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 968
goldyfm HB Usergoldyfm HB Usergoldyfm HB User
Re: Certificate of Disability

I would check with my local SS office and see what they say. I know the SS website is down right now for maintenance but they also have an online ask a question that you could use if you are unable to find out from your SS office. I would be interested to know the answer myself.

Old 10-11-2008, 08:13 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,453
AuntieLeela HB UserAuntieLeela HB UserAuntieLeela HB UserAuntieLeela HB User
Re: Certificate of Disability

It's been a long time since I first went on SSD but I think your "Certificate of Disability" (geez, they make it sound like it's trimmed in gold!) is the letter SSD sent you when you originally "won" disability, it stated how much you'd get and when. Also called "Certification of Disability Determination" or "Certificate of Award" or "Notice of Award". It's not the same as the Fully Favorable letter from the ALJ ~ admin. law judge. The FF letter is from the courts, the certificate is from SSD.

Mine actually said "certificate of disability" on top. I was told that it'd be important and to make 10-20 copies, which I did, and thank goodness 'cause everybody under the sun wanted one. That was back in '91, now I just use my 1099 tax form.

Most states (maybe not yours?) will accept the 1099, the yearly SSD benefits statement, as proof of disability. You can get a new one online, once they get back on their feet. Is it ironic that the disability website is disabled? [url][/url]

In Florida, "totally and permanently disabled", applies only to the blind and those who use a wheelchair on a daily basis.

Old 10-11-2008, 09:12 PM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southeastern USA
Posts: 380
roses4lace HB User
Re: Certificate of Disability

Thanks so much for the reply. I checked my file, and found a paper that says "Notice of Award" but nothing with "Certificate of Disability". I've emailed a state office to see if they can clarify this for me, and next week I'll go back down to my county tax office. I may ask to SEE what this "certificate" looks like. I called the person who helped me at SSA and told her about this, and she said get them to call her about it.

I only began receiving payments this year, so haven't yet received a 1099.

While doing my research, I noticed that Alabama and Florida have different rules regarding eligibility for property tax exemptions. Florida law is much more strict. Ours also has a yearly income limit, which I meet, but since I received a lump sum this year, probably won't meet it next year. They want a copy of last year's income tax forms, so my 2007 income (or lack thereof, I should say) definitely qualifies.

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