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Charlotte Social Security Disability Blog

When can your SSDI benefits be garnished?

If you're receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you likely depend on this money to pay for housing, food, medical care and other necessities. However, did you know that in some cases, your payments can be garnished to pay the money you owe?

Social Security benefits (with the exception of Supplemental Security Income), can be garnished if you are delinquent on or have failed to pay any the following:

  • Court-ordered child and spousal support
  • Federal taxes
  • Federal student loans
  • Federally funded home loans
  • Court-ordered restitution to victims of a crime

The challenges of getting SSDI when you have MS

Getting approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can be a challenge for people with multiple sclerosis (MS). In fact, just 37% of people with MS have their initial application approved.

Part of the issue is that people who apply for SSDI have to show that their medical impairment has lasted or is expected to last for at least a year. However, most people with MS (75% to 85%) have the relapsing-remitting form (RRMS) -- at least initially. They have flare-ups or exacerbations where they experience symptoms for days or weeks. Then their symptoms go in to remission. However, even when they are symptom-free, the disease is in their bodies and may still be progressing.

Physical conditions more of a barrier to job than mental illness

A recent study completed at Rutgers University shows just how urgent the need is for integrated physical health and mental health care for those who suffered from chronic mental illness conditions.

The study's lead author said, "Without addressing physical health problems, people with serious mental illness will continue to experience more health problems and diseases and do not seek employment that could improve their quality of life."

The long process of disability approval

An illness or injury that prevents you from going to work can be stressful in several ways. Not only are you dealing with the suffering of the illness or injury, but you may also have expensive medical treatments or prescriptions to afford, which may be difficult if you are missing work and not getting paid. However, if your medical condition promises to prevent you from working for a long time, you may turn to the Social Security Administration for disability benefits.

Qualifying for disability benefits through the SSA is not easy, and the qualification process can be quite long. An additional complication is that many who apply for disability do not qualify the first time around and must go through an appeals process, which adds even more time before receiving the first payment. How long will you have to wait before your disability payments begin to arrive?

Neck injuries can affect your ability to work

Neck injuries and resulting neck pain can be caused by a variety of factors including work accidents, sports injuries, car accidents and improper lifting. Individuals can also injure their necks by sitting at a computer for an extended period, falling or by diving into the water.

Injuries to a person's neck can cause them to develop headaches, tingling or numbness in the legs and arms or shoulder pain.

You may qualify for disability benefits if you have lupus

Lupus is a very debilitating, chronic illness. The symptoms associated with lupus generally get worse over time. You may qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits if you've been diagnosed with this condition and your health has deteriorated to the point that you can no longer work.

At least five million people worldwide have the autoimmune disease lupus. There are more than 16,000 individuals who are newly diagnosed with this condition annually. Many people who have lupus suffer from chronic symptoms that can last for months or even years.

Alzheimer's disease and Social Security Disability benefits

Alzheimer's disease is typically associated with the elderly -- or at least with people who are in their senior years. However, many thousands of people who have the been diagnosed with the disease are under 65.

What's known as early-onset Alzheimer's can strike people in their 30s and 40s. Those are typically the years when people are hitting their stride in their career. As the disease progresses, they're no longer able to work.

How can an ABLE account help you?

If you're a disabled adult, you may qualify to open something called an ABLE account. This is named for the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014. It's a tax-advantaged investment account, managed by each state, that people with disabilities and their families can contribute to in order to help cover disability-related expenses.

The ABLE account has a number of advantages. The funds in the account aren't included in any means testing for programs like Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) that mandate that recipients not earn above a certain amount to qualify.

Could you receive SSD benefits for your severe IBS?

Certain maladies seem more common now than they were in the past. For instance, many people suffer from gluten intolerance, celiac disease and other autoimmune conditions. Another ailment that many more people seem to live with these days is irritable bowel syndrome. At one time, this was not well known and was usually only a diagnosis from an astute gastroenterologist.

These days, many people receive IBS as a diagnosis, and much more is known about the condition. However, only some people such as you suffer from a severe case of IBS. In fact, your condition may be so bad that you are no longer able to work due to the severity of your condition.

Don't forget to report changes that could affect your SSI

If you receive any type of benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA), you are required to report any changes in your life that could impact your eligibility for those benefits. That's true of retirement benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

If you don't report these changes within 10 days following the end of the month when the relevant change occurred, you could face fines, sanctions and possibly even prison time. Sanctions can include a loss of benefits for six months. The more sanctions you have, the longer you can be denied your benefits. The same is true if you make any false statements to the SSA.

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