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Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 13283
Experience:  19+ years legal exp. - 10+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
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I have collected SSDI months - severe depression and -polar

Customer Question

I have collected SSDI for 26 months - severe depression and bi-polar diagnosed.
I want to start a small at home business - small ice cream truck route - business to generate approximately $300-$600 a month, seasonal - about 7 months out of the year
My review is expected September 2016
Do I need to report this to SSA0 if so, how do I report this to SSA?
Family members other than myself will mostly be doing the work - I am providing the finances to start the business.
Do I start as a sole proprietor (as I am the only one with the finances) or as a partnership with the family members who will operate. I do not want to jeopardize my SSDI. Additionally, my minor son receives benefits from my ssdi each month, he is 14.
detailed info is appreciated.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Good evening. With regard to your post:

"I have collected SSDI for 26 months - severe depression and bi-polar diagnosed. ------- OK.

"I want to start a small at home business - small ice cream truck route - business to generate approximately $300-$600 a month, seasonal - about 7 months out of the year ------- OK.

"My review is expected September 2016 Do I need to report this to SSA0 if so, how do I report this to SSA? --------- If you start the business, yes, you are to report it when you do so.

"Family members other than myself will mostly be doing the work - I am providing the finances to start the business. --------- OK, that is good. You will want to have MUCH proof that your work is de minimis because self employed work is examined differently, including looking at your hours vs. your pay.

"Do I start as a sole proprietor (as I am the only one with the finances) or as a partnership with the family members who will operate. --------- That is a question you will want to pose to your accountant.

I do not want to jeopardize my SSDI. --------- All work is a risk, however. But yes, there are riskier ventures than some. You need to examine if what you claimed to be unable to do and what the SSA found you couldn't do, which connected them to the legal conclusion that there was no job you could do full time, is going to be contradicted here. If you are working 25 hours/week for 7 months, that activity could lend itself to the conclusion that you could then work full time. Now, if you are NOT doing the work, and you can prove it (and I am sure your accountant can prove this - by income in, paychecks out, payroll, workers comp, etc., all showing the amount of hours worked by OTHERS. ) and all you do is a few hours/month of reviewing your books (say, 5 hours month) and there is nothing to suggest otherwise and everything points to others doing the work, then this is doable. It is more like you are buying an investment, the business. And you hire a manager to do all the head work, including hiring any additional workers... if the money jives (and the gas used jives with the amount of hours you pay them for, etc.)... you don't have to be a worker beyond being the investment owner who reviews his books minimally every month. It takes much preparation, and always work to keep your proofs of what you are NOT doing... but it is doable. Expect to be examined closely. SSA is used to self employed or officers of family owned corps playing games with the money to collect SSD or early SSR while raking in money from true work efforts. Raking in from investment is OK, it is not from work efforts. So you need to clearly illustrate that in all you do.

Additionally, my minor son receives benefits from my ssdi each month, he is 14. detailed info is appreciated. ------ That would be appropriate, as he is your child and you paid for this insurance that covers him should you become disabled.

Good luck with this! I think it fantastic and proactive and a great thing to do with your money. Just do it openly, transparently, and with great care in keeping all proofs so you can clearly show you are not doing the work.

19 Oct 2015, 5:00 PM

Me

I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions.

Kindly rate me "excellent" when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, should you have legal questions. Be sure to start future posts with "To Stephanie O Joy Esq., ONLY" if you want me to specifically answer it.

Sincerely, ***** ***** Joy, Esq.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How do I make SSA aware - should i do a trial work period
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

You can, once you start. BUT, you won't even HIT TWP if you earn only that $300 to $600/mo. So you won't be using it. But when you do earn anything, you do want to report it. So your PAYCHECK you want to report (and it should equate with your hours).

If you DO earn enough in pay (vs. investment income profit), to exceed TWP threshhold, you can actually earn unlimited amount for 9 months (not necessarily consecutive). (After that don't go over SGA.) But remember, that is protection on the dollar figures, not on the activity. So you don't want the activity to demonstrate an ability you don't have. You can tell them you have bought a business, have a manger, the manager will be hiring workers, and you will be doing XYZ hopefully X few hours/month, if you are able (something very limited, I suggest you read up on how they few self employed hours, where limits fall in, etc.), and that you would like a TWP. Then keep serious track. Make sure your pay is appropriate by the hour because they will look into your activity and decide what it is worth - so underpaying yourself a wage, only to have it in owners equity, is clearly something they check out, ------ Money left over after expenses/payroll, that profit goes to owners equity or something that is investment profit, not payment for your few hours of work. Your accountant should likely be able to appropriately report this.

Remember too that being a manager is a JOB, and occupation. If it looks like you can be a full time manager of those running the business, that can defeat you. So what little management you do must be minor because you pay a manager.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Maybe we'll just put into my sons name and I'll just the money. I don't want to disrupt my SSDI and it appears it's far to risky.
If I make under the limit of 740$ a month I thought they don't look at SGA after you've been on SSDI for over 24 months? Countable income test only ??
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

"I'll just the money" - what do you mean by that?

It is has risks, but they are minimized if you are transparent and well-documented and are not breaking the rules of eligibility in fact.

The TWP amount is that which triggers the 9 months of protection - at any amoun over TWP amount. That means the $$ figures you earn won't terminate you, which they otherwise would automatically if over SGA. However, that does not protect you against a finding of "gee, she has been working 28 hours/week which she couldn't do before, look at what she is doing, she has improved, let's look further to see if she is improved enought that she is able to work full time. " So yes, it is not an SGA defeat when under SGA of 1090, it is a an activities defeat if you demonstrate you are able to engage in substantial gainful activity.

There is income which is an auto bar after your TWP, if over SGA. But there is always the factual finding of ABLE that has nothing to do with income, but activity. This is why my suggestions are about owning the business rather than working it beyond very few hours either as worker or manager.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

I hope this helps! My goal is toprovide you with excellent and accurateservice – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, Iam happy to address follow-up questions.

Kindly rate me "excellent"when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, shouldyou have legal questions. Be sure tostart future posts with "To ***** Esq., ONLY" ifyou want me to specifically answer it.

Sincerely, ***** ***** Joy, Esq.

Your online SS legal resource!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh my gosh this is incredibly confusing- what I said earlier is that we will just put business In My sons name and I will consider the money a loan. Basically, I will have no association to the business other than loaning him the money to get started- hence, the reason I thought I should hold some interest in the business- however it does not seem to be in my best k tweet o have any stake in the business as to protect my SSDI.
Once again, this little ice cream truck is expected to make very little money - it really is meant to just put a little extra "jingle" into my sons pocket- I wouldn't suspect it to earn enough to hire employees or managers - we are told from he gentleman we are buying the business from that on good months it generates about $600- clearly not worth losing my benifits over- this was intended to be low stress - not more of a headache. Ugh!
Is there anyway to get a phone colsultation with you- it's much easier for me to pose pressing questions verbally then to exchange messages. The messages and all the acroynonms make little sense to me. aI am happy to pay a consult fee upfront. Please let me know if that is an option. For the record, I am in California -
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Hi again, yes, it IS confusing. To be disabled (and I mean SS disabled) does NOT mean necessarily that one is bedridden and unable to be productive in any way. But it does mean that they can not work full time (in any occupation, not just the one they had or have) and are not earning over 1090.

"Oh my gosh this is incredibly confusing- what I said earlier is that we will just put business In My sons name and I will consider the money a loan. ------- Meaning you are loaning him money to start a business. (Remember, it is the activity you engage in (work like?) that counts, so whether it is his business and you are an employee or independent contractor, or you actively work your own, that is what you need to limit. If you ONLY give him the money (loan) and do nothing substantial for the business, you are good to go. That is easier to substantiate, obviously, then a business in your own name....

"Basically, I will have no association to the business other than loaning him the money to get started- hence, the reason I thought I should hold some interest in the business- -------- heck yeah! I would make it legal in all respects, you just never know if an influence could enter his life that could make verbal understandings fall to the wayside...

"however it does not seem to be in my best k tweet o have any stake in the business as to protect my SSDI. ------ I disagree. Where did you get that idea?

"Once again, this little ice cream truck is expected to make very little money - it really is meant to just put a little extra "jingle" into my sons pocket- ----- actually, above, you said you wanted to start a business to put a little jingle into your own pocket...

"I wouldn't suspect it to earn enough to hire employees or managers - --------- above you said others would be doing "most" of the work.

"we are told from he gentleman we are buying the business from that on good months it generates about $600- clearly not worth losing my benifits over- I agree, even if earned by you by your work efforts, as opposed to no work efforts but profit after expenses (with other workers doing the work and that payroll being part of expenses), this would not defeat you based on SGA bar. But, whenever we have work-like activity, it is examined to see if it means you are no longer medically disabled. SSA does not wish to STOP people from earning what they can, and if it does not show that they can work full time, it will not defeat their SSDIB. But, obviously, showing you can work PT at 600/mo begs the question of improvement and whether you can actually work full time. So, that is the risk, so when one decides to work PT particularly in a business where they control the books, in my opinion, it behooves them to carefully document credible proof of how they are NOT working more than they earn or say and that they are not performing work tasks that they claimed they couldn't do. Even PT employees of companies must worry about the latter. (Less so the accusation of fudging hours or pay, since an unrelated nonfamily employer is not going to fudge it, typically, but they tasks they do can be examined...)

"this was intended to be low stress - not more of a headache. Ugh! -------- Sorry, it is what it is. But part of your problem I believe is that you haven't decided on WHICH way to go. First, you indicated you may work the business, the second was to merely BUY a business in your name, for others to work, third to loan to your son the money to do that, where you maybe make interest. Or, you keep an equity interest in the business, as does he (on top of his paycheck, but you don't work it and don't get paycheck), and you both collect equity at year end (i.e. profit after all expenses).

"Is there anyway to get a phone colsultation with you- it's much easier for me to pose pressing questions verbally then to exchange messages. The messages and all the acroynonms make little sense to me. I understand, and it is time consuming, largely because this is a very technical and complex area.

"aI am happy to pay a consult fee upfront. Please let me know if that is an option. For the record, I am in California - "------- Yes, First, I must provide an "additional services" option. I will describe that offer there. If you need more than that offer provides, I can direct you to where you can arrange for that afterwards, as well. Note that my phone consult, while extremely discounted, is well more than email. If you decide you prefer private email, at least for starters, let me know and I will try to get you another service button for private email only. Not sure if this system allows, but we'll see!

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

I hope this helps! My goal is toprovide you with excellent and accurateservice – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, Iam happy to address follow-up questions.

Kindly rate me "excellent"when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, shouldyou have legal questions. Be sure tostart future posts with "To ***** Esq., ONLY" ifyou want me to specifically answer it.

Sincerely, ***** ***** Joy, Esq.

Your online SS legal resource!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Great I'd prefer to discuss- I will Process my payment shortly - thank you
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

OK, we can set up a time. I am running to an appointment shortly and after work, I will be attending a child's school function, but tomorrow or soon thereafter may be fine. You are CA so may I presume you wish for after 9 am your time, i.e. after 12 pm my time?

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Hello again. It is month end -Please, if you haven't yet had the opportunity to do either of the items below, I ask that you do so now, because itis the only way I can receive credit for time spent with you. Please:

1) Follow up if clarification is needed on our above interaction/Q&A, OR

2) Rate me highly if we are finished for the time being.

If there's more I can do, please use the reply tab and let me know how I canbe of further assistance. It's my goal to provide you with excellent service- to make sure I answered the question you asked about. Please rate mehighly and provide me with feedback. And thanks for understanding how we receivecredit from the Site for contributing our time here!

Sincerely,

StephanieO. Joy, Esq. – Your Online Legal Professional

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