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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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In 2003 I started to receive 900+ dollars from the V.A.

Customer Question

In 2003 I started to receive 900+ dollars from the V.A. For a nonservice condition. About the same time I applied for SSI. Soon after getting the V.A. Pension, I started receiving a S.S. Check. It happens to be a little more than the V.A., so I chose the Social security. The V.A. Rated me at 80 percent disabled. So after turning me down the first time, SSI decided to agree and go with the 80 percent theV.A. approved me for. Now here is 2016 and my health has declined much much more. I can barely walk without a lot of medicine and a stick, my diabetes is hard to control, not to mention the other conditions I have with my bones. Two neck surgeries, knees, elbows all from some type of bone condition. Any help from anyone would really be helpful I'm sure! Thank you, ***** ***** John Ritch. (***-**-****)
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 10 months ago.

Good morning John,

With regard to your post:

"In 2003 I started to receive 900+ dollars from the V.A. For a nonservice condition. --- OK, so that suggests you were quite indigent at that time, yes? As the VA doesn't cover the non-indigent (for lack of a better word) with that welfare benefit.

"About the same time I applied for SSI. -- OK, that makes sense - sometime one will grant while the other won't, the criteria not being the same. And like that VA provision, SSI is also for the poor (combined with lack of sufficient work history). Why is it that you were not eligible for SSD (social security disability)? Had you not worked much prior to getting disabled?

"Soon after getting the V.A. Pension, I started receiving a S.S. Check. It happens to be a little more than the V.A., so I chose the Social security. The V.A. Rated me at 80 percent disabled. So after turning me down the first time, SSI decided to agree and go with the 80 percent theV.A.------ Actually, that is not what happened. SSI program has NO ratings at all - you are either unable to work full time or you are. It didn't agree or disagee with any 80% rating. It didn't need to. You need not be bedridden, but unable to work full time on a sustained basis, in any kid of occupation that realistically appears in the economy (in a nutshell). Social Security Disability requires the same, but further requires that you are insured for SSD, which means a sufficient work history.

"...approved me for. Now here is 2016 and my health has declined much much more. I can barely walk without a lot of medicine and a stick, my diabetes is hard to control, not to mention the other conditions I have with my bones. ------- So sorry!

Two neck surgeries, knees, elbows all from some type of bone condition. Any help from anyone would really be helpful I'm sure! Thank you, ***** ***** John Ritch. (***-**-****) --------- It looks like you have maxed out the welfare aspects, given the above. But dependiing on your age and if you have a sufficent work history for SS Retirement, you may have paid in enough while you were able to work, to have a retirement benefit from SS. If that is the case, once you are 62 you can take it (reducing or eliminating the SSI) - it will be reduced from your full benefit though since you will be required to take in 'early' at 62. That will also get you Medicare at 65. This is the federal benefits area.

So unfortunately aside from that, no more federal from SS. (Additional impairments don't raise the amount, since you are already at the bar of not being able to work FT.) BUT, state governments have their own welfare provisions as well. So you don't mention so I have no reason to believe you have looked there - but that is where you can apply for food stamps, housing assistance, medicaid health insurance (some states also have stipends to add to SSI, but that should already be being paid to you automatically - it is not big, but something). It can be very helpful because for every $ you need not pay out of your SSI pocket, like for food, it money that stays there for other needs. If you can, you can also feel free to work and earn a little - something that is conducive to your significant physical limitations. This can be anywhere from house sitting to customer service from home - all depending on what you can do and want to do. SSI will allow you the first $65/month of earned income to NOT reduce your SSI. And after that, you still only offset $1 of SSI for every $2 earned - so you can significantly increase your income if you can find the right job for you.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 10 months ago.

I realize any gainful activity may be off limits, but just putting the idea out there. Some jobs can be very PT and very, very sedentary.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 10 months 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.

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