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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 37818
Experience:  I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
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This is for someone familiar with social security.Question

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This is for someone familiar with social security.

Question 1: I worked for about ten years for a local school district. No one in the district paid FICA taxes at that time (we did not have a choice). Now, even though I could be medically qualified for disability, I do not have enough "quarters" to qualify. Is there any way, other than working to earn more quarters, that I can be classified as disabled? I cannot work due to my physical condition.

Question 2: Could you please let me know the maximum amount of income I can have to apply for SSI, food stamps or any other financial assistance? I live in Texas. I think there are state assistance programs available, but I don't know how to contact them. Can you help me with this?

Thank You.

Good afternoon Linda,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

To qualify for social security disability, you have to show that you have accumulated at least 20 quarter credits of social security in the 10 year period before you became disabled. And, it takes 5 years of employment where you are paying social security taxes to accumulate those 20 credits. I'm sorry, but based on your state facts, you can't qualify for disability.

To qualify for SSI, you generally cannot have more than $2,000 in assets aside from a home you live in, furnishings, and one vehicle. Your countable income needs to be below $710.00 per month---but this is countable income---which is typically about half of your income.

However, the SSA counts only some of your income when it determines whether your income is over the income limit. SSI exempts the first $20 per month of unearned income; and the first $65 of earned income and one-half of monthly-earned income over $65. Other exempt resources, include but are not limited to a house, a car, personal property, household goods, a burial space, or pre-need agreement, and those are not counted.

So, let’s say that you and your spouse bring in income of 2,000.00 per month. The first $65 doesn't count, and only half of the amount over $65 counts. The math looks like this: $2,000 - $65 = $1,935/ $1,935/2 = $967.50. The $967.50 would be the income that SSI would look at to determine your eligibility. Because you can have FRB income of up to $1,066 for a married couple, and because the income SSI counts from your $2,000 a month is only $967.50---you would qualify for SSI.

Here is an article that tells all about the assets you can own that do not count against the $3,000 you may have:

Here is a link to the qualification requirements for the Texas food stamp (SNAP) program:

You may reply back to me again, using the Reply to Expert link, if you have additional questions.

I wish you the best in your future,


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