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Thread: SSI or SSDI

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    Default SSI or SSDI

    Anyone heard that one can deduct their medical expenses from their income in order to qualify for SSDI or SSI? Always been told my income is too high and that I don't have enough work credits. Now been told I can deduct my medical expenses from my income and that I'll qualify. It's a new one to me. Also was told I can qualify for prescription assistance if I do the same deduction.

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    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    SSDI is not based on your income or expenses at all. You don't deduct your medical expenses from your income for it. If you're entitled to it, it's based on your earnings record.

    I don't know about SSI. It is needs-based and you may be able to deduct your medical expenses from your income.

    You can deduct medical expenses from your income to qualify for Medicaid as well as for HUD-subsidized housing.
    Last edited by agate; 09-24-2011 at 03:30 PM.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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    Distinguished Community Member SalpalSally's Avatar
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    Agate, I believe you cannot have a high income and recieve SSDI, so it does depend on your income. My friend who is on SSDI worked part time and when she made too much money, they stopped her SSDI. She finaly had to quit the job.
    Love, Sally


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    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    Sally, thank you for catching that. I revised my post. You're right of course--if you make too much money, you're at risk of having the SSDI benefits cut off.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
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    Distinguished Community Member SalpalSally's Avatar
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    Thanks Agate...
    Love, Sally


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    ssdi .... only EARNED income is counted.... earned=from a job. investment income is not included in earned income.

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    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    newone, you do know that there's a forum on Social Security? Not a lot of activity there just now but you might find something useful in the archived threads.
    http://braintalkcommunities.org/foru...isability-(SSD)

    Also, you asked about prescription assistance. Many applications for rx assistance ask about your medical expenses, and when they process your application they take those into consideration, probably by subtracting it from your income. If the application doesn't explicitly tell you that "income" means "income minus medical expenses," you have to state your income without deductions.

    To be on the safe side, why not give a call to the company in charge of the program you're applying for and ask? I've looked at a couple of applications online, and they ask for gross income. To me that means income before any deductions.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
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    Newone, you really need to talk to an expert on SSDI, as the advice given in this thread is confusing.

    I am not an expert, but have been on SSDI for a long time. Yes, there are income limits --but you can still work, but not earn over a certain amount each month (the last I heard it was $700, but that may be different now). If you DO earn over that amount, your SSDI will be reduced, and eventually could be cut off if your earned income -- your paycheck -- was substantial, but you'd still be eligible for Medicare. I worked for quite awhile while on SSDI, receiving both my SSDI check and my earned income. The nice thing about SSDI is that you can retain your home, car(s), savings, investment income, retirement income -- none of that counts against your eligibility for SSDI, only your work credits.

    SSI on the other hand is "means tested". You have to have only a few assets -- used to be $2,000, not including your home. That number may have changed.

    Yes, with SSDI you can deduct your medical expenses from your income, including prescription drugs and medical co-payments. You can also deduct some travel expenses if you need specialized travel to get to work (like, you rely on a handicap accessible transportation system that charges for their services). There are some other deductions allowed as well . .but it's been quite awhile since I used any of that, so won't try to tell you what they are.

    There are several medical plans available that offer assistance based on income, but each one has different criteria. Some require that you have limited savings, investments and income, some are more generous. You'd have to check carefully with any plan you're considering to see what you'd have to do to be eligible. I do know of plans that work like what I described for SSDI - -you start with your gross income, deduct medical expenses, current prescription drug expenses, etc., and if the remainder is low enough, you'd be eligible for assistance.

    The paperwork can be horrendous, but certainly worth it if it's necessary.

    But again, eligibility requirements for all of these programs change regularly, so it's really best to not rely on anything anyone offers here, but go directly to the source. I've found that local social security staff people are really pretty helpful. Barring that, another good place to start is with senior citizen centers, who have experts on their staff who can answer questions.
    ...I am not a doctor nor medical professional, and don't pretend to be one, here... :o

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