Questions & Answers


Our 27 hour Workshop takes place over 3 Saturdays in consecutive months addressing the challenges to meet the physical, emotional, spiritual and financial requirements of a special needs family.

Includes all the work necessary to help design and implement a specialized plan for your person of special needs. We work through all 6 modules. Complete with the "Ugly Green Book", action lists, "Letter of Intent" instructions and implementation CD. Complete Estate and Wealth consultation and all legal pre-work. We have our own experienced attorney referrals that will complete your legal plan.

  • Current Plan Review
  • Divorce Support Services
  • Death Support Services (first or second parent)
  • Transition plan review and assistance
  • New Plan Re-design
  • Letter of Intent Support
  • Additional Special Needs Trust

Social Security Disability Insurance is funded through payroll taxes. SSDI recipients are considered "insured" because they have worked for a certain number of years and have made contributions to the Social Security trust fund in the form of FICA Social Security taxes. SSDI candidates must be younger than 65 and have earned a certain number of "work credits." (To learn more, see our article on SSDI and work credits.) After receiving SSDI for two years, a disabled person will become eligible for Medicare..

Under SSDI, a disabled person's spouse and children dependents are eligible to receive partial dependent benefits, called auxiliary benefits. However, only adults over the age of 18 can receive the SSDI disability benefit.

There is a five-month waiting period for benefits, meaning that the SSA won't pay you benefits for the first five months after you become disabled. The amount of the monthly benefit after the waiting period is over depends on your earnings record, much like the Social Security retirement benefit.

Supplemental Security Income is a program that is strictly need-based, according to income and assets, and is funded by general fund taxes. SSI is called a "means-tested program," meaning it has nothing to do with work history, but strictly with financial need. To meet the SSI income requirements, you must have less than $2,000 in assets (or $3,000 for a couple) of countable asset.

Disabled people who are eligible under the income requirements for SSI are also able to receive Medicaid in the state they reside in. Most people who qualify for SSI will also qualify for food stamps, and the amount an eligible person will receive is dependent on where they live and the amount of regular, monthly income they have. SSI benefits will begin on the first of the month when you first submit your application.

The monthly payment amount for the SSI program is based on the "federal benefit rate" (FBR). In 2015, the FBR is $733 per month for individuals and $1,100 for couples (and the FBR increases annually if there is a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment).

The FBR is the maximum federal monthly SSI payment. Income you receive during the month, minus certain exclusions, can be subtracted from your federal monthly SSI payment. Additionally, state money can be added to your federal monthly payment.

For those applicants who receive a low SSDI payment, Supplemental Security Income does exactly what its name implies. It supplements. For example, if an approved disability claimant receives SSDI monthly benefits in the amount of $385, an SSI award could be used to guarantee that the claimant's total monthly benefits equal the minimum SSI amount, which is currently $710 per month. The SSDI recipient would receive an additional $325 in SSI to bring her total monthly benefits to $710, a sum equal to the full SSI monthly benefit amount.

Of course, this scenario will not happen. Because SSI has resource (asset) limits (currently, an individual cannot have more than $2,000 in disposable assets), many SSDI claimants will not be eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income, no matter how low their SSDI benefit amount is.

You will learn about Federal vs. State, Social Security System:

  • Social Safety Nets
  • SSI, Medicare and Texas Medicaid
  • Legal Issues
  • Guardianship, Estate Planning and Trust
  • Waiver Programs
  • Residence Programs
  • Tools you need to Reach Your Goals