Types of Benefits

Types of Social Security Benefits

There are several kinds of disability benefits for which a person may be eligible. The medical rules are the same for each of these programs – you must be found disabled as defined by Social Security’s regulations. The non-medical requirements are different for each program.

The five main programs are:

Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB)

You are only eligible for these benefits if you have paid a certain amount of Social Security tax over a period of time. Your prior work history will determine when DIB coverage starts and when it ends. Disability Insurance Benefits is, as the name implies, an insurance program. A worker has a certain percentage of his or her earnings taken out of each paycheck. These withholdings are pooled together with other workers’ earnings and used to “pay out” on disability claims. To get coverage, you must have worked at least twenty calendar quarters (five years) within the last forty calendar quarters (10 years) before your disability began. (There is a different rule for people whose disability began before age 30). To be entitled to DIB, you must prove that your disability began while disability insurance was in force. As for your benefits amount, the longer you have worked and the more you earned the larger the benefit amount you are entitled to if you become disabled. There are no household income restrictions on a DIB claim. So, even if your spouse is still working and financially able to support you, you are entitled to DIB benefits if you are disabled.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

SSI is a Federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes). It is designed to help aged, blind, and disabled people who have little or no income. SSI benefits are not based on your prior work or a family member’s prior work.

To get SSI, you must have limited income and resources. To be eligible for SSI, you must be found disabled under the same rules used for DIB, or be blind, or over age 65. You must also have very little household income or property to be financially eligible for SSI. Even if you are found to be disabled under Social Security’s regulations, if your household income exceeds a certain maximum level you will not qualify for SSI benefits. For a disabled person with little or no past work experience whose spouse is able to care for the family financially, this is a reminder that SSI benefits were created to afford minimal economic relief to disabled people who would not otherwise receive the necessary financial support they need.

Child’s Disability Benefits (CDB)

Child’s Disability Benefits is a type of SSI program. It provides financial support to children age 17 or younger who are disabled. Social Security uses different rules for determining disability in a child’s claim than in an adult claim. To be found disabled, the child must have a physical or mental condition that causes marked and severe functional limitations. As with SSI claims, to be eligible for Child’s Disability Benefits the parents’ household income must not exceed a certain maximum level. Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, P.L.L.C. is one of only a few law firms in Minnesota that will handle Child’s Social Security Benefits claims.

Disabled Widow/Widower Benefits (DWB)

This is a special disability program for certain widows and widowers, based on the Social Security tax paid by her or his deceased spouse. To qualify for Disabled Widow/Widower Benefits, you must be between the ages of 50 and 59, and have been married for at least 10 years to the person who was covered under Social Security at the time of his or her death, and show that you are under a disability. You must prove that your disability began within seven years of your spouse’s death.

Disabled Adult Child Benefits (DAC)

Disabled Adult Child Benefits generally may be paid to a child age 18 or older who became disabled before age 22, and to a full-time elementary or secondary school student under age 19. If the parent is alive, he or she must be entitled to retirement or disability benefits. If deceased, the parent must have worked long enough under Social Security for survivor’s benefits to be paid.

A child age 18 or older may be entitled to Social Security benefits based on his or her disability when a parent who has worked long enough under the program is entitled to disability benefits or is deceased. The criteria used to evaluate the disability are the same as those used to evaluate disability in adults. The child must be unable to work because of a medical condition that has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months, or is expected to result in death. The child’s disability must have begun before age 22.

Written by Hoglund Law

The attorneys of Hoglund law are licensed in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio. Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC is based in Roseville, Minnesota. In addition to handling cases involving bankruptcy & social security, Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC handles faulty drugs and toxic exposure.

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Bankruptcy Attorney / Lawyer – Minneapolis / St Paul

Bankruptcy Attorneys / Lawyers Minneapolis – St Paul

Most offices require payment of attorney fees up front (plus the filing fee) before a chapter 7 bankruptcy petition is filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Hoglund Law Office’s third party guarantor monthly payment plan takes the burden off of clients, who cannot afford a lump sum payment to get their case filed. Typical payments are $90-$100 per month. Also, some clients cannot afford to wait to file their case because of levies and garnishments. The third party guarantor plan does not require a waiting period to file the petition while the client is trying to save up the attorney fees.

Bankruptcy Attorney

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Our office does not ask for any attorney fees up front before filing a debt reorganization plan. Furthermore, the attorney fees are paid out of the monthly chapter 13 payment. You do not have to pay for an initial attorney consultation and you do not need to have any money at the initial consultation.

What is bankruptcy?

It is a legal proceeding in which a person who cannot pay his or her bills can get a fresh financial start by discharging debts. Filing bankruptcy immediately stops most of your creditors from taking any legal action against you while you are in your case.

What can filing do for me?

It may make it possible for you to:

  • Eliminate the legal obligation to pay most or all your debts. It is designed to give you a fresh financial start.
  • Stop foreclosure on your house and allow you an opportunity to catch up on missed payments. It does not, however, automatically eliminate mortgages or other liens on your property without payment.
  • Prevent repossession of a car or other property or force the creditor to return property even after it has been repossessed within a certain time frame of filing a case.
  • Stop wage garnishment, debt collection harassment, and similar creditor actions to collect a debt.
  • Restore or prevent termination of utility service.

What filing cannot do:

It cannot, however, cure every financial problem. Nor is it the right step for everybody. In bankruptcy, it is usually not possible to:

  • Eliminate certain rights of “secured” creditors. A “secured” creditor has taken a mortgage or other lien on property as collateral for the loan. Common examples are car loans and home mortgages. You may be able to force secured creditors to accept payments over time in the bankruptcy process and bankruptcy may eliminate your obligation to pay any additional money if your property is taken. Nevertheless, you generally cannot keep the collateral unless you continue to pay the debt.
  • Discharge types of debts singled out by the law for special treatment, such as child support, alimony and certain other debts related to divorce, student loans, court restitution orders, criminal fines, and taxes.
  • Discharge debts that arise after bankruptcy has been filed.

Will filing wipe out all my debts?

Generally yes, with some exceptions. It typically will NOT wipe out:

  • Money owed for child support or alimony, fines, and taxes
  • Debts not listed on your petition
  • Loans obtained by knowingly giving false information to a creditor
  • Debts resulting from “rdwillful and malicious” harm
  • Student loans
  • Mortgages and other liens that are not paid in your case (but it will wipe out your obligation to pay any additional money if the property is sold by the creditor).

What else should I know?

Utility services — Public utilities, such as the electric company, cannot refuse or cut off service because you have filed for bankruptcy. However, the utility can require a deposit for future service and you do have to pay bills that arise after filing.

Discrimination — An employer or government agency cannot discriminate against you because you have filed.

Driver’s license — If you lost your license solely because you couldn’t pay court-ordered damages caused in an accident, bankruptcy may allow you to get your license back.

Co-signers — If someone has co-signed a loan with you and you file for bankruptcy, the co-signer may have to pay the debt. If you file a Chapter 13, you may be able to protect co-signers, depending upon the terms of your Chapter 13 plan.

Discharge — You will receive your Order of Discharge officially discharging your debts about two months after your Meeting of Creditors for those clients that file a Chapter 7.

Pre-filing counseling & pre-discharge education:

In order to be eligible for a bankruptcy a debtor must receive a Certificate of Counseling from a U.S. Trustee approved counseling agency prior to the filing of a case. This certificate is valid for 180 days and must be filed with the court along with your bankruptcy papers. This counseling is designed to assist debtors in budgeting and overall fiscal management.

After you file bankruptcy, a debtor must receive a Certificate of Debtor Education from a U.S. Trustee approved counseling agency and file it with the court. In order for you to get a discharge of your debts in your bankruptcy case this Certificate needs to be filed with the court within 45 days after the Meeting of Creditors has been concluded.

The debtor education course is designed to educate debtors on wise money management and credit use. You also will get helpful tips and tools on how to obtain credit reports, dispute errors in your report, establish credit, and prevent identify theft.

What different types of bankruptcy should I consider?

There are two basic types of cases that consumers can file:

Chapter 7

Also known as “liquidation,” this chapter of bankruptcy is generally the simplest and quickest form of bankruptcy and is available to individuals, married couples, corporations and partnerships. A trustee (appointed by the bankruptcy court) gathers and sells your non-exempt property and uses the proceeds from the sale to pay your creditors.

Most Chapter 7 cases are “no-asset” cases. This simply means that all of your assets are protected by an appropriate exemption and that you do not have any property for the trustee to take and sell.

Chapter 13

If you’re an individual or a sole proprietor, you can file a Chapter 13 to pay all or part of your debts over three to five years. Rather than wiping out debts immediately, this option allows you to reorganize your debt so you have time to pay. Many people who file Chapter 13 bankruptcies have:

  • Mortgages or other loans they would like to bring current, so they don’t lose their homes or other property
  • Taxes, child support or student loans that can’t be wiped out by Chapter 7 bankruptcy
  • Have valuable property that is not exempt, but the debtor can afford to pay creditors for the property from his or her income over time.

For Chapter 13, you will need a stable income with disposable income (income left over after you pay the bare necessities of life such as shelter, food and utilities). You must have no more than $1,010,650 in secured debt (debt involving property that your creditor might take if you do not make your payments) and $336,900 in unsecured debt.

The filing of the Chapter 13 petition must be accompanied by a proposed payment plan extending over three to five years. The proposed payment plan must provide for the payment of all “priority claims,” such as taxes, in full.

The bankruptcy trustee appointed by the bankruptcy court must review the proposed plan for accuracy and feasibility. The proposed plan is distributed to creditors, who have the right to object to the plan if it’s unreasonable. You make monthly payments to the bankruptcy trustee, who distributes the funds to the creditors according to the plan. If the plan is completed as approved, your unpaid debts are “discharged.”

What chapter of bankruptcy can I file?

The chapter of bankruptcy for which you qualify is dependent on a six-month average of your total household income and the size of your household size. Once the average monthly gross income is determined, we then look to the median income for that household size in Minnesota.

Generally speaking, if you are below the median you can qualify for a Chapter 7 case. If you are above the median income you can qualify for a Chapter 13 case. A consultation with an attorney is the best approach in determining which chapter of bankruptcy to file.

Written by Hoglund Law

The attorneys of Hoglund law are licensed in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio. Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC is based in Roseville, Minnesota. In addition to handling cases involving bankruptcy & social security, Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC handles faulty drugs and toxic exposure.

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