Question for a Los Angeles Attorney

Attorney Los Angeles (L.A.), CA: I live in Los Angeles, do I get paid the same as people in San Diego, Long Beach, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Riverside,Oceanside, Escondido, or Chula Vista if I’m awarded my SSI or Disability benefits?

The amount of money you receive from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits does not depend on where you live. There are methods for calculating what your monthly payment will be, but the calculations do not have anything to do with where you live. Every year, you should receive a statement from the Social Security Administration that shows how much money you would receive if you were to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

For SSDI, the amount you receive will be based on your work history (how many years you have been working) and how much money you earned (and how much money you paid in required Social Security payroll deductions). The more you earned, the more you paid into Social Security, so the larger your disability benefit will be.

For Supplemental Security Income (or SSI as it is more commonly known), there is a maximum benefit amount that is set each year. In 2009, the maximum SSI benefit is $674 for individuals and $1,011 for couples. However, the amount of your SSI payment is based on how much other income you have (if any.) When your other income goes up, your SSI payments usually go down. So when you earn more than the SSI limit, your payments will stop for those months. If your only income besides SSI is the money you make from employment, then the first $85 you earn in a month are not counted. Half of what you earn (after the $85 is deducted) will be withheld from your SSI payment. Note: California also applies a supplement, which increases the SSI amount you may receive each month.

For example: if you earned $1000 from employment in a month (and that was your only earnings besides your SSI payment), $85 would be ignored and the remainder ($915) would be divided in half to determine the adjustment to your SSI payment. So, your next SSI payment would be reduced by $457.50.

For experienced legal representation and an aggressive pursuit of your SSDI or SSI claims, contact Jorgensen Law with offices in San Diego, Los Angeles or Riverside, California. For assistance, schedule a free consultation at our office by email or by calling 1-888-855-2948.