Image by Jess Bailey

Frequently Asked Questions

Legal Representation

How do I sign up for a class with you?


Click the "Classes" tab at the top of the page. I offer free tutorials on YouTube, extended courses through Teachable, and one-on-one consultations for patterns and yarn.




When does the Flock yarn shop update?


The Flock yarn shop is updated periodically as Flock Farm Yarns are often limited editions and single run batches. I will make announcements on social media, but if you would like to get the insider-scoop, please sign up for the newsletter! Shorn is currently avaialbe only once per year--so, sign up for the newsletter, or subscribe to my social media channels to be the first to know when the next batch is ready!




How do I return a product?


Good question! I want to you love your yarn, patterns, and classes! If you are unsatisfied with a yarn purchase, you can return it within 14 days; you'll be responsible for any original and return shipping costs. Classes can be refunded within 30 days of your purchase. Please contact me at knittingthestash@gmail.com for a cancelation. Please note that cancellation will mean that you are unenrolled from the course. Patterns are instant, digital PDF downloads and are, unfortunately, not eligible for refunds.




Can I request that you cover a certain technique or offer a specific class?


Yes! I'd love to know what you're curious to learn. Please send me an email with your class, yarn, or project ideas: knittingthestash@gmail.com





 

The Administrative Process

How do I apply?


Click here for information on the 3 ways to apply for Social Security Disability benefits.




What are the steps in the administrative process?


Click here to find a detailed graphic of the administrative process.




How long does the process take?


The process time varies depending on when you get granted. After your initial application, it takes about 3 months on average to get a decision. If you are denied, the reconsideration may take another 2 months. If you are denied on reconsideration, you may have to wait about a year to get a hearing date in front of a judge.




How will my claim be evaluated?


When you file your initial application, the Social Security Administration will begin to take your application to a sequential step process. The first question they ask is are you “engaged in substantial gainful activity?" This essentially asks are you currently working and making at least $1220 a month. If you are not, they will move on to the next step. Do you have an impairment or combination of impairments that is likely to last more than 12 months or death? Do any of your “impairments” meet or equal in severity any of the medical conditions contained in the Social Security Administration’s List of Impairments. Usually the answer to this question is no and the Social Security Administration moves on to the next question. Do your impairments individually or in combination prevent you from doing any of the occupations that you have performed in the last 15 years? If the answer to that question is yes, then they will move on to the last question. Are there any other jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that you could perform on a sustained and regular basis. This last question is the most complicated question of all because it will determine whether or not your claim will be granted. To answer this question they will look at four factors:

  1. Your age
  2. Your education
  3. Your Past Relevant Work
  4. What you are still capable of doing on a sustained and regular basis despite your physical and/or mental health limitations




Who decides if I am disabled?


During the initial and reconsideration stages of the process, all of your information is reviewed by examiners at Disability Determination Services. These examiners are not federal employees but are medical professionals (MDs, DOs, etc.) that are contracted by the government to assess your medical evidence. At hearing level, your claim will be reviewed by the Administrative Law Judge assigned to your case.




Can I work while applying for benefits?


The quick answer is yes. But there are qualifications to your pursuing work during this process. Part of the evaluation of your disability claim involves determining whether you have the ability to work at a level that reaches "Substantial Gainful Activity." This means, "have you worked enough to make enough money to live?" The amount of money you can make monthly is determined by the Social Security Administration. As long as you are making less than what is listed here, you are allowed to continue working.





General Information

How does the Social Security Administration define "disability"?


Disability is defined as the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) because of any medically documented physical or mental impairment. The impairment has to last, or be expected to last at least 12 months, or be expected to result in death.




What is the difference between Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Insurance?


Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Insurance are 2 different governmental programs that are managed by the Social Security Administration. For both programs, applicants have to meet medical eligibility, which is determined in the same manner for both programs. The main difference between SSDI and SSI is that SSDI is only available to workers who have accrued a certain number of work credits. This means the applicant needs to have worked for a consecutive number of quarters over a certain number of years. SSI benefits are available to low income individuals who either never worked, or haven't earned enough work credits.




Should I apply for SSDI or SSI benefits?


When you file an application for benefits, you should apply for both. The SSA will determine your eligibility under either program.




Can I receive SSDI and SSI benefits at the same time?


The short answer to this question is yes, depending on the amount of SSDI benefits you receive, your household income, and resources. SSDI benefits are paid to you out of your own disability account that you have accumulated when working. Meanwhile, the maximum amount of SSI benefits you may receive is $782/month. Therefore, if the amount of money you receive from SSDI is less than $782.00, then SSI may pay you the difference up to a maximum of $782 a month.




Should I apply for unemployment and Social Security?


Yes. When you apply for unemployment benefits you are required to affirmatively state that you are “ready and willing to work." When you apply for disability benefits, you are effectively saying “ I meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability, which is “there are no jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that I are capable of performing on a sustained and regular basis." You are not saying that you cannot work. In fact, you are permitted to perform a limited amount of work even while receiving disability benefits. Also, if you are over the age of 50, the fact that you are receiving unemployment benefits becomes even less significant.




Are disability benefits the same as retirement benefits?


While both retirement benefits and disability benefits are offered by the Social Security Administration, they are different. Nearly every American worker can qualify for Social Security benefits at retirement age. These benefits are deducted from your paycheck and count towards your retirement benefits. Social Security Disability benefits assist individuals who cannot earn income due to a disability. You must meet medical eligibility requirements. If you are receiving Social Security Disability benefits when you reach full retirement age, your disability benefits automatically convert to retirement benefits, and the amount remains the same.




Should I apply for disability benefits AND retirement benefits?


Yes. But you may not want to. Retirement benefits are a separate program. Disability benefits are paid out of a fund that is different from the retirement fund. Each program has its own application process and rules. If you are between ages 62 and 67, you may be eligible for retirement benefits. However, if you apply for retirement benefits before you reach full retirement, your monthly benefits will be less than what you would have received had you waited until full retirement. Therefore, you would want to remain on SSDI until full retirement. Unless there is some reason to switch to a reduced retirement benefit, once granted disability, you are not required to switch to retirement benefits, nor would you want to switch.




What is a Compassionate Allowance?


Compassionate Allowances are a list of diseases and medical conditions that meet Social Security's standards for disability benefits. If you have one of these listed conditions, you would meet the medical eligibility requirements for disability benefits. Click here for a full list of compassionate allowances.




How can I find a Social Security office near me?


Click here to be redirected to the Social Security Administration's local office finder.





Eligibility

How does the Social Security Administration define "disability"?


Disability is defined as the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) because of any medically documented physical or mental impairment. The impairment has to last, or be expected to last at least 12 months, or be expected to result in death.




What is the difference between Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Insurance?


Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Insurance are 2 different governmental programs that are managed by the Social Security Administration. For both programs, applicants have to meet medical eligibility, which is determined in the same manner for both programs. The main difference between SSDI and SSI is that SSDI is only available to workers who have accrued a certain number of work credits. This means the applicant needs to have worked for a consecutive number of quarters over a certain number of years. SSI benefits are available to low income individuals who either never worked, or haven't earned enough work credits.




Should I apply for SSDI or SSI benefits?


When you file an application for benefits, you should apply for both. The SSA will determine your eligibility under either program.




Can I receive SSDI and SSI benefits at the same time?


The short answer to this question is yes, depending on the amount of SSDI benefits you receive, your household income, and resources. SSDI benefits are paid to you out of your own disability account that you have accumulated when working. Meanwhile, the maximum amount of SSI benefits you may receive is $782/month. Therefore, if the amount of money you receive from SSDI is less than $782.00, then SSI may pay you the difference up to a maximum of $782 a month.




Should I apply for unemployment and Social Security?


Yes. When you apply for unemployment benefits you are required to affirmatively state that you are “ready and willing to work." When you apply for disability benefits, you are effectively saying “ I meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability, which is “there are no jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that I are capable of performing on a sustained and regular basis." You are not saying that you cannot work. In fact, you are permitted to perform a limited amount of work even while receiving disability benefits. Also, if you are over the age of 50, the fact that you are receiving unemployment benefits becomes even less significant.




Are disability benefits the same as retirement benefits?


While both retirement benefits and disability benefits are offered by the Social Security Administration, they are different. Nearly every American worker can qualify for Social Security benefits at retirement age. These benefits are deducted from your paycheck and count towards your retirement benefits. Social Security Disability benefits assist individuals who cannot earn income due to a disability. You must meet medical eligibility requirements. If you are receiving Social Security Disability benefits when you reach full retirement age, your disability benefits automatically convert to retirement benefits, and the amount remains the same.




Should I apply for disability benefits AND retirement benefits?


Yes. But you may not want to. Retirement benefits are a separate program. Disability benefits are paid out of a fund that is different from the retirement fund. Each program has its own application process and rules. If you are between ages 62 and 67, you may be eligible for retirement benefits. However, if you apply for retirement benefits before you reach full retirement, your monthly benefits will be less than what you would have received had you waited until full retirement. Therefore, you would want to remain on SSDI until full retirement. Unless there is some reason to switch to a reduced retirement benefit, once granted disability, you are not required to switch to retirement benefits, nor would you want to switch.




What is a Compassionate Allowance?


Compassionate Allowances are a list of diseases and medical conditions that meet Social Security's standards for disability benefits. If you have one of these listed conditions, you would meet the medical eligibility requirements for disability benefits. Click here for a full list of compassionate allowances.




How can I find a Social Security office near me?


Click here to be redirected to the Social Security Administration's local office finder.





Understanding the Importance of Treatment

How does the Social Security Administration define "disability"?


Disability is defined as the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) because of any medically documented physical or mental impairment. The impairment has to last, or be expected to last at least 12 months, or be expected to result in death.




What is the difference between Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Insurance?


Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Insurance are 2 different governmental programs that are managed by the Social Security Administration. For both programs, applicants have to meet medical eligibility, which is determined in the same manner for both programs. The main difference between SSDI and SSI is that SSDI is only available to workers who have accrued a certain number of work credits. This means the applicant needs to have worked for a consecutive number of quarters over a certain number of years. SSI benefits are available to low income individuals who either never worked, or haven't earned enough work credits.




Should I apply for SSDI or SSI benefits?


When you file an application for benefits, you should apply for both. The SSA will determine your eligibility under either program.




Can I receive SSDI and SSI benefits at the same time?


The short answer to this question is yes, depending on the amount of SSDI benefits you receive, your household income, and resources. SSDI benefits are paid to you out of your own disability account that you have accumulated when working. Meanwhile, the maximum amount of SSI benefits you may receive is $782/month. Therefore, if the amount of money you receive from SSDI is less than $782.00, then SSI may pay you the difference up to a maximum of $782 a month.




Should I apply for unemployment and Social Security?


Yes. When you apply for unemployment benefits you are required to affirmatively state that you are “ready and willing to work." When you apply for disability benefits, you are effectively saying “ I meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability, which is “there are no jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that I are capable of performing on a sustained and regular basis." You are not saying that you cannot work. In fact, you are permitted to perform a limited amount of work even while receiving disability benefits. Also, if you are over the age of 50, the fact that you are receiving unemployment benefits becomes even less significant.




Are disability benefits the same as retirement benefits?


While both retirement benefits and disability benefits are offered by the Social Security Administration, they are different. Nearly every American worker can qualify for Social Security benefits at retirement age. These benefits are deducted from your paycheck and count towards your retirement benefits. Social Security Disability benefits assist individuals who cannot earn income due to a disability. You must meet medical eligibility requirements. If you are receiving Social Security Disability benefits when you reach full retirement age, your disability benefits automatically convert to retirement benefits, and the amount remains the same.




Should I apply for disability benefits AND retirement benefits?


Yes. But you may not want to. Retirement benefits are a separate program. Disability benefits are paid out of a fund that is different from the retirement fund. Each program has its own application process and rules. If you are between ages 62 and 67, you may be eligible for retirement benefits. However, if you apply for retirement benefits before you reach full retirement, your monthly benefits will be less than what you would have received had you waited until full retirement. Therefore, you would want to remain on SSDI until full retirement. Unless there is some reason to switch to a reduced retirement benefit, once granted disability, you are not required to switch to retirement benefits, nor would you want to switch.




What is a Compassionate Allowance?


Compassionate Allowances are a list of diseases and medical conditions that meet Social Security's standards for disability benefits. If you have one of these listed conditions, you would meet the medical eligibility requirements for disability benefits. Click here for a full list of compassionate allowances.




How can I find a Social Security office near me?


Click here to be redirected to the Social Security Administration's local office finder.





Social Security Disability Insurance

What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?


SSI is a federal income supplement program that is funded by tax revenues (not Social Security taxes). It pays benefits to disabled adults and children with limited income and resources. SSI is available for those disabled adults who have not reached the "work credits" requirement needed for SSDI.




How do I apply for SSI benefits?


Click here to learn how to apply.




What will I receive if I am granted SSI benefits?


The basic monthly SSI payment for 2020 is $782 for one person, and $1175 for a couple. However, not everyone gets the same amount. You may receive less if your family has other income, i.e. a spouse's income. If you get SSI, you usually can get SNAP and Medicaid benefits, too.




Can I work after applying or while receiving SSI benefits?


See here.




Will any other income or resources reduce my benefits?


Yes. Additional income into your household, by a variety of means could reduce your SSI benefits.




Am I still eligible for SSI benefits if I receive other public service benefits?


Yes and no. The intricacies of how SSI interacts with other benefits you may be receiving is complex. Give us a call so we can walk you through your specific situation.




If I get married, will I still be eligible for SSI benefits?


Yes. Getting married will not affect your eligibility. However, if your new spouse has an income, it will affect the amount of benefits you receive. SSI takes your entire household income into account when awarding you benefits.




Will I receive medical insurance through the SSI program?


In Ohio, if you qualify for SSI benefits, you also get Medicaid health coverage automatically. No need to file a separate application.




What is a Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS), and how can I get one?


PASS is a provision to help individuals with disabilities return to work. You could qualify if you are eligible for SSI benefits. Typically, SSI eligibility and payment amounts are based on income and resources. PASS allows disabled individuals to set aside money or resources they own to pay for items or services needed, without affecting the amount of their SSI benefits. You can contact a local SSA office or click here to get a PASS form to complete. Then you can mail it or bring it into a social security office yourself.




How does reaching retirement age impact my SSI benefits?


If you are receiving SSI and are 62 or over, you may be able to receive retirement benefits in addition to your SSI if you have worked and paid into Social Security long enough to be eligible. Contact us to review your options.





Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

How do I sign up for a class with you?


Click the "Classes" tab at the top of the page. I offer free tutorials on YouTube, extended courses through Teachable, and one-on-one consultations for patterns and yarn.




When does the Flock yarn shop update?


The Flock yarn shop is updated periodically as Flock Farm Yarns are often limited editions and single run batches. I will make announcements on social media, but if you would like to get the insider-scoop, please sign up for the newsletter! Shorn is currently avaialbe only once per year--so, sign up for the newsletter, or subscribe to my social media channels to be the first to know when the next batch is ready!




How do I return a product?


Good question! I want to you love your yarn, patterns, and classes! If you are unsatisfied with a yarn purchase, you can return it within 14 days; you'll be responsible for any original and return shipping costs. Classes can be refunded within 30 days of your purchase. Please contact me at knittingthestash@gmail.com for a cancelation. Please note that cancellation will mean that you are unenrolled from the course. Patterns are instant, digital PDF downloads and are, unfortunately, not eligible for refunds.




Can I request that you cover a certain technique or offer a specific class?


Yes! I'd love to know what you're curious to learn. Please send me an email with your class, yarn, or project ideas: knittingthestash@gmail.com