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"April 2, 2008 Conference Call All About Disability"
MP3 & Transcript

Brian Therrien:  I would like to start out with a general round of introductions please:


Question 1.  SSDI lets you get married and will not mess up your benefits. IF Sandra is on SSI, it is a need-based program; but married a spouse with assets, it would be a different answer.   

Don:  SSDI and Medicare are a standard part of it.  If you are in the hospital and receive a hospital bill. you need to pay for it. 

Question 2.  SSDI sells home, would not interfere with SSDI 

Question 3.  SS reviews your case, some they do and some they do not.   

Open Question Mary: In the system you have a list of categories/. The older you are. the less likely you will be reviewed.  The younger you are the more likely you will get reviewed. 

What if you lose your medical insurance? If you are on SSDI. you have Medicare you would not lose it.  There is a challenge with a two-year gap.

Carole Question: 1. Typing and doing that work you need to find the audience to do that work.  Elance is a good place to look or a job board to look at.  So you can post what you can do on that board and employers can look for those. 

Georgia Question: 1.  Dennis you need to be unemployed 3-6 months.  A lot of people think they can continue to work and apply, but that is not true.  There is a stipulation that you can make $930/mo and work and get SSDI.  But our top representatives are not able to get the case approved.   Slim to none for getting approved.  Lesson 10 bridging the gap, prepare yourself and go through the Mini-course and have a rock solid case.  Key is to maximize your chances so you do not get your case hung up. 

Question 2:  How is SSDU affected by the tax law?  SSDI income is a financial situation.  Earnings for SSDI and federal income tax: we will come back to this question. 

Faye Question 1:  There is a grant course and housing information provided for you in the Members area. Go to  There is a members area where you can locate the housing information,  get yourself a housing counselor they are free and they go to work for you.  Understand the grant course, how to fill the paperwork out and how they work together. 

Dennis:  They will have a counselor work with you and call you about housing properties that are open, you have 24 hours to accept the housing they offer.  Every city has a center for independent living.  

When you go to CIL. they will send you out to locations for you to look at zfter you fill out an application.  There is a video that they take you through. a master cite to zero into the exact state and city.  If you cannot find the CIL, you can call another agency they will track the agency down for you.  Rent is based on 30% of your SSDI benefits.

Question: Do you have to be single or married?  You can be either and you have to be 62 or older.   Possible at 55 if you have a disability.  There is hope and you need to be polite, and follow the courses. 

Darlene Question 5:  That is an unsuccessful work attempt.     


The next question:  They will not.  Starting a new application it is 18 months.   Don. how many years on your application.  At the time they said 3 1/2 years time.

Failed work attempts" they are real liberal on that issue.  You do not have to jump through the hoops. 

Darlene Question 3:  Possibly a lot of variables qualifying for a grant, it is possible to qualify for a grant. The mini-course has a Interview with Rose Gill, oftentimes. people get grants to start a business as well.   Two resources to find out if you qualify for a grant and the second is how to start a business with a disability. another interview with Andy Leaf. 

Pain Management Government Coalition: that will help you out with the pain you are experiencing.

Rose is disabled and has a 90% success rate with people getting grants.  She looks at the people who are applying for a grant and finds the ones  which are feasible.  She is not a factory that spits out grant applications' she helps people.  The course is step-by-step and just what she would do. 

Live Question from Karen in NY:  Having difficulty with the sound for the Interviews which  would get interrupted with the typed course is also troubling for her as well.  

 Are others having technical problems?  Brian Therrien:  Try instead of hitting the play button, you can download the MP3 and can play it through your computer which is not subject to Internet speed.  Download the course at night so it will be ready in the morning.  Anyone can play it on windows, media, winamp; they are all free.   

Live Question Richard from MA:  Diagnosed with Sleep apnea: On the Ada website Sleep Apnea is a disability qualification. 

  What is the qualifying issues for SSDI?

 Brian T:  From SS I am not a lawyer or doctor but have helped thousands of people to win.  It is not the conditions you have but how the conditions you have that prevent you from working in the US economic system.  Do you have a doctor that will back you up.  Go through the Mini-course.  People get awarded on SSDI that one might think are not disabled.

Richard has been unemployed for 6 months, I fall asleep at night and you fall asleep during the daytime.  It disables myself from working.

Are the Dr. roles important?  A lot of doctors do not believe in SSDI, it is political, etc.  If you cannot work and your doctor. does not support your quest for SSDI then I suggest you find another doctor that will support you.  Richard has been a member for a couple of months.  He has  not gone through the Mini-course. 

Brian Therrien: It works.  Speak with Dennis or Don who will walk you through the system.  I suggest you go through the course, interview a representative.  We have spoken to hundreds of SSDI representatives.  They help you understand if you have a case for SSDI.

You need a doctor that is supportive of your case.

Richard: I cannot work 40 hours a week, I doze off during the day. 

Live Question from Greg in NY:  What do you think about I & A? The Mini-course the interview with Jonathan Ginesburg has provided a manual if you are going to prepare your own case without a representative.

 Which way to go?  Brian Therrien’s two cents just because you have a representative you are not off the hook, go through the course, register for a blog.  Do not think for a minute you are going to win.  You need to be a part of your case.  Greg is not up to filling out the paperwork or sitting for any period of time.  First application, consider this new trend if you were to call 10 different firms file, if you get denied come back and see me.  There are full bread of representatives they will work with you from the beginning it makes more sense to win a case early.  Most of the firms are winning before they go to trial on the record before you go to court.  If you are methodical and do the course and use the course it is up to you.

 Follow question how far back will go:  Changing 18months time frame. 

Diane Question 1: Understand how much money you can make. In the Course you can work and earn and make $940/mo and keep your benefits.  You can start a business you can use the pass program or use the grant information.  Works like anything you need a good business idea and plan. 

Question 2.  Brian Therrien not sure on this one 

Question 3.  Post in our blog help people which one are you on SSDI or SSI?  If your monthly check is more then $600/mo you should be on SSDI.  For more benefits take the work world lesson how to do a benefit review. You should be doing a review every 4months, and you can do it under the radar.  They do make enhancements and they do not tell you about them.

You can get offsets with medical equipment etc. 

 Individual sites you can get tuned into CIL and help you find a guide dog in your area.  This works on a need based program.  CIL are tied into different agencies they are aware of the helpful agencies.  

Question 7. Brian Therrien Not sure with this one

  AARP but it will not give you assistance technology. They will not penalize you if you have it.  Lifecare Insurance if you are over 50years old the subscription worth having.  $12.50 a year/ they will do anything but will not do VocRehab, but will not put technology in your car.  But will put in comprehensive in your car.  They offer LTD, Car insurance, hearing aids, ditto it will get you any kind of glasses for $100.  Over 50years old is a must have.

Question 8: I would do a benefit review, when your daughter applied had she worked 50% more in the last 10 years. 

Question 9:  Go through the Mini-course  

Question 10:  Brian Therrien does anyone know this answer?  Stimulus package- if you had earnings over x number of dollars really small $2000 it can SSDI or SSI you can get the package.   

Don:  Not last year rebate on this years tax, you need to pay tax this year.  However for disabled people a married couple $600 single will get $300 you need to file a 1040 in receipt of getting SS.  If you are not and disabled you can do something else. 

 Are you showing zero tax?  No answer.  If you did not file a 1040 last year, You need to file your taxes, if you paid in taxable income rest depends on individual situations.   

Question 12:  Post to our blog, you need to file taxes.  If you are receiving a SSDI check,  if you filed jointly you are subject to taxes.  Downside to it the upside is a lot of benefits you get deductions you can take outlined in this post.  Also go to the Mini-course it tells you how to maximize your benefits. 

Income tax, you need to file that.  Go back to the post and understand if you are filing as an individual.  

Question13:  JO:  For  example on iron based anemia you will need to have certain special foods, your Dr. will write a special script saying for Broccoli.  You will get reimbursed for that by Medicaid.  Ensure ditto you can get them through CIL (center independent living).   BC/BS will not cover it.  You must file a 2007 tax return to get the stimulus package.  IF you had no income what do you file it on, you must put zero's in the line.   Make sure your name is put on the tax form 1040 or 1040 EZ there requirement to send you a check.   Even if it is all zero's.  Married will get $600 or single will get $300 that is for everyone not only disabled persons.

One more comments on the special foods program:  if you are having a business that is associated with the food industry and your product is education and turning that into a business you can use that expenses as a tax deductions.  Taxable income and looking to start a business you can write that off, the government will not pay for it.

Schedule A:  out of pocket expenses for perscriptions, travel back and forth to the Dr etc  you will  get reinbursed. 

Live Question Susan from CA:  Recently on SSDI  $989/mo injured on job W.C settlement in the progress, not entitled to a lump sum and be on SSDI.  Just like the Walllmart case, won a settlement Wallmart sued her for the settlement.  The carrier can come after you for the offset, your insurance company.  W.C owes her a settlement of $50,000, SSDI said no lump sum 

Brian Therrien:  I am wondering why this is, W.C. settlement people permanent disabled who cannot keep her SSDI monthly check.  She might be on SSI.  it is on SSDI for sure.  You should be able to take the W.C and run.  Susan is SSDI on it in the middle of W.C. settlement.  Who told you that you would lose her SSDI check monthly.  SS told her she would lose her Check.  Go to will tell you how W.C will affect your SSDI payments.  She is either get the lump sum or lose SSDI?  Brian T. you may have been misinformed.  Subgorgation process you can charge off to what your award is to offset it.  

Susan you just might have been misinformed you do not get a 1099 for a lump sum it is not a taxable event.  I would call SS again and get another point of view.  CIL have free legal aid that would be a good place to start for help.  CIL in the members area it is a free link.

Brenda Question 1:  Limbo between monthly check and back benefits.  Brian T:  if you have applied or waiting for a hearing until you start receiving your money you can cut deals with the creditors there are relief areas like catholic charities or CIL.  Anyone has been in this situation that can pitch in:  Judith from MD- experience at the time disabled not married but living with someone did not want to marry her she declared bankruptcy, and finally married her.  But Bankruptcy is an option for you.  How do you keep your home, you need equity to offset your assets.  Find a Realator to help work it out with you.  Wrote a letter that the selling price and a certain percentage to keep it.  Housing market is down it is a good time. 

Live Question Linda MT:  Went through HAD and urban agency helped her keep her home, for a certain time they backed off her payments.  They dealt with the financed people, up to 1year time out, until her situation was settled and her payments were reduced to what she could afford.  1/3 of her SSDI check was for her housing payment


Next Question from Greg

Filing with I & A how many people have filed alone or with an representative.  That is a hard question to determine Live show of hands around the house

Who has won with an attorney 3 people, Who have won SSDI benefits without an attorney 3. 

 Brian Therrien: Statistically in the Mini-course there is a letter written from SS to Brian Therrien showing the Statistics of the win ratio.  You never know depending on your case.  How good is your mind for filing on your own, it is truly a personal preference. 

Brian Therrien here is a true story:  A women bought the Guide put together her case, she was at the hearing attended with a judge.  The judge asked her who put this together,  this is a good case, I put it together.  The Judge said to her if you can put this manual together then you can find a job taking  tickets at a Cinema.  So you never know.  She went back and has not won her case yet. 

Live Question from Judith:  I started to file on my own, had good help getting paperwork done, and was denied.  Due to the Fibro, and stress, and lack of memory etc.  I found a lawyer and they did a  very good and worth it in the long run.  He did the rest of the work for her.  SSDI approved. 

Next Question:  The representative gets a Maximum of 25% or $5300.  $5300 is a a lot of money, do not get confused with statistics only 33 % get approved on the first time.  You want to maximize your case.  How many does the representative win pre-hearing.  80% before you go to hearing.  If you are looking to save $5300 could be 3 years before a hearing, it could cost you a ton of money if you are waiting 3 years time to get approved.  The Key is to do it, you have to do it right.

The attorney's take is minimal that they get, it is compared to your lifetime benefit.   

Where does the criteria come from? The $5300 it comes from the government.  A Fee agreement will be 25%, if it is different I would run or be concerned.  It is governed by SS and have to be approved by SS.  A lawyer is not able to misinform you.  Lesson 7 will help you.  SS will back up the fee.

 The representative we have in our circle of help they all win 80% of the cases they take.

 Children would receive 50% of your check.  SS website will help you determine your money amount. 

 Vicki Question 9:  Survivor benefits, it is possible.  There is a form you can request from SSDI and find out if you qualify.  There is a lot of criteria and you can find out. 

 Linda Question 10:  You can technical earn $940/mo but they are hard to win.

Tax season:  The tax teleconference did not play:  What kind of tax breaks are you entitled to:  Detailed on a blog post- far right hand side titled Tax breaks "cash would help now but a tax break will help too"  Detailed what you can used of what you can use for deductions.

Transportation issue:  deduct so many cents per mile round trip every time you go to the Dr., even if you cannot bend over an cut your toe nails. 

Live Question involving Section 8 Linda from MT:  If you are transferred from another state is that just good in MT or used in another state?  Brian Therrien unsure of answer 

Someone took her section 8 to another state you need to go to section 8 whom administered it to you. 

Live Question Marie VT: Brother had a stroke 2 years ago ran a business a family club since stroke was not able to run for one year, they told him to get out.  What recourse does he have, for Worcester MA.  is there workplace discrimination or bulling?  There is help it is widespread.  It starts with an EEOC complaint- we have someone with the ADA go into the members area look at the workplace bulling or discrimination group, start a dialog offline.  You would get some good resources on that.  NY times just did a big post on this issue. 

Marie- my understanding is there a 2 year limit to take to trial is this true?  it is 300 days.  Mendy Carver in the Washington DC area specializes in workplace issues.  Passed the 2 years limit.  Brian T. it will take you a little time go into and make a contact on this side.  We have not researched this but Nancy has and she will be good help to you. 

Last question Ciro" 11.  Very near and dear to Brian’s heart and why he started this business:  I do not see that strategy is working to change the tide the 1% of the disabled population.  The government does not move.  How do you solve this yourself there is a big misunderstanding starting at the corporate level starting to help with disabled jobs.  $2400 tax credit for a new laborer.  The government is not funded or the CIL is not staffed enough to educate the people.  Other businesses would like to know about it.  The difference is:  Month in a half ago by mentor is looking for some of time to educate his Entrepreneurs to start his business.  You need to target for Entrepreneurs.  What are the benefits?  Does it apply to everyone? There is an alliance with the job board where the entrepreneurs that can post jobs for disabled people. 

The Three Criteria are the following:

 1.  Educated

 2.  Putting the job board in the middle

 3.  Folks like the disabled who are looking for work.

  Thousands of Businesses are looking for the slight edge, they are not educated about the possibilities.  Not changing the big corporation, but working with the middle man.


{end of the conference}