Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Social Security Insurance (SSI) are two types of disability benefits offered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). In order to be eligible for either type of benefit you must meet SSA disability guidelines and be unable to work for income. Similarities Both SSDI and SSI offer supplemental income to individuals who are disabled. Your disability may be mental or physical as long as it is deemed enough to keep you from working a job. When … [Read more...] about What’s the Difference Between SSI and SSDI?
A Health Care Directive is basically a durable Power of Attorney that allows you to name someone to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event that you become unable to do so for yourself. In some states the Directive instructs others about the care and treatment you wish to receive in very narrow, specific circumstances; for example, if, in the opinion of two physicians, you are either terminal or persistently unconscious. In those states, a separate Health Care Power of Attorney covers … [Read more...] about What is a Healthcare Directive?
A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that grants authority to someone you choose to take action on your behalf. POAs can be used for a variety of purposes but they’re most commonly used when you need your attorney to negotiate or enter into contracts on your behalf. What makes a POA “durable” is that you intend for the authority to continue, even if you become incapacitated. The authority granted under a general POA is automatically revoked if you become mentally incapacitated or … [Read more...] about What’s the Difference Between A Power of Attorney and a Durable Power of Attorney?
A guardianship occurs when a judge determines, with the advice of your doctors, that you are unable to make your own medical decisions. The court will then name a guardian, who is usually a friend or family member, to oversee your health care treatment. No Assigned Agent If you become disabled either mentally or physically and you are no longer able to state your medical wishes, you must have someone available to speak for you. Many people use a Health Care Power of Attorney or Advance … [Read more...] about When is a Guardianship Necessary?
Death is a certainty, so an estate plan is essential for anyone who wants to leave an inheritance. But, what if you become disabled? Disability is only a possibility, but the odds of disability are greater than death. So you should still plan for it. By doing so, you can allow for a smoother transition in the event that you become mentally incapacitated. You can also help your family avoid a court-ordered conservatorship. Choose Your Documents First, decide which disability planning … [Read more...] about How to Set Up a Disability Plan
If you do not have a disability plan in place and you become mentally incapacitated, you will have a court-appointed guardian to make decisions for you and handle your finances and medical care. So, what exactly does a guardian do? Manage Assets Your guardian will have access to your financial accounts, personal property and real estate. He or she may use your property to collect rents or even to sell and provide funds for your care. He or she may also use your financial assets as … [Read more...] about What Does a Guardian Do?
If you are thinking about using financial and medical powers of attorney (POA) to plan for your possible disability, it is best to keep these documents separate. You may create a joint document, but it is not a good idea. When you create each of these documents you will have the opportunity to name an agent. The agent for a Medical Power of Attorney is called a medical or health care agent. The agent for a Financial Power of Attorney is called a financial agent. You can name the same agent to … [Read more...] about Powers of Attorney: Keeping Finances and Medical Apart
When you are actively engaged in living your life, stopping to consider future incapacity scenarios may seem inappropriate, out of context, even a waste of time. This is clearly true when you are young and bursting with robust good health. It can also be true later in life when you are enjoying an active lifestyle free of any significant health-related impediments. The fact is that this is as it should be. Estate planning is not about morbidly obsessing about the inevitability of death and … [Read more...] about Gain Peace Of Mind With Incapacity Planning
A medical power of attorney sitting in the drawer is like having an insurance policy. Insurance is all about planning for the unexpected: the tornado that hits your house; the accident at the intersection on the way to work; the long-term illness that keeps you from work; or the circumstances that may take your life. All of these unexpected events can potentially have disastrous effects on your ability to manage your own healthcare. A medical power of attorney prepared in advance in case of … [Read more...] about Planning for the Unexpected: Medical Power of Attorney
In addition to dispensing retirement benefits for working Americans, the federal Social Security program provides income support to eligible individuals who become disabled through a medical or accidental emergency. Social Security Disability Eligibility Some of the criteria for being eligible for Social Security Disability payments include a disability that prevents a person from working which is expected to last a year or more or results in a life expectancy of less than one … [Read more...] about Social Security Disability Benefits Available to All Income Levels