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Trenton Legal Issues Blog

What happens with my disability benefits when I divorce?

If you ask most couples what motivated them to pursue a divorce, then they'll likely tell you infidelity, joblessness, kids leaving the home, falling out of love and divergent careers. It's not all that uncommon for couples to split up because a spouse develops mental health issues or becomes physically disabled either. If you receive disability benefits, then you may wonder what happens to them once you divorce.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

Disability benefits eligibility for the blind

Michigan individuals who are blind often struggle with certain things that many take for granted, such as holding regular employment. Many people who are legally blind are able to work and enjoy a certain measure of independence. However, this is not the case for every blind individual. In some cases, blindness could be a legitimate reason to pursue disability benefits.

Those with visual impairments often face both physical and psychological challenges that make it difficult for them to remain in the workplace. Consequently, they may not be able to earn a living, resulting in an inability to pay for daily needs, housing and more. If you are blind or have a type of visual impairment and you find yourself in this situation, it may be time to consider a claim for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. 

What are common reasons people apply for disability benefits?

More than the 150 million Americans currently receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), coverage that's paid for using Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) paycheck deductions. At the same time, only one-third of all workers maintain private disability insurance. There are some common reasons that workers apply for SSDI.

In order to qualify to receive disability benefits, a worker must have suffered a sudden onset medical condition such as a heart attack, spinal cord injury, aneurysm or traumatic brain injury. There must be an expectation that it's going to take them more than a year to recover from it.

Be careful when appointing a health care proxy

A health care proxy is someone that you can select to relay your medical wishes to doctors should be you become incapacitated or unable to voice them yourself. Once you draft one of these, it can change the course of your life. There are certain qualities that you should look for when appointing someone to this role.

You first become eligible to draft your own health care power of attorney when you turn 18. Up until that age, your parents are the ones who are allowed to make such decisions on your behalf.

Buying a home in Michigan? Here's what you can expect

Congratulations. You've decided to buy a house in Michigan. It's an exciting time, but also one full of trepidation as you think about making such a huge investment. There's a lot to consider and do when you buy a home.

Here are some tips to prepare you for the process that awaits you. You'll need to have your ducks in line before you buy the house.

  1. Find out your credit score. The higher your credit score, the better chance you have of securing a mortgage loan with favorable terms.
  2. Team up with a real estate agent. Ask friends who have bought homes for recommendations. There is nothing wrong with interviewing more than one agent. This person is going to be working with you, and on your behalf, as you go through the home-buying process, and you'll want to be comfortable with your agent.
  3. Shop around for mortgage rates. Meet with a lender before going home shopping. It will be easier to buy a home if you know just how much of a loan you qualify for and already have a preapproval letter in hand.

4 ways social media can damage a relationship

Social media is a fixture of modern life. Odds are that you and your spouse are using it in one fashion or another. While it can be helpful and fun, you have to remember that it also poses a bit of a risk. It can damage your relationship in some ways you may not expect.

For instance, it can sometimes strain a relationship when one person is friends with their ex on a social media site. Their spouse may not appreciate their interactions online or may feel suspicious of the relationship. Even if nothing is going on, the mere friendship could make the marriage fragile.

If you are overweight, do you qualify for disability benefits?

When a person's physical condition prevents him or her from working and holding gainful employment, that person could qualify for disability benefits. As Michigan readers know, this is often the case for people with certain types of medical conditions and mental disorders. You may not know that it could also apply to people with obesity and weight-related health problems.

Obesity is a type of medical condition that leads to various health complications, including heart problems. This makes it difficult for people to do certain types of work or continue with regular employment. If you are obese and are unable to work because of related medical conditions, it may be in your interests to learn more about how you can pursue disability benefits from the Social Security Administration.

Those receiving Social Security are to get a raise in 2019

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently announced that its beneficiaries will see a 2.8 percent increase in their payments starting in 2019. The cost-of-living adjustment is the first of its sort to occur since 2012.

Currently, more than 67 million Americans receive Social Security benefits. Of those who do, 44 percent of the unmarried recipients say that 90 percent of their income comes from the SSA. Only 21 percent of the married individuals receiving the benefits say the same.

What's a Lady Bird Deed?

If you want to own a home and would like your spouse to inherit it without it having to process through probate or gift taxes being tacked on, then you may want to consider signing a Lady Bird Deed (LBD).

In most other states, a husband or wife can sign a "deed on death" document that seamlessly allows their home to be transferred to their spouse, who's not listed on it, upon their passing. Such a law hasn't passed in Michigan yet though.

Research shows that shared parenting is best for kids of divorce

Shared parenting is currently one of the best solutions for combating parental alienation according to the National Parents Organization (NPO).

A licensed psychologist working on behalf of the organization cited how parental alienation, which involves a mom or dad attempting to turn their child against the other parent, leaves a child feeling conflicted and destroys families. He also equated parental alienation to child abuse. He notes that few are working to combat it.