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Old 06-09-2011, 10:03 AM
Butterfly64 Butterfly64 is offline
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Default Can I take Online College Courses while on SSDI?

Hi Everyone,
I haven't worked since 2005, been on SSDI since 2006 (well, I filed in 2006 and was finally approved in 2009) and have a few questions.

I've been wanting to enroll in an online Christian University Program for Christian Ministry because I really want to do something with my time as well as enhance my personal spiritual beliefs. It's an online Associates Degree program where you take one class at a time and meet once a week online for a couple of hours. I'm not taking these courses to pursue full-time Ministry because I am not able to work due to my disability of course. I'm wanting to do this to fullfill a sense of purpose and keep my mind off of my illnesses.

Would this jeopardize my SSDI Benefits? I haven't had my initial review yet but I think it will be coming up next year. I don't want to do anything that will cause me to lose my benefits because I'm still not able to work. My disability is due to a Neuromuscular Disease. My mind works right but sometimes my body doesn't

Also, I'm elegible for Financial Aid but it won't cover the entire tuition. Is there somewhere that I could get financial assistance due to being on SSDI? I'm cannot take out any loans because I won't have the funds to repay them.I would love to be able to work again and one day hope to be able to but right now it's still not possible for me to do so.

For those who have knowledge on this, I'm eager to hear what you can tell me, both the good info and the bad.

Thanks
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:12 AM
Ted Hutchinson Ted Hutchinson is offline
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Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS)

PASSPLAN help

This is not a personal recommendation as I'm in the UK and have no experience of how these organisations work in the USA.
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:45 AM
Pookie Pookie is offline
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Quote:
Would this jeopardize my SSDI Benefits?
NOPE!

Quote:
Is there somewhere that I could get financial assistance due to being on SSDI?
Check w/your school for scholarships and/or grants = $$ you don't need to pay back.

Call or visit your local Social Service Department and/or Department of Aging/Disabled for scholarships and/or grants for the disabled.

If there is a support group for your disability (Neuromuscular Disease), contact them for scholarships and/or grants.


Good luck!
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Old 06-11-2011, 12:30 AM
Butterfly64 Butterfly64 is offline
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Thanks for your responses, I really appreciate them.

I guess I'm a little paranoid that Social Security will say something like "If you can enroll in College then you can work." It took me three years to finally get my approval and I don't want to lose my benefits in the blink of an eye simply because I want to do something that helps take my mind off of my disability. While I have been able to avoid hospital stays for the past year and a half I would by no means say that I have had enormous improvement. Plus with my disease you never know when a relapse will occur that'll land me back in Club Med. It varies so much from day to day. I've even picked up a couple other illnesses along the way since my approval for SSDI.

Is Social Services a part of Social Security?
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Old 06-11-2011, 11:57 AM
Butterfly64 Butterfly64 is offline
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Thanks YayForBrains,
For some reason I really think you know what your talking about. Your advice has put my mind at ease. Funny thing is that before I ready your post, I thought you were going to say NOT to do it... lol

I guess I'll move forward now and get things rolling before fall quarter begins. I need to make sure that I get the financial assistance I need to begin. I'm excited to do something, even if it is only taking one course online

Last edited by Butterfly64; 06-11-2011 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 06-11-2011, 01:39 PM
Naominjw Naominjw is offline
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SSDI benefits have to do with income, not whether or not you go to school, and even if someone else pays for it, it is not considered a gift like giving you money or a car would be. In fact, there are programs which you might be eligible for that will pay your tuition while on SSDI. Someone I know is on that. Ironically, they told her she had to go to school "full-time" which would have been absurd for her, and they didn't even tell her at first that with a letter from her doctor they would still pay her tuition with her going part-time.
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Old 06-11-2011, 04:19 PM
Butterfly64 Butterfly64 is offline
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One good thing about this Online College program with this particular College is that I'll be considered full-time even though I'll be taking one course at a time. It's set up where the courses are stair stepped, so to speak. As soon as you complete one course the next one begins. I'll be able to get financial aid as a full-time student each semester but not enough to cover the full tuition. I'm hoping that whatever financial aid doesn't pay will be picked up from wherever I need to go for assistance due to my disability. Now I need to find these programs. I think I saw one where you had to go to their doctor or something to verify your disability... passing on that one, I have SSDI payments and approval letter to show I'm disabled and don't want to spend the time and energy going to somebody elses doctor when I'm clearly disabled.

All I know is that I'm not taking out any loans for the simple fact that I don't know if I'll ever be able to work again to repay them. I would love to work again but if it's not going to be covered in full then I'm not enrolling.

Last edited by Butterfly64; 06-11-2011 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:21 PM
mark24609 mark24609 is offline
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One of the things with on line courses is its not the same as classes that you have to go to. The stress is different, you are not there 8 hours a day. I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 06-25-2011, 01:28 PM
Pookie Pookie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterfly64 View Post

Is Social Services a part of Social Security?
Nope! Social Service Dept deals w/housing, aging, disabled, food stamps, welfare, general assistance, etc. Whatever type of discounts, freebies ($$$) that are available this is the place to go to find out.

Each city and/or county Social Service Dept is different. The above is what is available in my city/county.
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