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S03.E18: S-E-- SEOUL B-R-- BROTHERS

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JJ struggles with spending his new social security benefits strictly on boring stuff. Kenneth uncovers a secret that upsets the status quo in Maya and Jimmy's relationship. Meanwhile, Ray's run-in with an old love threatens his chances at a Quiz Bowl championship.

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This episode is going to deal with SSI benefits?

First off, JJ getting approved for SSI this quickly would be a miracle - it's been, what, 6 months since his birthday?

Second, uhhh, spending it strictly on boring stuff? You don't have to do that, they don't care what you spend it on, as long as you don't go over the resource limit. I had to spend 1k of my backpay on a new computer because there was nothing else I could have spent backpay on (Student loans were paid off, tuition for the next semester was paid off, parents couldn't take any money without my SSI benefits going up/my parents having to ask me to pay rent). I imagine Maya would have JJ set up a PASS - Plan to Achieve Self Success - where he can save as much as he wants as long as everything is priced out.

This episode should be interesting. Hopefully the old love interest is Taylor, she was good.

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9 hours ago, bros402 said:

First off, JJ getting approved for SSI this quickly would be a miracle - it's been, what, 6 months since his birthday?

About a year since his 18th birthday ("E-I-- Eighteen" aired near the end of s.2). :)

9 hours ago, bros402 said:

Second, uhhh, spending it strictly on boring stuff? You don't have to do that, they don't care what you spend it on, as long as you don't go over the resource limit. I had to spend 1k of my backpay on a new computer because there was nothing else I could have spent backpay on (Student loans were paid off, tuition for the next semester was paid off, parents couldn't take any money without my SSI benefits going up/my parents having to ask me to pay rent). I imagine Maya would have JJ set up a PASS - Plan to Achieve Self Success - where he can save as much as he wants as long as everything is priced out.

I'm guessing maybe it's going to be more of a deal that JJ made with his parents or something like that, but we'll see...

9 hours ago, bros402 said:

This episode should be interesting. Hopefully the old love interest is Taylor, she was good.

She's listed in the guest cast on the official press-release. :D 

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14 hours ago, GRChereck said:

About a year since his 18th birthday ("E-I-- Eighteen" aired near the end of s.2). 🙂

I'm guessing maybe it's going to be more of a deal that JJ made with his parents or something like that, but we'll see...

She's listed in the guest cast on the official press-release. 😄

A year sounds right for SSI, since JJ would be an easy approval, and Maya probably yelled at the local SSA office to speed up bureaucracy.

I hope it is more of a deal rather than them saying "well the government requires it" - even the SSA realizes all work and no play makes jack a dull boy (Sure, you might not be able to do any huge on an SSI check, but you can go to the movies on discount day)

Woohoo!

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Unless I missed something, the letter that came with his SS check didn't necessarily require proof of what he spends it on or anything like that, but it recommended using the money for "living expenses"; also, it's mentioned that he was supposed to start qualifying for benefits when he turned 18.

However, sometime during this ep Maya claims she just called the SS office about why JJ still hadn't received checks (I wonder how many times she'd tried calling before...) -- which is how she found out that he did finally start getting them... and also that he still hadn't reported his income from that supermarket job Kenneth got him some 13 episodes ago (3x5 "S-T-- Stage Mom"). I could understand Kenneth not knowing better, but I would think Maya would be up on these things, and I find it hard to believe that JJ was making too much to qualify for any benefits.

Still, the JJ plot had some interesting stuff, like how he and his siblings deal with a situation where he's mistaken for charity case, and how he's been considering himself just a "taker" for so long, it's become more important for him to be able to give to his family than get more for himself (even stuff he could really use). His parents' response -- that they don't consider what they do for him "charity," they're willing to help him out now because they really do believe in him and are literally "betting" on him to become successful so he can pay them back eventually -- was sweet, too.

As for the other plots:

-- Nice to see Jimmy's band is back after that disastrous Lafayette High gig Dylan had arranged for them (3x11 "H-- Hey, You"), as well as Kenneth getting some perspective on Jimya's working dynamic: "In families like ours, there's too much real stuff going on. Maya and I don't have the bandwidth for a lot of silly fun on our own;" she only gave him the OK to join his band's weekly gigs (which he then proceeded to bail on and claim he was working extra hours) "because she had to, just like I would have if she were the one having fun. Maya and I don't wanna do that to each other, so we each do our own little things quietly. It's a beautiful dance that we both hate... The system works, Kenneth -- leave it alone"). His playing in the titular Korean wedding band was a sort of compromise -- getting to play music but not with his friends, and making a bit of cash without putting in more time at the airport -- but since Kenneth had to blow that up (along with Maya's secret about going out for wine once a week with Melanie when they were supposed to be working on their clothing line), it was sweet that he was willing to go into their financials to see where they could afford a little fun for themselves. (Of course, instead he found they were about two years away from going bankrupt, which didn't faze them.)

-- The Ray plot reminded me of an episode of 'The Simpsons' (14x12 "I'm Spelling as Fast as I Can") where Lisa is bribed to throw a spelling bee with a free-ride scholarship to a college of her choice (she declares her intention to turn down the deal, right before she ends up losing anyway), but it was cute to see Raylor together again.

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JJ wanting to be a contributor, not a taker, reminded me of an episode early on when he reminded Ray that JJ is supposed to be the protective big brother -- which he demonstrated more recently by using his laser to sic a dog on a bully. 

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On 3/16/2019 at 12:34 AM, GRChereck said:

Unless I missed something, the letter that came with his SS check didn't necessarily require proof of what he spends it on or anything like that, but it recommended using the money for "living expenses"; also, it's mentioned that he was supposed to start qualifying for benefits when he turned 18.

However, sometime during this ep Maya claims she just called the SS office about why JJ still hadn't received checks (I wonder how many times she'd tried calling before...) -- which is how she found out that he did finally start getting them... and also that he still hadn't reported his income from that supermarket job Kenneth got him some 13 episodes ago (3x5 "S-T-- Stage Mom"). I could understand Kenneth not knowing better, but I would think Maya would be up on these things, and I find it hard to believe that JJ was making too much to qualify for any benefits.

Still, the JJ plot had some interesting stuff, like how he and his siblings deal with a situation where he's mistaken for charity case, and how he's been considering himself just a "taker" for so long, it's become more important for him to be able to give to his family than get more for himself (even stuff he could really use). His parents' response -- that they don't consider what they do for him "charity," they're willing to help him out now because they really do believe in him and are literally "betting" on him to become successful so he can pay them back eventually -- was sweet, too.

As for the other plots:

-- Nice to see Jimmy's band is back after that disastrous Lafayette High gig Dylan had arranged for them (3x11 "H-- Hey, You"), as well as Kenneth getting some perspective on Jimya's working dynamic: "In families like ours, there's too much real stuff going on. Maya and I don't have the bandwidth for a lot of silly fun on our own;" she only gave him the OK to join his band's weekly gigs (which he then proceeded to bail on and claim he was working extra hours) "because she had to, just like I would have if she were the one having fun. Maya and I don't wanna do that to each other, so we each do our own little things quietly. It's a beautiful dance that we both hate... The system works, Kenneth -- leave it alone"). His playing in the titular Korean wedding band was a sort of compromise -- getting to play music but not with his friends, and making a bit of cash without putting in more time at the airport -- but since Kenneth had to blow that up (along with Maya's secret about going out for wine once a week with Melanie when they were supposed to be working on their clothing line), it was sweet that he was willing to go into their financials to see where they could afford a little fun for themselves. (Of course, instead he found they were about two years away from going bankrupt, which didn't faze them.)

-- The Ray plot reminded me of an episode of 'The Simpsons' (14x12 "I'm Spelling as Fast as I Can") where Lisa is bribed to throw a spelling bee with a free-ride scholarship to a college of her choice (she declares her intention to turn down the deal, right before she ends up losing anyway), but it was cute to see Raylor together again.

Here is my quick math on JJ's income. Let's say JJ worked 20 hours a check and got minimum wage, which in CA, is $11 an hour. That is $440 a month pre-tax. SGA is something around $1080 a month. However JJ is a student, therefore he gets the Student Earned Income Exclusion - which excludes the first $1820 a month, up to a yearly max of $7350 earned (https://www.ssa.gov/ssi/spotlights/spot-student-earned-income.htm).

So let's say JJ worked 20 hours a week, 40 hours per check - that is $880 gross a month, $10560 a year gross. After taxes, he's probably below the $7350 max - if he isn't, he's close enough where he would not owe the entire backpay.

Also, SSA backpay goes in chunks - let's say JJ applied for SSA the second he turned 18, let's say that was March 2018. The first month he would be considered eligible would be April 2018 - and he got his approval March 2019. So in California, SSI payment for being supported by another is $678.24 (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-11125.pdf) - so 11 months of backpay is $7460.64. The highest a backpay check can be is 3x the federal SSI rate - federal max is 771 - so JJ's first check would have been $2313, his second check (received 6 months after his first) would be $2313, then 12 months after his first check he would have gotten a check for $2834.64.

And JJ can continue to receive backpay after an overpayment - they take a maximum of 10% out of your check while you repay an overpayment - and you can request a one time waiver for an overpayment (and I bet JJ would get one because the bureaucrat would take pity on him, or someone would attribute it to him being a dumb kid)

I liked the plots in thsi episode - I hope Taylor and Ray get back together, Maya and her mom are working together, it's just perfect

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11 hours ago, bros402 said:

Here is my quick math on JJ's income. Let's say JJ worked 20 hours a check and got minimum wage, which in CA, is $11 an hour. That is $440 a month pre-tax. SGA is something around $1080 a month. However JJ is a student, therefore he gets the Student Earned Income Exclusion - which excludes the first $1820 a month, up to a yearly max of $7350 earned (https://www.ssa.gov/ssi/spotlights/spot-student-earned-income.htm).

So let's say JJ worked 20 hours a week, 40 hours per check - that is $880 gross a month, $10560 a year gross. After taxes, he's probably below the $7350 max - if he isn't, he's close enough where he would not owe the entire backpay.

Also, SSA backpay goes in chunks - let's say JJ applied for SSA the second he turned 18, let's say that was March 2018. The first month he would be considered eligible would be April 2018 - and he got his approval March 2019. So in California, SSI payment for being supported by another is $678.24 (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-11125.pdf) - so 11 months of backpay is $7460.64. The highest a backpay check can be is 3x the federal SSI rate - federal max is 771 - so JJ's first check would have been $2313, his second check (received 6 months after his first) would be $2313, then 12 months after his first check he would have gotten a check for $2834.64.

And JJ can continue to receive backpay after an overpayment - they take a maximum of 10% out of your check while you repay an overpayment - and you can request a one time waiver for an overpayment (and I bet JJ would get one because the bureaucrat would take pity on him, or someone would attribute it to him being a dumb kid)

I liked the plots in thsi episode - I hope Taylor and Ray get back together, Maya and her mom are working together, it's just perfect

Thanks for all that! :) I guess my initial hangup with the idea of JJ having to give back that first chunk of SSI backpay because he failed to report his earned income reminded me a bit too much of when Maya inadvertently defrauded that family-outreach charity in "J-I-- Jingle T-H-- Thon" (an episode I otherwise enjoyed, even if it got pretty silly).

And yeah, I still love the idea of Ray and Taylor's moms working together -- not to mention JJ's closest friend dating Melanie -- so it's like Raylor are destined to be "family" no matter what. ❤️

Edited by GRChereck · Reason: clarity

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I really do hope that Ray and Taylor make up soon, they really are made for each other. Sometimes to Dylan's horror. "The one time I go to the library!"

Maya and Jimmy was full on pretending not to see each other at the wedding was hilarious ridiculous. Very Tennessee Williams indeed Kenneth!

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I wasn't crazy about this episode. Social Security hasn't used paper checks in years so JJ wouldn't have access to a large sum of money. Social Security also sends out award letters so Maya would know that a check was coming. I did like seeing that JJ was as bad with money as his parents. I thought the opening sequence was great. That actually happened to a high school classmate. We were in chorus singing Christmas carols at the mall. Someone put money in her helmet. Our music teacher gave back the money.

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3 hours ago, kathyk24 said:

I wasn't crazy about this episode. Social Security hasn't used paper checks in years so JJ wouldn't have access to a large sum of money. Social Security also sends out award letters so Maya would know that a check was coming. I did like seeing that JJ was as bad with money as his parents. I thought the opening sequence was great. That actually happened to a high school classmate. We were in chorus singing Christmas carols at the mall. Someone put money in her helmet. Our music teacher gave back the money.

I think they stopped giving out paper checks in like 2015? That's when they sent me a letter going "MAKE SURE YOU GIVE YOUR BANK ACCOUNT INFORMATION TO THE SSA, WE ARE STOPPING PAPER CHECKS!"

With me, I got my award letter and backpay check at the same exact time. I got my first regular SSI check in the mail the day afterwards. JJ wasn't bad with the money, it's more that he wanted to give back.
 

15 hours ago, GRChereck said:

Thanks for all that! 🙂 I guess my initial hangup with the idea of JJ having to give back that first chunk of SSI backpay because he failed to report his earned income reminded me a bit too much of when Maya inadvertently defrauded that family-outreach charity in "J-I-- Jingle T-H-- Thon" (an episode I otherwise enjoyed, even if it got pretty silly).

And yeah, I still love the idea of Ray and Taylor's moms working together -- not to mention JJ's closest friend dating Melanie -- so it's like Raylor are destined to be "family" no matter what. ❤️

One thing I forgot to include - IRWEs - Impairment Related Work Expenses - any costs related to JJ's disability that happen because of him having to go to and from work (Or costs related to things needed for work) - they get deducted from his reported income. For me, if I had gotten a job teaching in a district 30 minutes away from my house, it would have cost approximately $10,000 a year in taxi fares before tips - those are deductible as IRWEs for SSA purposes and for tax purposes.

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On 3/14/2019 at 3:02 AM, bros402 said:

A year sounds right for SSI, since JJ would be an easy approval, and Maya probably yelled at the local SSA office to speed up bureaucracy.

I hope it is more of a deal rather than them saying "well the government requires it" - even the SSA realizes all work and no play makes jack a dull boy (Sure, you might not be able to do any huge on an SSI check, but you can go to the movies on discount day)

Woohoo!

Wow, obviously Social Security I needs to require , have some guidelines, on what the money can be spent on. Like Medicaid does. This kinda ticked me off.  Wasteful spending buying needless and extravagant gifts with gov't resources. 

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11 hours ago, msrachelj said:

Wow, obviously Social Security I needs to require , have some guidelines, on what the money can be spent on. Like Medicaid does. This kinda ticked me off.  Wasteful spending buying needless and extravagant gifts with gov't resources. 

SSI shouldn't have guidelines on what the money can be spent on - consider the variety of situations people might be in getting SSI - disabled young adults, parents collecting disability for their disabled kids, parents getting SSI, and a bunch of other situations.

However, ABLE Act accounts - special bank accounts for people disabled before 26 - lets you store $14,000 a year up to $100,000 (After $100,000, it counts as a resource for the SSA and medicaid), and there are limits as to what you can spend it on.

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