Attention Safe Harbor Members,
For years I have asked the people at my local Social Security Office if I could deduct the amount I spend on orthomolecular therapy and chiropractic care from my earnings. The answer was always “No”.
Finally, a few months ago they calculated that I had made a little too much money in 2004 and stopped my benefits and sought to recover a whole year’s worth of “overpayments”.
This severe financial crunch motivated me to look at the actual Social Security Law. It plainly sates that any expense for items that are “Reasonable and Necessary” may be deducted from earnings when calculating if work activity was “substantial and gainful”. The Social Security Law says nothing about orthomolecualar therapy. Apparently the local office was referencing Medicare regulations, which do specifically mention that orthomolecular therapy is not covered.
I filed a “Request for Reconsideration” and supplied receipts for the supplements I had purchased, the hair tests I had done and my chiropractic costs. I also obtained a letter from my doctor (GP) in which she states that my supplements should be considered “reasonable and necessary” and that she had referred me for chiropractic care. My request was approved and my benefits have been reinstated.
What does this mean for the many who work under Social Security and use orthomolecular therapy? In 2005, anyone on SSD can earn up to $830/mo. and still obtain full benefits. If you have supplement expenses of $200/mo., then you can earn up to $1030/mo. and stay under the “substantial and gainful” level.
You could spend thousands at Pfeiffer Clinic, and pay for it by working, without affecting your SSD benefits, Medicare, etc.
Sorry I took years to figure this out!