Student Earned Income Exclusion
If you are a student who is under the age of 22, the SSA may disregard up to $1,900 of your gross wages when figuring your countable income. “Gross wages” means the amount of your paycheck before things like taxes are deducted. Note that the SSA limits this exclusion to $7,770 per calendar year, however .
To use this incentive, you must go to school on a regular basis. If you are between 7th and 12th grade, this means going to school at least 12 hours a week. If you go to a college or university, you must attend at least eight hours of classes a week. And if you are enrolled in a work-training program, you must attend between 12 and 15 hours a week depending on the type of training you are getting. Even if you can’t go to school because of your disability but you are educated at home, you may be eligible for this incentive.
Contact Our Social Security Disability Attorneys
For consultation with a lawyer about your eligibility for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income, contact Donovan O’Connor & Dodig, LLP. We have offices in North Adams, Pittsfield and Springfield, Massachusetts, as well as in Bennington, Vermont, to serve you. You can reach us in Massachusetts at and in Vermont at or via email.
All cases are handled on a contingent fee basis you will pay no attorneys fees unless we win compensation in your case.
Adults Disabled Before Age 22
An adult who has a disability that began before age 22 may be eligible for benefits if a parent is deceased or starts receiving retirement or disability benefits. We consider this a “child’s” benefit because it is paid on a parent’s Social Security earnings record.
The disabled “adult child” including an adopted child, or, in some cases, a stepchild, grandchild, or step grandchild must be unmarried, age 18 or older, have a disability that started before age 22, and meet the definition of disability for adults.
It is not necessary that the disabled “adult child” ever worked. Benefits are paid based on the parent’s earnings record.
- A disabled “adult child” must not have substantial earnings. The amount of earnings we consider “substantial” increases each year. In 2021, this means working and earning more than $1,310 a month.
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Why Do Disabled People Still Lose Out
For starters, federal policy hasnt kept up with inflation or changes in the labor market, experts say. Thats especially so for Social Supplementary Income, the program James is on.
While the program mainly caters to the elderly and children with disabilities, Jamess situation highlights several dated provisions. For example, the $85 income deduction was set when the act was signed into law in 1972. It hasnt budged since. The $2,000 cap on liquid assets to qualify for SSI was set in 1989.
Another issue is the maximum monthly payout of $783. While this number does change annually, Romig notes its well below the poverty line.
For SSI and SSDI recipients who do work, their earned income can fluctuate month-to-month because its often hard to stick to a fixed work schedule due to the nature of their conditions. This makes it difficult for even the most earnest recipients to accurately report their income.
You always want people to work to their fullest potential, of course. This is America, Romig says. Thats one of our foundational ideals.
But the difficulty of navigating the programs coupled with the threat of losing benefits as a worker often clashes with that value.
Disability Benefits For Veterans
You may be eligible for disability benefits if you’re on disability from your service in the Canadian Armed Forces or Merchant Navy.
You may get social assistance payments from:
- your province or territory
- your First Nation
These payments will depend on your household income, savings and investments.
You may also be eligible for health-related benefits from your province or territory. These benefits may include benefits that help cover the cost of:
- medical aids or devices
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Receiving Disability Benefits Can Take Longer Than You Think
When I was diagnosed with polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis at 18, I had no clue how it would impact my health, let alone ability to work. I was about to attend college, and I would later intern and start working full-time in a corporate office job. For the first few years after my diagnosis, I was doing okay, but I struggled with a limited range of motion in my right wrist, certain parts of both hands, and my right elbow.
Losing any sort of mobility in your upper extremities such as your hands, wrists, elbows, and shoulders is extremely disabling. We use these parts of our bodies for the simplest of tasks that we dont think twice about until you cant do them with ease anymore. My parents and I were concerned that things were going to keep getting worse.
The first time my parents applied on my behalf in 2007 because I was a minor I was denied because I wasnt seen as disabled enough. Apparently, the proof sent in by my medical doctors didnt qualify me. But a rejection letter took months to arrive. It took until 2008 to get the official denial decision, and by then I was four years into my diagnosis.
In the years after I graduated, my health continued to have its up and downs until I hit a rough patch and working a typical 9-to-5 job became unbearable. As I was still a minor and under my parents insurance until I turned 26, they applied on my behalf yet again in 2011 our second attempt.
You Can Work As Long As Your Countable Income Doesn’t Go Above The Ssi Income Limit
By Melissa Linebaugh, Contributing Author
One of the basic requirements for getting approved for disability benefits is that your medical condition is so severe it prevents you from performing a substantial amount of work. The Social Security Administration defines a substantial amount of work, which it calls substantial gainful activity , as earning $1,310 a month from working . Therefore, if you are earning this much from work when you apply for benefits, you will be denied.
However, once you get approved for SSI, the SSA no longer determines whether you are making over the SGA amount. But the SSA will reduce your SSI benefits if you are working by subtracting part of your income from your payment. If you go over the SSI income limit, the SSA will terminate your benefits. In general, though, the SSA encourages SSI recipients to try to go back to work and has created a number of work incentives that let a person work without losing their eligibility for benefits.
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Can You Do Any Other Type Of Work
If you cant do the work you did in the past, we look to see if there is other work you could do despite your medical impairment.
We consider your medical conditions, age, education, past work experience, and any transferable skills you may have. If you cant do other work, well decide you are disabled. If you can do other work, well decide that you dont have a qualifying disability and your claim will be denied.
Working While Receiving Ltd Benefits Under An Own Occupation Policy
“Own occupation” LTD policies generally define disability as the inability to perform the substantial and material duties of your chosen occupation for medical reasons. Thus, a firefighter who becomes unable to perform the climbing, lifting, and carrying associated with that position could be found disabled under an “own occ” policy, even if he could theoretically work in a less physically demanding profession.
For those receiving LTD benefits under an “own occ” policy, performing part-time or even full-time work in a different profession will usually not affect their receipt of benefits. However, some policies include exceptions to this general rule.
Limits on the amount of LTD benefits. Some insurers have begun inserting terms limiting the amount of benefits they can receive, such as the following:
During your Own Occupation period you can work in another occupation while meeting the Own Occupation definition of disability. However, you will no longer meet the definition of disability when your wages from another occupation meet or exceed 80% of your pre-disability earnings.
This clause means that the disabled firefighter who is able to return to work as a car salesperson and earn at least 80% of his pre-disability salary will no longer be eligible for disability benefits.
Professional services. There is an additional provision found in some “own occ” policies that further limits a person’s ability to work while collecting LTD:
Employment And Disability Payments
Social assistance payments: DisabilityAllowance and Blind Pensionare means-tested disability payments. If you start work, you must notify theDSP and provide proof of your earnings . You do not need to have been getting yourpayment for a minimum period of time before you can take up work. You may keepyour Disability Allowance or Blind Pension if your income is below a certainlevel.
If you leave your new job, you should contact the DSP and your DisabilityAllowance will be quickly re-instated at the appropriate rate.
What Are The Differences Between Ltd And Cpp Disability Benefits
CPP is operated by the Canadian government, while private insurance companies offer long-term disability insurance plans, generally through employers. Both CPP and LTD plans give you a support system to fall back on after you have suffered injuries. These payments are incredibly useful for workers who find themselves unable to work, whether from illness, injuries, or other medical conditions.
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What Is A Disability
The Social Security Administration defines a disability as having a qualifying medical condition that prevents you from performing substantial gainful activity , which is work that provides a certain amount of income each month. For 2020, the SGA is $1,260 per month for non-blind individuals and $2,110 per month for blind individuals.
How To Qualify For Ssi Benefits
You can get Social Security disability benefits even if you do not have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI. The SSA offers the SSI program to disabled adults and children who have limited financial resources. As we mentioned before, if you do not have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI, you could qualify for SSI.
You have to meet the same medical disability standards as a person does for SSDI. Your income must be low, and your countable assets cannot exceed the limit for SSI. SSI is a safety net so that people who cannot work for a living but cannot collect SSDI can pay for essential items, like food, clothing, and shelter.
SSI has these requirements:
- You have a severe illness or injury that meets the benchmarks of the SSAs Listing of Impairments, also called the Blue Book.
- Your disability prevents you from supporting yourself through gainful employment.
- You must have very little income. This number can change every year. Because SSI is a joint program of the federal and state government, the income limit varies by location.
- Your countable assets must not exceed the SSI limit. This number can also change every year. Your home and the land it is on do not count as assets. Most cars do not count toward your resources. The asset limit is $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple.
You must satisfy all of these elements to be eligible for SSI benefits.
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Working Under An Any Occupation Ltd Policy
Any Occupation long-term disability policies provide disability benefits only for those who are unable to perform any occupation for which they are reasonably qualified based on their education, training, or experience. Most disability policies change from Own Occupation to Any Occupation after 24 months.
Once again the specifics of your plan will determine the extent to which you can return to work under an Any Occupation policy. Usually the more you earn in your new job, the more your LTD benefits will be reduced. However, if you earn less than 20% of your pre-disability income, it is likely that your disability benefit will be not be affected. However, it is also likely that earnings of 80% or more of your pre-disability income will result in the loss of your entire LTD benefit.
Litigating Your Right To Partial Disability Insurance Benefits
Having an award-winning long-term individual disability attorney or ERISA lawyer fromDarrasLaw on your side during your return to work is critical, because many long-term individual and group disability insurers may try to terminate your benefits. Typically, youre considered disabled under your long-term disability plan if youre unable to perform the important duties of your occupation or in some cases, any occupation by which you are trained, educated or suited.
During the period of disability, both your treating doctors and often improperly credentialed independent physicians hired by your insurance company will report on your ability to perform the essential tasks of your occupation. If you decide to return to work part-time, youre admitting youre able to perform at least some of your work functions some of the time. Accordingly, your long-term individual or group disability insurer may try to terminate your benefits if your medical records dont show why you cant work full-time or perform all of your occupations important duties. When you decide to return to part-time work and also claim disability insurance benefits, you must make it medically clear why you still cant return to work full-time.
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Working Under An Own Occupation Policy
Own Occupation LTD policies usually define disability as the inability to perform the substantial and essential duties of the occupation you had at the time your disability started. For example, a police officer who becomes unable to perform the physically demanding activities associated with that position could be found disabled under an Own Occupation policy, even if he/she is able work in a less physically demanding position.
For those receiving LTD benefits under an Own Occupation policy, having part-time or even full-time work in a different job will usually not affect their entitlement to benefits. However, there may be a claw back of some of the benefits they receive or they may lose all of their benefits if their earnings reach a certain level.
Is It Legal To Work While On Disability
Yes, its even encouraged. The Social Security Administration helps disabled people find employment through work-incentive programs. How much a disabled worker is allowed to work and earn depends on several factors, and the two primary forms of assistance Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance work very differently.
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Type Of Medical Information Needed
What we need from you is a clear and comprehensive medical assessment of your patient’s disabling condition, together with information about any limitations on the persons capacity to function. It is not necessary for you to include any particular statements or phrases to ensure that your patient qualifies for benefits.
The following information related to an applicants medical history is required for the medical report:
- the medical conditions, impairments, functional limitations, prognosis and treatment
- the impact of current and future restrictions on the applicants ability to work
- planned investigations and specialist consultations
- supporting documents , specialists report or hospital discharge reports)
We ask that you address the psycho-social impacts of the disability on your patient’s capacity to work. Please provide supporting documents for your comments as this will greatly assist us in making a decision.
We do not need your patients entire medical file. Provide only the medical information relevant to your patients capacity to work, including supporting documents such as:
- consultants reports
- hospital notes
Can I send clinical notes
If your clinical notes address all the questions in the medical report, you may send those notes instead of completing the entire medical report. However, you must also complete these 2 sections of the medical report:
Late CPP disability applications
Additional requirements of medical professional
Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits
The Canada Pension Plan provides monthly payments to people who contribute to the plan during their working years.
You may be eligible for CPP disability benefits if:
- you contributed to the CPP for a certain number of years
- you’re under 65 years old
- you have a severe and prolonged mental or physical disability
- your disability prevents you from working on a regular basis
The benefits include payments to children of a person with a disability.
Apply as early as possible if you think you’re eligible for CPP disability benefits. Quebec residents may be eligible for a similar program called the Quebec Pension Plan . It may take several months to process your application.
If you applied for CPP or QPP disability benefits and were told that you’re not eligible, you can ask to have your application reviewed or considered again.
Once you reach age 65, your CPP disability benefit will automatically change to regular CPP payments. Your regular CPP payments may be less than the CPP disability payments you got before.
If so, consider:
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What If My Disability Lasts Longer Than 52 Weeks
If your disability is expected to or does continue past one year, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income , depending on the type of disability and how severe it is. See our fact sheet Short-Term and Long-Term Disability Benefit Programs for more information on SSDI and SSI.
In addition, some employers provide private insurance, called Long Term Disability Insurance to their employees with long-term disabilities. If you believe you may be covered by LTD, you should contact your employer to find out about benefits and eligibility and to request a copy of the Summary Plan Description.
If You Go Back To Work
If you’re like most people, you would rather work than try to live on disability benefits.
There are special rules that help you keep your cash benefits and Medicare while you test your ability to work. We call these rules “work incentives.” For more information about Social Security work incentives, read Working While Disabled: How We Can Help.
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My Employer Offers Private Short
Typically, yes. If the benefits are integrated, the EDD will pay you an amount for SDI, and your employer or its insurance carrier will pay you an additional amount to cover some or all of the difference between SDI and your full wages.
If you dont know whether your employer integrates benefits with the EDD, ask your HR department or manager for information.
Can You Work And Still Receive Social Security Disability Benefits
Those who receive Social Security disability benefits can still receive these payments and seek employment through the Ticket to Work program.
When those in Missouri experience a serious impairment, they often rely on Social Security disability benefits to meet their basic needs. After receiving disability benefits, however, many recipients desire to establish their financial independence by going back to work. The Social Security Administration makes this possible through their Ticket to Work program.
The purpose of the Ticket to Work program
Adults between the ages of 18 to 64 who receive disability benefits are eligible to participate in the Ticket to Work program. Through this program, disability benefit recipients gain access to services and support designed to help them earn more money and move back into the workforce. While what type of training and support recipients can gain varies, the primary goal of this program is to help those receiving benefits become financially independent.
Incentives to participate
Besides moving towards greater financial independence, there are many reasons why disability benefit recipients might want to participate in the Ticket to Work program. These benefits can include the following:
Additionally, if benefit recipients decide that they cannot continue working because of their medical condition, they can restart their benefits once more. In some cases, a new application may not be needed.
The trial period and what it entails
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The Us Poverty Threshold
What constitutes poverty changes every year and varies depending on family size and ones cost of living. In 2017, the US Census Bureau released their most recent US poverty threshold data. For one person under 65 living alone, the weighted average poverty threshold was $12,488 in annual income.
With more children or financial dependents in the family, the amount of money needed to cross the poverty threshold increases dramatically. For instance, a family of five with three dependent children has a poverty threshold of $29,986, while a family with four children has a poverty threshold of $32,753.
Unfortunately, single-parent households are held to a lower poverty line than two-parent households. For example, a family of four with two parents and two children has a poverty line of $24,858. However, with only one parent and two children, the poverty line currently sits at $19,749.
Can I Work After I Am Approved For Social Security Disability
Yes. There is a rule called the Trial work period that allows you to work. The rules for a Trial Work Period are complicated. Below is an explanation as to how you can work and still continue to receive social security disability.
1. Any month in which you earn LESS than $940 , you should still be able to receive your full benefit.
2. Any month in which you earn MORE than $940 will count as one month of a Trial Work Period. Under the trial work period rule, you get nine months total in a 60-month period, and they do not have to be consecutive. During a Trial Work Period month, you will still receive your full benefit amount, no matter how much you make. However, if you earn more than $1,310 per month, this is considered substantial gainful activity . If you earn less than the SGA limit during your Trial Work Period, your disability benefit amount will continue after the Trial Work Period. However, if you earn more than the SGA limit, then after your Trial Work Period, you will enter an Extended Period of Eligibility.
4. After the 36 months of your Extended Period of Eligibility, even if there is one month where you go over $1,310 , your benefits will stop for good, even if you go under $1310 the next month. However, for another five years, you are eligible for reinstatement If you do stop working, you can restart your disability benefits without going through the full application process all over again.
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Inability To Work Full
The first situation is where a claimant is working part-time on a regular basis, or sporadically works here and there when they are able. Keep in mind that Social Security defines the ability to work as the ability to work on a regular and continuous basis, and further defines work essentially as a five-day week, eight- hour-a-day effort. If someone chooses to only work part-time, that does not mean he or she is disabled. However, a person who simply cannot work five days a week and/or six to eight hours a day because of their medical problems can argue, often successfully, that the work activity is not substantial enough to prevent payment of benefits. A good example of this is the medical conditions fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome: With these medical conditions, people often feel quite capable of engaging in daily activities around the house or even work for short periods of time, but their medical condition worsens if they over-do it.