How To Get A Copy Of Your Social Security Statement
The SSA mails out Social Security Statements to follks age 25 and over before their birthdays during their 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, and 60 years. For those age 60 until retirement, the SSA will send out statements every year. You can also go online to get a copy of your statement or view it online. Go to www.ssa.gov/mystatement/ and open an account with Social Security to view your statement.
What Is The Disability Standard For Disability Insurance And Supplemental Security
Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security are reserved for workers with the most severe disabilities and conditions, and both use the same strict disability standard: inability to engage in substantial gainful activitydefined as being able to earn $1,040 a month in 2013due to one or more severe physical or mental impairments that are expected to last at least a year or could result in death. A workers impairment or combination of impairments must be so severe that the applicant is not only unable to do his or her previous work but also unableconsidering his or her age, education, and work experienceto engage in any other kind of substantial gainful work that exists in significant numbers in the national economy.
Medical evidence is the cornerstone for the determination of disability in both programs. To qualify, there must be medical evidence from a doctor, specialist, or certain other licensed or certified medical sources that documents a severe impairment. Evidence from other health care providerssuch as nurse practitioners or clinical social workersis not sufficient to document a severe medical impairment. And statements from the applicants themselves, their families, co-workers, friends, or neighbors are not treated as medical evidence.
Brief History Of Social Security
The Social Security program was created by the Social Security Act that President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law in 1935. The first checks went out in 1940. Originally it paid benefits only to workers 65 and older, but in the 1970s the government altered it to allow workers to claim benefits as early as 62. It also instituted annual cost-of-living adjustments to help Social Security keep pace with inflation.
The program has worked fairly well so far, but many people fear for the future, when there will be fewer workers to support a greater number of Social Security recipients. The latest Social Security Trustees’ Report indicates the program’s trust funds would be depleted by 2034, after which it would be able to pay out only about 76% of benefits to retirees and about 92% to disabled workers.
The government has proposed several possible solutions for ensuring the long-term sustainability of the program, but at present no plans have been set. There’s no risk of the program disappearing in the next decade or two, but it’s possible future benefits may not go as far as they do today. That’s why today’s workers need to prioritize their personal retirement savings, so they can cover most of their expenses on their own.
You might also like
Recommended Reading: Is Sciatica A Disability
Working And Earning Work Credits
There is a chart available to understand how many work credits and years of work are required based on your age. In order to earn work credits, you need to work and pay into Social Security. In 2020, you must earn $1,410 to earn one work credit.
Younger workers can qualify for disability benefits with fewer work credits. If you become disabled before age 24, you must have earned 6 credits in the three years prior to the onset of your disability. If you become disabled between age 24 and 31, you need credits for half the time between age 21 and the onset of your disability. For example, if you become disabled at age 29, you would need four years of prior work, or 16 credits.
You will also need to have worked recently to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. If you worked in your youth but took off 6 years to raise a family, you will no longer qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Most SSDI recipients need to have worked recently, usually any 5 of the past 10 years.
If you have worked intermittently, but have earned income within the past couple of years, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits.
Few Beneficiaries Could Support Themselves By Working
Practically since the DI programs creation, economists and policymakers have debated whether it results in workers leaving the labor market. Evidence suggests, however, that few beneficiaries could earn more than very small amounts if they did not receive DI.
The typical DI beneficiary is in his or her late 50s 70 percent are over age 50, and 30 percent are 60 or older and suffers from a severe mental, musculoskeletal, or other debilitating impairment. Nearly one-quarter of beneficiaries lack a high school diploma, and only 10 percent have a four-year college degree. Labor-market prospects for such applicants are poor.
Most beneficiaries, however, do not have earnings. Researchers report that only 12 percent of DI recipients were employed in 2007, when the labor market was still strong. A larger fraction of beneficiaries who were tracked for ten years 28 percent of them worked at some point after their DI application was approved, but generally episodically and at low earnings. Only 7 percent had their benefits suspended for even a single month because their earnings exceeded the threshold. Just 4 percent had their benefits terminated because of earnings, and of those, more than one-quarter subsequently returned to the DI rolls. Not surprisingly, beneficiaries who were younger than 40 when they began to receive DI a distinct minority of beneficiaries resumed working at higher rates than did older disabled workers.
Read Also: 100 Percent Disability Rating
How Many Work Credits Do I Need To Qualify For Ssdi
Generally speaking, to be insured for SSDI benefits you must have earned at least 20 work credits during the past 40 quarters prior to the onset of your disability. The date in which your SSDI coverage expires is referred to as your date last insured.
So, if you earned 4 work credits in each year from 2008 to 2013 and stopped working in 2013, you would be insured for the next five years, and your date last insured would be in 2018. In order to receive SSDI benefits, you would need to establish that you became disabled prior to 2018.
Getting Help With Determining If You Worked Enough
Do you need help determining if you’ll qualify for Social Security benefits? You should contact a Social Security attorney or advocate. He or she can evaluate your claim and help you start the application process. You can also learn more about your eligibility by filling out a free evaluation form today.
Also Check: What Is Va Disability Compensation
Your Social Security Benefit Isnt Always Based On 35 Years Of Work History
Have you ever wondered how the Social Security Administration calculates your benefits? We have countless resources on this site that explain the various formulas, rules, and exceptions if youre curious.
But we havent discussed one big exception to the main calculation for arriving at your Social Security income amount, and that is the fact that the Administration doesnt always use all of your years of historical earnings to figure your benefit.
Instead, they only use the years designated as computation years, This refers to the number of earnings years used to calculate your Social Security benefit and its why even if youve worked for at least 35 years, not all of those years may be included in the average.
Using 35 Years of Work History Is a General Rule But Its Not Always Used to Figure Your Social Security Benefits
How many computation years the Administration uses can be a point of confusion. Some have mistakenly thought its the three highest-earning years of your working career, or the highest five years.
This isnt true when it comes to Social Security, although its a common measure for many pension calculations.
Another common perception is that the Social Security Administration will take 35 of your highest-earning years and get an average earnings level from those numbers. And while that is the general rule, its not always 35 years thats used in the calculation.
How Social Security Retirement Benefits Are Calculated
Special Rules For People Who Are Blind Or Have Low Vision
We consider you to be legally blind under Social Security rules if your vision cannot be corrected to better than 20/200 in your better eye or if your visual field is 20 degrees or less, even with a corrective lens. Many people who meet the legal definition of blindness still have some sight and may be able to read large print and get around without a cane or a guide dog.
If you do not meet the legal definition of blindness, you may still qualify for disability benefits if your vision problems alone or combined with other health problems prevent you from working.
There are a number of special rules for people who are blind that recognize the severe impact of blindness on a person’s ability to work. For example, the monthly earnings limit for people who are blind is generally higher than the limit that applies to non-blind disabled workers.
In 2021, the monthly earnings limit is $2,190.
Read Also: Going From 90 To 100 Va Disability
After You Submit Your Application
We’ll send you an acknowledgment letter after we receive your retirement application. We may also contact you if we have questions or need additional information.
Approximately two weeks before your first retirement warrant, weâll mail you a First Payment Acknowledgment Letter that provides important information about your service retirement, including the date and amount of your first retirement check.
You may sign up to receive your retirement checks through direct deposit at the same time you submit your retirement application. To set up direct deposit online, log in to myCalPERS. Go to the Retirement tab and select Payment Options. Alternatively, you can complete and mail the Direct Deposit Authorization to:
CalPERS Benefit Services Division
What Other Requirements Are Beneficiaries Required To Meet
In order to receive Disability Insurance, a worker must have worked during at least one-fourth of his or her adult lifetime and during at least 5 of the 10 years before disability onset. There is also a five-month waiting period before a worker can qualify for benefits.
Supplemental Security provides assistance to people with severe disabilities who have very low incomes and assets and who either lack sufficient work history to be covered for Disability Insurance or receive only a very small Disability Insurance benefit. It is important to note that many Supplemental Security beneficiaries, although lacking the sustained work history necessary to be insured under Disability Insurance, have worked and paid into the Disability Insurance system. And others, particularly women, are not eligible for Disability Insurance because they took time out of the paid labor force to care for children or other family members.
Workers must apply for and exhaust all other available benefits before qualifying for Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security. Accordingly, Social Securitys disability programs serve as a true last resort for people with severe disabilities and little to no ability to work.
You May Like: Utc Disability Resource Center
Social Security Credits Required For Disability Benefits
Generally, the number of Social Security credits required for disability benefits is 40. You must also have recent work history. In fact, 20 of your credits must have earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled . Since disabilities can also happen to younger workers, there are some exceptions to the 40 credit rule.
The rules are as follows:
- Prior to age 24You may qualify if you have 6 Social Security credits earned in the 3-year period ending when your disability starts.
- Age 24 to 31You could qualify if you have credit for working half the time between age 21 and the time you become disabled.
- Age 31 or olderGenerally, you need to have the number of Social Security credits shown in the chart below.
Coordinate With Your Spouse
Finally, if you’re , coordinating with your spouse can deliver bigger benefits, too.
Imagine this scenario: You’re married, and your spouse has generally earned much more than you. You both start collecting benefits as soon as you can, at age 62. You collect, say, $1,800 per month, and your spouse collects, say, $2,300. If your spouse dies first, your household can no longer collect both checks instead, you get the greater of the two, so your benefit rises to $2,300.
But if your spouse had been able to delay starting to collect until age 70, that $2,300 check could have grown by 24% into a $2,850 one. Strategizing with a spouse can be a powerful income-maximizing move.
It’s well worth taking a little time to learn more about Social Security, because it’s likely to provide a meaningful chunk of your retirement income, and it’s worth getting as much out of the program as you can.
Explaining Social Security, TLDR edition: The 8 things you should learn about your benefits
You May Like: How To Get 100 Percent Disability For Ptsd
Options If Not Enough Quarters Worked
Options are available to obtain Medicare Part A if a person did not earn enough working quarters.
Medicare Savings Programs are federally funded assistance programs that each state administers to help with the costs associated with Medicare.
There are four different Medicare Savings programs. Most of the programs help pay for Medicare Part B premiums.
The Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program helps pay for premiums and other costs of Part A. Income limits apply to qualify for the assistance programs.
Benefits For A Disabled Child
A child under age 18 may be disabled, but we don’t need to consider the child’s disability when deciding if he or she qualifies for benefits as a dependent. The child’s benefits normally stop at age 18 unless he or she is a full-time student in an elementary or high school or is disabled.
Children who were receiving benefits as a minor child on a parents Social Security record may be eligible to continue receiving benefits on that parents record upon reaching age 18 if they are disabled.
You May Like: Can You Get 100 Disability For Ptsd
Other Factors Have Also Boosted Rates Of Receipt
Yet rates of receipt have indisputably risen, even when adjusted for age and sex and for the rising retirement age. Why? The reasons are not fully understood, but include:
One frequently overlooked facet of recent growth in the disability rolls is the fact that women have caught up with men. Although the bulk of the rise in womens receipt of DI stems from their rising labor force participation, that is not the whole story. Until the mid-1990s, insured women of any age that is, women who had worked enough to qualify for DI in the event of disability were only about three-fourths as likely as insured men to receive DI benefits. Now they are equally likely to do so. Because this comparison is limited to insured workers, this change is not simply explained by womens rising labor force participation. Researchers, who have overwhelmingly focused on how DI has affected males labor force participation, have rarely noted this trend and have studied it even less. Whatever the reasons for this trend, it does not seem valid to criticize as a deficiency, or a sign of recent laxness in the program, the growth in DI receipt that is attributable to insured women reaching parity with insured men.
How Long Do I Have To Work To Qualify For Disability
The amount of years worked that is necessary to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age. Social Security quantifies your work history in terms of work credits. Typically, you will have needed to worked 5 of the last 10 years to have enough work credits to quality for Social Security Disability Income . Usually, you need 20 work credits earned in the last 10 years.
Also Check: How Do I Change My Va Disability Direct Deposit
How Long Do You Have To Be Out Of Work To Apply For Disability
In order to be eligible for SSDI benefits, you will need to be out of work for at least 12 months or longer due to your disability and you will need to provide the proof that it is your disability that is preventing you from working. However, you may apply for disability benefits as soon as you have to give up work because of your medical condition.
You will have to provide sufficient evidence that you wont be able to work for at least 12 months to qualify for SSDI benefits or SSI. This is called the durational requirement. If the SSA doesn’t believe your disability will last at least 12 months, you will be sent a “durational denial” letter. If you are only going to be disabled and unable to work for less than 12 months then you wont qualify for SSDI benefits.
In addition to the length of time you have been out of work in order to qualify for SSDI, your accrued work credits and age your disability needs to be listed in the SSAs Blue Book. The SSA uses its Blue Book as a guide to assess if a person is medically eligible for disability benefits.
If your disability is listed you will need to provide evidence that proves the presence of it such as your doctors report, results of relevant medical test results and success of treatments used to relieve the symptoms of your disability.
How Are Disability Insurance And Supplemental Security Benefits Funded
Disability Insurance is funded by payroll tax contributions from workers and their employers. Workers currently pay a tax of 0.9 percent of their wages up to $113,700, and their employers pay an equal amount. These tax contributions go into the Disability Insurance trust fund. Funding for Supplemental Security comes from the federal income tax and other federal revenues.
The Social Security Administration administers both of these programs. State agencies, usually called disability determination services, make the initial determination of whether applicants meet the disability standard. These state agencies are federally funded and follow federal guidelines.
You May Like: How Is Disability Calculated In California