Ssd Lawyer Explains Social Security Disability Income Limit
As Northern New Jerseys premier SSD lawyer, M.J. Ellis specializes in representing SSD and SSI applicants from preparing their claims through to the final award decision. But a great SSD law attorney is an expert at understanding the many rules and regulations involved with SSDI and SSI benefits. Questions about how your benefits work and what you can earn while on SSD benefits is a common question.
Here are the basics you need to know
- 2021 Maximum Allowable Earned Income Drawing SSD Benefits = $1,310 per month
- blind SSD benefits recipients earning limit is $2,190 per month
How Much Does Ssi Pay
The average SSI payment in 2021 is $586 per month. Children on SSI receive an average of $695 per month.
While SSI is a federal program , and the federal government pays a standard base rate of $794 per month, most SSI recipients receive less than the federal benefit rate, and some receive more. Your actual monthly payment will depend on how much income you or your family brings in or earns and how much of a “state supplemental payment” your state pays, if any.
If you are married and your spouse is also eligible for SSI benefits, you’ll get less than two individuals would get. The federal benefit rate for couples is only $1,191, which is less than two $794 payments.
What Other Benefits Can I Get With Disability
What Types of Extra Financial Support Can I Get? State Temporary Disability. Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Other Assistance Programs. Insurance Coverage and Discounted Medical Care. A Word on Unemployment Benefits. Getting Help with Your Social Security Disability Claim.
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With Dependents Including Children
Find the dependent status in the left column that best describes you. Then look for your disability rating in the top row. Your monthly basic rate is where your dependent status and disability rating meet.
If you have more than one child or your spouse receives Aid and Attendance benefits, be sure to also look at the Added amounts table, and add these to your amount from the Basic rates table.
|Dependent status||30% disability rating||40% disability rating||50% disability rating||60% disability rating|
|Dependent status||Veteran with 1 child only||30% disability rating||476.35||40% disability rating||681.77||50% disability rating||963.04||60% disability rating||1,216.39|
|With 1 child and spouse||30% disability rating||532.35||40% disability rating||756.77||50% disability rating||1,056.04||60% disability rating||1,328.39|
|With 1 child, spouse, and 1 parent||30% disability rating||574.35||40% disability rating||812.77||50% disability rating||1,126.04||60% disability rating||1,412.39|
|With 1 child, spouse, and 2 parents||30% disability rating||616.35||40% disability rating||868.77||50% disability rating||1,196.04||60% disability rating||1,496.39|
|With 1 child and 1 parent||30% disability rating||518.35||40% disability rating||737.77||50% disability rating||1,033.04||60% disability rating||1,300.39|
|With 1 child and 2 parents||30% disability rating||560.35||40% disability rating||793.77||50% disability rating||1,103.04||60% disability rating||1,384.39|
What We Mean By Disability
The definition of disability under Social Security is different than other programs. Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or for short-term disability.
We consider you disabled under Social Security rules if all of the following are true:
- You cannot do work that you did before because of your medical condition.
- You cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition.
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.
This is a strict definition of disability. Social Security program rules assume that working families have access to other resources to provide support during periods of short-term disabilities, including workers’ compensation, insurance, savings, and investments.
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Disability Income Limits In 2021
It is possible to both receive disability benefits and earn income at the same time, provided that you earn under a certain amount and conform to other Social Security Administration requirements. As of 2021, the maximum amount of money an individual can earn while receiving SSDI benefits is $1,310 for non-blind disabled workers.
If you dont have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI but are still disabled and low income, you may qualify for Supplemental Security Income instead. SSI income limits are based on the federal benefit rate , which is currently $794 per month for individuals or $1,191 for couples. Earned income exclusions may make it easier for you to qualify for SSI.
If You Disagree With The Decision
If you disagree with the decision, you may ask to have the decision reviewed. You must request this review in writing within 90 days of receiving your decision letter.
Your application will be reviewed by Service Canada staff who were not involved in making the original decision on your application.
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Is Your Condition Severe
Your condition must significantly limit your ability to do basic work-related activities, such as lifting, standing, walking, sitting, or remembering for at least 12 months. If it does not, we will find that you are not disabled.
If your condition does interfere with basic work-related activities, we go to Step 3.
How Much Work Do You Need
In addition to meeting our definition of disability, you must have worked long enough and recently enough under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits.
Social Security work credits are based on your total yearly wages or self-employment income. You can earn up to four credits each year.
The amount needed for a work credit changes from year to year. In 2021, for example, you earn one credit for each $1,470 in wages or self-employment income. When you’ve earned $5,880, you’ve earned your four credits for the year.
The number of work credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age when you become disabled. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.
For more information on whether you qualify, refer to How You Earn Credits.
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Can You Make Too Much Money To Get Va Disability Benefits
We all owe a debt of gratitude to United States veterans. When many of us were at home, making a living and enjoying daily tasks, these brave men and women were often overseas protecting our freedoms.
Yet, with all that being said, veterans are often some of the most humble people that you will meet in life. They usually do not care to talk about their time in service, and consider it all a part of the job, even though it was often rather extraordinary.
Given that veterans are always thinking of others before themselves, they often fail to understand some of the benefits available to them. This is often the case with benefits available from the VA for anyone suffering from an injury or illness related to their service. And often, veterans may feel they arent qualified to receive benefits from the VA.
You Fail To Follow Prescribed Therapy
If you are being treated by a doctor, but fail to follow the doctor’s prescribed therapy when you have the ability to do so, you can be denied disability benefits. However, the SSA recognizes certain legitimate excuses for failing to follow the doctor’s orders .
Acceptable medical excuses. Failure to follow prescribed therapy can be excused for reasons beyond your control. Some examples follow.
- You have a mental illness so severe that you cannot comply with prescribed therapy.
- You have a fear of surgery so intense that surgery would not be appropriate. Your treating doctor must confirm the severity of your fear to the DDS consulting doctor.
- You physically cannot follow prescribed therapy without assistancefor example, because of paralysis of the arms or cataracts caused by diabetes.
Acceptable nonmedical excuses. It is possible that you cannot follow a prescribed therapy for a reason that has nothing to do with your medical condition. Acceptable nonmedical excuses for failing to follow prescribed therapy follow.
- You don’t have the money to pay for treatment.
- Your religious beliefs prohibit you from receiving medical therapy.
- Your doctor prescribes treatment that another doctor disagrees with.
For more information, see Nolo’s article on the impact of failing to follow prescribed treatment.
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You Can Work As Long As Your Countable Income Doesnt 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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Should I Work And Take Social Security
If you want to maximize your monthly Social Security checks, the simplest retirement strategy is to wait until full retirement age before claiming your benefits. That way, youll be able to earn an unlimited amount without losing a penny of your Social Security.
If waiting that long isnt an option, there are still some things you can do. For many, claiming at the beginning of the year in which youll reach full retirement age works out fine because the higher earnings limits make it less likely that youll give up your Social Security.
Finally, if youre expecting to work on a part-time basis, its smart to look at the earnings limits and how they compare with your pay. If it looks like you might trigger the provisions, then you might decide to work a little less to keep all your benefits.
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How Much Income Is Disregarded For Social Security Disability
This is how this works. Social Security will disregard the first $20 of income and the first $65 of earned income. If you make $1,600 per month, this would leave $1,515. Then, Social Security would disregard half of the rest of the earnings, leaving $757.50, which is still under the federal SSI rate of $771.
If you are currently receiving SSDI benefits and would like to try to return to work, you should know what the maximum earnings that you can make are and still have your disability benefits continue. In other words, at what point will you lose your benefits because you are earning too much money?
How Income Affects Your Ssi Payment
If you have any income coming in other than SSI, some of it, but not all of it, will be subtracted from your SSI payment.
The SSA will first look to see what income you have is countable. Countable income includes:
- money you earn from work
- food or shelter you get for free, or for less than what it’s worth
- money you get from friends or family
- other benefits, such as workers’ compensation, unemployment, SSDI, or a pension.
But not all of your income is subtracted from your SSI payment. Each month, the SSA does not count:
- the first $20 of any kind of income you receive
- the first $65 of money you earn from work, plus half of the remainder
- food stamps
- food or shelter provided by a nonprofit agency.
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Working And Earning Money
You can earn up to a certain amount per year without losing your disability benefits. For 2021, this amount is $6,100 . You must contact Canada Pension Plan as soon as you make more than $6,100 .
If you delay in contacting us when you start making over the allowed amount, you might have to pay some money back.
We may be able to help you return to work through the CPP Disability Vocational Rehabilitation Program.
Re-starting disability benefits for the same disability
If you return to work but are unable to continue working because of the same or a related disability, you can ask to have the benefit automatically restarted without going through the usual reapplication process.
Working part-time while on CPP disability
Joseph returned to work on a part time basis in March 2021. He earned $6,170 by June 2021. Joseph must call Service Canada to let them know he has earned $6,100.
Additionally, he needs to tell them:
- the date he returned to work
- the hours he worked per week/month
- his hourly wages
- if the job is full time, part time, seasonal or self employed
Service Canada staff will contact Joseph to see how he is doing.
Working while receiving CPP disability and making less than $6,100 a year
Working while on CPP disability and making more than $6,100 a year
Were There When You Need Us
Every disability claim is different. If you are disabled and seeking to collect disability benefits, you may benefit greatly from speaking to an experienced and skilled Arkansas SSDI lawyer. At Rainwater, Holt, & Sexton, our SSDI attorneys will advocate for your future and will protect you every step of the way.
Expenses That Relate To Your Disability
In some cases, you may incur additional expenses to earn your additional income that would not apply to a non-disabled individual. Here the SSA will take these expenses into account and deduct them from your monthly income when they are working out your benefits.
Maybe you need special counselling services to enable you to work or there is a need for you to pay for transportation to a job. Both of these would likely qualify as legitimate expenses. The SSA call these IRWE which stands for impairment related work expenses.
Is Your Condition Found In The List Of Disabling Conditions
For each of the major body systems, we maintain a list of medical conditions that we consider severe enough that it prevents a person from doing substantial gainful activity. If your condition is not on the list, we have to decide if it is as severe as a medical condition that is on the list. If it is, we will find that you are disabled. If it is not, we then go to Step 4.
We have two initiatives designed to expedite our processing of new disability claims:
- Compassionate Allowances: Certain cases that usually qualify for disability can be allowed as soon as the diagnosis is confirmed. Examples include acute leukemia, Lou Gehrigs disease , and pancreatic cancer.
- Quick Disability Determinations: We use sophisticated computer screening to identify cases with a high probability of allowance.
For more information about our disability claims process, visit our Benefits For People With Disabilities website.
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Social Security Disability Insurance For People With Cancer
Social Security Disability Insurance is a federal disability insurance benefit earned by people who have worked and paid into Social Security. Its only available to people who have disabilities that keep them from working. If you have cancer, you may be able to have your SSDI application processed more quickly
Include These Documents With Your Application
According to the SSA, your disability application must include:
- Your Social Security number
- All laboratory and test results
- Most recent W-2 form
- Most recent federal tax return
You should also include information needed to contact your doctors, caseworkers, and all hospitals and clinics where you received care. Include the dates of your visits and any other relevant information.
Our legal team can collect these documents from you to complete your application.
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Your Disability Is Based On Drug Addiction Or Alcoholism
The SSA will deny benefits to someone whose drug addiction or alcoholism is a contributing factor to his or her disability. The key factor a DDS medical consultant must consider when making a DAA determination is whether or not the SSA would still find you disabled if you stopped using drugs or alcohol.
For more information, see Nolo’s article on when drugs or alcohol will prevent you from getting disability.