Va Disability Compensation Rates
Once service connection is established, VA will assign a disability rating based on the severity of your condition. If you have multiple service-connected conditions, VA will combine your ratings using VA math. This combined disability rating determines your monthly compensation rate.
Disability ratings range between 0 and 100 percent. The higher the rating, the more disability compensation you will receive each month.
To receive monthly compensation, you must have a disability rating of 10 percent or higher. A 100 percent disabled veteran living in Maine is considered totally disabled and receives the highest benefit amount.
As of December 1st, 2021 the VA disability rate benefit amounts are as follows:
- 0 percent disability rating: $0.00 per month
- 10 percent disability rating: $152.64 per month
- 20 percent disability rating: $301.74 per month
- 30 percent disability rating: $467.39 per month
- 40 percent disability rating: $673.28 per month
- 50 percent disability rating: $958.44 per month
- 60 percent disability rating: $1,214.03 per month
- 70 percent disability rating: $1,529.95 per month
- 80 percent disability rating: $1,778.43 per month
- 90 percent disability rating: $1,998.52 per month
- 100 percent disability rating: $3,332.06 per month
Back Payments Of Benefits
Most disability applicants who are approved for benefits also receive some type of back payments or retroactive disability benefits. The amount of backpay you’ll get depends on whether you get SSDI or SSI, when you applied for disability, and when your disability began. For more information, see our section on Social Security disability back payments.
Types Of Benefits Available To Individuals
Social Security disability benefits can be confusing. Rather than bury this important subject in my FAQs, I felt it important to explain the difference in its own space.
Social Security Disability Insurance benefits are paid out of the account that one has accumulated over the years of paying FICA taxes while working. It is the same account from which you are eventually paid Retirement benefits. The benefit amount depends on how much in FICA taxes you paid into the system. In other words, someone that worked part-time or had generally lower-paying jobs would have a lower benefit than someone that worked full-time at a higher-paying job. If your benefit is high enough, there is also a family benefit available for your children, and possibly your spouse. Your children must be unmarried and under 18 or no older than 19 and a full-time high school student. If you have a disabled child over 18 and the disability began before age 22, that child may continue to receive a family benefit.
Workers compensation benefits may cause a reduction in your SSDI, and MainePERS disability or retirement benefits will reduce your SSDI. Besides these benefits, you can have any amount of assets and resources and still receive your full SSDI benefits.
SSDI benefits are paid on either the 3rd of the month, or on one of the Wednesdays of the month.
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Winning Your Case Sooner Saves Hardship
Even though you may eventually go to a disability hearing, make every attempt to win the case as soon as possible to avoid financial hardship that can cause you to file bankruptcy or lose your home. Speaking as a former disability examiner, here are four tips to make a stronger case so you can get your disability.
How To Apply For Disability In Maine
The Social Security Administration, otherwise known as the SSA, is a federal organization that runs the two Social Security Disability programs, Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income . Due to the fact that these programs are federal, the application process and regulations are quite similar throughout the nation. However, there are variations between the states and it is important to know the differences. Here are the differences in Maines processes.
To find your local Social Security field office, Disability Determinations Services office, or an Office of Disability Adjudication and Review in Maine, click here.
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How Different Things Affect Ssi
Because SSI is a needs-based disability program it means that anyone applying for SSI must only have income and assets that fall below a threshold. Those who have “countable income” above the federal benefit rate , which in 2020 was $783 for individuals and $1,175 a month for a married couple, are not deemed eligible for SSI.
Anyone who has some countable income, which falls below the FBR, will face having their monthly SSI payments decreased by the value of the countable income. If an applicant for SSI has no countable income at all and is eligible for SSI, he or she will be awarded the total FBR paid monthly.
Because SSI is viewed as a need-based program, this means to qualify for benefit payments a number of factors concerning your income and assets are taken into consideration. Any adult in receipt of SSI payments will have any assets and other financial resources considered as well as income before the SSI benefit can be paid. These could include any of the following:
- retirement funds
- interest received as income from investments
- support provided by family and friends
- cash or assets from inheritance.
Any assets that have a monetary value like:
- cars and other motor vehicles and
- commercial rental property.
If you own only one home or one motor vehicle it is unlikely the value of these will be used in an SSI assessment. It is only likely to be evaluated if you own more than one vehicle or house.
- investment income.
It’s Time To Get The Benefits You Deserve
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Tip 1 To Get Your Disability
When you apply, give Social Security all of your medical treatment sources, including all doctors, clinics, and hospitals. Make sure you include the names of your doctors and the addresses of your medical providers.
Note: the number one factor in slowing down a disability caseis how long it takes a disability examiner to get your medical records. So dont make it any harder for them. Instead, make it as easy as possible.
How Your Ssdi Payments Are Calculated
The severity of your disability will not affect the amount of SSDI benefits you receive. The Social Security Administration will determine your payment based on your lifetime average earnings before you became disabled. Your benefit amount will be calculated using your covered earnings. These are your earnings at jobs where your employer took money out of your wages for Social Security or FICA.
Your SSDI monthly benefit will be based on your average covered earnings over a period of time, which is referred to as your average indexed monthly earnings . The SSA uses these amounts in a formula to determine your primary insurance amount . This is the basic amount used to establish your benefit.
SSDI payments range on average between $800 and $1,800 per month. The maximum benefit you could receive in 2020 is $3,011 per month. The SSA has an online benefits calculator that you can use to obtain an estimate of your monthly benefits.
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Some Publications That Will Give You More Information On Disability Benefits
The Disability Starter Kit will help you get ready for your disability interview or online application. Kits are available for adults and for children under age 18.
The starter kits provide information about the specific documents and the information that we will request from you.
The kits also provide general information about the disability programs and our decision-making process.
Here are some additional resources with information on disability benefits:
- Disability Evaluation Under Social Security – Medical criteria for evaluating Social Security disability claims
How To Lose Ssdi Benefits
The commonest reason why the SSA would stop a persons Social Security Disability payments is because the recipient has gone back to work, even though this isnt always the case. If you go back to your normal job when in receipt of SSDI benefits the SSA will decide if you are taking part in substantial gainful activity .
The key factor in deciding if work is considered to be SGA is the amount someone is paid. In 2020, somebody is typically considered to be engaging in SGA if his/her earnings exceed $1,260 or $2,110 for someone who is blind.
For example, if you are earning $200 weekly in a part-time job, you are not working above the SGA limit. If you are spending a lot of time at work but what you are doing constitute SGA despite the earnings being below the SGA threshold you could have your SSDI stopped.
However, if you are working and make over SGA you can be entered into a trial work period. This period allows somebody who is receiving SSDI benefits to try to go back to work without being told they will lose their SSDI eligibility.
In the majority of cases, you should be able to work for up to 9 months during a trial work period and you will still continue to receive your SSDI regardless of the amount you are earning. When the trial work period comes to an end and you are still taking part in a job earning above the SGA level the SSA is likely to decide you are no longer disabled so your Social Security Disability payments will stop.
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Hiring A Maine Social Security Disability Attorney
While it does not take as much time to be scheduled for a disability hearing in the State of Maine as it does in other areas of the nation, many Maine Social Security Disability applicants wonder if there is any way to avoid the lengthy and complex disability appeal process. While not all disability applicants will avoid a denial of their initial disability claim, retaining the services of a qualified Maine Social Security Disability lawyer may be able to increase your chances of receiving a favorable decision.
When you hire a Maine Social Security Disability attorney to assist you in your disability application, they will help you complete the application paperwork and will assist you in gathering the medical evidence that will be needed to support your disability claim. Your Maine Social Security Disability lawyer will ensure that your claim is prepared properly and submitted to the Social Security Administration in the best possible light. If, for some reason, your application for benefits is denied, your Maine Social Security Disability attorney will be able to represent you through the complicated disability appeal process.
If you would like to learn more about hiring a Maine Social Security Disability lawyer, to receive a free evaluation of your Social Security Disability case.
How To Increase A Take Home Paycheck
The easiest way to achieve a salary increase may be to simply ask for a raise, promotion, or bonus. However, this is assuming that a salary increase is deserved. For instance, an employee is in a legitimate position to ask for a raise or bonus if their performance exceeded original expectations, or if the company’s performance has noticeably improved, due in part to the employee’s input. If internal salary increases are not possible, which is common, try searching for another job. In the current job climate, the highest pay increases during a career generally happen while transitioning from one company to another. For more information about or to do calculations involving salary, please visit the Salary Calculator.
Reevaluate Payroll Deductions
Sometimes, it is possible to find avenues to lower the costs of certain expenses such as life, medical, dental, or long-term disability insurance. For instance, someone who is healthy with no major diseases or injuries can reconsider whether the most expensive top-of-the-line health insurance is necessary. In addition, each spouse’s company may have health insurance coverage for the entire family it would be wise to compare the offerings of each health insurance plan and choose the preferred plan.
Open a Flexible Spending Account
Cash Out PTO
Temporarily Pause 401 Contributions
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How Cck Can Help With Your Va Appeal In Maine
If VA denied you compensation for your service-connected disability, a Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD veterans disability lawyer serving Maine may be able to help.
The veterans disability attorneys at CCK are committed to helping veterans secure the benefits they deserve. The CCK team can evaluate a veterans military records and medical history to determine what evidence is needed to build a winning appeal.
Call today for a free case review.
What Is A Disability Property Tax Exemption
Disability property tax exemptions reduce the property tax burden for disabled homeowners. They essentially lower a home’s taxable value , which in turn decreases the annual taxes the homeowner owes on the property.
There is no single disability property tax break that homeowners can qualify for. Instead, tax exemptions are set at the state and local levels. To understand what options you might have at your disposal in your area, we’ve covered the basics for each state.
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Filing Appeals To Help You Get Disability
In most states, you have the options of a reconsideration appeal and a disability hearing appeal. The reconsideration comes after your disability application is denied. If the request for reconsideration is also denied , you can ask for a hearing.
The disability hearing appeal is where you will have your best chance to get your disability. Usually, more than half of all hearings result in an approval.
Why does the disability hearing have better odds?
The hearing is where you will meet the person deciding your case and this is where you can present statements from your doctors. The hearing is also where a lawyer can prepare your case, submit additional evidence, and argue that your case meets the Social Security definition of disability.
How Much Money Can I Receive And When Will I Receive It
If your SSDI disability benefits claim is approved, the amount of benefits that you receive will be based on your average lifetime earnings, and possibly other factors, such as your age and the actual amount of Social Security taxes that you paid. As a result, its difficult to know in advance what that amount will be.
At Jackson & MacNichol, well sit down with you, review your situation, and help you understand your what benefits you might receive. Jackson & MacNichol serves clients with Social Security claims throughout New England, including Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Boston, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Let our experienced Social Security attorneys and staff assist you we offer representation at all stages of the claim process.
Call us today at 524-3339 or use our online contact form.
Your first Social Security monthly disability benefits will be paid beginning with the sixth month after the date that your disability began. That is, no benefits will be paid for the first five months of your disability. Also, benefits wont be paid for any period that is more than one year before you applied for benefits. Therefore, if you wait too long after you become disabled before you apply, you risk losing benefits.
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How To Appeal A Denial In Maine
Almost 70% of applicants will be denied on their first application or first appeal. Its important to be aware of the entire appeals process so you know what to expect. You must start this process within 60 days of your initial denial and go through each stage before moving on to the next. Luckily, around 56% of applications are approved at the disability hearing level of appeals.
Level 1: Reconsideration – Your first attempt at recourse is to request to have a different SSA representative review your application. This is called reconsideration, and you dont need to provide any additional documentation at this time.
Level 2: Disability Adjudication – If your reconsideration was denied, you have 60 days to request a formal hearing with a judge. Its here that a claimant will want to bring additional documentation or witnesses who can support their case. You may want to retain a lawyer at this time. There is one Hearing and Appeal Office located in Portland and hearings typically take around 10 months to be scheduled.
Level 3: Appeal Council – Within another 60-day window you can request an Appeals Council review the case. At this stage, you should consider hiring a disability attorney if you havent already.
Level 4: District Court – At this highest level of appeals you will request that a federal district court review the Appeals Court decision. There is only one federal district court in Maine.