Once I Am Approved Will I Continue To Receive Disability Benefits Forever
You have just been approved for Social Security Disability benefits and you finally let out a long sigh of relief. You have probably been through the ordeal of a Social Security Disability appeal and couldnt be happier that the process is finally over. The question on your mind now is probably whether or not you will continue to receive those Social Security Disability payments indefinitely, or if they will stop at some point in the future. The answer isnt the same for all Social Security Disability recipients.
When you are awarded Social Security Disability benefits, your case is categorized into one of three categories including Medical Improvement Expected , Medical Improvement Possible or Medical Improvement Not Expected . Which of these categories your particular case falls into depends on when you will be receiving continuing eligibility reviews and how long your Social Security Disability benefits will continue.
If your case is labeled as MIE that means the SSA expects that your condition will improve and you will be given a continuing eligibility review in approximately six to eighteen months. If during that review it is determined that your condition has improved and you are able to return to work, your benefits will be discontinued. If your condition has not improved at the time of your review, your Social Security Disability payments will continue and you will receive another review in another six to eighteen months.
What Happens After I Am Approved For Disability
After you get approved for disability benefits, you will also get notified about your monthly award amount, as well as the amount of your back-pay, depending on your official onset date of disability.Â
You can choose to receive your benefits via a SSA issued debit card, or have it deposited directly into your checking account.
Generally, it takes around 30-90 days after your approval to get your back-pay, as well as your first monthly check.
Are Ssd Benefit Payments Taxable
That depends on your total income for the year from other sources, such as wages, self-employment, interest, dividends and/or other taxable income.
If you file an individual federal tax return and your total adjusted annual income is more than $25,000 or if you and your spouse file a joint return and your combined adjusted gross income is over $32,000, you will have to pay taxes on a portion of your SSD benefits. Adjusted gross income between over $25,00 up to $34,000 results in up to 50% of your Social Security being taxed. Income above those amounts results in a greater portion of Social Security being taxed with a maximum percentage of 85% of Social Security being taxed. Some states with income tax do not tax Social Security and others do. Supplemental Security Income benefits, as a public welfare income, is not taxable.
People Question How You Spend Your Money
Receiving disability benefits is far from winning the lottery. I get about $1,250 in my bank account every month, which is well below the poverty line. Its not enough money to buy a home, a car, or anything other big splurges that people my age buy so freely. Yet, when people see you dressed well or going on vacation, they think you have all the money in the world.
The truth is people who receive disability benefits know what its like to struggle and survive through that struggle. We know what its like to not be able to do what we want. The majority of the money goes to basic necessities such as food and bills. There isnt enough wiggle room for extras. This has forced the word no into my vocabulary a big adjustment, as I have always considered myself to be a yes person. Now I have to say no, out of necessity, to certain invitations or opportunities that I simply cant afford at that moment. Pain and hardship teach you how to budget, save, and treat yourself to something once in a while.
Can I Work While On Disability
After youre accepted for Social Security Disability, I get a lot of questions about can I work? This is also one thats split between SSI and SSDI.
Supplemental Security Income
Supplemental Security Income is asset and income based. Basically what happens is there is going to be a limit. SSI will take 50 cents of every dollar that you earn, and you shouldnt earn more than about $1,100 or $1,200 a month.
If youre earning more than that, SSI is going to come in and say, Youre earning too much, we dont think youre disabled anymore. A good rule of thumb is dont earn more than about $260 a week. But on SSI theyll take 50 cents of every dollar you earn, so if you earn $260 theyll reduce your check $130.
If you earned $1000 in a month and your SSI check is $700 theyll say, Well, you earned $1000 so half of that is 500; your SSI check was $700. Well subtract $500 from $700. Your SSI check is only $200 this month. Now the good news is, your total is still $1000 + $200 = $1,200. So, youre still making more than you would have, but SSI punishes you and takes half of what you earned out of your SSI check.
Social Security Disability Insurance
Short answer yes, if youre on disability SSI or SSDI you can work as long as you dont earn too much money. Generally speaking, its about $1000 a month. Just keep it under $1000 a month and you should be fine.
Victor Malca Law A Trusted Name In Florida
Victor Malca P.A. has over 25 years of litigation experience in Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability lawsuits. His experience and continued success in fighting for his clients puts among the most trusted workers compensation lawyers in Florida. Our area of expertise is in representing injured workers on compensation benefit cases and disabled individuals claim social security disability benefits.
Our unwavering advocacy for employee rights and privileges are recognized by our past clients across South Florida. Book a free consultation today.
About The Author
Judy Ponio is a writer for Victor Malca Law P.A. and enjoys helping people with questions about social security, workers compensation, and other serious matters involving peoples livelihood. She is not an attorney and her writing should not be considered legal advice.
Will I Be Eligible For Medicare
Medicare eligibility begins after you have received 24 months of Social Security disability benefits. Note that to receive Part B of Medicare , you pay a premium that will be deducted from your Social Security disability monthly check.
Disabled people with relatively low income and assets may be eligible for other programs that pay for medical expenses not covered by Medicare and/or pay the Medicare premium for you. To find out if you are eligible for any such programs, you need to check with your county welfare department.
If you have health insurance coverage already, you need to figure out how Medicare works with your health insurance. Many health insurance policies state that Medicare is to provide the primary coverage with your present health insurance paying only for what Medicare doesnt cover. You need to check with your health insurance company when you get your Medicare card.
What Happens After My Disability Claim Is Approved
Typically you will receive disability benefits within 60 days of your favorable decision
The most important steps following an award are:
Several factors determine how fast you will get your benefits
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What Do I Need To Know Before I Apply For Disability
5 Things to Ask Yourself Before Applying for Disability Benefits Is My Condition Disabling Enough? The answer to this question may be difficult to answer. Is my condition severe enough to keep me out of work for 12 months? Am I able to continue working in any capacity? Does my work history qualify for SSDI ? Do I need assistance with filing my claim ?
How Long Do Ssdi Applications Take To Get Processed
Every application varies, but in general you should expect that the application process could take around 3-5 months.
If you have a severe disability, you might fall under the SSA Compassionate Allowances classification, in which case you will receive expedited processing of your disability benefits application.Â
Recognizing That I Needed Disability Benefits A Few Years After Being Diagnosed With Juvenile Arthritis Was Hard The Challenge Of Applying For And Receiving Disability Was Harder Than It Should Have Been
Five years. Thats how long it took for me to start receiving disability benefits after I first applied. According to the Social Security Administration , it should take three to five months to process an application. But a decision doesnt guarantee you will receive assistance, and you have to keep reapplying until you do.
Sure, receiving any amount of income is nice, especially if you have an invisible disability and illness that makes it very challenging to work full-time. The process of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income shouldnt be as difficult as it was for me. There were so many roadblocks that I had to go through to get the help I needed. Whats more, receiving these benefits didnt automatically make my life easier, either. Heres a look at why.
You Start To Give Up Hope And Worry About The Future
A lot of bad things can and did happen over the five years it took to start receiving benefits. Even when I was able to work full-time, it wasnt easy. I had to wake up earlier than normal just to be able to function because the stiffness in my joints was so bad first thing in the morning.
There were times when I got to work in the morning and had to rest for a few moments in my car before heading in because my fatigue was so bad.
But then there were days and weeks when I felt amazing and had no issues thats how it is sometimes with a disease like RA, which ebbs and flows, flares and subsides. These are the types of things I struggled to explain to SSA when applying and reapplying for disability benefits.
Those years of not receiving any assistance had to be the scariest ones of my life. I was approaching my mid-20s and had to depend on family members for literally everything. I began to have serious worries about my future. Would I need to stay on disability forever? How would I explain my medical and financial situation to prospective love interests? And if I ever got married, the amount of disability I receive could be reduced or stopped altogether. This is because a portion of a spouses income and assets counts as yours. Talk about soul-stripping.
What Happens If I Am Able To Return To Work Before My Social Security Disability Claim Is Determined
The Social Security disability process can be very lengthy, sometimes taking three years or more for a final decision to be made. Most claimants have to make an initial application, a Reconsideration appeal, and go through an Administrative Law Judge hearing before receiving a favorable decision. Due to the time period between application and hearing, some claimants may find that their condition has improved to the point they are able to return to gainful employment before their disability claim has gone through all the steps for a final determination.
If the Social Security Administration determines that you were disabled, but your condition improved while you were still waiting on a disability decision, then you can still be awarded disability benefits from the established date of onset of your disability until you became able to return to gainful employment. This period of time is known as a closed period benefit. To be eligible for closed period disability benefits, the period of disability must have lasted at least twelve months.
Any retroactive pay for the closed period benefit is still subject to the five month disability waiting period and the Social Security Administration automatically subtracts the first five full months from the disability pay. In other words, if you were found to be disabled for a period of fifteen months, you would only receive disability pay for 10 months. This rule does not apply to retroactive Supplemental Security Income .
Your Age And How It Can Affect Your Disability Insurance Claim
People who are older than 50 are defined by Social Security as being of advanced age. This means that they fall into a different category and may have a better chance of qualifying as physically disabled. Why?
The Social Security Administration uses grid rules to guide their claims process. These SSA grid rules are complex. The grids fall into four categories:
- Maximum sustained work capability limited to sedentary work as a result of severe medically determinable impairment
- Maximum sustained work capability limited to light work as a result of severe medically determinable impairment.
- Maximum sustained work capability limited to medium work as a result of severe medically determinable impairment.
- Maximum sustained work capability limited to heavy work as a result of severe medically determinable impairment.
If you are found to be severely medically impaired, Social Security will use one of these grids to determine whether you are disabled or not. The grid rules take many factors into play including your age, your education level and your previous work experience.
If you can still do sedentary work, the SSA uses the grid for people who are limited to sedentary work. If you can still do light work, the SSA uses the grid for people who are limited to light work. And so on for the grids that designed to be used for medium or heavy .
That brings us to the second sign that you may have a better-than-average claim: medical evidence.
The Review Stage After An Ssi Exam
Next, the CE doctor will send the report to the states Disability Determination Services agency within 10 business days of the examination. The DDS is different from the local Social Security field office and they primarily evaluate the medical portions of the disability claim.
The medical report will contain an opinion about key elements regarding your cognitive capabilities:
- Your ability to remember, understand, and follow instructions
- Your ability to maintain social interaction consistently with supervisors and co-workers
- Your ability to handle pressure and the stresses of everyday work
The state agency will analyze the doctors report and review all the previous information obtained in your case.If any additional testing or evaluation is necessary, the Social Security Administration will inform you and order more testing. For example, if your exam results are uncertain, questionable, or fraudulent, another exam may need to be scheduled.
Additionally, your case may be intercepted by the Disability Quality Branch , which randomly selects disability applications for review to ensure disability claims are handled consistently. This would affect the time it takes for you to know whether you will be eligible to receive disability benefits.
There Are A Number Of Different Paths Your Disability Case Can Take After A Social Security Hearing
After you’ve attended your disability hearing before an administrative law judge , your disability file will remain at the hearings office until the ALJ makes his or her decision. Once the administrative law judge has made his or her decision, the decision is actually written by staff decision writers at the hearing office and then reviewed by the judge. When the judge is ready to issue the decision, your disability file may be sent to the Social Security office from where it originated.
What Happens If Your Social Security Disability Claim Is Not Approved
Unfortunately, not every person who qualifies for Social Security disability benefits has his or her application approved on the first try. If your receive notice from the SSA that your claim has been denied then you may need to pursue an appeal.
Do not give up! Many Social Security disability applications are initially denied and then later approved on appeal.
Do you know someone who has filed a Social Security disability application in Sarpy County? The wait can be agonizing. Please share this blog post with that person so the he or she knows what may happen if his or her application is approved or denied by the SSA.
Is There Anything That I Can Do Now To Help Ensure That My Benefits Will Continue
The very best thing you can do is to continue seeing your doctor. A lot of people with long-term chronic medical problems stop seeing their doctors because no treatment seems to help. This is a mistake for two reasons. First, it means that when the Social Security Administration conducts a review, no medical evidence will exist to show that your condition is the same as it was when you were first found disabled. Second, and perhaps even more importantly, doctors recommend that even healthy people after a certain age periodically have a thorough physical examination. This is even more important for people who already have chronic medical problems.
The Other Parts Of Medicare
- Medicare Advantage Plan people with Medicare Parts A and Part B can choose to receive all of their health care services through plans that are offered by private companies and approved by Medicare. For more information, we recommend you read Medicare’s How do Medicare Advantage Plans work?
- Medicare Part D helps pay for medications doctors prescribe for treatment. For more information on the enrollment periods for Part D, we recommend you read Medicare’s How to get prescription drug coverage page.
If you receive Medicare and have limited resources and income, you may be eligible for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs.
How Much You Will Receive
The amount of your monthly SSDI benefit is based on your lifetime average earnings covered by Social Security.
If you don’t already have an estimate, you can get your Social Security Statement online with your personal mySocial Security account or use our Benefit Calculators to determine how much you could get if you became disabled right now.
Timing Of Lump Sum Payments Of Backpay
It can take a couple months for Social Security to issue backpay, especially for concurrent claims and in other special situations. Although delays in payment can be frustrating, disability recipients should try to be patient with the SSA offices that are processing payments. However, if you haven’t received any backpay after three or four months, contact Social Security to make sure your payment is being processed.
What To Expect After You Get A Disability Rating
If you got a decision notice from us that confirms your disability rating , you may be able to get disability compensation or benefits. Find out what benefits you can get.
Disability compensation may include financial compensation as well as other benefitslike health care or job training.
If you havent gotten your decision notice:
How Your Disability Payments Will Be Paid To You
For decades, the SSA mailed benefit checks to recipients once a month, at a gigantic cost for check printing, envelopes and postage. But countless benefit checks were stolen from mailboxes or in other ways before the intended recipients ever saw them, and there were additional expenses, plus delays for investigations and for issuing duplicate checks. But all that changed in 2011.
Will I Have To Pay Taxes On The Social Security Disability Benefits I Receive
Probably not, but this depends on the amount of your total income. Most people wont have to pay taxes on their Social Security disability benefits. Couples whose combined incomes exceed $32,000 and individuals with income exceeding $25,000 will pay income tax on a portion of their Social Security disability benefits. The IRS has an odd way of figuring out total income for this rule. The IRS uses adjusted gross income as reported on Form 1040, plus one-half of the total Social Security benefits received for the year, plus non-taxable interest.
Single people with incomes over $34,000 and married people with incomes over $44,000 pay tax on a higher percentage of their Social Security disability benefits.
Heres an odd thing: People whose Social Security benefits are reduced because of the workers compensation offset or offsets for other public disability benefits must count the amount of Social Security benefits not paid when determining taxability of their benefits. But if a child receives benefits on a parents account, those benefits count only for determining if the child must pay taxes on Social Security benefits received.
Tax law is very complex. Please talk to a tax specialist if you have any questions about taxes on your Social Security benefits.
What Conditions Automatically Qualify For Ssi
What Medical Conditions Qualify for Social Security Disability or SSI?
- musculoskeletal problems, such as back injuries.
- cardiovascular conditions, such as heart failure or coronary heart disease.
- senses and speech issues, such as vision and hearing loss.
- respiratory diseases, such as COPD or asthma.
If L Get Paid First Should I Wait Until I Receive The Notice Of Award Before I Cash The Check Or Spend My Past
There is no problem with cashing the check. But it is best that you deposit your check in an interest bearing savings account and not spend it all until you receive the Notice of Award so that your attorney can make sure that attorneys fees were withheld and that you have not been overpaid. It is also a good idea to make two photocopies of the check before you deposit it. Send one copy of the check to your attorney and keep the other for your records.
Work History And Credits For Ssdi Benefits
Whether youâve worked enough to earn SSDI benefits will depend on your age when disability begins, your income prior to disability, and the number of years youâve been paying taxes.
You get work credits based on your annual income, but you can only get a maximum of four credits per year.
In 2020, if you earn $1,410 during the year, you will get one credit. So, as long as you earn more than $5,640 , you will earn all four credits.
It doesnât matter if you earn that income in one month, or over the entire year.
Note that it is not about how much you pay into social security per year, but the credits are based on how much youâve earned.
Can I Apply For Long
Most insurance companies will not let you apply for long-term benefits after a short-term disability denial. All long-term disability benefits have an initial waiting period. This waiting period means you must be continuously disabled for a minimum number of weeks before you qualify for long-term disability benefits.
In most cases, the long-term disability waiting period will be between 17 to 52 weeks. When your short-term disability claim is denied, many employers or insurance companies will refuse to allow you to apply for long-term disability. They will say that because your short-term disability claim was denied, you were not continuously disabled for the required waiting period. This is hogwash. The insurance companys wrongful decision to deny your short-term disability claim does not remove your contractual right to apply for long-term disability benefits.