A Word About Deemed Income
Deemed income is another category of income the SSA takes into consideration when the government is calculating your monthly SSI payment amount. Deemed income is the money or other things of value another member of your household, your spouse, your parent, or another ineligible person receives that reduces the expenses you must pay. If your ineligible spouse pays all the rent from their funds, then the SSA deems your share of the rent to be countable unearned income. These technical procedures are why you should contact an expert SSI lawyer to review all of the income figures in your case.
The Facts On Social Security Disability Insurance And Supplemental Security Income For Workers With Disabilities
Endnotes and citations are available in the PDF and Scribd versions.
Nearly one out of every six working-age Americans29.5 million peoplehas a disability, making them much more likely to experience economic hardship than people without disabilities. Many people with disabilities are able to work, although they face greater challenges finding work than people without disabilities. But many individuals with severe and long-lasting disabilities have no or only limited capacity to work and are particularly vulnerable to economic hardship.
For roughly 12 million people with disabilities, Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income, both core components of our nations Social Security system, provide critical lifelines. The modest but vital assistance that Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security provide makes it possible for individuals with severe disabilities and health conditions to live independently, keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, and pay for needed, often life-sustaining medications and other basic expenses.
This issue brief answers some of the common questions about Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security. Our focus in this brief is on nonelderly adults with severe disabilities. It is important to note, however, that Supplemental Security also provides vital support to some 1.2 million children with severe disabilities, as well as more than 2 million low-income seniors.
How Much Is The Disability Benefit
The disability benefit is linked through a formula to a worker’s earnings before he or she became disabled. The following figures show how the disability insurance benefits compare to prior earnings for a worker who became eligible for benefits in 2014 at age 55.
|Earnings Before Disability
|Annual DI Benefit
*Average indexed earnings
The average benefit paid to disabled workers in June;2017;was $1,172;a month or about $14,064;a year.
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Understanding Supplemental Security Income
SSI is a type of safety net for U.S. citizens or nationals who cannot meet their basic financial needs because of their age or disability. SSI Payments arrive on the first day of each month and can also include food stamps and Medicaid benefits.
There are very specific requirements a person must meet to become eligible for SSI.;First, SSI candidates must be;65 or older, blind, or disabled. Second, they must have limited income, limited resources, and be a U.S. citizen or national. Currently, SSI is only available to individuals with assets of $2,000 or less, or couples with $3,000 or less.
Finally, there are other small requirements;they must meet, like residency in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands.
In special cases, children under 18 may be considered disabled and earn SSI eligibility. For a child;to;qualify, the disability must result in severe functional limitations and can be expected to cause;death;or has lastedor is expected to lastlonger than 12 months.
Social Security And Ssi Differences
People who apply for Social Security retirement, disability, and survivor benefits are based upon employment credits earned over an individuals lifetime. Retirement age and earnings prior to reaching an individuals full Social Security retirement age are also factors used to calculate Social Security benefits. According to Social Security Administration, benefits are approximately equal to less than half of the individuals earnings before retirement.
In contrast, people who apply for SSI arent required to have a work history or access a close relatives Social Security credits in order to qualify.
SSI is a federal program for low income people and families. In 2016, the maximum SSI benefit is USD 733 for a qualified individual and USD 1,100 for an eligible individual and his or her eligible spouse. All individuals who qualify for SSI benefits are paid according to the current SSI federal benefit rate. This amount may change depending on cost-of-living adjustments, marital status, housing costs, and statement supplements/other income. Not all types of income reduce the SSI benefit. For instance, a tax refund isnt considered as income for individuals receiving SSI.
Dependents of qualifying beneficiaries are treated differently as well:
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Berger And Green Can Appeal Your Pittsburgh Disability Denial
When you let us help you file your claim for Pittsburgh Social Security disability, we can ensure SSA gets the appropriate information about your medical care providers. We will also double-check all your technical information.
If you already received a denial, we can help you fight it. Let our Social Security disability attorneys handle your appeal on your behalf. We will:
- Request your appeals hearing for you if there is sufficient time to do so
- Investigate why the SSA denied your claim
- Collect evidence to build a robust case for approval
- Communicate regularly with you about the status of your case
- Represent you during your appeals hearing
- Present your case to the Administrative Law Judge overseeing your hearing
- Argue for monthly disability and back pay
If you want us to handle your Pittsburgh disability appeal, it is imperative for you to act quickly. You only have 60 days to file an appeal after you receive your denial notice. Call Berger and Green today at to get started. We will review your case for free.
Tips For Navigating Social Security
- A financial advisor can help you account for the various sources of retirement income, including Social Security benefits. SmartAssets free financial advisor matching tool can pair you with up to three advisors in your area. Get started now.
- If youre applying for Social Security disability benefits, youll need to fill out form SSA-827. This provides your consent for the SSA and Disability Determination Services to view your medical records.
- Dealing with a disability, either temporary or permanent, is hard enough without considering the financial impact. Having an emergency fund in place for unpredictable things like this can be a huge relief.
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Social Security Disability Evaluation Process
While there are some conditions that the Social Security Administration considers so severe that they automatically render an applicant disabled, many conditions require careful screening, including answering these five questions:
In addition, qualifying conditions must be expected to last at least one year or result in death.
Do You Get Social Security Survivor If Your Ex Spouse Dies
If you are caring for a child from the marriage who is under the age of 16 or is disabled, you will receive 75 percent of the deceased ex-spouses benefit. If you have already claimed Social Security on your own, you can still apply for survivor benefits, but you will not receive both benefits combined.
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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.
The Criteria For Disability Based On Mental Health Are The Same Whether You Are Applying For Ssdi Or Ssi
Social security disability for mental health reasons. The disability examiner will determine if a disability applicants symptoms meet the criteria of any specific mental condition. With these broad criteria in mind the SSA recognizes several categories of mental illness which may be considered for Social Security Disability. In other words Social Security accepts that anyone suffering from a listed condition would be unable to work earning an amount equivalent to substantial gainful activity.
A claimants medical records will fail to prove that the individual has enough physical or mental limitations that will prevent them from being able to go back to work–either performing one of their past jobs past relevant work potentially includes any job that was done in the last 15 years or performing some other type of other work that Social Security. They will give less consideration to records from a therapist counselor or Social Worker those records can still help though. The disability listings in the blue book contain medical conditions that Social Security recognizes as inherently disabling.
To satisfy the paragraph C criteria your mental disorder must be serious and persistent. We do not consider whether you could get a job doing this work. If you have been diagnosed with mental illness Social Security will give the most consideration to records from a psychiatrist or licensed psychologist.
For example we do not consider. We will find that you are not disabled.
Calculating Your Benefit Amount
The formula for calculating your Social Security benefits and your Disability benefits is exactly the same right up until the very end. Well get into how it diverges in the next section, but for now, well focus on the shared process.
The first step is calculating your average indexed monthly earnings . The Social Security Administration will take your 35 highest-earning years into consideration. For each of those years, it will index your income for inflation and include it up to the taxable maximum . For tax year 2020, this point is $137,700.
Next, the SSA will add up these totals and divide to get your AIME. If you have more than 35 earning years, your lowest years will be excluded. If you have less, the SSA will include a $0 in the calculation for every year youre short.
The last step is to calculate your primary insurance amount from your AIME. To calculate your PIA, the SSA will take a percentage of three different chunks of your AIME. The exact amount of these portions will differ slightly depending on the year you become disabled or turn 62. If you do either in 2021 the SSA will take 90% of your first $996, 32% of the amount between that and $6,002 and 15% of anything that remains. The total is your PIA.
Calculating Your Ssi Benefit Payment
Once the SSA separates any uncountable income from your countable income, the amount of your income that is not excluded is deducted from the maximum benefit amount of $784. If your countable income is $250 per month, then subtracting that amount from the $784 maximum level would give you a monthly SSI payment of $534.
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How Has The Covid
Working people with disabilities experience disproportionate job loss, compared to workers without disabilities, during economic downturns,39 and SSI applications generally increase when the unemployment rate increases . This trend held during the Great Recession and subsequent economic recovery.40 One exception to the general trend is the period from 2003 to 2007, when SSI applications continued to rise despite falling unemployment.41 Possible explanations for this anomaly include factors such as the lagged effect of federal welfare reform leading TANF enrollees to switch to SSI and persistently high poverty rates.42 The same study also found that the likelihood of applying for SSI significantly increases during extended periods of high unemployment.43
Figure 7: Percent change in SSI Applications Filed by Adults Ages 18-64 and U.S. Unemployment Rates, 1991-2019
Social Security Disability Insurance
Applying for Disability Insurance
When to Apply for Disability Benefits
Apply as soon as you become disabled. Processing an application for disabilityThe Americans with Disabilities Act defines a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity.; This includes people who have a record of such an impairment, even if they do not currently have a disability.; It also includes people who do not have a disability but are regarded as having a disability.; The ADA also makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person based on that persons association with a person with a disability. More benefits can;take three to five months, but may be processed faster if additional requests for information are handled in a timely manner.
When Benefits can be Received for the Family
- At any age if caring for child who is under 16 or disabled
- Divorced spouses may qualify
- Not married under age 18
- Not married and disabled before age 22
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Special Problems In Depression And Anxiety Cases
Depression and anxiety present special problems in a Social Security case. As noted above, a significant percentage of Social Security claimants allege depression or anxiety and both adjudicators and judges are very hesitant to find that a claimant meets a listing unless language in the medical record specifically mirrors the language of the listing. ;This is especially true in 2018 as Social Security decision makers are under a great deal of pressure from Congress to reduce the number of approvals. Social Security judges are less likely to approve younger claimants unless the treatment records contain evidence of in-patient hospitalizations, suicide attempts and multiple unsuccessful work attempts. ; Younger claimants with invisible illnesses are seeing approval rates decline.
Depression and anxiety symptoms may change over time, especially as you try different medications. Therefore, it is extremely important that you provide your doctor with an accurate and complete list of symptoms and their side effects.
You can help your case and your lawyer by keeping copies of all the forms and applications you completed for Social Security. If you have, in fact, developed new symptoms, your representative can update your file early enough so that any consultative exams can be scheduled well in advance of your hearing thus reducing any more delay.
Who Is Eligible For Di Benefits
The Social Security test of disability is very strict. To be eligible for disability benefits, the Social Security law says that the applicant must be unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months. Furthermore, the impairment or combination of impairments must be of such severity that the applicant is not only unable to do his or her previous work but cannot, considering his or her age, education, and work experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful work which exists in the national economy ).
A person is considered to be involved in substantial gainful activity if he or she earns more than a certain amount. If a non-blind individual earns more than $1,170 a month in 2017, he or she would not be eligible for disabled worker benefits. The amount is adjusted each year to keep up with average wages. The substantial gainful activity level for blind individuals in 2017;is $1,950 a month.
State agencies, operating under federal guidelines, make the medical and vocational determinations for the Social Security Administration about whether applicants meet the test of disability in the law. Medical records, work history, and the applicant’s age and education are considered in making the determination.
Back Payments And Retroactive Payments Are Often Included Once You Are Approved
When you are approved for SSDI or SSI, you are often approved with back payments or retroactive payments included. Back payments are any disability benefits that are past due, or the benefits that you would have been paid if your initial application was approved right away.Retroactive payments are for the months that you were disabled and could not work. You are eligible for retroactive payments only with SSDI and not SSI.