The Full Retirement Age Could Be Raised
In 1983, Congress mandated that the full retirement age would gradually rise to 67 from 65, a change that is still being phased in today.
Just moving the age to 67 from 66 resulted in a 5% benefit cut that took 40 years to take full effect, said Joe Elsasser, founder and president at Covisum, a Social Security claiming software company.
Congress could consider raising the retirement age again. Many argue that could make sense, as people often are waiting longer to retire.
Yet, implementing such a change could be tricky, particularly if that resulted in a bigger reduction for people who claim retirement benefits when they are first eligible at age 62 and who may no longer be able to work.
While the extent of any future changes to the program is unknown, the key for individuals and families is to stress test their retirement plans, Elsasser said.
You have to have a good idea whether you are reasonably on track, even with the full Social Security benefit, Elsasser said. And then the second step would be to say: How would it impact me specifically if I experience a benefit cut?
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Where Can I Find More Help
If you have further questions about SSDI or SSI benefits, the disability benefits lawyers at OConnor, Acciani & Levy can help.
We can discuss your application for benefits during a free consultation. Because we work on a contingency fee basis, you pay no upfront fees and only pay us for our services if your application is approved. We can help you with all stages of your application and the appeal process if you are denied benefits.
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How Can I Get Help With My Disability Application
The attorneys at Berger and Green have decades of experience handling all aspects of disability claims. We work hard to get our clients the benefits that they deserve. If you want to file a disability claim or the SSA denied your initial application, we can help.
If your disability was the result of someone elses careless or reckless actions, you might have a valid personal injury case. Our attorneys might be able to help you recover damages in addition to your Social Security benefits.
Contact us today at for a free consultation.
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How To Make More Than The Income Cap And Still Get Ssd Benefits
The TRIAL WORK PERIOD Program
Once the Social Security Administration realized that suspending the SSD benefits of a recipient who succeeded in earning more than the income cap in one month discouraged SSD beneficiaries from trying to work, the SSA needed to solve this dilemma. The SSA wanted to encourage SSD recipients to attempt a return to work, if they thought they were up to it. How else would a disabled person know what they were capable of achieving as time passed and their impaired condition improved?
The Trial Work Period program enables SSD recipients to try to resume working without fear of losing their monthly SSD benefit. Under the TWP plan, a disabled SSD recipient who thinks they may be able to return to work is free to try and continue to get their monthly SSD payments.
There are rules and limits to the TWP program, but the arrangement allows you to earn an unlimited amount of monthly income for a total of nine months. The nine months do not have to be consecutive. They can be spread out over a five-year period.
Which Months Count as Trial Work Period Months?
The Trial Work Period program can run for any nine months in a five-year period. So, which months count as TWP months? While you can earn an unlimited amount of income in each of the nine months of your TWP, any month in which you earn more than $907 is counted as one TWP month. In 2022, the TWP monthly trigger amount will be $970.
What If My Medical Condition Is Not On Ssas Impairment List
You may still qualify for disability benefits even if your medical condition is not on the SSAs impairment list. There are rules that SSA applies in these types of situations.
The Disability Advantage Group can help you through this process. Call us at to speak to one of our Social Security Disability Lawyers.
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How Is A Childs Disability Is Determined
The qualifying standard for childhood disability for SSI benefits differs from that used to determine if an adult is disabled. In an adult case, the person applying for SSD needs to be suffering from a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that prevents them from performing a substantial gainful activity. This obviously would not work to assess a childs benefits eligibility.
A child is qualified for SSD or SSI benefits if they have a medical condition, or a combination of conditions, that results in marked and severe functional limitations. The impairment of the child due to the condition must have lasted or be expected to last at least 12 months or result in the childs premature death. An expert Social Security Disability lawyer is knowledgeable about all the available SSI benefits available for disabled children.
The decision of whether a childs disability qualifies for SSI benefit payments is made by youre the childs home state Disability Determination Service, just as decisions in adult cases are made.
The benefit eligibility decision normally takes months to be made. If there is a delay, back payments will be paid, just as with adult disability cases. But some child disability cases qualify for immediate payments.
A professional SSD attorney whose practice specializes in SSI law will fully inform you about the Social Security Disability benefits your child qualifies for.
Learn More About Social Security Disability
If you have questions about applying for either of the Social Security disability benefits programs or the amount of money that you receive each month, talk to a disability advocate at London Disability. They will carefully review your records to ensure that you receive the payments you are entitled to receive whether through SSI or SSDI.
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Reduction For Disability Payments From Other Sources
If you receive disability benefits from a private source, like a private pension or private insurance benefits, these benefits will not affect your SSDI benefits. If, however, you receive other public disability benefits, they may affect your SSDI benefits. For instance, if you were injured on the job and are receiving workers’ compensation benefits, the amount of SSDI benefits you receive might be reduced.
Other disability benefits that are not job-related and are paid for by the federal, state, or local government may also reduce your SSDI benefit amount. Examples of these include temporary disability benefits paid by the state, military disability benefits, and state or local government retirement benefits that are based on disability. Some public benefits are not counted toward the 80%, including SSI or VA benefits.
The combined total amounts you receive from SSDI and all other public disability benefits cannot be more than 80% of the average amount you earned before you became disabled. If the amount is more than 80% of what your average earnings were before you became disabled, in most states, the excess amount is deducted from your SSDI benefits.
The interaction between workers’ compensation and SSDI can be complicated and varies depending on what state you live in. If you qualify for more than one public disability benefit, you may want to speak with an attorney to make sure you do not miss out on any benefits you are entitled to.
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.
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How Does A Person Qualify For Ssi
In addition to meeting the disability criteria , an SSI enrollee must meet several non-medical criteria, including having a low income. SSA has complex rules for determining financial eligibility. In general, income is anything received in cash, earned or unearned, that can be used to meet a persons need for food or shelter.17 Income is countable except for some limited amounts that are disregarded.18 Income also includes in kind support, such as any food or shelter provided or paid by another person. In kind support generally is valued at one-third of the maximum federal benefit amount.19 SSA also deems a portion of income from a persons spouse or parent/step-parent as countable income.20 To financially qualify for SSI, a persons countable income cannot exceed the maximum federal benefit rate , and the amount of SSI that a person actually receives is the maximum federal rate reduced by the amount of their countable income.21 These rules apply to SSI enrollees of all ages.
Figure 4: SSI Disability Determination Process for Adults
Figure 5: Disability and SSI Status of Nonelderly Adults with Medicaid, 2019
Figure 6: SSI Application Allowance Rate for Medical Decisions by Adjudicative Level, 2018
How Can The Social Security Disability Programs Be Improved To Increase Economic Security And Work Opportunities For Beneficiaries
Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security increase economic security for millions of disabled workers. For beneficiaries whose conditions improve, the programs also provide important incentives and supports for returning to work. Still, the programs could be further strengthened to increase disabled workers economic security and provide a more seamless transition for those who are able to return to work.
Modernize Supplemental Security
The value of Supplemental Security benefits has eroded considerably since the programs inception in 1972, as the programs income exclusions and asset limits have not kept pace with inflation and living standards. The current maximum benefit is equivalent to just three-quarters of the also-outdated federal poverty line for a single person. The general income exclusion and earned income exclusion have never been increased. To address this erosion, H.R. 1601, the Supplemental Security Restoration Act, sponsored by Rep. Raul Grijalva and introduced in Congress in April 2013, would increase the monthly maximum benefit to $937, which is 100 percent of the current federal poverty line, and would increase the general income disregard to $110 per month and the earned income disregard to $357 a month. Increasing the income exclusions and indexing them to inflation going forward would restore the monthly benefit amount to its intended value and significantly increase beneficiaries economic security.
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When Does Social Security Pay More Than Disability
The reverse of the above situation is if you are between your FRA and age 70. After you reach your FRA, your Social Security benefit amount increases by 0.8% for every month you hold off on electing. This continues until you reach 70, at which point your benefit reaches its maximum. In this situation, your monthly Social Security benefit would be larger than your monthly Disability benefit.
How Does The United States Compare With Other Countries
According to a recent analysis by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD, the United States has the least generous disability-benefit system of all OECD member countries except Korea. The OECD describes the U.S. disability-benefit system, along with those of Korea, Japan, and Canada, as having the most stringent eligibility criteria for a full disability benefit, including the most rigid reference to all jobs available in the labor market and the shortest sickness benefit payment duration. In addition, the United States spends less as a share of its economy on incapacity-related benefits than other nations. In 2009 public expenditures on incapacity-related benefits comprised just 1.5 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, or GDP, compared to an average of 2.4 percent for all OECD nations.
Proponents of cutting disability benefits in the United States sometimes point to particular elements of disability program reforms in Europeparticularly in Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdomas potential models for changes to the Social Security disability programs. In general, however, such proposals fail to take into account that these nations have much more generous disability systems, less rigorous disability standards, higher levels of social expendituresnot just on incapacity benefits but on social assistance generallyand more regulated labor markets than the United States.
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Social Security Disability Income Program Benefits
SSDI is a program administered by Social Security to pay monthly benefits to insured individuals who qualify for them. To be insured through SSDI, you must have worked long enough at a job that withheld Social Security payroll taxes from your wages. Self-employed individuals may be insured by paying Social Security taxes on their income.
If you worked long enough to be insured through SSDI, you also must be disabled. The definition of disabled for purposes of SSDI is a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity. The impairment or impairments must have lasted or be expected to last for at least 12 continuous months or cause death.
As long as your disability satisfies the definition used by Social Security, it does not play a role in determining the amount of the monthly Social Security disability benefit that you receive. The income that you earned over the years does factor into the maximum amount of the SSDI benefit you get as long as the earnings were subject to Social Security taxes.
Social Security computes SSDI benefits through the use of a formula that indexes your earnings to take into account wage-level changes throughout your work history. The formula allows Social Security to determine your primary insurance amount.
How Many People Currently Receive Social Security Disability Benefits And What Is The Value Of The Benefits They Receive
About 8.8 million workers with disabilities currently receive Disability Insurance. The amount of Disability Insurance benefits that a disabled worker receives is based on his or her earnings before becoming disabled. As Table 1 shows, Disability Insurance benefits typically replace less than half of a disabled workers previous earnings.
As of March 2013, the average monthly benefit for a disabled worker was about $1,129, with male workers receiving $1,255 per month and female workers receiving $993 per month on average. About 1.9 million children of disabled workers and 160,000 spouses of disabled workers also receive supplemental benefits from Social Securityroughly $300 a month on average.
For most beneficiaries of Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security, disability benefits make up most or all of their income. For the vast majority of Disability Insurance beneficiariesabout 71 percenthalf or more of their income comes from Disability Insurance. And for nearly half of beneficiaries, 90 percent or more of their income comes from Disability Insurance. Given the modest extent to which benefits replace lost earnings and the limited sources of other income upon which they can depend, people who receive Disability Insurance are rarely able to maintain the same standard of living they had before becoming disabled. Disability Insurance provides a floor, however, that moderates the decline in their living standards.
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How Much Will My Disability Check Be
How much your monthly disability check will be depends on whether youll receive Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income . SSD is for workers who are insured under the Social Security retirement system. SSI is for low-income persons with disabilities.
Your SSD check will be based on the average amount of money you earned during your life before you became disabled. Whenever Social Security, or FICA, taxes were withheld from your pay, your earnings will count when calculating your SSD benefit. Similarly, if you paid self-employment taxes on income from a business, those earnings count toward your SSD benefit. But Social Security wont count any income towards your average you earned that you didnt pay Social Security taxes on.
For a quick view of your lifetime earnings, you can check your Social Security Earnings Statement. To do this, register for my Social Security Online. Or you can call or visit your local Social Security office to ask for help.
Social Security applies a formula to your average lifetime earnings to calculate the amount of your monthly check. The average SSD payment is currently $1,277. The highest dollar amount you can receive from SSD monthly in 2021 is $3,148.
The SSI program pays a maximum benefit of $794 a month if you are single or $1,191 a month for a couple in 2021. This is the total amount you are eligible to receive, but it will be reduced by certain other benefits or income you may receive.