7 Things You Didn’t Know About Social Security Disability

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Social Security Disability

social security disability secrets
Want to know more Social Security Disability secrets? Contact SSDA USA today!

The Social Security Administration (SSA) does its best to help disabled individuals via its Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. In spite of this, many of their rules often get hidden or overlooked.

There are probably quite a few things you didn’t know about Social Security disability benefits. Don’t feel bad, though. You’re not alone. That’s why we from Social Security Disability Advocates USA are going to show you 7 of the top Social Security disability secrets that could potentially benefit you.

1. Not All Disabilities Qualify

The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not grant all disabilities Social Security Disability benefits. In order to qualify for benefits, you must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disabled, which is:

  • You have a condition that prevents you from earning Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA),
  • And, your condition has lasted or is expected to last a period of no less than a year,
  • Or, Your condition will result in death.

Additionally, there are many disabilities that would not qualify under the SSA definition. For example, partial disabilities would not qualify. Disabilities that do not prevent you from doing your past, current, or other types of work would probably not qualify, either. Other minor disabilities likely do not qualify.

Pre-qualified disabilities are listed in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book. If you have such a condition, you will likely qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. A few of those conditions are as follows:

  • Musculoskeletal problems
  • Cancer
  • Respiratory impairments
  • Mental and Neurological disorders
  • Immune system disorders
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • And, more.

2. A Doctor’s Statement is Not Enough

While having a note from your doctor is a great piece of evidence that bolsters your case for having a disability, it alone is not enough for you to claim disability benefits. The Social Security Administration will look at much more than the medical professional’s statement. They must make sure, for example, that medical records and laboratory tests support your doctor’s opinion. Because many doctors use different definitions of “disabled,” it’s likely that you may still not meet the definition according to SSA standards.

In addition, receiving Social Security disability benefits is more often than not a legal issue, not a medical one. This essentially means that all technicalities have to be accurately reported before you can receive benefits. Nothing can be overlooked.

For example, if you are currently working, proving disability becomes much more difficult. The Social Security Administration will probably not offer you benefits if they think you can work. That doesn’t mean just your current form of work; if they think you can do any form of work (taking into account your age, education, and occupation), you probably won’t qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.

Because Social Security is so strict when it comes to disability benefits, it can be sometimes challenging to follow all their rules and present all needed evidence to prove you indeed qualify for disability benefits.

3. It’s Possible to Receive SSDI and SSI

Many people don’t know this, but yes, it’s true! You can receive SSDI and SSI concurrently. Though, it is quite difficult to do this.

First, you must qualify for SSDI. This means you earned a certain number of work credits before you became disabled.

Then, to qualify for SSI, you must earn under a certain amount of money. When deciding if you qualify for SSI, you should include countable and uncountable incomes in the calculation. Since SSDI counts as a form of income, you may not qualify for SSI if you make over a certain amount.

If your SSDI payments are low enough, however, you may qualify for SSI as well. On the other hand, you must not have a total assets value that exceeds a certain amount.

4. Your Family Could Potentially Earn Benefits, Too

It is possible that your family could benefit from your Social Security Disability benefits. Children and ex-spouses may be eligible for auxiliary benefits based on your work history. For individuals with SSI, however, no such benefits are possible. In other words, only people with SSDI can potentially allow their family members to qualify for benefits.

Your family can have only so much, though. The total family benefits amount may not exceed 150% – 180% of your monthly benefits amount. For example, if the limit is 150% and you have two qualified children, they will each receive 25% of your total benefits amount. This, plus your 100%, makes 150%.

Possible qualified family members include:

  • A spouse caring for your child that’s under 16 or disabled.
  • Your spouse if they are 62 years or older.
  • An ex-spouse if they are 62 or older, the marriage lasted 10 years, they are not remarried, and they do not qualify for a higher benefits amount based on their own earnings record.
  • A child, adopted child, or stepchild if they are unmarried and under age 18 (or 19 if attending school) or disabled.
  • A parent age 62 or older who was unmarried and dependent on you before you passed away.

5. You Don’t Receive Benefits Right Away

Many people think they will receive their disability benefits right away. For SSI, this is true: the moment you get approval, you will begin receiving payments (which are sent on the first of each month). On the other hand, for SSDI, payments do not operate this way.

SSDI requires a five-month waiting period between the time your disability started and the time you start receiving benefits. However, because the application process is so lengthy (usually 3-5 months), your waiting will probably finish by the time of your benefits’ approval. In some cases, disability claims can take years to go through properly. However, if you have to wait a bit before you receive your benefits, try not to stress about it to much. Just be aware that you may not get your benefits as soon as you might expect.

In addition, you receive your benefits check that is for the month before. In other words, if your effective date is in March, you will not receive a check for your benefits until April, since each month’s check is a full month behind.

6. You Don’t Get Disability Benefits for Life

Many people think they are home-free once they receive their disability benefits. Slow down, there! Your disability benefits do not stay with you for your entire life. Once you reach your full retirement age, for example, your disability benefits may stop, and you will qualify for retirement benefits instead.

Also, there are plenty of factors that could stop your disability benefits. For example, if you earn SGA, your disability benefits will probably stop. While these programs are designed to be long-term programs, according to the Social Security Administration, they aren’t by any means guaranteed to stick with any individual permanently.

While some individuals receive disability benefits all the way until retirement, the SSA incentivizes people to try to get back to work with their 9-month trial work period in which SSDI recipients can try to work without losing benefits.

7. There are Many Restrictions

The SSA is quite strict about who receives disability benefits. For both SSI and SSDI, you must meet Social Security’s definition of “disabled.” But wait; there’s more. You must present extensive medical documentation, earn under a certain income, and be unable to work.

In addition, your case will be periodically reviewed to make sure your condition has not seen any medical improvement. In addition, SSI requires that you not have or live with someone who has a total assets value above a certain amount. For SSDI, your benefits are based on your work credits and your earnings while you worked, so if you didn’t work very much, your SSDI will be lower. Violating any of these rules could result in the suspension of your disability benefits.

Want To Know More Social Security Disability Secrets?

If you have any questions about Social Security, contact Social Security Disability Advocates USA today! Our experts are always waiting and willing to address all your Social Security concerns.

You can contact us anytime at (602) 952-3200. Alternatively, you can contact us online and check out our LiveChat feature on our website. Don’t keep your questions to yourself. Contact an advocate today!

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.

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