Tag: disability benefits

401(k) and Social Security: What You Should Know

401(k) and Social Security: What You Should Know

401(k) and social security

Whether you’re looking forward to retirement in 30 years or it’s just around the corner, it’s important to understand the interaction between your 401(k) and your social security disability benefits. Social Security Disability Advocates USA shares everything you need to know, including information for those who are also receiving disability benefits.

Before we delve deeper, let’s take a look at the crucial differences between a 401k and social security benefits.

What Is a 401(k)?

A traditional 401(k) is a retirement savings fund often offered through an employer. Employees have the option of depositing a portion of their paycheck into their 401(k) account, and the employer may match the employee’s contribution up to a certain percentage. 401(k) earnings, employer contributions, and interest are not taxed as income, although once you make a withdrawal from your 401(k) account, that amount will be subject to taxation.

What Are the Age Requirements for 401(k) Funds?

Federal law requires all employers who offer 401(k) benefits to extend those benefits to any employee who is 21 years old or older and who has worked for the company for at least one year. 

You generally have full access to 401(k) funds once you have reached 59 ½ years old. It is also possible to make a withdrawal from your 401(k) before you have reached this age if you have demonstrated financial hardship such as disability or unemployment. If you wish to make a withdrawal from your 401(k) outside of these circumstances, however, you will be required to pay tax penalties on the amount withdrawn.

What Are Social Security Retirement Benefits?

Social security includes benefits received by those with disabilities, widows or widowers, and retirees. Social security retirement contributions are automatically deducted from employee paychecks in the form of Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes. These taxes are part of the pay-as-you-go structure of social security. 

In other words, your contributions to social security provide funding for current beneficiaries, while others’ future contributions allow you to collect your due benefits at retirement. You can begin collecting social security retirement benefits at 62 years old, although your monthly benefits will increase the longer you wait to retire, with benefits maxing out when you’re 70 years old.

Do 401(k) Contributions Reduce Social Security Benefits?

401(k) contributions do not reduce the amount of social security benefits you receive. This is because although 401(k) contributions are not subject to income tax at the time of your contributions, they are still subject to social security taxes. 

So although you’ll owe income taxes on your 401(k) withdrawals, you won’t owe any additional social security taxes. Bottom line, it is possible to maximize your retirement savings by utilizing both a 401(k) and social security without being penalized.

Can I Collect Disability Benefits And Have a 401(k)?

You can still qualify for disability benefits while withdrawing money from your 401(k). You will also be able to withdraw funds from your private 401(k) early with no tax penalty, as long as you have already paid your social security taxes on those contributions and have a qualifying disability.

Can I Collect Disability Benefits and Social Security Retirement Benefits?

Unfortunately, beneficiaries cannot collect both social security disability benefits and retirement benefits simultaneously. However, you may be able to qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to help bolster your disability benefits. 

It should be noted that the qualifying criteria for SSI can be stringent, including income restrictions that take 401(k) earnings into account. A social security benefits lawyer may be able to help you with the application or appeals process if your application was denied.

Need Help With 401(k) and Social Security?

Trying to plan for retirement is confusing enough as it is. If you’re also dealing with a life-changing disability that disrupts your ability to work, you may be wondering what you can do to ensure that you’ll still be able to support yourself in retirement. 

The Social Security Administration is notorious for complicated applications, lengthy wait times, denials, and confusing appeals processes. To get the benefits you deserve, you’ll want the assistance of a qualified social security benefits attorney. Contact us today by calling 602-952-3200, chatting with a representative online, or submitting the details of your case using our secure contact form.

This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, 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.
Top 5 Adaptive Sports for Staying Active With a Disability

Top 5 Adaptive Sports for Staying Active With a Disability

adaptive sports and recreation

Studies have shown that regular exercise, in conjunction with a healthy diet, can boost mood and energy levels. But staying active when you have a cognitive or physical disability can sometimes be difficult. Adaptive sports and recreation activities aim to make it easier for those with different abilities to reap the physical and mental benefits of exercise.

Due to all of these benefits, it’s important for those of all ages and all ability levels to find an exercise routine that works for them. Additionally, it is just as important for them to always consult with a doctor before beginning an exercise regimen. Check out this list of the top five adaptive sports for staying active with a disability, brought to you by our team at Social Security Disability Advocates USA. 

What Are Adaptive Sports and Recreation?

Adaptive sports are inclusively designed to match the abilities of different individuals. More specifically, existing sports and activities are modified in order to make them more accessible for people with different ability levels, both physical and mental.  

Adaptive sports include both competitive athletic events and purely recreational activities, meaning everyone—from professional athletes to workout novices—can enjoy the rewards of adaptive sports and recreation.

Swimming

Swimming is a great low-impact sport. It’s also extremely easy to modify and adapt for varying levels of mobility and endurance. Another major benefit of swimming as an adaptive sport? It requires little to no adaptive equipment. Swimming also builds endurance and provides heart-healthy aerobic exercise. Swimming can be done one-on-one or in group aqua fitness classes, which often offer built-in modifications.

Horseback Riding

Equine-assisted therapy, also called hippotherapy, has been recognized as an invaluable resource for those suffering from physical, cognitive, and emotional disabilities for more than half a century.

Those with neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy and movement or balance disorders have been shown to benefit significantly from this type of exercise. Horseback riding also boosts coordination, muscle tone, and often provides a sense of relaxation and confidence in riders.

Paddling

If you enjoy being on the water, paddling can be a very versatile adaptive sport. It includes canoeing, kayaking, rafting, and rowing. Many of these sports incorporate tandem riders, making it easier for those with disabilities to participate with their caretakers. Modifications to allow for adaptive grips or positioning are also easily accessible.

Cycling

Cycling offers many benefits—exercise, the opportunity to appreciate the outdoors, and even an alternative form of transportation. Handcycles, recumbent bikes, two-wheelers, and tandem bikes make it possible for people with all kinds of ability levels to cycle, either solo or in a group. 

Those with visual impairments, balance issues, and limb mobility impairments can all take part in cycling. Amputees can also enjoy cycling, often only requiring slight modifications to utilize these types of bikes.

Sitting Volleyball

Sitting volleyball is a fun way to engage in competitive team sports and foster social bonds with others. In this adaptive sport, participants remain seated on the ground and use a shorter net and a smaller volleyball court. 

Aside from these modifications, no additional equipment is required, and players can get an excellent core and upper body workout. 

Have Questions About Your Social Security  Disability Benefits?

Through social security disability benefits, you may be able to offset the cost of adaptive equipment or membership fees to adaptive sports and recreation centers near you. For more on the ultimate disability secrets the Social Security Administration doesn’t want you to know about and how to get the most monthly compensation for your disability, contact Social Security Disability Advocates USA. 

Wondering how to check on your SSDI application status? We’ve got you covered. You can reach us by phone at 602-952-3200, visit our office during regular business hours, submit the details of your case online, or chat with a live representative now. 

This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, 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.
Basics of Disability Benefits

Basics of Disability Benefits

disability benefit program
Here are the basics of social security disability benefits.

If you’ve recently experienced an injury or illness that is preventing you from being able to perform your job, then you may be able to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The following is a basic guide to help you understand what the SSDI program is, whether you are eligible, and how to apply for disability benefits.

What are Social Security Disability Benefits?

The Social Security Disability Insurance program was established as a way to provide financial assistance to workers with injuries or illnesses that prevented them from being able to work and were therefore unable to earn income. This means that if you have an injury or illness, then it must prevent you from being able to perform your normal work duties for at least a year.

If your limitations have the expectation of healing or recovering within a year and you go back to work, you will not qualify. Additionally, you must not have the ability to perform other types of work based on your age and education. If your disability lasts more than a year, but you recover after that year ends, your disability benefits will discontinue.

Who is Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits?

You will have to meet a number of eligibility requirements in order to qualify for disability benefits. These requirements include the following:

  • You must have enough work credits – You earn one credit for every $1,360 that you make as of 2019, but you can only earn four credits a year. The credits represent the tax that you have paid out of your paycheck towards Social Security. You’ll need to have a certain amount of work credits available to qualify for SSDI based on the age your disability occurred.
  • You must have a condition identified as disabling – The Social Security Agency (SSA) has a Blue Book in which all of the conditions that they consider disabling are listed. These include not just specific injuries and illnesses, but also mental illnesses. Under each condition you’ll find a list of symptoms that cause the condition to fall under disabling conditions.

What Other Conditions May Apply

Even if your condition doesn’t match with any of the conditions listed, you may still be eligible if your symptoms match the symptoms that are listed or have a similar effect. Additionally, if you suffer from two conditions at the same time, the SSA will consider the combined effect it has on your ability work — even if individually, these conditions would render you ineligible.

  • You must be younger than the full retirement age – Once you reach your full retirement age (which depends on the year you were born), you will not be able to collect SSDI since you will be collecting retirement benefits instead. You will not lose money as a result.
  • The condition must prevent you from being able to work – A severe injury could prevent you from being able to work for months, such as a fractured leg. However, in order to qualify for disability benefits, the condition must render you disabled for at least a year. You must also not be able to do any other type of work instead. For example, you may have a condition that prevents you from doing physical labor, but it may not be severe enough to keep you from doing a sedentary job, in which case you will not qualify.
  • You must be an American citizen or a legal resident – As long as you have the proper amount of work credits, you will be eligible for disability benefits. However, if you move out of the country, then those benefits will only last for six months. Unfortunately, there are some countries in which you will not be able to collect benefits at all.

Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits

The following is the information that you are going to have to provide in order to apply for SSDI benefits:

  • Proof of birth.
  • Your social security number.
  • Proof of US citizenship or lawful alien status.
  • Copies of your W-2 forms and/or federal tax returns for the last year.
  • Evidence of your disability, such as hospital records, prescriptions, doctor’s reports, test results and the like.
  • Statement by medical professional diagnosing your disability as severe enough to be unable to work for a year.
  • Proof of temporary or permanent workers’ compensation-type benefits you may have received.

The following are the ways that you can apply for SSDI benefits:

  • You can visit your local SSA office and apply for disability benefits in person. Just make sure that you bring all the proper documentation. You can find out where your nearest local SSA office is by checking online.
  • You can call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 to apply over the phone. If you are hard of hearing, you can call 1-800-325-0078, which is their TTY number. Both numbers are toll-free.
  • You can apply online. Doing so is relatively simple. All you’ll need to do is fill out the application and answer a list of disability questions. However, you will have to mail out your supporting documentation or bring it to your local SSA office.

The application process generally takes between 30 and 90 days. If your application gets rejected, don’t worry too much. The majority of first time applications receive rejection notices the first time around for all types of reasons. To include whether or not  you didn’t provide enough information. Or, you didn’t provide enough documentation to support your disability position. You can request a review of the decision within 60 days of your rejection. If it’s still rejected, you can appeal the decision in front of an administrative law judge.

Collecting Social Security Disability Benefits

Your first payment won’t arrive until five months after you experienced the disability. When you receive your first payment, you will also receive back pay for the months that you’ve had the disability. A few things to keep in mind when collecting disability benefits:

  • If you work more than 20 hours a week and/or earn more than $1,180, your benefits will terminate.
  • If you go to jail for more than a month, your benefits will terminate.
  • You will collect payments for two months after your termination notice.
  • If you move out of the country for more than six months, your benefits will terminate.
  • If you recover from your disability, your benefits will terminate.
  • Moving out of state will not affect your benefits.

Working With Social Security Disability Advocates USA

As you can see, the process of gathering everything you need in order to qualify for SSDI disability benefits can be quite overwhelming. Not only can we help provide advice and information about SSDI in general, we can also assist you in applying for benefits to give you the best possible chance of approval. We can also help you every step of the way if you need to appeal a denial.

These are some of the basic things that you should know about Social Security disability benefits. If you have any questions about SSDI, whether it’s about your eligibility, how to appeal or more, then be sure to contact us. Give us a call at 602-952-3200 or get in touch with our LiveChat feature. We are available 24/7 for a free consultation.

This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, 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.

Can Non-Citizens Get Social Security Disability Benefits?

Can Non-Citizens Get Social Security Disability Benefits?

Non-Citizens & Social Security Disability Benefits
Non-citizens may qualify for social security benefits.

You may think that only American citizens can qualify for Social Security disability benefits. However, non-citizens may apply as well, as the SSA considers them qualified under certain conditions. Qualified non-citizens have a few criteria to meet. If an immigrant, they must reside permanently or legally work in the United States. As long as they paid taxes into the Social Security system, they could apply for disability benefits as qualified non-citizens.

The 7 Conditions of Qualified Non-Citizens

To be a qualified alien, non-citizens fall in one of seven categories. You could qualify if you are:

  • A permanent resident lawfully admitted into the United States.
  • Granted conditional entry under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) as in effect before April 1, 1980.
  • Paroled into the United States under the INA for at least a year
  • A refugee admitted into the United States under the INA
  • Granted asylum under the INA.

You could also qualify if:

  • The INA  withholds deportation or removal.
  • The Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980 categorizes you as a Haitian or Cuban immigrant
  • You qualify as an entrant from Haiti or Cuba for Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) purposes.

Additional Conditions for Disability Benefits for Qualified Aliens

Being classified as a qualified non-citizen means that you could qualify for disability benefits. It doesn’t automatically qualify you for them, though. So, a number of conditions must qualify to receive approval for benefits. These conditions include the following:

  • On August 22, 1996, you lawfully lived in the United States and received SSI.
  • You legally reside in the United States and have earned 40 credits of work. Work done by your parents or spouse may count towards those 40 credits. However, they will only help you qualify for SSI, not disability benefits. Additionally, credits earned after December 31, 1996 won’t be counted. This is only if you, your spouse or your parents were given specific benefits by the American government as a result of limited income and resources
  • You legally resided in the U.S. on August 22, 1996 and you’re also blind or disabled.
  • You were either an honorably discharged veteran or you are on active duty in the U.S. armed forces. This may also apply if you are the spouse, parent or child of certain American military personnel.

You must meet these conditions to qualify for disability benefits.

Other SSI Conditions

However, there are a number of other conditions you can use to qualify for SSI as well, such as being:

  • Given immigration status by the Department of Homeland Security within seven years of filing for SSI (This includes refugees, asylees, aliens with withheld deportation, Cuban or Haitian entrants, and Amerasian immigrants).
  • An American Indian born in Canada admitted to the country under the INA
  • A non-citizen member of an Indian tribe federally recognized under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act.
  • A victim of severe forms of human tracking as defined by the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • An Afghan or Iraqi national admitted as a special immigrant for work done as a translator or interpreter.

For more information about qualified aliens and disability benefits, contact us online or give us a call at 602-952-3200 for a free consultation today. Don’t forget, you can use our online LiveChat feature, too, to chat with an online representative.

This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, 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.

Is Your Adopted Child Eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance?

Is Your Adopted Child Eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance?

disability benefits for adopted children
Disability benefits for adopted children can be tough to figure out on your own. Contact SSDA USA for help.

Experiencing a disability that prevents you from working? This can be financially difficult on you but also on your family. Fortunately, if you have children, they may also qualify to receive disability benefits on your record. However, you might be wondering whether your children will still be eligible for Social Security disability payments if they are adopted. The following is everything you need to know about disability benefits for adopted children.

General Eligibility Requirements

For a child to receive disability payments based on your record, their eligibility must begin before they turn 16. Payments for your child will stop once they turn 18. If still in high school, they can receive benefits until two months after their 19th birthday or until they graduate, whichever comes first.

Disability Benefits for Adopted Children

If your children meet the requirements to receive benefits, then it doesn’t matter if you adopted them. Every child in your family that qualifies, whether adopted or biological, can receive payments. These payments can be upwards of 50 percent of your full disability amount every month.

Keep in mind that this does not mean that if you have six adopted children that you can collect disability payments for all of them. There is a limit to how much Social Security will pay your family. This limit varies- around 150 to 180 percent of your disability benefit.

If you pass away, then your adopted children may qualify for survivors benefits, in which they could receive up to 75 percent of your entitled benefit amount. If the total family benefit is more than 150 to 180 percent of your entitled benefit, then your adopted children will receive less.

Adopted Children With Disabilities

If your adopted child has as a qualifying disability, they may qualify for permanent benefits. To qualify, they must not be in a marriage, and their disability must last longer than a year or be terminal. Also, the disability must prevent your child from being able to work. The disability must occur before your adopted child reaches the age of 22.

Your adopted child may also qualify for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) payments if disabled. If your adopted child has a medical condition that meets the SSI’s definition of disability, is unmarried and is not considered the head of your household, then they can receive SSI benefits from birth through the age of 18 (or through the age of 22, if they are still in school).

Can Adopted Grandchildren Receive Benefits?

If you are raising your grandchildren or your step-grandchildren, then they will be able to qualify for the same Social Security disability benefits as your biological or adopted children.

If your grandchildren’s biological parents receive benefits, they could too. They can also collect if you are providing regular support for them or at least half of their financial support. They could receive payments if they lived with you for at least a year before their eligibility began. Finally, if under 12 months old, they may be eligible if they lived with you for most of their life.

These are some things you should know about your adopted children or grandchildren’s eligibility for disability payments. If you have any other questions concerning disability benefits for adopted children, contact us by calling 602-952-3200 or by using our LiveChat feature for a free consultation.

This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, 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.