Tag: facts about SSDI

5 Critical SSDI Facts Everyone Needs to Know

5 Critical SSDI Facts Everyone Needs to Know

critical SSDI facts
There are five critical SSDI facts everyone should know, and SSDA USA is here to present them to you.

If you’re collecting social security disability benefits, you know just how complicated and complex it can be to navigate the application and acceptance processes. Unfortunately, there are still many misconceptions and hidden truths about social security. Social Security Disability Advocates USA wants you to be well informed about your benefits. So, here is a list of some of the most critical SSDI facts to keep in mind.

1. You Cannot Receive SSDI and Retirement Benefits Concurrently

Generally speaking, your disability benefits convert to retirement benefits once you reach full retirement age. Disability and retirement benefits are not stackable sources of social security. Therefore, don’t expect to receive both at the same time.

There is, however, one exception to this rule, and that exception is if you choose to take early retirement benefits and get qualified for a disability that began before you took your retirement. This means that social security will pay you for the difference during the gap from when your disability began to when you claimed retirement benefits.

If, however, your Disability Determination and Services (DDS) center finds that your disability began after you claimed retirement benefits, or that you don’t qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits at all, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will not pay you for the intermediary period, and you will be stuck with reduced Social Security Insurance (SSI) retirement benefits.

Keep in mind, your retirement benefits increase all the way up until age 70. So, taking benefits at age 62 (the minimum age required for retirement benefits) will permanently reduce your benefits by possibly hundreds of dollars per month. Still, taking early retirement benefits may be ideal for some people. Speak with a lawyer from SSDA USA if you have any questions on how this could affect you. 

2. SSDI Will Not Be Depleted

Many people are worried that social security will be depleted. However, these fears are unfounded. True, though, that social security does face challenges. Baby boomers are retiring, and the low birth rate means that the current population will struggle to pay for the previous generation’s social security benefits. However, social security will stay afloat.

Currently, the social security trust funds are running with trillions of dollars in surplus. That’s fine for now, but by 2034, those trust funds may be emptied. Even so, though, the payroll tax is enough to continue social security benefits at approximately 80% of current value. So, there’s no need to worry about bankruptcy or insolvency. At worst, social security benefits will take a huge hit, but benefits will not run dry.

3. Benefits May Not Remain the Same

While social security benefits won’t run dry, they may not remain the same, either. Specifically, there are a variety of strategies for dealing with the issue of the trust funds being depleted. 

Some have suggested raising the FICA tax. Others have suggested cutting benefits. Others still have suggested raising the taxable maximum income cap, cutting the COLA, and changing eligibility requirements. Regardless of which option(s) is chosen, benefits could be affected across the board for both current and future beneficiaries.

4. Benefits Are Not Equal for Everyone

SSDI benefits are not the same for everyone. They are similar to retirement benefits in that they are based on your income during the years you worked. Therefore, higher-earning individuals will generally receive more (up to a cap) than those who worked fewer years or who earned a lesser amount of income.

However, if you don’t qualify for SSDI, or if your SSDI is insubstantial, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may be able to aid you. This type of social security benefit aids those who are disabled, elderly, or blind and who have not worked enough to qualify for SSDI. Keep in mind, though, that there are some additional qualifications you must meet for SSI eligibility. Contact SSDA USA if you have any questions. 

5. The COLA Matters

The Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) is a key factor in calculating social security benefits. The COLA adjusts social security benefits to account for current inflation levels. In other words, as the cost of living goes up, social security benefits will receive a boost. 

The COLA is important because without it, benefits would remain stagnant and not adjust for inflation. This means that as the cost of living continues to rise, people would receive increasingly insufficient funds to depend on. That’s not good, and it’s why the COLA is calculated yearly to give people a bit of a boost as the cost of living rises. 

Have Questions About Critical SSDI Facts?

If you have questions or concerns about any critical SSDI facts, contact Social Security Disability Advocates USA today. Our attorneys are ready and standing by to help address all your social security needs and worries. Call us anytime at (602) 952-3200. You can also reach us online via a contact form or through our convenient LiveChat feature. Don’t keep your questions bottled up. Contact an advocate today!

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.

Seven Facts You Should Know About Social Security’s Disability Insurance Program

Seven Facts You Should Know About Social Security’s Disability Insurance Program

disability insurance program
Our professional attorneys have the knowledge and experience necessary to guide you through the application process.

The disability insurance program aims to provide financial assistance to workers that experienced long-term disabling conditions. From injuries to illnesses (both mental and physical) that prevents them from being able to work, thereby limiting their ability to earn income. While on the surface, this may seem simple enough to understand, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can actually get confusing. Especially once you begin looking into the qualification and application process. Knowing some of the main facts about SSDI will certainly help make it easier to understand how SSDI works.

Facts About the Disability Insurance Program

The following are seven facts about the disability insurance program. These will help give you a better understanding of SSDI in general.

  1. You need work credits to be eligible.

    You earn work credits for the income you earn based on the Social Security tax that you pay. The amount you need to earn to receive a work credit varies from year to year due to inflation. In 2019, you can earn one work credit for every $1,360 in wages; however, you can only earn up to four credits a year. The number of credits required to qualify for SSDI depends on the age at which you became disabled. Typically, you’ll need 40 credits. 20 of those you must have earned in the past decade and ending with the year you became disabled.

  2. Family members can be eligible for benefits.

    If your spouse is at least 62 years old, or is caring for a child that is disabled or under 16, they may be eligible for your benefits as well. Additionally, children under 18 or who experienced a disability before the age of 22 may be eligible as well.

  3. You can qualify for SSDI no matter how much you earned.

    Unlike Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your previous income won’t dictate whether or not you qualify for SSDI as long as you have work credits and your condition is considered a long-term disability.

  4. The Social Security Administration defines disabilities.

    The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a list of disabilities that are eligible in their Blue Book. These disabilities also describe the symptoms that they consider disabling. Your condition needs to match either the conditions listed or have symptoms that are similar to those listed. Additionally, the SSA will only consider the condition disabling if it will or has prevented you from being able to work for at least a year.

  5. Most applicants initially receive rejection notice.

    Don’t be too discouraged if you’re rejected the first time around. A majority of initial applicants end up rejected and you will have several opportunities to appeal the decision. Rejections may occur for a variety of reasons. From a lack of medical proof to simple mistakes made on the application.

  6. It’s possible to lose your SSDI benefits.

    If you’re working and earning more than the substantial gainful employment income limit discussed in paragraph 7, you will lose your benefits. You will also lose your benefits if the SSA deems your condition to have improved significantly to the point where you can work again, you become imprisoned for more than a month, or leave the states for more than six months.

  7. You can still make money while on SSDI.

    As long as you earn less than $1,220 a month, you can still collect SSDI. Unearned income, such as money made from interest, investments, or your spouse’s income, will not count.

Let Us Help Guide You Through the Process

These seven facts about the Social Security disability insurance program should give you a better idea of how it works and whether or not you can qualify. Our professional attorneys have the knowledge and experience necessary to not only answer any additional questions you might have about SSDI, but can also guide you through the application process. To schedule a free consultation, call 602-952-3200 to speak to one of our Social Security Disability Advocates. Also, you can get in touch with us using our LiveChat feature. Don’t wait; contact us today!

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.