What Are Social Security Work Incentives / Trial Work Period
If a sudden or suddenly worsening condition led to your disability, then applying for disability benefits may have seemed your only or best option at the time. However, once youve become accustomed to your disability and have had an opportunity to explore other options, it may look like you can return to work.
With that said, many people are afraid that they may not be able to make an adequate income, so they dont attempt to do it despite wanting to work. What if they lose their benefits and cant get them back? Thats a valid fear.
For this reason, SSA has created an incentive for you to try to work after you start receiving benefits. Its called the trial work period. During this time, you may earn income and receive benefits, as you test your ability to make more income through working versus receiving benefits.
You can complete a trial work period for up to nine consecutive or non-consecutive months over a rolling 60-month timeframe before youre considered to not have a disability requiring benefits. In any of these work months, if you exceed $970 , then it counts toward the nine months in 5 years.
In other words, even though a non-blind person with a disability can earn $1350 in additional income from gainful employment and stay on disability, you shouldnt expect that youll be allowed to reach this limit every month. For all but nine months in 60 months, the actual limit is $970.
Veterans Compensation Benefits Rate Tables
Rates : 10% – 20%
Basic Rates – 10%-100% Combined Degree Only Effective 12/1/19
|Veteran with Spouse & One Parent||$527.69|
|Veteran with Spouse and Two Parents||$568.69|
|Additional for A/A spouse||$48.00|
|Veteran with Spouse and One Parent||$1,644.17|
|Veteran with Spouse and Two Parents||$1,741.17|
|Additional for A/A spouse||$111.00|
|Veteran with Spouse and Child||$525.69|
|Veteran with Spouse, One Parent and Child||$566.69|
|Veteran with Spouse, Two Parents and Child||$607.69|
|Veteran with One Parent and Child||$510.69|
|Veteran with Two Parents and Child||$551.69|
|Add for Each Additional Child Under Age 18||$25.00|
|Each Additional Schoolchild Over Age 18||$83.00|
|Additional for A/A spouse||$48.00|
|Veteran with Spouse and Child||$1,636.17|
|Veteran with Spouse, One Parent and Child||$1,733.17|
|Veteran with Spouse, Two Parents and Child||$1,830.17|
|Veteran with One Parent and Child||$1,604.17|
|Veteran with Two Parents and Child||$1,701.17|
|Add for Each Additional Child Under Age 18||$60.00|
|Each Additional Schoolchild Over Age 18||$194.00|
|Additional for A/A spouse||$111.00|
How Much Work Do You Need
In addition to meeting our definition of disability, you must have worked long enough and recently enough under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits.
Social Security work credits are based on your total yearly wages or self-employment income. You can earn up to four credits each year.
The amount needed for a work credit changes from year to year. In 2022, for example, you earn one credit for each $1,510 in wages or self-employment income. When you’ve earned $6,040 you’ve earned your four credits for the year.
The number of work credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age when your disability begins. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year your disability begins. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.
For more information on whether you qualify, refer to How You Earn Credits.
Read Also: Universal Studios Hollywood Disability Pass
How Your Ssdi Payments Are Calculated
The severity of your disability will not affect the amount of SSDI benefits you receive. The Social Security Administration will determine your payment based on your lifetime average earnings before you became disabled. Your benefit amount will be calculated using your covered earnings. These are your earnings at jobs where your employer took money out of your wages for Social Security or FICA.
Your SSDI monthly benefit will be based on your average covered earnings over a period of time, which is referred to as your average indexed monthly earnings . The SSA uses these amounts in a formula to determine your primary insurance amount . This is the basic amount used to establish your benefit.
SSDI payments range on average between $800 and $1,800 per month. The maximum benefit you could receive in 2020 is $3,011 per month. The SSA has an online benefits calculator that you can use to obtain an estimate of your monthly benefits.
Benefits For Your Divorced Spouse
If you are divorced, even if you have remarried, your ex-spouse may qualify for benefits on your record.
To qualify on your record, your ex-spouse must:
- Have been married to you for at least 10 years.
- Be at least 62 years old.
- Not be eligible for an equal or higher benefit on their own Social Security record, or on someone else’s Social Security record.
Read Also: Mental Health Short Term Disability
What Is Social Security Disability Insurance
Per the Social Security Administrations official website SSA.gov, SSDI benefits pay a person who is disabled or a family member cash benefits. In order to qualify for these insurance benefits, you must have worked a minimum number of years, with each year earning work credits. On this work, you must have paid social security taxes through your employer or in the form of self-employment taxes.
To apply for SSDI benefits, you will submit medical records and other information. Specialized personnel will review your application to determine if you meet the Social Security Administrations definition of disability.
Covered Earnings: Your Past Income
Your past earnings must be covered under the Social Security program to count towards the SSDI benefits you’ll receive. “Covered earnings” are wages you’ve received from jobs that paid into Social Security.
If you’ve received a paycheck that had money withheld for “Social Security taxes” or “FICA,” the wages you made at that job are covered earnings and will count toward calculating your benefit amount. Most wages and salaries are covered earnings.
If you’ve worked for yourself and paid self-employment taxes to the IRS for business income or freelance income, those taxes count just like FICA taxes.
Recommended Reading: Disabled Veterans Benefits By State
How Much Disability Insurance Can Be Bought
Disability insurance is a type of insurance that is intended to provide income in the event that a worker can no longer perform their work, as a result of a disability. Sometimes this disability prevents them from making money for a short period of time in other cases, it may be for much longer periods of time.
There are specific rules as to what is considered a disability and how a person might qualify for the disability benefit. Short-term policies offer benefits for a short periodtypically three to six months. On the other hand, long-term disability insurance offers benefits to those who are unable to work for a longer periodtypically a period of over six months.
Estimating Your Ssdi Benefit Amount
Your SSDI payment will be based on your average covered earnings over a period of years. The SSA calls this your “average indexed monthly earnings” . A formula is then applied to your AIME to calculate your primary insurance amount the base figure the SSA uses in setting your actual benefit amount.
For example, someone in their fifties whose income averaged $100,000 for the past few years might expect a disability payment of $2,500 per month. Someone in their fifties who made $60,000 per year might expect a disability payment of $2,000 per month.
You can check your annual Social Security Statement to see your covered earnings history. You’ll need to set up an account to see your statement online at my Social Security. You can also use theSSA’s benefits calculator to estimate the amount of your disability benefits. Or, call your local Social Security office, and they can help you estimate what your benefits would be.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Disability In Ga
How Much Can I Draw On Long
If you make a claim for long-term disability, the amount youâre able to draw is based on your lost income up to the maximum coverage you purchased. For instance, if you are fully disabled, your employer plan may pay only 60 percent of your salary, and that benefit is likely to be taxed. If you have your own plan, meaning you pay for the premium yourself rather than your employer, your insurance will pay a monthly benefit amount , and that benefit will not be taxed.
Social Security Helps People Work Without Losing Benefits
Often, people would like to re-enter the workforce but are afraid they might lose disability benefits if they try to get a job. If you are age 18 through 64 and receive Social Security disability benefits, you can participate in Social Securityâs Ticket to Work program. The Ticket to Work program allows you to receive free employment support services and take advantage of work incentives that make it easier to work and still receive benefits such as health care. In some instances, you can receive cash benefits from Social Security, and you are protected if you have to stop working due to your disability. Learn about our Ticket to Work program or call1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 .
Also Check: How To Get Short Term Disability Approved
Qualifying For Ssi And Ssdi
The Social Security Administration operates two disability programs including Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance . Each of these programs has its own criteria that an applicant must meet in order to qualify.
To qualify for SSDI benefits, an applicant must have earned enough work credits through prior work history. As of 2014, for every $1,200 earned, a worker earns one work credits and can earn a total of four work credits each year. The number of credits needed to qualify for SSDI benefits will vary depending on your age.
Unlike SSDI benefits, an applicant does not need any work history or work credits to qualify for SSI benefits. Instead, SSI is a needs-based program. Benefit eligibility is based on household income and assets. As of 2014, an individual cannot have a household income of more than $721 per month as an individual or $1,082 per month as a couple or household assets exceeding $2,000 as an individual or $3,000 for a couple in order to qualify for SSI benefits.
For both SSDI and SSI benefits, an individual must meet the medical criteria set forth by the SSA to qualify.
For more information on the disability programs visit:
Can I Get Ssi Benefits For My Disabled Child
If you want to get benefits for a disabled child, the same eligibility rules apply to the childs parents, up until the child turns 18. At 18, if the child has a disability, they become eligible on their own, says Haddad. The child will then need to go through a process of proving that they are unable to work and thus need SSI benefits to cover their living expenses.
Recommended Reading: Va Disability Percentage By Condition
Who’s Eligible For Social Security Disability Insurance
In addition to meeting the disability requirements, you must have worked long enough and recently enough to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance.
First, you must meet the work test. This test is based on Social Security work credits and requires you to earn at least a minimum amount of income in wages or self-employment income per calendar year. For each $1,470 in wages or self-employment income that you earn per year you earn one credit. You can earn up to four credit per year. When you’ve earned $5,880 in 2021, you’ve earned your four credit for 2021.
Typically, you need at least 40 credits with 20 of these earned in the last 10 year period ending with the year of your disability. However, meeting the work test requirement can also depend on your age. It requires different amounts of Social Security credits since younger workers typically have not had enough time in the workforce to earn the full 40 credits. For those:
- Under age 24: You meet the work test if you earned 6 credits in the 3-year period when your disability began.
- Age 24 to 31: In general, you may qualify if you have credits equivalent to working half the time between age 21 and becoming disabled.
- Age 31 or older: You’ll need to have earned at least 20 credits in the 10-year period immediately before becoming disabled.
Second, review the Social Security Administration’s table to determine if you meet the duration of work test based on your age and when your disability began.
Information You Need To Apply
Before applying, be ready to provide information about yourself, your medical condition, and your work. We recommend you print and review the . It will help you gather the information you need to complete the application.
Information About You
- Your date and place of birth and Social Security number.
- The name, Social Security number, and date of birth or age of your current spouse and any former spouse. You should also know the dates and places of marriage and dates of divorce or death .
- Names and dates of birth of children not yet 18 years of age.
- Your bank or other and the account number.
Information About Your Medical Condition
- Name, address, and phone number of someone we can contact who knows about your medical conditions and can help with your application.
- Detailed information about your medical illnesses, injuries, or conditions:
- Names, addresses, phone numbers, patient ID numbers, and dates of treatment for all doctors, hospitals, and clinics.
- Names of medicines, the amount you are taking, and who prescribed them.
- Names and dates of medical tests you have had and who ordered them.
Information About Your Work:
- Award letters, pay stubs, settlement agreements, or other .
We accept photocopies of W-2 forms, self-employment tax returns, and medical documents, but we must see the originals of most other documents, such as your birth certificate.
Do not delay applying for benefits because you do not have all the documents. We will help you get them.
Recommended Reading: Can I Collect Va Disability While In The National Guard
Payment For Lost Wages
If the doctor says that you are unable to return to work due to your injury or you are off work recovering from a surgery, you may be entitled to temporary total disability benefits. If the doctor states that you can perform light or modified duty work and your employer offers you such work, you may not be eligible for TTD benefits. TTD benefits should be continued until the doctor says that you can return to work or when your treatment is concluded because your condition has reached maximum medical improvement, whichever occurs first.
If you return to light or modified duty at less than full pay, the workers compensation law requires that temporary partial disability benefits be paid to you.
Benefits For Widows Or Widowers With Disabilities
If something happens to a worker, benefits may be payable to their widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse with a disability if the following conditions are met:
- The widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse is between ages 50 and 60.
- The widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse has a medical condition that meets our definition of disability for adults and the disability started before or within seven years of the worker’s death.
Widows, widowers, and surviving divorced spouses cannot apply online for survivors benefits. If they want to apply for these benefits, they should contact Social Security immediately at 1-800-772-1213 to request an appointment
To speed up the application process, complete an Adult Disability Report and have it available at the time of your appointment.
We use the same definition of disability for widows and widowers as we do for workers.
Don’t Miss: What Conditions Are Considered For Disability
Will I Get Money Going Back To The Date I Was Disabled
Most disability applicants who are approved for benefits also receive money for the months leading up to Social Security’s disability decision. The amount of back payments or retroactive disability benefits you’ll get depends on whether you get SSDI or SSI, when you applied for disability, and when your disability began. For more information, see our section on Social Security disability back payments.
Who Is Eligible For Ssi
People who receive SSI benefits are generally older or have a disability that prevents them from working. Beneficiaries receive funds from the government to help them pay for their basic living expenses, such as food, clothing, and shelter.
Its a needs-based system, says , a certified financial planner and founder of Protected Tomorrows, a financial planning firm focused on helping families with members who have special needs. SSI benefits are for someone who doesnt have income, hasnt paid into the system , and who needs help.” The program is income and asset-based. You need to prove you cant make money and have no assets,” Ehlert notes.
Recommended Reading: Working Part Time On Disability