Social Security Disability Evaluation Process
Though there are some conditions that the SSA 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.
Applying For Disability Benefits
You can apply for Social Security Disability benefits online or in person at your local Social Security office. You will be asked to fill out a number of forms, which you should complete with as much detail as possible, and you may be asked to attend a consultative exam. After completing the disability application process, you will receive a decision from the SSA within two to four months. If you are approved for benefits, this notice will tell you when benefits will begin, which benefits you will be receiving, and how much you will be receiving each month. If you are denied benefits, you have 60 days from the date of denial to appeal the SSA’s decision to deny benefits.
If you do need to pursue a Social Security Disability appeal, do not give up hope. A number of applicants who are denied during the initial stage of the application process go on to successfully receive benefits through the process of an appeal
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The above article is intended to provide generalized financial information designed to educate a broad segment of the public it does not give personalized tax, investment, legal, or other business and professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek the assistance of a professional who knows your particular situation for advice on taxes, your investments, the law, or any other business and professional matters that affect you and/or your business.
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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.
When Do Social Security Payments Begin
Social Security disability benefits begin five full months after your disability date, known as your Alleged Onset Date.
Your payment would begin on the 6th month after your Alleged Onset Date. However, the furthest SSA will pay back due benefits on SSDI cases is 12 months before the filing date.
SSI payments begin the first full month after the Alleged Onset Date. However, the furthest SSA will pay back due benefits is to the first month after the protected filing date of the claimants SSI application.
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Extended Period Of Eligibility
If you earn more than $940 per month during your nine-month trial work period but less than $1,310, you can qualify for an extended period of eligibility after your trial work period. This extension lasts for an additional 36 months. Youll remain eligible to receive SSDI benefits every month, but you will not receive a payment for any month in which you earn more than 2021 SSDI income limits .
If, after your 36-month extended period of eligibility, you continue to earn more than $1,310 in one month, your SSDI benefits will lapse. The good news is that, even if you do end up losing your benefits after an extended period of eligibility, youll be able to get approved for benefits much more quickly if youre unable to work again in the next five years. With Expedited Reinstatement of benefits, your condition will be reviewed again, but youll start receiving monthly payments immediately in the interim.
You Are Receiving Both Social Security Disability And Ssi Payments
If you receive both Social Security disability payments and SSI checks, youre in the same situation as if you are getting both retirement and SSI payments. Those are two separate programs operated under the Social Security Administration, so their payments are not linked.
Social Security disability payments are made on the same date as retirement benefits, and in fact once you reach full retirement age, your disability payments will convert to retirement benefits. This means that your payment date will remain the same, even if the amount may change.
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The Other Parts Of Medicare
- Medicare Advantage Plan people with Medicare Parts A and Part B can choose to receive all of their health care services through plans that are offered by private companies and approved by Medicare. For more information, we recommend you read Medicare’s How do Medicare Advantage Plans work?
- Medicare Part D helps pay for medications doctors prescribe for treatment. For more information on the enrollment periods for Part D, we recommend you read Medicare’s How to get prescription drug coverage page.
If you receive Medicare and have limited resources and income, you may be eligible for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs.
How Much Does Ssi Disability Pay
The average federal SSI payment in 2022 is $604 per month. Children on SSI receive an average of $683 per month .
While SSI is a federal program , and the federal government pays a standard base rate of $841 per month, most SSI recipients receive less than the federal benefit rate, and some receive more. Your actual monthly payment will depend on how much income you or your family brings in or earns and how much of a “state supplemental payment” your state pays, if any.
If you’re married and your spouse is also eligible for SSI benefits, you’ll get less than two individuals would get. The maximum federal benefit rate for couples is only $1,261, which is less than two $841 payments.
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What Are The Maximum Social Security Disability Benefits
The monthly benefits issued for 2022 include:
- The current maximum Supplemental Security Income for an individual is $841 per month.
- The current maximum amount for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits is $3,148 per month.
- The average disability payment for a disabled worker receiving SSDI is $1,358 per month.
What If Your Ssi Disability Claim Is Denied
Without a doubt, the SSI disability process is a fairly difficult one, except in the most clear-cut cases. Most SSI applications are initially denied . To get SSI, you’ll probably need to appeal the initial decision and go to a hearing.
If the SSA denied your SSI claim, you should probably consider finding a lawyer to represent you at the hearing. The lawyer will organize your medical records and get the evidence you need to prove that your medical impairments are disabling.
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Can You Do Any Other Type Of Work
If you cant do the work you did in the past, we look to see if there is other work you could do despite your medical impairment.
We consider your medical conditions, age, education, past work experience, and any transferable skills you may have. If you cant do other work, well decide you qualify for disability benefits. If you can do other work, well decide that you dont have a qualifying disability and your claim will be denied.
How Do I Find Out My Social Security Benefit Amount
Your Social Security Statement, which the SSA recently redesigned, is the best place to find your SSDI benefit amount. You can find your statement online at www.ssa.gov/myaccount.
If you don’t receive benefits yet, your Social Security Statement will show you what your SSDI payment will be if you get approved for disability benefits this year. It also shows what your retirement benefit would be at age 62, 67, and 70. You can also check your entire covered earnings history on your Social Security Statement.
The SSA still has an online benefits calculator that you can use to get an estimate of your monthly benefits, but if you sign up for an account to see your new Social Security Statement, you won’t need it. You can also call your local Social Security office, and a field representative will be able to help you estimate what your benefits would be.
Average SSDI Benefit in 2022
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Early Retirement And Working
Those who collect early retirement benefits but continue to work have their benefits reduced when they make over $18,960 per year . But in the year a recipient reaches full retirement age, he or she can make up to $4,210 per month without having retirement benefits taken away. Any early retirement benefits deducted while you were working, however, are added back to your retirement check over the next 10-15 years.
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According to the Social Security Administration, the monthly maximum for SSI is $841 per month for an individual in 2022 or about $10,092 on an unrounded annual basis.
For couples, the maximum benefit will be $1,261 a month, or $15,136.93 on an unrounded annual basis.
Keep in mind, inflation continues to surge across the country meaning the increase might not feel like a lot for some claimants.
SSI, which is run by the Social Security Administration , aims to help those over 65, as well as blind and disabled people, who have little or no income.
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How Are Payment Dates Determined
Your Social Security payments are made based on the date of your birth, according to the following schedule:
Birth date 1-10: payments on 2nd Wednesday of month
Birth date 11-20: payments on 3rd Wednesday of month
Birth date 21-31: payments on 4th Wednesday of month
Supplemental Security Income is generally paid on the 1st of every month. However, as shown above, sometimes SSI can be paid twice per month, based on the calendar. For example, in 2022, second SSI payments were made on April 29 and September 30 and will be again on December 30.
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Monthly Payments On Ssi
As we mentioned above, the Federal benefit rate determines SSI payments not how much you earn. The SSI program is designed for disabled, low-income individuals and families with limited resources. The monthly benefit is calculated based on the Federal rate and changes annually with the cost-of-living increases.
Maximum Federal Supplemental Security Income payment amounts increase with the cost-of-living increases that apply to Social Security benefits. The latest such increase, 1.3 percent, becomes effective January 2021.
For 2021, the maximum benefit is $794 monthly for individuals, and $1,191 for eligible couples.
In addition, your monthly countable income reduces your SSI benefits. Every qualified beneficiary begins with the maximum monthly amount. Then, any additional resources or payments are subtracted against that amount to calculate that persons payment.
In summary, calculating monthly payments for either SSDI or SSI is a complicated process. We recommend clients work with a qualified disability lawyer whenever possible to avoid confusion.
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How To Make Sure You Dont Lose Your Ssdi Benefits
If youre thinking about applying for disability but are still employed, or if youve been receiving benefits but are considering part-time work to help make ends meet, its crucial that you get all the facts before making any decisions that could put your disability benefits in jeopardy.
To get help with applying for Social Security programs, appealing a decision, or just to talk about all your legal options, consider contacting an experienced Social Security disability lawyer at Social Security Disability Advocates USA.
Our friendly legal team will schedule a free consultation to review your case and help you understand the possible impacts of SSDI income limits. Call us today at , chat with us via LiveChat, or send us a message using our secure contact form.
What Happens If I Am Getting Other Disability Benefits
Importantly, there are other factors that the SSA takes into account when determining your benefit amount. Specifically, if you receive other disability benefits, then it may affect your SSDI benefit amount.
Disability benefits from a private insurance company will not reduce your SSDI benefits. Similarly, if you get Supplemental Security Income benefits or disability benefits from the Veterans Affairs , then your SSDI wont be impacted.
However, certain disability benefits that are either regulated or provided by the government will affect your SSDI benefits. Specifically, California workers compensation and temporary state disability benefits will reduce the total amount that you receive. The general rule is that you cannot receive more than 80% of your pre-disability income in disability benefits, so the amount of SSDI will be reduced accordingly.
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What Is Supplemental Security Income
SSI is a program administered by the Social Security Administration that provides monthly cash payments to low-income elderly or disabled individuals, including blind or disabled children. In addition, to be eligible for SSI the individual must have very few assets. For children on SSI, the Social Security Administration reduces the childs SSI benefit by two-thirds of the amount that is paid in child support.
Who Qualifies For Ssdi
- People who have worked for a number of years and had enough money taken out of their paychecks for Social Security
- Self-employed people who paid self-employment taxes
- You must meet Social Securitys very strict definition of disability to qualify for SSDI.
- Having a low income or financial needs do not affect whether you can get SSDI.
If you get turned down for SSDI, reapply, and appeal if necessary. Many cases end up being approved after an appeal. The amount you get from SSDI will be based on how long you worked, and how much Social Security tax was taken from your pay. Once you apply for SSDI, the disability clock starts running.
If your disability application is approved, you will usually receive your first benefit payment six months after the date the Social Security Administration finds that your disability began. You will also become eligible for Medicare after you’ve received SSDI benefits for 2 years.
If you qualify and start getting SSDI, your spouse and any eligible children can also apply for SSDI. If you find you dont qualify for SSDI, but you are disabled and have limited income and resources, look into Supplemental Security Income . This program also can pay benefits to the disabled, but is based on your income and need.
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What Benefits Does Social Security Disability Insurance Offer
The amount you receive from Social Security Disability Insurance depends on your average lifetime earnings before your disability began. Generally, the more you earned over a longer period, the more you’ll benefit, up to a maximum amount. The Social Security Administration calculates your disability benefit based on the amount of your Social Security “covered earnings.” Generally, these are your past earnings that have been subject to Social Security tax.
Your benefits are determined by averaging your covered earning over the 35-year period representing your top earning years. The SSA sees this as your average indexed monthly earnings . The SSA then applies a formula to your AIME to calculate your primary insurance amount . This serves as the base figure for the SSA to calculate your Social Security Disability Insurance benefit amount.
To understand your entire covered earnings history, the SSA provides access to your annual Social Security Statement. If you receive other disability benefits from private insurers, this will not impact your Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.
The Social Security Disability Insurance program rules limit your overall benefit under certain conditions. The combination of Social Security Disability Insurance and other government-sponsored disability programs cannot be more than 80% of the average amount earned before you became disabled. If this happens, the SSA will reduce your payments.