Your Impairment Does Not Have To Be On The Ssas List
If you want to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, it is important to note that your impairment does not have to appear on the SSAs list. Examples of such conditions include carpal tunnel syndrome and celiac disease, among others.
However, you must present a formal diagnosis of your condition to the SSA that shows it is a medically determinable impairment that prevents you from functioning in full capacity. This means your condition must be severe enough to prevent you from working or performing your daily activities. This reduction in capacity is known as the residual functional capacity.
If your disability meets the SSAs requirements, it might consider it to be equivalent to a listed condition. You must obtain this diagnosis from your doctor to prove your condition, but it is only the start of the process. It does not mean you will automatically receive approval for benefits.
Review Standard For Stopping Benefits
Adult CDRs. If you’re an adult, the SSA can take away your disability benefits only if the evidence shows that:
- you’ve had medical improvement, as it relates to your ability to work, and
- you can now engage in “substantial gainful activity” , defined as earning $1,350 per month from working.
Child CDRs. A child recipient can also undergo a continuing disability review, but a child’s claim is reviewed differently than an adult’s. A child’s benefits will be discontinued if:
- there has been medical improvement, and
- the child’s impairment no longer results in “marked” or “severe” functional limitations.
A child’s benefits can also end if the child has failed to follow prescribed treatment, the child’s location is unknown, or in a case involving fraud or failure to cooperate.
Disability Pay And Social Security Breakdown
The main difference between disability pay and social security is that the latter is a government-run program, while the former comes from an insurance company.
Disability does not refer to any specific medical condition its a term used to describe someone who cannot work for no apparent reason. The likelihood of qualifying for Social Security greatly increases if the person does have a disability.
On the other hand, disability pay comes from a specific kind of insurance policy that an employer is required to offer its employees under the Federal Employees Compensation Act .
This insurance provides compensation for people who cannot work because they are injured on the job. Injuries can include amputations and burns, and most people who receive this type of compensation work in blue-collar jobs.
People with disabilities who dont have a job with an employer offering FECA insurance can purchase their own disability policy.
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When Social Security Dependents Benefits May Stop
If you’re receiving dependents benefits based on someone else’s earnings record, additional changes can cause your benefits to stop, such as getting married , turning a certain age, or changing your living arrangements. For example, if your parent receives SSDI and you’re receiving benefits based on their record, your benefits will generally end if you turn 18 or get married.
Note that if you collect SSDI benefits based on your own work history and earnings record, getting married will not affect your benefits .
Its Time To Stomp Out The Stigmas Surrounding Social Security Disability Insurance Lets Start With These Three Myths That Too Many People Believe
But in the 65 years since SSDI first became available to support former workers with disabilities, we have come a long way as a society in advancing tolerance and disability inclusion. In recognition of how far weve come, lets debunk a few common, outdated misconceptions and enable our family, friends and neighbors to move forward in the application process with confidence.
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You’ll Be Penalized If You Work
Before you reach full retirement age, any money you earn from a job can affect your Social Security benefits. In 2022, for example, Social Security will deduct $1 from your benefits for each $2 you earn above $19,560. You will get the money back later after you reach full retirement age, but in the meantime, you’ll have that much less to spend.
Additional Information That May Impact Your Benefits Eligibility
The SSA outlines some of the requirements to apply for benefits under SSDI and SSI. They include:
- Having a condition that has prevented you from working for at least one year
- Being at least 18 years of age
Beyond these basic requirements, the SSA will request several types of information as part of your application. Your answers to these questions and your ability to provide various forms of documentation may directly impact your eligibility for benefits. Some questions on the Checklist for Online Adult Disability Application may ask about:
- The age you were at the time that you became disabled
- How many years you participated in the workforce before becoming disabled
- The nature and severity of the medical condition that causes you to be disabled
- Your marital status
- Whether you have any dependents
- Whether you can complete any type of work to earn an income
- Your education and work history
Your ability to provide thorough documentation about the nature of your medical condition and the date of the conditions onset is essential in determining your eligibility for benefits through SSDI and SSI.
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Why Should I Worry
So far the SSA hasnt been able to get such a rule change to happen but they do keep trying. Most recently, they commissioned a report to see how what other administrative tribunals require and whether or not it would improve their process if they started requiring all evidence to be submitted.
For the latest updates on Social Security questions like that one, check our blog regularly. That way youll always know the latest on whats going on that could affect your case. For even more information check out our free e-book!
You Refuse To Cooperate
Your medical records are vital to granting your disability. If you refuse to release those records to the SSA, your claim will likely be denied. Similarly, the SSA may need additional information about your impairments, either because your treating doctor’s medical records are incomplete or because you have no regular treating doctor. In these instances, the SSA will request that you be examined by an SSA doctor, during something called a consultative examination , at government expense. In some cases, the SSA will require you to attend more than one CE. If you refuse to attend or request that the SSA make a determination based on the medical records already in your file, you may be denied disability because of inadequate medical information or failure to attend the CE.
If you can’t make it to a scheduled CE because of the time or location, talk to your claim examiner so the DDS can schedule a CE at a time or place that is convenient for you. If you repeatedly fail to show up for a CE, your claim will most likely be denied.
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Comparison Of Federal Vs State Vs Private Disability Benefits
The inability to work can create personal financial hardship. There are many different programs that can work as financial safety nets if your diagnosis makes it difficult to maintain employment.
Social Security Disability is a federal program administered by the Social Security Administration that provides benefits to people limited by total disability. Disability has two programs within it- SSI and SSDI. SSI is a program designed to assist low-income individuals who may have never worked, or who havent worked enough to earn sufficient work credits for SSDI. SSDI is funded by taxes, so only adults with a work history are eligible. To receive SSDI, your application must show that you can no longer work in your previous occupation, you cannot adjust to a new work environment, and your disability prevents you from being able to return to work for at least a year.
Returning To Work While On Ssdi
If you return to work while receiving SSDI benefits, the SSA will want to determine if you are “engaging in substantial gainful activity” . Basically, that means working more than a little bit. The biggest factor in determining if work activity qualifies as SGA is the amount a person is paid.
In 2022, someone is generally considered to be engaging in SGA if they earn more than $1,350 a month For example, if you’re making, say, $200 per week doing part-time work, you wouldn’t be working over the SGA limit. But this isn’t a cut and dry issue. If you’re working a lot, it’s possible for Social Security to determine that your job activity counts as SGA even if you’re earning less than the SGA amount.
One exception to the SGA rule is what’s referred to as a “trial work period” . This period of time allows someone who is currently receiving SSDI benefits to attempt to return to work without automatically losing their SSDI eligibility. In most cases, you can work for up to nine months during your trial work period without causing your SSDI benefits to stop, regardless of how much money you’re making. If, at the end of the TWP, you’re still working and making over the SGA level, Social Security will no longer consider you disabled, and your Social Security payments will stop. For more information, see our article on the trial work period and the three-year time period that follows, the “extended period of eligibility.”
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What Conditions Automatically Qualify You For Disability
There are many conditions that may automatically qualify you for disability. The SSA has a list of conditions that get processed and approved for disability faster called compassionate allowances.
There are over 200 conditions on the compassionate allowances that if your disability is on there, you will very likely get approved for expedited benefits. The conditions that qualify you for disability include:
- Advanced Forms of Cancers
Why Is There A Shortfall In The Disability Insurance Trust Fund And What Can Be Done About It
As described above, Disability Insurance is funded by a dedicated share of payroll tax contributions0.9 percent of taxable wages paid by workers and the same amount by employers. Since the mid-1990s the Social Security Administration has consistently projected that the Disability Insurance trust fund would have sufficient reserves to cover all scheduled benefits until 2016, but that after that date, additional funds would be needed to avoid a shortfall in the necessary funds to continue paying full benefits. If no action is taken to address the shortfall, the Disability Insurance trust fund will only be able to pay 80 percent of scheduled benefit levels after 2016.
Congress has addressed similar shortfallsin both the Disability Insurance trust fund and the Old Age and Survivors Insurance trust fund, which pays retirement benefitsnearly a dozen times in the past by temporarily reallocating the share of overall payroll tax revenues that is dedicated to each trust fund. In some cases, they have reallocated funds from the Disability Insurance trust fund to the Old Age and Survivors Insurance trust fund in others, they have reallocated funds from the Old Age and Survivors Insurance trust fund to the Disability Insurance trust fund.
Calculating Your Benefit Amount
The formula for calculating your Social Security benefits and your disability benefits is exactly the same right up until the very end. Well get into how it diverges in the next section, but for now, well focus on the shared process.
The first step is calculating your average indexed monthly earnings . The Social Security Administration will take your 35 highest-earning years into consideration. For each of those years, it will index your income for inflation and include it up to the taxable maximum . For tax year 2021, this point is $142,800. For tax year 2022, the maximum rises to $147,000.
Next, the SSA will add up these totals and divide to get your AIME. If you have more than 35 earning years, your lowest years will be excluded. If you have fewer than 35 earning years, the SSA will include a $0 in the calculation for every year youre short.
The last step is to calculate your primary insurance amount from your AIME. To calculate your PIA, the SSA will take a percentage of three different chunks of your AIME. The exact amount of these portions will differ slightly depending on the year you become disabled or turn 62. If you do either in 2021 the SSA will take 90% of your first $996, 32% of the amount between that and $6,002 and 15% of anything that remains. The total is your PIA.
How Can The Social Security Disability Programs Be Improved To Increase Economic Security And Work Opportunities For Beneficiaries
Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security increase economic security for millions of disabled workers. For beneficiaries whose conditions improve, the programs also provide important incentives and supports for returning to work. Still, the programs could be further strengthened to increase disabled workers economic security and provide a more seamless transition for those who are able to return to work.
Modernize Supplemental Security
The value of Supplemental Security benefits has eroded considerably since the programs inception in 1972, as the programs income exclusions and asset limits have not kept pace with inflation and living standards. The current maximum benefit is equivalent to just three-quarters of the also-outdated federal poverty line for a single person. The general income exclusion and earned income exclusion have never been increased. To address this erosion, H.R. 1601, the Supplemental Security Restoration Act, sponsored by Rep. Raul Grijalva and introduced in Congress in April 2013, would increase the monthly maximum benefit to $937, which is 100 percent of the current federal poverty line, and would increase the general income disregard to $110 per month and the earned income disregard to $357 a month. Increasing the income exclusions and indexing them to inflation going forward would restore the monthly benefit amount to its intended value and significantly increase beneficiaries economic security.
Special Rules For People Who Are Blind Or Have Low Vision
We consider you to be legally blind under Social Security rules if your vision cannot be corrected to better than 20/200 in your better eye. We will also consider you legally blind if your visual field is 20 degrees or less, even with a corrective lens. Many people who meet the legal definition of blindness still have some sight and may be able to read large print and get around without a cane or a guide dog.
If you do not meet the legal definition of blindness, you may still qualify for disability benefits. This may be the case if your vision problems alone or combined with other health problems prevent you from working.
There are several special rules for people who are blind that recognize the severe impact of blindness on a person’s ability to work. For example, the monthly earnings limit for people who are blind is generally higher than the limit that applies to non-blind workers with disabilities.
In 2022, the monthly earnings limit is $2,260.
The Downside Of Supplemental Security Income
Produced in 2013 by Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities
Kathie Snow: One of the things that frightens me is and some parents are aware of this When your child is young and a minor and living at home, the child might qualify for SSI, Supplemental Security Income because of the parents’ income. And then whenever the person turns 18, they’re considered a legal adult. And then they no longer apply based on their parents’ income, it’s based on their income. And what a lot of families don’t realize is I mean a lot of parents just wait. “Oh, I can’t wait for my kid to turn 18. He’s going to get SSI on his own.” That is frightening to me. Statistically, once a person goes on SSI, when they turn 18 and they’re eligible, okay? Statistically only 1% of people ever get off in their lifetimes. So there’s all kind of disincentives to work. I mean, a lot of people that are watching are aware of that.
And, again, the system, including SSI and Medicaid, ought to be the last resort and not the first choice. And so we need to make sure that our children know, that we have to know this stuff and we have to help our children know it and listen to our children.
©2022 The Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities 370 Centennial Office Building 658 Cedar Street St. Paul, Minnesota 55155 Phone: 651.296.4018 Toll-free number: 877.348.0505 MN Relay Service: 800.627.3529 OR 711 Email: An Equal Opportunity Employer
Is Your Condition Found In The List Of Disabling Conditions
For each of the major body systems, we maintain a list of medical conditions we consider severe enough to prevent a person from doing SGA. If your condition is not on the list, we must decide if it is as severe as a medical condition that is on the list. If it is, we will find that you have a qualifying disability. If it is not, we then go to Step 4.
We have two initiatives designed to expedite our processing of new disability claims:
- Compassionate Allowances: Certain cases that usually qualify for disability can be allowed as soon as the diagnosis is confirmed. Examples include acute leukemia, Lou Gehrigs disease , and pancreatic cancer.
- Quick Disability Determinations: We use sophisticated computer screening to identify cases with a high probability of allowance.
For more information about our disability claims process, visit our Benefits for People with Disabilities website.