Social Security Disability Extra Benefits


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What Determines How Much Disability Payments Increase


A cost-of-living adjustment is based heavily on data from the consumer price index for both urban wage earners and clerical workers. This is also known as the CPI-W. Unfortunately, this means a high COLA also means higher prices. Youve probably seen this yourself either in the grocery store or at the gas station.

Medicare Coverage If You’re Disabled

We automatically enroll you in Original Medicare after you get disability benefits for two years. However, if your disability results from ALS, Medicare coverage begins sooner, generally the first month you are eligible for disability benefits.

  • Medicare Part A helps pay for inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care. The taxes you paid while you were working financed this coverage. Its provided at no cost to you.
  • Medicare Part B helps pay doctors’ services, outpatient care, some medical supplies, and other preventive services. You will need to pay a monthly premium for this coverage if you want it.

Most people have both parts of Medicare. If you have questions about this coverage, you can contact Medicare toll-free at 1-800-MEDICARE to speak to a Medicare Customer Service Representative. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

How Much Will You Get From Ssi

The average SSI benefit is $585 per month, paid on top of Social Security retirement benefits. But the exact amount you’ll receive depends on the federal benefit rate and your income. As of 2021, the federal benefit rate is $794 for individuals and $1,191 for couples. But that doesn’t mean that’s how much you’ll get from the program. It’s just a starting point.

The government then subtracts your countable income from this benefit rate to determine your actual federal benefit. Here’s a guide to countable income for SSI if you’re interested in learning more about what income could affect your benefit.

Most states provide additional SSI benefits on top of the federal benefits to those who qualify. The only states and territories that don’t offer SSI supplements are:

Also Check: How To Get Off Disability And Back To Work

Getting Help With Your Disability Benefits

If you find yourself suddenly facing a situation where an injury or illness has left you unable to work, and are thinking about filing for Social Security Disability benefits, you may want to consider hiring a disability attorney who can help protect your rights through the process.

Depending on the circumstances of your disabling condition, you might also want assistance from an attorney who can help you file a workers’ compensation claim, represent you in a personal injury lawsuit, or obtain a disability rating from the Veterans Affairs Department.

Supplemental Security Income Work Incentives

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One of our highest priorities is to help people with disabilities achieve independence by helping them take advantage of employment opportunities. Work incentive employment supports help disabled and blind SSI recipients go to work by minimizing the risk of losing their SSI or Medicaid benefits.

Some incentives allow us to not count some of your income or resources.

Other incentives let you continue to receive Medicaid coverage even though you are not receiving SSI cash benefits.

You may be entitled to take advantage of more than one work incentive program. Depending on the types of income you receive, it will change the amount we do not count and the SSI benefit amount.

Visit our websites at and for more information about work incentives.


We do not count the first $65 of earned income plus onehalf of the amount over $65. Therefore, we reduce your SSI benefit only $1 for every $2 you earn over $65.


If you are a student under age 22, as explained on trusts, we may exclude up to $2,040 of gross earnings in a month in figuring your countable income.

For more information, see the SSI Spotlight on Student Earned Income Exclusion.


We will exclude IRWE from your earned income when we figure your SSI monthly payment amount. This means your SSI benefit could go up.


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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 Common Is It For Beneficiaries To Return To Work

Both Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security provide incentives for beneficiaries to work. Disability Insurance beneficiaries are encouraged to work up to their full capacity and can earn an unlimited amount for up to 12 months without losing any benefits. Beneficiaries who work for more than 12 months and have earnings above the substantial gainful activity level cease to receive a monthly benefit. If at any point in the next five years their condition worsens and they are not able to continue working above the substantial gainful activity level, however, they are eligible for expedited reinstatement of their benefits. This means they do not need to repeat the entire, and typically lengthy, disability-determination process that they initially went through to qualify for benefits.

Supplemental Security beneficiaries who are able to work are encouraged to do so as well. Their benefits are reduced based on their earningsafter the first $85 of earnings each month, which is not counted against the benefitbut by only $1 for every $2 of earnings. Beneficiaries who are able to do some work will therefore always be better off with both earnings and a reduced benefit than just the benefit alone.

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Understanding Supplemental Security Income Ssi And Other Government Programs


Many people who are potentially eligible for SSI benefits do not know how receiving SSI affects their benefits or payments from other government and State programs.


In most States, if you are an SSI recipient, you may be automatically eligible for Medicaid an SSI application is also an application for Medicaid. In other States, you must apply for and establish your eligibility for Medicaid with another agency. In these States, we will direct you to the office where you can apply for Medicaid.

Please see the Medicaid website at for consumer information.


The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides help for low-income households to buy the food needed for good health. If you receive SSI, you may be eligible to receive SNAP assistance to purchase food.

If you are applying for or receiving SSI, you are able to get SNAP information and an application form at your local Social Security office.

If all other members of your household apply for or receive SSI, and you apply for or receive SSI, we will help you complete a SNAP application. If you and all other members of your household already receive SSI and SNAP, you may be able to complete the SNAP forms for a recertification at your local Social Security office. SSI benefits count in computing SNAP eligibility.

Health Resources For People With Disabilities

Bill proposes extra $2,400 per year in Social Security benefits, but it hasnt passed

Federal, state, and local government agencies and programs can help with your health needs if you have a disability.

Visit USA.govs Government Benefits page to learn more about government programs and services that can help you and your family.

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You Or Your Family Members May Be Eligible For Increased Benefits

Our mission is to deliver Social Security services that meet the changing needs of the public.

It’s not unusual for a benefit recipient’s circumstances to change after they apply or became eligible for benefits. If you, or a family member, receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income , certain life changes may affect eligibility for an increase in your federal benefits. For example, if your spouse or ex-spouse dies, you may become eligible for a higher Social Security benefit.

To find out if you, or a family member, might be eligible for a benefit based on another persons work, or a higher benefit based on your own work, see the information about benefits on the Social Security website. You can also use the Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool to find out if you could get benefits that Social Security administers. Based on your answers to questions, this tool will list benefits for which you might be eligible and tell you more information about how to qualify and apply.

The questions and answers below are about a few of the life changes that could possibly increase your benefits.

What We Mean By Disability

The definition of disability under Social Security is different than other programs. Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or for short-term disability.

We consider you to have a qualifying disability under Social Security rules if all the following are true:

  • You cannot do work and engage in substantial gainful activity because of your medical condition.
  • You cannot do work you did previously or adjust to other work because of your medical condition.
  • Your condition has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

This is a strict definition of disability. Social Security program rules assume that working families have access to other resources to provide support during periods of short-term disabilities, including workers’ compensation, insurance, savings, and investments.

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Do You Qualify For Extra Social Security Benefits

All workers who have earned 40 credits — where one credit is defined as $1,470 per month in 2021, and you may earn a maximum of four credits per year — qualify for Social Security retirement benefits when they turn 62, as well as disability benefits if a disability leaves them unable to work. But certain retirees need a little more help than others. That’s where Supplemental Security Income comes in.

These are additional benefits paid to certain workers and retirees to help them cover their essential expenses. You may qualify for these benefits if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are a U.S. citizen or resident alien who isn’t subject to an active warrant for deportation.
  • You’re a resident of one of the 50 states, Washington, D.C., or the Northern Mariana Islands.
  • You’re not absent from the U.S. for a full calendar month or 30 consecutive days or more during the year.
  • You’re not confined to an institution at the government’s expense.
  • You’ve applied for other cash benefits you may be eligible for, like Social Security retirement benefits and pensions.
  • You have limited income.
  • You are 65 or older, blind, or disabled.

Most of these requirements are pretty straightforward, except for what constitutes limited income. The easiest way to check if your income is low enough to qualify is to take five minutes to use the Benefit Eligibility Screener Tool. This will tell you about all types of Social Security benefits you qualify for.

Ssa Administers Two Disability Programs Both Include Incentives To Work

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  • The Social Security Administration pays cash benefits to people whom, due to a physical or mental disability that is expected to last more than a year or result in death, are unable to earn a substantial wage.

  • For 2002, earnings of more than $780 per month or more than $1,300 per month for individuals who are blind are considered substantial earnings. These amounts are adjusted each year based on increases in national average wages.

  • SSA administers two disability programs, Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income .

    • Social Security disability benefits are an earned benefit. Workers pay Social Security taxes into the system and earn work credits based on how much they earn. If a person becomes disabled they may be eligible to receive benefits based on their earnings.

    • The benefit amount is based on a persons average lifetime earnings. The number of work credits a person has earned determines eligibility for benefits. The number of work credits needed for disability benefits depends on the individuals age when the disabling condition begins.

    • The spouse and dependent children of a disability beneficiary may also qualify.

    • Social Security disability pays an average monthly benefit of $815 to approximately 5.1 million workers with disabilities. In addition, some 1.6 million members of their families receive monthly benefits.

  • There are no benefit provisions for a spouse and dependent children.

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    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.

    No Limits On Unearned Income And Assets

    A person collecting SSDI can have any amount of assets and any amount of income from investments, interest, or a spouse’s income. These are all types of “unearned income.” You can have an unlimited amount of unearned income. Unearned income includes:

    • interest income
    • unemployment benefits, and
    • cash or gifts from friends and relatives.

    Any type of gifts, even expensive ones, doesn’t affect SSDI benefits at all. You don’t have to report them to the SSA as income.

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    Supplemental Security Income Overview


    SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income. Social Security administers this program. We pay monthly benefits to people with limited income and resources who are disabled, blind, or age 65 or older. Blind or disabled children may also get SSI.


    Many people who are eligible for SSI may also be entitled to Social Security benefits. In fact, the application for SSI is also an application for Social Security benefits. However, SSI and Social Security are different in many ways.


      Both programs pay monthly benefits.

      The medical standards for disability are generally the same in both programs for individuals age 18 or older. For children from birth to the attainment of age 18 there is a separate definition of disability under SSI. The medical standard is based on the severity of your disability financial need is not considered at this step in the eligibility process.

      SSA administers both programs.

    The Disability Application Process

    SSDI, SSI & Retirement | Social Security Disability Insurance & Supplemental Income | theSITREP

    Whether you apply online, by phone, or in person, the disability benefits application process follows these general steps:

    • You gather the information and documents you need to apply. We recommend you print and review the . It will help you gather the information and documents you need to complete the application.
    • You complete and submit your application.
    • We review your application to make sure you meet our for disability benefits.
    • We confirm you worked enough years to qualify.
    • We evaluate any current work activities.
    • We process your application and forward your case to the Disability Determination Services office in your state.
    • This state agency makes the disability determination decision.

    To learn more about who decides if you have a disability, read our publication .

    Once You’ve Applied

    Once we receive your application, well review it and contact you if we have questions. We might request additional documents from you before we can proceed.

    Look For Our Response

    When the state agency makes a determination on your case, youll receive a letter in the mail with our decision. If you included information about other family members when you applied, well let you know if they may be able to receive benefits on your record.

    Check The Status

    You can check the status of your application online using your personal mySocial Security account. If you are unable to check your status online, you can call us 1-800-772-1213 from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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    Is Epilepsy Considered A Disability

    Epilepsy is considered a disability and it has a listing in the Social Security Administration Blue Book. For epilepsy to qualify for disability benefits, it must meet the criteria of the Blue Book listing.

    There are different listings for epilepsy in the Blue Book. One is for convulsive seizures, which is listing 11.02.

    You must show that you suffer daytime seizures that cause you to lose consciousness or convulse or have nighttime seizures that cause severe daytime complications, such as difficulty staying awake, physical movement coordination, or thinking clearly.

    Listing 11.03 is for non-convulsive epilepsy, and you must experience seizures either during the night or day and that you suffer pronounced issues after each seizure, which could include difficulty thinking, unusual behaviors, fatigue, or other activities to interrupt your activities during the day.

    To qualify through this listing, besides meeting the requirements you must also continue to have a seizure at least weekly despite having taken anti-seizure drugs for at least three months.

    The Blue Book has difficult to understand language that is technical and medical in nature. The book was written for medical experts, so you should talk with your treating physician to determine if you meet the criteria of a listing.

    You should ask your physician to complete a residual functional capacity form, which is a detailed form that tells what you can and cannot do.

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