Social Security Disability Benefits
If you have a medical condition that will put you off work for 12 months or longer but is expected to improve eventually, then you have a temporary disability. The benefits you may receive from the SSA would be temporary then too, lasting only as long as you meet the SSAs medical eligibility requirements. In other words, when your qualifying medical condition improves, your benefit eligibility will cease. In the mean time though, you could potentially get the support you need through the SSAs disability programs.
Disability And Leaving The Public Service
You should immediately notify your manager if your physician has certified that your illness is continuing and you are unable to return to work. Your manager may grant you leave without pay for a period sufficient to enable you to make the necessary adjustments and preparation for separation from the public service.
Refer to Appendix B of the Directive on Leave and Special Working Arrangements for additional information.
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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What Counts As A Disability For The Ssas Benefits Program
The SSA asks five questions to determine if a person has a disability that qualifies for SSD benefits:
Question 1:Are you working? If the answer is yes and you make more than $1,310 per month, then you do not qualify.
Question 2: Is your condition severe? If your health limits your ability to perform work-related activities for at least 12 months, then the answer is yes. Work-related activities include things like lifting, sitting, standing, and remembering instructions.
Question 3: Is your condition found in the SSAs list of disabling conditions? The SSA maintains a list of disabling conditions that make it easier to determine if you qualify for benefits. Short-term disability conditions, such as pregnancy, joint replacement surgery, or serious injuries do not appear anywhere in the SSAs list. It also allows for Compassionate Allowances and Quick Disability Determinations, which can speed up your SSD claim review.
An example of a CAL determination might be if a person is diagnosed with Lou Gehrigs disease. In that case, the SSA decides that person is disabled as soon as he or she receives a diagnosis. This means benefits can start in less than one month rather than waiting for more severe symptoms.
A QDD, however, uses a computer-aided process to quickly determine common circumstances that likely qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
Learn some other reasons why your SSD case may not qualify for benefits or legal assistance.
What Happens If You Submit A Social Security Claim
If you apply for benefits while still on short-term disability a number of different things may happen, dependent upon your specific circumstances:
- If the injury or illness that landed you on short-term disability is expected to improve before a year has passed, then you wont be approved for Social Security disability because you dont meet the basic eligibility requirements.
- If your medical condition is uncertain and the SSA is therefore unable to determine whether you may improve before a year has passed, they may place your claim on hold until a clearer medical prediction is available.
- If your disability is not expected to improve for a year or is a permanent impairment that will prevent you from returning to work, then applying early gives you a jumpstart on disability approval. In this case, getting your application started now may mean you have no break in income between employer-sponsored disability benefits and Social Security disability.
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Do I Need Both Short Term And Long Term Disability Insurance
As you can probably tell, short term and long term disability insurance policies are designed to work together. Short term disability is intended to cover you immediately following a serious illness or injury, and long term disability insurance is intended to maintain income replacement if your condition keeps you out of work past the end of your short term disability benefit period, even to retirement, depending on your plan. If you have both short term and long term disability policies in place, short term disability will pay you benefits during the waiting period before your long term disability coverage begins, at which point youll transition from one policy to the next to receive benefits. For that reason, it makes sense to have both policies to help ensure an unexpected health problem wont derail your financial confidence for a few months or for several years.
What Qualifies For Long
The qualifications for long-term disability are usually more stringent than those for short-term disability. With short-term disability, benefits can be awarded if the employee is unable to do their job. With long-term disability, benefits will typically only be awarded if the employee is unable to do any job. What constitutes a qualifying event will be specified in the policy, so it is important to understand when benefits may apply before accepting a long-term disability policy.
Qualifying events may include chronic pain, cancer treatments, or debilitating illness or injury lasting more than 26 weeks. If an employee could qualify for another form of income replacement, such as Social Security Disability Insurance, the long-term disability policy will no longer provide benefits.
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Alternatives To Social Security Disability Insurance
It helps to identify alternatives when applying for short-term disability through Social Security because underwriting decisions can take a long time, and most initial applications get rejected.
Plus, you do not receive any money during the first five months you are unable to work, meaning you might need financial assistance while waiting for SSDI approval to survive.
Can You Collect Both Ssdi And Long
SSDI and LTD benefits can generally be collected together. People who receive benefits from long-term disability insurance companies are also often required to apply for SSDI. In contrast, SSDI recipients are not required to apply for LTD benefits if they are receiving SSDI.
A clause in most LTD policies mandates that beneficiaries apply for Social Security disability benefits within a certain period. Disability insurance carriers may require their policyholders to apply for SSDI within a year of receiving benefits.
The SSA and the insurance company are unlikely to pay you the full benefits if you apply for SSDI. Your insurer will deduct the amount of SSDI benefits from your LTD payments. After qualifying for Social Security disability, your SSDI and LTD benefits will equal your LTD benefits before qualifying for SSDI.
The process or amount of your SSDI benefit will not be affected if you receive LTD benefits. The amount of SSDI you receive may be reduced if you receive workers’ compensation or other public benefits. The benefits provided by disability insurance policies, such as LTD policies, will not affect your Social Security benefits.
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What Happens If The Dac Gets Married
If the child receives benefits as a DAC, the benefits generally end if they get married. However, some marriages are considered protected.
The rules vary depending on the situation. Contact a Social Security representative at 1-800-772-1213 to find out if the benefits can continue.
To speed up the application process, complete an Adult Disability Report and have it available at the time of your appointment.
Filing For Social Security Disability Benefits In California
The two types of disability programs available through the Social Security Administration are for long-term disabilities expected to last for at least 12 months. SSI and SSDI offer an option for financial assistance that extends beyond the 52 weeks of benefits available through the CA SDI program.
SSI is a need-based program that offers a monthly federal payment of $841 for an eligible person and $1,261 for an eligible couple. Payments may be reduced if you receive income from other sources. For example, disability benefits that you receive through CA SDI reduce the payment you receive through SSI.
How much of an effect other income has on your SSI benefits depends on several factors, including the fact that some sources of income are excluded or partially excluded. For instance, the first $65 of monthly earned income, which would be from a job or through self-employment, is excluded as is one-half of the remaining balance. Ask your SSI lawyer to review income that you have to determine how it may affect your monthly benefits.
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What Is Social Security Disability Insurance
Social Security disability insurance is different than the long-term and short-term disability insurance offered by employers and some states. It is available only to those who meet the Social Security Administrations requirements. To qualify for benefits, you must have worked many years in jobs where you paid Social Security payroll taxes. You must also have a condition that meets the SSAs definition of disability.
Can I Work While My Application For Social Security Disability Is Pending
Many who are disabled do want to try to work even in a part-time capacity. So long as you dont earn more than $1100, you wont lose your eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits. While you may not be able to work full-time, you may be able to work part-time and that is not inconsistent with a claim for unemployment benefits.
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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.
Benefits For People With Disabilities
The Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability programs are the largest of several Federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities. While these two programs are different in many ways, both are administered by the Social Security Administration and only individuals who have a disability and meet medical criteria may qualify for benefits under either program.
Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are “insured,” meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes.
pays benefits based on financial need.
When you apply for either program, we will collect medical and other information from you and make a decision about whether or not you meet Social Security’s definition of disability. Periodically, we will need updated information about your condition. You may receive a Disability Update Report . This form can now be completed online.
Use the Benefits Eligibility Screening Tool to find out which programs may be able to pay you benefits.
If your application has recently been denied, the Internet Appeal is a starting point to request a review of our decision about your eligibility for disability benefits.
If your application is denied for:
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If Your Spouse Also Worked Under Social Security
If your spouse is eligible for retirement benefits on their own record, we will always pay that amount first. But, if the spouses benefit that is payable on your record is a higher amount, they will get a combination of the two benefits that equals the higher amount.
If your spouse will also receive a pension based on work not covered by Social Security, such as government or foreign work, their Social Security benefit on your record may be affected.
Health Coverage For People With Disabilities
If you have a disability, you have three options for health coverage through the government.
Medicaid provides free or low-cost medical benefits to people with disabilities. Learn about eligibility and how to apply.
Medicare provides medical health insurance to people under 65 with certain disabilities and any age with end-stage renal disease . Learn about eligibility, how to apply and coverage.
Affordable Care Act Marketplace offers options to people who have a disability, dont qualify for disability benefits, and need health coverage. Learn about the .
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Returning To Work With Changes To Your Schedule
You should immediately notify your manager if your physician has certified that you are able to return to work, but that you are:
- no longer able to carry out the duties of the position
- in a rehabilitation program
- recommended for a reintegration process
- not able to return to work on a full time basis
How To File For Disability Benefits In California
If you live in California and cannot work because of a medical condition, financial assistance is available through state and federal programs. Long-term disability, which is expected to last for at least 12 months or cause death, could make you eligible for the Social Security Disability Insurance or the Supplemental Security Income programs. Both of these federal programs administered by the Social Security Administration also provide coverage for medical care through Medicare if you are eligible for SSDI or Medicaid if you qualify for SSI.
When your inability to work is short-term, disability benefits in California are available through the California State Disability Insurance program, or simply CA SDI. It is a program funded by contributions workers make based on their earnings from employment. The program offers partial replacement of wages when you cannot work because of an injury or illness that is not work-related or because of pregnancy or childbirth. The California program is administered by the California Employment Development Department.
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Why Legal Assistance Matters For Ssd Benefits
Working with a Social Security disability lawyer can help you navigate the SSAs requirements. Whats more, having an attorney file your SSD claim nearly triples your chances for benefit approval! Our attorneys work on a contingency basis, so you pay $0 for legal assistance if you dont win benefits. And if you win, then youll only pay a small, one-time fee. To connect with the closest available Social Security disability attorney to review your case, start your free SSD evaluation today.
Ready to see if you may qualify? Complete your free online SSD benefits evaluation now!
Why You Need To Have Nancy L Cavey Represent You
Your story has to be presented to the judge in the context of why you cant return to the lightest job you held in the last 15 years, and why there is no job in the mythical national economy you can perform based on your age, education, transferable skills, and your physical or psychiatric restrictions and limitations. Why mythical? The judge wont consider that you cant find a job or that you couldnt keep a job even if you found one. That isnt the test.
There are many ways Ms. Cavey goes about preparing and presenting your story to the judge. These include:
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Can I Work While On Short Term Disability
STD serves as income replacement for employees unable to work, beginning from the onset of the disability. However, employees on STD who are making progress towards recovery can work with their employer to arrange for an early return to work or an accommodated work schedule.
This arrangement benefits all parties involved:
- Employees are able to get back to work gradually, facilitating recovery while also getting back into the norm of working.
- Employers are more likely to retain the employee with a gradual return to work.
- Insurers help employees get back to work faster and pay less in STD payments on an accommodated work schedule.