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.
When Will Disability Benefits Convert To Social Security
- People who receive disability and are approaching retirement may have questions about the transition between disability and regular Social Security payments.
If you are currently receiving Social Security disability benefits, you may wonder what happens when you reach official retirement age and are eligible to receive regular Social Security. Understanding the process of transitioning from disability to Social Security can help you enjoy greater peace of mind regarding this important change in your benefits.
What Happens If A Federal Employee Becomes Disabled And Cant Work
by Joyce Warner
I recently sat down with Greg Klingler from the Government Employees Benefit Association and Cheri Cannon, from the law firm Tully Rinckey PLLC, to talk about the ins and outs of feds and disability insurance. This is a complicated topic and at FEEA we know many federal employees would like more information about it.
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More Specific Conditions That Could Entitle You To Benefits
It is important to note that every applicant presents individual circumstances that could qualify or disqualify them for benefits. With this in mind, some of the specific conditions the SSA lists under its broader medical categories include:
- Depressive disorder
- Bipolar disorder
These are just some of the many conditions the SSA lists as potential prerequisites for receiving disability benefits through one or more federal programs. Additional context may be required to determine your eligibility and the number of benefits you could receive if you are eligible. As such, these conditions do not automatically qualify you for disability benefits.
What Are The Earning Limits For Social Security Disability Recipients In 2023
As a recipient of Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, any additional income you earn will be monitored and limited. Recipients can only earn a certain in additional income each month, depending on their qualifying condition.
Disability recipients must adhere to the Social Security Administrations substantial gainful activity limit for additional earned income. In 2023, the SGA limit for blind recipients is $2,460 per month, while the SGA limit for non-blind recipients is $1,470 per month. This limit is in addition to the monthly SSDI check you receive.
The SGA limit is not the only way the SSA tracks benefit recipients income. While you may be able to earn up to the SGA limit in additional income each month, do so too often, and you may enter a trial work period. In 2023, the trigger for a trial work period is earning over $1,050 in additional income in a month. This can be confusing for SSDI recipients, who might be unsure which income limit to follow. Our Philadelphia disability attorneys can assess your monthly income as an SSDI recipient to ensure you follow the appropriate limits and do not jeopardize your access to benefits.
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Should I Just Wait For Retirement Benefits
If you’re close to 62, it can be still be worthwhile to apply for SSDI. Here’s why:
- SSDI benefits can be paid up to 12 months before your application date , if you were disabled that far back.
- If you are found disabled, you are no longer penalized for taking Social Security early retirement. You will get a larger disability benefit, plus your full retirement benefit at full retirement age.
- The “disability freeze” will limit the effect of zero earnings years.
- You will get early entitlement to Medicare after 24 months of SSDI payments.
What is the disability freeze? When you retire early, multiple zero earnings years can negatively affect your Social Security retirement benefit computation. But if you receive SSDI, your earnings record is frozen. Thanks to the disability freeze, the years you are disabled and unable to contribute to Social Security will not reduce your potential Social Security benefit amount. Essentially, the SSA will exclude from its benefit calculations any zero-income or low-income quarters of earnings from a period of disability. For more information, read DisabilitySecret’s article on the disability freeze.
Talk To A Social Security Disability Lawyer For Free Today
Many people struggle to get the disability benefits they deserve. Thankfully, help is available. At John Foy & Associates, we have been assisting SSDI applicants for over 20 years.
Our lawyers know what the SSA is looking for to approve an application. We also know how to help you with any benefits-related problems. Contact us today, and well discuss the details during a FREE consultation.
To get your FREE consultation, call or contact us online today.
Call or text or complete a Free Case Evaluation form
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Can I Receive Both Disability And Retirement Benefits From Social Security
In most cases, the answer is no. The benefits you receive through Social Security Disability Insurance, also known as SSDI, are the same amount that you would receive in regular Social Security benefits at your full retirement age. When you reach this milestone, the Social Security Administration will convert your current disability benefits into retirement benefits. For most people, the amount received in benefits will not change because of this conversion.
At What Age Does Social Security Disability Turn Into Regular Social Security
Your Social Security Disability benefits will automatically convert into regular Social Security retirement benefits when you reach your full retirement age.
The Social Security Administration says that when a person reaches full retirement age, their Social Security Disability will turn into regular Social Security retirement benefits. This rule applies to both Social Security Disability Insurance payments and Supplemental Security Income .
The SSA manages both the SSDI and SSI programs, but they have different eligibility requirements. Also, SSDI usually pays higher monthly cash benefits than SSI.
According to the SSA retirement benefits planner, a persons full retirement age can range between 65 and 67 years of age, depending on the month and year of your birth. People born after 1942 have a full retirement age of 66 years or older. Those born in 1960 or later must wait until they are 67 years old to start collecting full retirement benefits.
The benefit amount does not change when it converts into Social Security retirement benefits, except for cost-of-living adjustments . The AARP says that your SSDI benefits are the same as your retirement benefits would be at full retirement age, no matter how young or old you were when you became disabled.
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How Can I See My Cost
If you set up your My Social Security account online by Nov. 15, you can now see how much your benefits will be increased for 2023. Just log in to your My Social Security account and check the message center to view the document that has all the details about your new 2023 benefit amount.
The document should tell you how much your monthly benefit is before and after deductions, and when you’ll get your first payment with the COLA increase.
If you didn’t sign up for a My Social Security account, look for the COLA notice you received in the mail in December. The letter discloses your 2023 benefits amount.
Note that your higher Social Security payment will take effect in January 2023. If you’re a Supplemental Security Income beneficiary, your first increased payment was on Dec. 30, 2022.
The Social Security Act Defines Disability Very Strictly
Eligibility rules for Social Securityâs disability program differ from those of private plans or other government agencies. Social Security doesnât provide temporary or partial disability benefits, like workersâ compensation or veteransâ benefits do.
To receive disability benefits, a person must meet the definition of disability under the Social Security Act . A person is disabled under the Act if they canât work due to a severe medical condition that has lasted, or is expected to last, at least one year or result in death. The personâs medical condition must prevent them from doing work that they did in the past, and it must prevent them from adjusting to other work.
Because the Act defines disability so strictly, Social Security disability beneficiaries are among the most severely impaired in the country. In fact, Social Security disability beneficiaries are more than three times as likely to die in a year as other people the same age. Among those who start receiving disability benefits at the age of 55, 1-in-6 men and 1-in-8 women die within five years of the onset of their disabilities.
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Ssi And The Pass Program
If you’re receiving SSI, you can take part in a Plan for Achieving Self-Support . This is a plan to go back to work that you develop with the help of the SSA or a vocational rehabilitation worker. While participating in PASS, any money you earn isn’t counted toward the SSI income limits and won’t reduce your SSI benefits.
When Are You Insured For The Ssdi Program
Most workers pay Social Security taxes on their wages or self-employment income. Older workers who accumulate 40 quarters of work credits are “fully insured” for Social Security retirement or disability benefits. But 50-year-olds need only have 7 years of work credits to get insured.
However, you have to be “currently insured” as well. You must have worked at least 5 of the last 10 years to stay insured. SSA calls your “date last insured” your “DLI.”
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Why It’s Easier To Get Disability After Age 60
For older workers, in particular claimants 60 and older, Social Security must consult a series of tables called the “grids” to decide if a person is disabled. The grids are a set of rules that take into consideration a disability claimant’s age, residual functional capacity , education, and work history to determine whether the claimant should be approved or denied.
The reason claimants over the age of 60 are much more likely to be approved under the grids is because Social Security takes into consideration the fact that it may be harder for older workers to learn new skills and to transition into new workplaces. That said, if you worked at a skilled job before you became disabled and you could put your skills to use at a less demanding type of job, you won’t be approved for disability just because you are older.
Here is what the grids take into account.
Tips For Getting Retirement Ready
- A financial advisor could help you prepare for retirement. SmartAssets free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If youre ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
- Relying on Social Security alone may not be the best option when it comes to saving for retirement. As you approach early retirement age, its best to save as much as you can along the way. Our retirement calculator can help you determine how much money you need to retire comfortably.
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What Is The Difference Between Ssdi And Ssi
Sometimes these two programs, Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income , are confused with each other. They are both managed by the Social Security Administration, yet are different programs.
Occasionally, you may also see the use of SSI to represent ordinary Social Security income. This alternative use of the acronym is another source of confusion because Social Security income is retirement income. In contrast, Supplemental Security Income is for those with limited resources, not solely retirement income.
Social Security Disability Insurance is an insurance program paid for by the payroll tax deductions for Social Security. The current Social Security tax rate for 2022 is 6.2% paid by the employer and 6.2% paid by the employee, equaling a total of 12.4%. If you have Social Security taxes withheld from your earned income, you will have this insurance coverage.
SSDI payments require SSA approval of disability status, and the amount paid depends on your work history. If you become disabled and qualify for SSDI, you will receive monthly payments that are the same amount as you would get if you were already at full retirement age.
Supplemental Security Income is based on age OR disability and having very limited income and financial resources. SSI does not depend on any work history.
What Are Social Security Disability Benefits
Social Security disability benefits come from payroll deductions required by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act to cover the cost of Social Security benefits, such as retirement and spousal and survivor benefits. Some of this funding goes into the Disability Insurance Trust Fund and pays for disability benefits.
According to the Social Security website, to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must have worked a certain length of time in jobs covered by Social Security. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the past 10 years, ending with the year you became disabled. You must also have a medical condition that meets Social Securitys definition of disability.
Younger workers might qualify with fewer credits.
SSDI should not be confused with Supplemental Security Income , which pays benefits to those who have financial needs regardless of their work history. Although these two names sound similar, the qualifications to get the payments and what you might receive are very different.
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A Note About Spousal Benefits
According to the SSA, spousal and family benefits for those receiving SSDI payments are capped at 50% of your benefits per individual and about 180% for an entire family. These spousal and family benefits are available in specific situations that may not apply to you. The spousal benefit will not increase to the full amount of your retirement benefit when you reach full retirement age or when your spouse does.
Health Resources For People With Disabilities
Federal, state, and local government agencies and programs can help with your health needs if you have a disability.
Explore the Disability and Health section of CDC.gov for articles, programs, tips for healthy living and more.
Learn more about benefits for people with disabilities from the Social Security Administration.
Contact your local city or county government to find out what medical and health services are available locally for people with disabilities.
Your state social service agency can help you locate medical and health programs.
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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Can You Increase Your Social Security Benefit When You Reach Retirement Age
Once you reach full retirement age and youre receiving Social Security benefits, you can suspend your benefit to get a larger amount later. This applies whether you were already receiving benefits or if your SSDI converted to retirement benefits. Youll earn 8% retirement credits for each year you delay. Then your benefit will max out at age 70.
Suppose youre receiving monthly disability payments of $2,000 per month and you turn 67, your full retirement age. You decide you can afford to go one year without benefits in exchange for larger checks for the rest of your life. You call Social Security and voluntarily suspend your benefit. When you reinstate your benefits one year later, youd get $2,160 a month, plus any cost-of-living adjustment. Youd have the same option if youre already taking retirement benefits.
Once you reach full retirement age, the rules about working get a lot more flexible. If your condition improves and you become able to work, you wont face the stringent income limits that apply to SSDI benefits.
Social Security also wont withhold a portion of your retirement benefits if you work past full retirement age.
The bottom line is that your Social Security benefit will switch from disability to retirement when you reach full retirement age. Chances are, this will be a non-event for you. Your check amount will stay the same, and you wont be any better or worse off from it.
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Can You Collect Ssdi And Social Security At The Same Time
No. Social Security will give you whichever is higher: your disability benefit or your retirement benefit, but not both. Most of the time, these two benefits will be the same. But there are a few circumstances where one benefit could be higher than the other.
For example, if you receive workers compensation, youll often qualify for less money from SSDI. In that case, you could expect to receive more from your retirement benefit.
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How To Protect Or Enforce Your Rights: Appeals
SSA denies many applications for disability benefits. Denials often occur because there was not enough medical evidence to prove a disabling problem. More than 50% of appeals are successful. If SSA denies your claim, strongly consider filing an appeal. Many people give up, wait a period of time, and reapply. In most cases, it is a better decision to file an appeal rather than to wait and to reapply. You should also consider appeals in other cases. You can appeal if you believe that SSA wrongly reduced or terminated your benefits. Also, if SSA takes wrongful actions, such as finding an overpayment or requiring a representative payee. Suppose you are already receiving benefits, and SSA sends you a notice to reduce or terminate. In that case, you may be able to keep your benefits while you appeal. You will need to act quickly to appeal, usually within ten days of receipt of the notice. Indicate on the appeal form that you wish to continue to receive your benefits during the appeal. For example, if SSA decides you are no longer disabled and sends you a notice, you may choose to keep your benefits until a judge issues a decision. There levels of the Appeal Process are as follows:
Requests for reconsideration
Request for an ALJ hearing
Request for review by the appeals council
- The ALJ made an error of law,
- His decision was not supported by substantial evidence, or
- There was an abuse of discretion.
Lawsuits in U.S. District Court
The judge can:
How to file an appeal with SSA