Fact: Help Is Available To Guide You In Applying For Social Security Disability Insurance
For starters, read the Social Security disability insurance booklet online. It includes a list of all the information the agency needs to begin processing your application.
Patient advocacy groups like the National MS Society also offer guidance, and Calder says that their guidebook is helpful for people with other health conditions, too, since many of the application steps are the same.
Another organization that offers online help for those applying for SSDI is the National Psoriasis Foundation. And the National Alliance on Mental Illness provides guidance on applying for disability insurance if you have a mental illness.
If your application for SSDI is denied, you may want to consider hiring an attorney for your appeal. If you do decide to hire an attorney, you can find helpful information on the website of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives.
Proposed Changes To Social Security Disability Insurance Could Undermine Your Retirement Security Even If Youre Not Currently Disabled
Americans with breast cancer and lung cancer are among those who may see more regular medical audits … if proposed changes to Social Security Disability Insurance are implemented
In November 2019, the Social Security Administration released proposed changes to two programs, Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income . SSDI and SSI are both rooted in a very simple idea: people who cant work due to an illness, injury, or other form of disability deserve to live, and nobody can live without money for housing, food, and other basic needs.
Under the proposal, some recipients of SSDI and SSI would have to more regularly prove that their medical conditions havent improved. Many SSDI and SSI recipients would be required to take part in a more frequent continuing disability review that some liken to a medical audit for those already shown to be medically disabled. Public comment closed on these changes on January 31 of this year, meaning we can likely expect the rules to be added to the federal register sometime in 2020.
The Social Security Administration explains that theyre trying to make sure benefits stop as soon as recipients have experienced medical improvement. By increasing the number of CDRs they conduct each year by 18%, they expect to spend $2.6 billion less on disability benefits between 2020 and 2029.
Why CDRs Cause Disabled Americans To Lose Benefits
How This Could Impact You, Even If Youre In Good Health Today
Medical Improvement Can Stop Both Ssdi And Ssi
The rules surrounding cessation of benefits for medical improvement are the same for Social Security disability and SSI:
If your disabling medical or mental/psychiatric condition improve, the SSA can find that you are no longer disabled, making your benefit payments stop. The SSA periodically reviews the case of all beneficiaries to determine whether they are still disabled. But the standards used in “continuing disability reviews” for determining whether someone has improved enough to return to work are tough for the SSA to meet, and most disability beneficiaries continue to receive benefits after their review. For more information, see our article on Continuing Disability Reviews.
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Getting A Social Security Number For A New Baby
The easiest way to get a Social Security number for your child is at the hospital after they are born when you apply for your childs birth certificate. If you wait to apply for a number at a Social Security office, there may be delays while SSA verifies your childs birth certificate.
Your child will need their own Social Security number so you can:
- Claim your child as a dependent on your income tax return
- Open a bank account in their name
- Get medical coverage for them
- Apply for government services for them
Keep your Social Security card in a safe place to protect yourself from identity theft.
When A Disability Ends
Finally, disability benefit payments under Social Security can stop at any time that the Social Security Administration determines that you’re no longer disabled. That can happen in two different ways. First, if you are able to make enough money to pass above a certain threshold earnings amount, then you’ll stop getting disability benefits. For 2017, those amounts are $1,170 per month for most people, and $1,950 per month for those who are blind. Typically, you can work for a trial period of up to nine months without losing benefits, but after that, the test can disqualify you.
The other way to lose disability benefits is through improving medical condition. If the SSA decides that your health has gotten better, then it can determine that you’re no longer eligible to receive benefits due to a disability. Typically, the SSA does a review at a certain time interval that varies according to the expectation that your condition will or can improve.
Social Security benefits are vital for many people’s financial security, but there are ways that you can lose the monthly checks you’ve already started to receive. By being aware of what can result in having your benefits taken away, you can figure out the best course of action for your particular situation.
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Were Your Social Security Disability Benefits Terminated
If you were approved for SSD benefits due to a mental health condition or physical disability, it’s considered a lifelong benefit. Usually, the Social Security Administration won’t terminate your benefits.
However, it’s possible that the SSA could terminate your benefits called cessation if:
- You work or go to school full-time
- You go back to work part-time and earn over $1,000 gross per month
- Your condition has improved
If the SSA terminated your SSD benefits and these examples don’t pertain to you, you’re probably angry and frustrated. You depended on the benefits for your livelihood, and they were taken away.
If The Ssa Cuts Off My Disability What Do I Do
All claims for Social Security Disability benefits get reviewed at different times after you are approved. These are generally dependent on the facts of your case. When it is time for your case to be reviewed, the Social Security Administration will contact you to get updates on your status and treatment. They will pull your medical records to determine whether or not they still consider you to be disabled.
If they determine that you no longer qualify for a disabling condition, the SSA will send you a letter terminating your benefits. You will still receive your SSDI benefits for two months after they determine that you are no longer disabled to the point that you cannot work. If you feel that their decision is unfounded, you have the right to begin the appeals process for SSDI and appeal their decision, similar to the way in which you can appeal a denied claim for disability. A qualified Social Security disability attorney will help you prepare an appeal to that decision.
If your appeal is not filed within ten days, you are still able to appeal their decision to terminate your Social Security disability benefits as long as they receive your appeal within sixty days of your receipt of the termination letter. However, if you have not filed within the ten day time limit, the SSA will suspend your benefits until a judge decides on your appeal. A qualified disability lawyer will help you through this phase of the appeals process.
What Can Cause Benefits To Stop
Two things can cause us to decide that you are no longer disabled and to stop your benefits:
if you work at a level we consider “substantial.”
In 2021, average earnings of $1,310 or more per month are usually considered substantial. The amount of earnings that we consider substantial changes each year.
- if we decide that your medical condition has improved to the point that you are no longer disabled.
Remember, you are responsible for promptly reporting any improvement in your condition, or if you return to work. The booklet we send you when your application is approved explains what you need to report to us. For more information on what else may cause your benefits to stop, refer to How We Decide if You Still Have a Qualifying Disability.
Even Once You’ve Already Started Getting Benefits There Are Situations Where They’ll Stop Find Out About Them
Tens of millions of Americans rely on their Social Security benefits, and many are in a position in which they can’t really afford to lose their monthly checks. Yet there are a few situations in which the Social Security Administration can and will take away benefits for certain recipients. Below, we’ll go through the situations where you risk losing your Social Security benefits so that you won’t get surprised down the road.
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Fact: Ssdi Is Designed To Be A Long
You can apply only if the disability is expected to be long-term 12 months or longer or if the condition is so severe that it’s viewed as terminal. The program is meant for those with ”the most severe impairments in the country,” Jarrett says.
Other private programs pay out for short-term or partial disability, but Social Security disability insurance does not. Yet some states may award temporary funds to people who can’t work because of illness not caused by work. You can contact your state’s Department of Labor to see if you quality for temporary disability benefits.
Should I Have Someone Represent Me At The Alj Hearing
You may have someone like a lawyer or an experienced paralegal represent you. You can also represent yourself. Represented people generally do better. If you want a lawyer with experience in Social Security claims, ask your local bar association or the National Organization for Social Security Claimant Representatives for a referral.
If you will represent yourself, get a copy of your file as soon as possible. Call the hearing office to arrange to copy your file. Social Security will send you a notice that your file is ready for your review. Call the 1-800 number in the top right of the notice to make an appointment.
The papers in your file are the only info the judge has about you. You must present your whole case at the hearing.
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Laurence Kotlikoff is a William Fairfield Warren Professor at Boston University, a Professor of Economics at Boston University, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the Econometric Society, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, President of Economic Security Planning, Inc., a company specializing in financial planning software, and the Director of the Fiscal Analysis Center. Kotlikoff’s columns and blogs have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, the Boston Globe, Bloomberg, Forbes, Vox, The Economist, Yahoo.com, Huffington Post and other major publications.
If You Remarry While Collecting Spousal Benefits On An Ex
Many people don’t realize that divorced spouses can claim Social Security on their ex-spouse’s work history as long as they were married for at least 10 years. This provision provides spousal benefits as long as the ex-spouse is still alive, and then survivor benefits kick in later on. However, if you remarry, you’re no longer entitled to receive spousal benefits based on the ex-spouse’s history. Instead, you can only collect spousal benefits based on your current spouse’s work record.
This can have the effect of taking away Social Security spousal benefits for someone who remarries at 62 or later and has therefore already become eligible to take those benefits. However, note that the same isn’t true of ex-spouse survivor benefits. With survivor benefits, you can still claim them even if you remarry, as long as you don’t tie the knot again until reaching age 60. Therefore, if you’re old enough to claim those survivor benefits in the first place, then remarrying afterward won’t affect them, because you’ll already have reached that key 60th birthday.
Significant Changes In Living Situation
Entering a nursing home, assisted living facility, or hospital may affect your eligibility for SSI, but it depends on the kind of facility and how long you’re staying. If you can demonstrate to Social Security that you will be institutionalized for 90 days or less, your SSI benefits may continue. Notify Social Security of your changed living situation as soon as possible.
Disability benefits will also be stopped for as long as a person is incarcerated, and occasionally for a felony conviction, even one that does not result in jail time. SSI recipients who are incarcerated for at least 12 months in a row will need to re-apply for benefits once they’re released.
How Can A Criminal Conviction Affect Your Ssdi Benefits
Being convicted of a crime can lead to a wide range of penalties, including incarceration, fines, and probation. But few people realize that it can also lead to the termination of your SSDI benefits.
The law states that you are not entitled to SSDI benefits if you are convicted of a crime and you serve more than 30 continuous days in jail or prison as a result of the conviction. For example, if you are convicted of a crime in January and ordered to spend more than 30 days in jail, you are no longer entitled to benefits for the month of January. This means you will not receive your disability check in February.
Once you are released from jail, you can ask the SSA to restart your benefits. You will need to provide proof of your release in order to start receiving benefits again. But even if your benefits restart, you cannot collect the payments you missed while behind bars.
How Long Will It Take For Ssa To Pay Me
As a rule, it takes one to two months for back benefits to be paid and monthly benefits to begin in a Social Security disability case in which no SSI application was ever filed.
But these are only general rules. In some cases, it takes as long as 3 months for back benefits to be paid. When it takes more than 90 days for back benefits to be paid in a Social Security disability case, it may mean that there has been a bureaucratic mix-up somewhere in the system. In that case it will be necessary to take some sort of action to deal with the delayed benefits.
If 90 days pass from the date of the decision and I am still not paid my back benefits, is there anything that can be done to speed up payment?
It is possible that your attorney may be able to do something if you are not paid after 90 days. Be sure to telephone your attorney to explain that you havent gotten paid after about three months. It may be necessary at that point to contact the payment center.
Myth: If My Doctor Says I’m Disabled That Guarantees I Will Qualify
Not true, according to Proudian. The SSDI decision is a legal one, not a medical one a key point that people often misunderstand, she says. But the doctor who treats you and provides details about your condition must be a credible medical professional, and must provide honest, detailed information. Once that information and other details are filed, the decision is up to the Social Security Administration, she says.
Retirement Or Turning 18
Children on disability about to turn 18 will have their eligibility reviewed prior to their 18th birthday. This review can be delayed until the child is 19 if they are enrolled as a full-time student. Benefits will likely continue for children who are disabled, but children receiving disability benefits related to their parents condition may no longer be eligible.
Those who reach retirement age will have their disability income converted to retirement income automatically.
Finding Legal Help To Maintain Your Disability Benefits
If you recently underwent a Continuing Disability Review and lost your benefits, or if the SSA has revoked your disability benefits eligibility for another reason, an attorney may be able to help you regain the disability benefits that you need.
Contact the Social Security Disability attorneys at Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault Co., LPA at 843-6663, or use our online contact form if you need to speak to an attorney about your lost Social Security disability benefits.
Social Security Back Benefits
When you apply for Social Security disability benefits, you may be entitled to a lump-sum back benefit on approval of your claim. The agency pays back benefits effective up to 12 months before the date of your application the exact date depends on when the agency establishes the “onset,” or beginning date, of your disability. Many disability beneficiaries are entitled to sizable back-benefit awards because the approval process can take a long time — in some cases, as long as two years or more. Read More:Can a Divorced Spouse Collect on Disability Benefits or Social Security Income?