Thursday, June 16, 2022

Can You Apply For Disability If Already On Social Security

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Will Your Claim For Ssdi Or Ssi Disability Benefits Be Denied

Can You Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits if You are Still Working?

By David A. Morton III, M.D.

When applying for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income , most people naturally think about the reasons why they should be granted benefits. You may find it useful, however, to turn the perspective around and understand the reasons why you might be denied SSDI or SSI benefits. In some cases, the reasons are beyond your control. In other instances, though, you may be able to avoid doing something that results in a denial.

How Do You Qualify For Social Security Disability Benefits

    Disability benefits are available to qualified recipients under two programs, Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Income . SSI is a means-tested program for people with disabilities who have very limited means, but SSDI is an insurance program that is available to qualified workers with disabilities regardless of their resources. As of January 2018, some 13.8 million disabled workers and their dependents were receiving SSDI benefits from Social Security.

    SSDI pays cash benefits to people who are unable to work for a year or more because of a disability. Benefits continue until you are able to work again on a regular basis, or until you reach retirement age. At that point, the disability benefits automatically convert to retirement benefits, but the amount remains the same. After receiving SSDI benefits for two years, you also become eligible for health insurance coverage under Medicare. The disability program also includes a number of work incentives to ease your transition back to work.

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    Who is eligible?

    As with retirement benefits, you must have accumulated a certain number of work credits before you can qualify for SSDI disability benefits. However, fewer credits are required to qualify for the disability program than for retirement. You can earn up to four credits per year of employment. How many credits you need to qualify for disability depends on the age you become disabled.

    Who is “disabled”?

    Other Ways You Can Apply

    Apply With Your Local Office

    You can do most of your business with Social Security online. If you cannot use these online services, your local Social Security office can help you apply. Although our offices are closed to the public, employees from those offices are assisting people by telephone. You can find the phone number for your local office by using our Office Locator and looking under Social Security Office Information. The toll-free Office number is your local office.

    Apply By Phone

    If You Do Not Live in the U.S. Or One of Its Territories

    Contact the if you live outside the U.S. or a U.S. territory and wish to apply for retirement benefits.

    Mailing Your Documents

    If you mail any documents to us, you must include the Social Security number so that we can match them with the correct application. Do not write anything on the original documents. Please write the Social Security number on a separate sheet of paper and include it in the mailing envelope along with the documents.

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    Social Security Disability Insurance For People With Cancer

    Social Security Disability Insurance is a federal disability insurance benefit earned by people who have worked and paid into Social Security. Its only available to people who have disabilities that keep them from working. If you have cancer, you may be able to have your SSDI application processed more quickly

    Filing For Early Retirement Benefits

    How to Apply for Social Security Disability

    For most people, it does not make sense to file for early retirement benefits at age 62 if you are already receiving SSDI because of a disability. Your disability payments equal your full retirement amount, and those who opt for early retirement receive reduced benefits.

    Imagine that, at age 60, you suffer a back injury leading to a disability. You are approved for SSDI benefits, and you begin drawing an amount equal to your full retirement amount. When you reach age 62, nothing changes you continue to draw your full SSDI amount.

    Once you reach your full retirement age, the SSA swaps you from SSDI to traditional retirement benefits. However, this occurs automatically, so you will not see a break in your benefits and do not need to do anything to ensure this happens.

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    Can I Receive Both Ssi And Ssdi Benefits Every Month

    The Social Security Administration offers two types of benefit programs: Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income . SSDI is based on your previous income and how long you paid Social Security taxes. SSI is based on your income and has strict financial limits.

    It is possible to receive both SSI and SSDI at the same time. This is known as concurrent benefits. To qualify for both, its likely that you will be approved for a lower SSDI payment. This is often because you have not worked in recent years or that in the past your wages were low.

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    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.

    If Your Application Is Denied

    Can you work if you are receiving Social Security Disability benefits?

    After we review your application and the information you provided, we may decide you do not meet the qualifications for disability benefits.

    If you disagree with our decision, you have the right to ask us to look at your application again. The notice you receive from us that says you don’t qualify will explain how to appeal our decision and the time period in which you must make the request.

    If we decide you don’t qualify:

    • Because you are not disabled under our rules, you can appeal our decision online.

      The online disability report will ask you for updated information about your medical condition and any treatment, tests, or doctor visits since we made our decision.

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    Your Disability Is Based On Drug Addiction Or Alcoholism

    The SSA will deny benefits to someone whose drug addiction or alcoholism is a contributing factor to his or her disability. The key factor a DDS medical consultant must consider when making a DAA determination is whether or not the SSA would still find you disabled if you stopped using drugs or alcohol.

    For more information, see Nolo’s article on when drugs or alcohol will prevent you from getting disability.

    Can You Get Ssi And Ssdi Both

    You can receive both SSDI and SSI benefits at the same time just so long as you meet both sets of criteria. That means that the total of both payments cannot be higher than your highest SSI payment. You do not have to complete two separate applications, and if the SSA believes that you meet the requirements for both and that you need both benefits, they will approve you for both SSDI and SSI benefits.

    Because of the income requirements for SSI and the strict limits, many SSDI recipients are ineligible for SSI because their SSDI payments exceed the federal benefit rate . Currently, the FBR limit is $794 for an individual and $1,191 for couples.

    The limits, though, can be confusing because only half of your income is countable toward the defined income limits set by the SSA. This means that you may get as much as $1,500 monthly and still qualify for SSI benefits.

    Because the calculations process can be complex and difficult to understand, you should consult with a SSA representative or a disability attorney.

    Someone who is familiar with the SSA guidelines as well as the financial calculations process can help you determine if you would qualify for SSI or if you could qualify for both SSDI and SSI benefits. Also, the FBR can change from one year to the next, so you want to make sure you are up-to-date on those totals and if your income falls into those limits.

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    You Fail To Follow Prescribed Therapy

    If you are being treated by a doctor, but fail to follow the doctor’s prescribed therapy when you have the ability to do so, you can be denied disability benefits. However, the SSA recognizes certain legitimate excuses for failing to follow the doctor’s orders .

    Acceptable medical excuses. Failure to follow prescribed therapy can be excused for reasons beyond your control. Some examples follow.

    • You have a mental illness so severe that you cannot comply with prescribed therapy.
    • You have a fear of surgery so intense that surgery would not be appropriate. Your treating doctor must confirm the severity of your fear to the DDS consulting doctor.
    • You physically cannot follow prescribed therapy without assistancefor example, because of paralysis of the arms or cataracts caused by diabetes.

    Acceptable nonmedical excuses. It is possible that you cannot follow a prescribed therapy for a reason that has nothing to do with your medical condition. Acceptable nonmedical excuses for failing to follow prescribed therapy follow.

    • You don’t have the money to pay for treatment.
    • Your religious beliefs prohibit you from receiving medical therapy.
    • Your doctor prescribes treatment that another doctor disagrees with.

    For more information, see Nolo’s article on the impact of failing to follow prescribed treatment.

    Getting A Social Security Number For A New Baby

    How to apply for Social Security Benefits in Florida ...

    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.

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    You Have Been Convicted Of A Crime

    Certain conditions related to conviction of a crime or imprisonment will prevent you from receiving Social Security disability insurance benefits. They are as follows.

    • You are in prison after being convicted of a felony, unless you are in a court-approved rehabilitation program that is likely to result in your getting a job when you get released, and your release is expected to occur within a reasonable amount of time.
    • You were injured while committing a felony and were convicted of the crime. The impairmentor the worsening of an existing impairmentthat you suffered during the commission of a felony cannot be used as a basis for applying for disability benefits.
    • You were injured while in prison. The impairmentor the worsening of an existing impairmentthat you suffered while you were in prison cannot be used to obtain benefits. But you can generally receive benefits after being released from prison.

    However, it’s worthwhile to apply for SSDI benefits even if one of the above situations apply to you, because even if you can’t get cash benefits, you may be granted a period of benefit-free disability that will “freeze” your earnings record, keeping your eventual disability, retirement, or dependents benefits from decreasing.

    Note these situations do not prevent you from receiving SSI disability benefits, although being incarcerated does keep you from collecting SSI 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 disabled under Social Security rules if all of the following are true:

    • You cannot do work that you did before because of your medical condition.
    • You cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition.
    • Your disability 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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    Why Would There Be A Problem If I Were Overpaid

    If you are paid too much, the Social Security Administration almost always figures it out eventually. Then, after you have already spent all of the money, it will send you a letter demanding that you repay the overpayment. If you do not have the money to repay the full amount of the overpayment, the Social Security Administration may threaten to cut off your checks until the overpayment is recouped. Usually it will accept a more reasonable reduction of your monthly checks, but this is still a hassle and you may have trouble making ends meet during the time that your check is reduced. Under some circumstances it may be possible to get repayment of all or part of the overpayment waived but this is not something to count on.

    How A Lawyer With Our Firm Can Help You Apply For Disability Benefits

    What is #1 Biggest Mistake You can Make When Applying for Social Security Disability?

    An attorney from our firm can offer assistance as you prepare an application for Social Security disability benefits. We can help you determine whether you have enough work credits for SSDI or should apply for SSI benefits. The law does not require you to work with a lawyer on the application and evaluation process for disability benefits, but having someone guide you can make the process go smoother.

    Every year, thousands of qualifying individuals are denied Social Security Disability benefits because of errors they made on their applications. Many people have to appeal a denial of benefits to get the assistance they need. Our team can help you avoid this costly mistake or represent you during your appeal if you have already received a denial.

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    Is There Anything That I Can Do Now To Help Ensure That My Benefits Will Continue

    The very best thing you can do is to continue seeing your doctor. A lot of people with long-term chronic medical problems stop seeing their doctors because no treatment seems to help. This is a mistake for two reasons. First, it means that when the Social Security Administration conducts a review, no medical evidence will exist to show that your condition is the same as it was when you were first found disabled. Second, and perhaps even more importantly, doctors recommend that even healthy people after a certain age periodically have a thorough physical examination. This is even more important for people who already have chronic medical problems.

    How Much Work Do You Need

    In addition to meeting our definition of disability, you must have worked long enough and recently enough under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits.

    Social Security work credits are based on your total yearly wages or self-employment income. You can earn up to four credits each year.

    The amount needed for a work credit changes from year to year. In 2021, for example, you earn one credit for each $1,470 in wages or self-employment income. When you’ve earned $5,880, you’ve earned your four credits for the year.

    The number of work credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age when you become disabled. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.

    For more information on whether you qualify, refer to How You Earn Credits.

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    Contact Social Security To Sign Up For Medicare

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