Tips For Getting Retirement Ready
- 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.
- Financial advisors can help you manage Social Security benefits, taxes and much more. If youre having trouble finding the right fit, SmartAssets free financial advisor matching calculator pairs you with up to three advisors in your area.
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.
How To I Know If I Get Ssi Or Ssdi
There are couple of ways you will know if you get SSI or SSDI. For example, if you at one point could work, but you can no longer work anymore because of a disability or a serious ailment like cancer, you will most likely get SSDI.
That is because SSDI eligibility is based on the severity of your disability and if you have enough work credits through your own employment.
The way you know if you will get SSI, is that if you have a disability or a serious ailment and with limited or no income and resources.
If you have very little income and resources, plus you get a low monthly payment from SSDI, there is a chance that you can qualify for SSI as well. To which you will be able to receive concurrent disability benefits from the SSA.
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How To Make Sure You Dont Lose Your Ssdi Benefits
If youre thinking about applying for disability but are still employed, or if youve been receiving benefits but are considering part-time work to help make ends meet, its crucial that you get all the facts before making any decisions that could put your disability benefits in jeopardy.;
To get help with applying for Social Security programs, appealing a decision, or just to talk about all your legal options, consider contacting an experienced Social Security disability lawyer at Social Security Disability Advocates USA.;
Our friendly legal team will schedule a free consultation to review your case and help you understand the possible impacts of SSDI income limits. Call us today at , chat with us via LiveChat, or send us a message using our secure contact form.;
The Facts On Social Security Disability Insurance And Supplemental Security Income For Workers With Disabilities
Endnotes and citations are available in the PDF and Scribd versions.
Nearly one out of every six working-age Americans29.5 million peoplehas a disability, making them much more likely to experience economic hardship than people without disabilities. Many people with disabilities are able to work, although they face greater challenges finding work than people without disabilities. But many individuals with severe and long-lasting disabilities have no or only limited capacity to work and are particularly vulnerable to economic hardship.
For roughly 12 million people with disabilities, Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income, both core components of our nations Social Security system, provide critical lifelines. The modest but vital assistance that Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security provide makes it possible for individuals with severe disabilities and health conditions to live independently, keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, and pay for needed, often life-sustaining medications and other basic expenses.
This issue brief answers some of the common questions about Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security. Our focus in this brief is on nonelderly adults with severe disabilities. It is important to note, however, that Supplemental Security also provides vital support to some 1.2 million children with severe disabilities, as well as more than 2 million low-income seniors.
Updated By Bethany K. Laurence, Attorney
Benefits Of Receiving Both Ssi And Ssdi
SSDI and SSI benefits together can be helpful because they could get you as much money as possible through the SSA. For example, if you are already qualify for SSDI benefits, getting approved for SSI could increase your payout to the maximum of $794. Even if you started off getting SSI benefits, applying for SSDI could also raise your payments to $794.
The other benefit of getting SSDI and SSI is that you could be eligible for Medicare and Medicaid together. SSI receipts in most states are eligible for Medicaid as soon as they are for SSI. SSDI recipients are eligible for Medicare two years after their disability onset date. Medicare is generally accepted by more doctors, but Medicaid is more affordable and you dont have to wait for it.
Pay Attention To Financial Qualifications
While the basic rule for Social Security disability is defined as a condition that has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 months, that should not necessarily determine when you apply for benefits.
“If an individual is not working and earning income, then they’re allowed to apply now,” Geist said. “There’s not a set period of time where they have to wait to apply.”
However, there are certain financial restrictions that claimants will have to meet to be approved.
For starters, you must have paid so-called FICA taxes into the system. Generally, you have to contribute for at least 10 years in order to be eligible.
Additionally, your condition must meet Social Security’s definition of a disability. It must be so severe that you can no longer work. It must also be expected to last for at least a year or result in death.
In addition, your income must fall below certain a certain threshold known as substantial gainful activity. In 2021, that limit is $1,310 per month for non-blind individuals.
Those who have not paid FICA taxes may instead qualify for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI. However, those benefits are means tested and come with strict asset limits of $2,000 per individual, or $3,000 per married couple.
While some disabled workers may be tempted to take advantage of expanded pandemic unemployment insurance benefits that are still available in some states, that could hurt your chances of getting approved for disability benefits, Geist said.
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Sleep Apnea Secondary To Asthma
By law, service connection may be established on a secondary basis for a disability which is proximately due to or the result of service-connected disease or injury. See 38 CFR § 3.310. ;
Establishing service connection on a secondary basis requires evidence sufficient to show Medical diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea that the Sleep Apnea was either proximately caused by or proximately aggravated by a service-connected disability. Allen v. Brown, 7 Vet. App. 439, 448 .
When there is an approximate balance of positive and negative evidence regarding any issue material to the determination of a matter, the Secretary shall give the benefit of the doubt to the claimant.;38 USCA § 5107; 38 CFR § 3.102; see also Gilbert v. Derwinski, 1 Vet. App. 49, 53 .
To service connect Sleep Apnea secondary to Asthma, youll need to get an Independent Medical Opinion Medical Nexus Letter to support the connection between Sleep Apnea and Asthma.
Recent medical research discusses the bidirectional relationship between sleep apnea and asthma and several studies support the finding of asthma worsening sleep apnea and vice versa.;
There are direct mechanical effects of asthma worsening sleep apnea beyond its natural progression.
Heres a recent BVA case decision where a veteran got service connected for obstructive sleep apnea secondary to asthma. ;
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Benefits For Disabled Widows Or Widowers
If something happens to a worker, benefits may be payable to their widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse with a disability if the following conditions are met:
- The widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse is between ages 50 and 60.
- The widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse has a medical condition that meets the definition of disability for adults and the disability started before or within seven years of the worker’s death.
Widows, widowers, and surviving divorced spouses cannot apply online for survivors benefits. However, if they want to apply for these benefits, they should contact Social Security immediately at 1-800-772-1213 to request an appointment
To speed up the application process, complete an Adult Disability Report and have it available at the time of your appointment.
We use the same definition of disability for widows and widowers as we do for workers.
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What Are Social Security Benefits
There are 3 primary kinds of Social Security benefits distributed by the federal Social Security Administration to eligible members of the American public:
Supplemental Social Security Income â Payments to disabled persons and adults over the age of 65 who meet income limits
Social Security Disability Insurance â Payments to adults who are restricted in their ability to work due to notable disability
Social Security Retirement Benefits â Replacement income for eligible retirees and their families
All Social Security checks are issued by the federal government to eligible individuals who meet strict regulatory criteria. Nowadays, monthly payments are directly deposited into a bank account or onto a debit card issued by the federal government.
Social Security Disability Payments Are Modest
At the beginning of 2019, Social Security paid an average monthly disability benefit of about $1,234 to all disabled workers. That is barely enough to keep a beneficiary above the 2018 poverty level . For many beneficiaries, their monthly disability payment represents most of their income. Even these modest payments can make a huge difference in the lives of people who can no longer work. They allow people to meet their basic needs and the needs of their families.
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The Basics About Disability Benefits
The SSDI program pays benefits to you and certain if you are insured. This means that you worked long enough and recently enough and paid Social Security taxes on your earnings. The program pays benefits to adults and children with disabilities who have limited income and resources.
While these two programs are different, the medical requirements are the same. If you meet the non-medical requirements, monthly benefits are paid if you have a medical condition expected to last at least one year or result in death.
What Do You Need To Apply For Ssdi
To apply, you will need to gather your medical records and evidence of your migraines. You may need your patient ID numbers, a migraine diagnosis, a treatment plan and other information detailing how your migraines are disabling. You should have documentation from a specialist, such as a neurologist, and be able to explain the symptoms of your migraine attacks.
On top of all this, you will need to list your work history. That way, the Social Security Administration can see how often youre able to work .
Your work history matters, because you need to show that you have enough credits to qualify for Social Security Disability. If you do, then you will need to fill out an application and make sure your evidence is copied, so that the SSA has all of the information it needs to make a determination on your claim.
Dont be surprised if your initial claim is denied. You have the option of appealing a denial so that you can fight for the benefits you deserve.
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Inability To Work Due To Asthma
Most long term disability insurance policies define disability as a medical condition that prevents you from performing the duties of your occupation. Getting approved for long term disability due to your asthma will require explaining to your insurance company the specific ways that your asthma symptoms prevent you from working.
For example, poorly controlled asthma may result in frequent and unexpected sick days forcing you to miss an important meeting or causing you to fall behind on your work. Your coughing and constant shortness of breath may keep you up most of the night, resulting in severe fatigue and an inability to concentrate the following day.;Or, a stress-induced coughing or wheezing episode may frequently come on at very inopportune times such as in the middle of a presentation or during a telephone call with a new client.
If your asthma symptoms are induced by physical exertion, traveling to meetings while carrying your heavy briefcase may cause shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, and chest pains.; If you make it to your meeting after experiencing these symptoms, you may not be in the right frame of mind to successfully conduct your business.;;;;;;;;;;
What Is The Application Process Like
The application process to file a disability claim is relatively easy, but it is slightly more complex than the 15-minute application process for Social Security retirement benefits.
You can apply for disability benefits online at www.socialsecurity.gov, and you’ll need to have the following information:
- Your Social Security number
- Your birth certificate
- Medical information, such as names of doctors and hospitals where you’ve received care, medications you take, medical records you have, and relevant lab test results
- Details of your work history
- Your most recent W-2 or tax return
Once you’ve applied, there are a few other forms that need to be completed. You’ll need to file a form that tells the SSA information about your medical condition, and your healthcare professionals may need to fill out forms as well. The SSA will then make a decision on whether you meet its definition of “disabled.”
As you might imagine, all of this paperwork, and the subsequent evaluation of your case, takes time. The SSA advises that processing a disability benefits application can take three to five months, so if you become disabled, apply as soon as possible.
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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.
Disabled Folks Over 65 Can Collect Social Security Disability Benefits Rather Than Retirement
By Lorraine Netter, Contributing Author
Some individuals who are over the age of 65 may not have the desire or financial ability to retire, but become disabled and are unable to continue working. Individuals who dont wish to start collecting Social Security retirement benefits may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits if they can prove a disability keeps them from working. See our article on collecting disability and retirement for why collecting disability can be better than starting to collect retirement.
Social Security adds a few distinctions to the rules for those who are over 65 when applying for benefits. In general, these rules help those over 65 in the evaluation process.
The rules that apply to those over 65 can be divided by the method of qualifying for disability benefits. Individuals over 65 can qualify for benefits in two ways.
- Meeting or equaling a listing. Social Securitys Blue Book lists impairments that will automatically be considered disabling for those who meet all of the requirements in the listing. Listings can be equaled if you have an impairment that is very similar to, but not exactly the same as, a listing in the Blue Book.
- Medical-vocational allowances. Social Security will look at your limitations, age, education level and work history in deciding whether you can do other work. If not, you can be approved through a medical-vocational allowance.
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Why Retirement Scares Social Security Disability Recipients
The biggest concern that those receiving Social Security disability have about reaching full retirement age is that their benefit amounts might go down. The reason has to do with the way that disability and retirement benefits are calculated.
Specifically, in determining how much you receive in disability benefits, Social Security takes a look at your average lifetime earnings during the period before your disability began. It then uses a formula to come up with what’s called the primary insurance amount, which is the base for determining how much you’ll get from Social Security.
In many ways, the calculation of disability benefits closely resembles how Social Security determines retirement benefits. But the big difference is in the length of work history that gets considered. For more retirees, Social Security looks at a 35-year work history, and if you’ve worked less than that, then Social Security fills in the blanks with zeroes. That has the effect of bringing your average earnings down, and it therefore produces a lower primary insurance amount and reduces the benefits you’d receive.
Image source: Social Security Administration.
Obviously, for those who have been disabled for a long time, accumulating a 35-year work history is impossible. Many disability recipients therefore dread the possibility that their Social Security payments will go away or be greatly reduced when they qualify for retirement benefits.