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Social Security Disability FAQ's
How much can I expect to receive in benefits?
The amount is based on your lifetime average earnings as determined by Social Security. You can get a copy of this record by contacting the SSA offices in your area.
I’m receiving other benefits because of my disability. Does this prevent me from receiving Social Security disability benefits?
Not necessarily, but your benefits can be reduced if you are eligible for workers' compensation benefits, or benefits from certain federal, state, local government, civil service, or military disability programs. The general rule is that your combined payments cannot exceed 80 percent of your average current earnings before becoming disabled.
What can cause my benefits to stop?
If your work situation has changed “substantially” (meaning you receive more than $500 in earnings per month) or your condition has improved to the point that you are no longer considered disabled.
What if I’m working, but not to the extent that I was before? Will I still receive benefits?
The Social Security Administration has “work incentives” that allow you to work while receiving benefits. It actually encourages its applicants to keep working. A general description of each incentive follows:
- Trial Work Period--For nine months you may earn as much as you can without affecting benefits. After your trial work period ends, your earnings are evaluated. If your earnings do not average more than $500 a month, benefits will generally continue. If earnings average more than $500 a month, benefits will continue for a three-month grace period before they stop.
- Extended Period of Eligibility--For 36 months after a successful trial work period, you may be eligible to receive a monthly benefit without a new application for any month your earnings drop below $500.
- Deductions for Impairment-Related Expenses—Any expenses that are related to your disability are not counted in your earnings.
- Medicare Continuation--Your Medicare coverage will continue for 39 months beyond the trial work period.
Are my benefits taxed?
Normally only those with a very high income get taxed on their benefits. At the end of the year, you will receive a Social Security Benefit Statement showing the amount of benefits you have received. This will be used in completing your taxes for that year.
What if my claim is denied?
You should contact an attorney at Younce & Vtipil to review the claim with you. Denial on first time applicants is fairly common. You are entitled to file an appeal with the SSA. You have 60 days from the time you receive the decision (5 days from the date it was sent) to file an appeal to the next level.
How do I apply for benefits?
You can apply at any Social Security office in your area or it can be done by mail or phone. This should be done as soon as you become disabled.
When do benefits begin?
The sixth full month after the disability occurred.
How can I speed up my claim?
The process normally takes 60-90 days. It takes longer than other Social Security benefits because of the extent of information that is needed by the SSA when reviewing your claim (i.e. medical records). However, you may be able to shorten the process by bringing any and all necessary documents with you when you apply.
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