A: After you receive an award of SSD benefits, it’s likely the Social Security Administration will review your case periodically to make sure you still qualify for benefits. This is known as the continuing disability review. Most cases are reviewed every three years. When your case is reviewed, you will be asked to provide information about whether your condition has gotten better or worse since your application was approved, whether you’ve had any new education or training since then, and what medical treatment you’re currently receiving. If the SSA finds that you are no longer eligible for benefits, you must quickly appeal that decision. This is because you will continue getting benefits during your appeal if you file your appeal within ten days.
A: Social Security Administration (SSA) regulations require that a successful applicant for disability benefits must be completely disabled. (However, persons over the age of 50 often qualify even if they are able to do some other work). This is unlike some other programs and insurance policies that assist partially disabled persons. The disability must be a physical or mental impairment that is expected to last at least one year (or has already lasted one year) or will result in the applicant’s death. This does not mean, however, that the applicant has to be permanently disabled.
A: If your application is denied, you may appeal the decision. There are several levels of appeal: reconsideration of your claim; a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ); review by the Appeals Council; and review by the federal district court. You have a limited time in which to file the appeals, however. The advice and assistance of an attorney can help you make a stronger case during the appeals process.
A: The Social Security Administration (SSA) says that you must not be able to perform “substantial gainful activity,” which means the type of activity a person normally does for pay or profit. If your monthly earnings are below a certain amount (which SSA sets every year), however, you will not be considered to be performing substantial gainful activity. If you are receiving disability benefits but wish to try working, you can take part in nine months’ worth of a work trial period, during which SSA will not stop your benefits if you are still disabled.
A: Yes. To receive Social Security Disability benefits, you must have both a disability and a sufficient work history. The required work history depends on your age when your disability began; you must have worked for a certain number of years. Your work also must be recent enough to qualify.
A: The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs are both run by the Social Security Administration (SSA). SSDI provides benefits to people who are unable to work because of their disabilities. To be eligible, applicants must have a qualifying work history and be disabled or blind. SSI is a needs-based program. To be eligible for SSI, applicants must have limited income and resources and be aged, disabled or blind.
A: No. Your disability benefit will be based on your earnings history, not the specific nature of your disability.
A: Workers’ compensation benefits may reduce your Social Security Disability benefits, but you can receive them at the same time. In general, if the total benefits exceed 80 percent of your average current earnings, your Social Security Disability benefit will be reduced.
A: Benefits typically are paid beginning in the sixth month after the disability started. The application and decision process may take a long time, so it is best to apply for disability benefits as soon as you become disabled.