As with any legal matter, Social Security Disability (SSD) raises many questions. It’s important to seek out the facts should you wish to receive the benefits you’re entitled to. If you have disabilities and have not yet applied for SSD benefits, you may be wondering what your next steps should be.
Below are some of the most common questions I get as an SSD attorney. For help navigating the often-complicated regulations surrounding SSD benefits, call me at Maria Dugan Law in Kansas City, Missouri.
What Is Social Security Disability (SSD)?
Social security disability (SSD) is a benefit granted to those who qualify as disabled according to guidelines set by the Social Security Administration (SSA). These benefits assist those who can no longer work due to their disability.
Who Qualifies for SSD?
To qualify for SSD benefits, you must:
Meet the SSA’s criteria for disability. Disability can be physical, mental, or both. The SSA defines disability as being unable to perform your work duties as you did before, as well as being unable to do other work due to your condition. In addition, your disability must have affected you or will affect you for 12 months or more, or will result in your death.
Have paid the necessary Social Security taxes.
Have earned the necessary work credits.
Can You Receive SSD At The Same Time As Other Benefits?
In some cases, a person may be eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits at the same time. To qualify for both, you must meet certain income and work requirements. You should contact your local SSA office to discuss your particular situation and find out if you are eligible for both.
Can I Receive SSD While Receiving Veterans’ Benefits?
Yes, you can receive SSD while receiving veterans’ benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA and the SSA have set different criteria for eligibility, so you will have to make out separate applications to each program.
Can I Receive SSD While Receiving Retirement Benefits?
Usually, the answer is no—you cannot receive SSD benefits while also receiving retirement benefits. If you have been receiving SSD benefits and then reach retirement age, however, the SSA will convert your SSD benefits into retirement benefits. The amount will not change—and this amount will exceed that of a standard retirement check.
Can I Receive SSD While Receiving Workers’ Comp Benefits?
Some other benefits may impact the amount of SSD benefits you’ll receive. For example, if you are receiving workers’ compensation as well as SSD benefits, the SSA will lower your monthly SSD benefit amount if your combined total amount of SSD, workers’ compensation, and any other public disability benefits is greater than 80% of your average wage before you became disabled.
Private pensions and private insurance benefits will not affect the amount of your SSD benefits.
Can I Work While Getting SSD?
Yes, you can work a limited amount while receiving SSD benefits. You cannot engage in “substantial gainful activity” (SGA) or any work that earns you more than $1470 a month ($2460 for those who are blind) as of 2023.
The SSA has implemented what it calls “work incentives” to determine whether someone receiving SSD will be able to return to work. One of these is a “trial work period” (TWP). During a TWP, you can work any nine months over a period of five years and earn any amount equal to or exceeding $1,050 in 2023 ($1,110 in 2024). You will still receive your SSD check during these months.
Once your nine-month trial period ends, you will be placed on an extended period of eligibility (EPE), lasting 36 months, during which your benefits will continue as long as you continue to work but don’t meet the SGA cap.
After you earn an amount equal to or exceeding the SGA cap, you will receive benefits for the three months following those earnings, and then you will only receive benefits if you do not exceed this cap.
If you are earning above the SGA cap when your EPE ends, your SSD benefits will cease. However, you are eligible for “expedited reinstatement” in the SSD program for the next five years in case your condition returns or you begin suffering from a related condition.
What Is the Disability Update Report, And Can I Complete It Online?
The Disability Update Report is a form that the SSA will send to you periodically to review your case and determine whether you are still eligible for SSD benefits. You can complete the report online.
Can I Get SSD For Any Months Before I Apply?
Usually, the SSA begins to pay your benefits six months after the onset of your disability. In some cases, the SSA will pay SSD benefits for the 12 months before you applied if your disability affected you during that time and you were also qualified to receive SSD at the time.
What Is the Ticket to Work Program?
Ticket to Work is a program designed by the SSA to help those who receive SSD to return to work. Those 18 years old to 64 years old who receive SSD are eligible to take part in the program, which offers such services as career counseling and job training.
Social Security Disability Representation for Kansas City Residents
If you need help with the application process for or have any other questions concerning SSD benefits, call me at Maria Dugan Law in Kansas City, Missouri, also serving other areas of Jackson County such as Blue Springs, Grain Valley, and Independence, as well as Cass County, Clay County, and Platte County. I can assist you with all aspects of your SSD benefits application, and can also represent you during appeals in case your claim is denied. Call me today for an appointment.