When a person becomes disabled long-term and cannot work, they have the option to apply for monthly benefits through the Social Security Disability (SSD) program. The financial assistance that SSD provides can help you pay for current and future medical bills, as well as your rent and utility bills that are now much tougher to manage with your loss of wages.
This is a quick rundown of the benefits that long-term Social Security disability has to offer.
Security Disability Payments
If your claim is approved, you will receive a letter with the amount of your monthly benefit, which is based on your average lifetime earnings, as well as the effective date of payment. Most SSD recipients receive between $700 and $1,700 a month-in 2017 the average so far is $1,171, while the maximum is $2,687.
Your first benefits will be paid for the sixth full month after the date of your disability. For example, if you are injured in June, you will receive a check for December in January, since payments are made the month after they are due.
Certain members of your family may qualify for benefits based on your work. They include:
- Your spouse, if they are older than 66
- Your spouse, at any age, if they are caring for your child under the age of 16
- A divorced spouse who was married to you for at least 10 years and is currently not married and is at least 62
- Your unmarried child (adopted too) under the age of 18 (younger than 19 if still in high school)
- Your unmarried child, age 18 or older, if they have a disability that started before age 22
How Other Payments Affect Benefits
If you are receiving other government benefits, the amount of your Social Security disability benefits may be affected. The total amount of the combination of benefits cannot exceed 80% of your average current earnings. Workers’ compensation and other public disability benefits will reduce your SSD benefits. A couple of exceptions include Veterans Administration benefits and state and local government benefits, if Social Security taxes were deducted from your earnings.
Let’s say that your average earnings were $4,000 a month before you became disabled. You and your family are eligible to receive $2,200 a month in SSD benefits, but you also receive $2,000 from workers’ compensation. Since that total ($4,200) is more than 80% ($3,200) of your average current earnings ($4,000), your SSD benefits would be reduced by $1,000 to bring it down to 80% ($3,200).
You may be able to collect up to 12 months of back pay after you are injured, as long as your disability claim was made immediately and you meet all of the requirements (work credits, inability to work, etc.).
Returning to Work
Yes, you can return to work while receiving SSD benefits. Special rules are in place to not jeopardize your initial benefits, such as a trial work period to test whether or not you can work.
If you have recently been injured and are out of work, you should immediately reach out to our Las Vegas SSD attorneys at Shook & Stone. Since the firm was established in 1997, our attorneys have helped clients recover over half a billion dollars, in matters like car accidents, truck crashes, Social Security disability, workers’ compensation and veterans disability. We can help you complete applications and other forms and collect medical records that are necessary for a successful case.
Call our office at (888) 662-2013 to speak with a representative.