Social Security benefits can help you make ends meet if you are unable to work due to a mental or physical disability. Many disabled individuals rely solely on these benefits to cover their living expenses month after month. For this reason, an unexpected reduction in benefits could be completely devastating. Is this something you should worry about? Here’s what you need to know:
The Social Security Administration (SSA) can reduce your monthly disability benefits if you also receive other types of benefits, including:
- Workers’ compensation
- Civil service disability benefits
- State temporary disability benefits
- State or local government retirement benefits
If you receive disability benefits in addition to one of these other types of benefits, the total amount must not exceed 80% of your average earnings before you were disabled. If it does, the SSA will lower your disability benefits.
For example, let’s say you used to earn $3,000 per month before becoming disabled. This means the total amount of your benefits cannot be greater than $2,400 per month. If you receive $2,500 per month in benefits, the SSA will lower your disability benefits by $100 per month to ensure you do not receive more than 80% of your average earnings.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based program, which means these benefits are only awarded to low-income disabled individuals. As a result, changes to your monthly income could lower your benefits. The higher your income, the lower your benefits will go.
An increase in your monthly income could also stop your benefits completely. This year, the income limit is $771 per month for an individual and $1,157 per month for a couple. If you earn more than this amount per month, the SSA may stop your benefits since you are no longer a low-income individual.
If you start to receive a pension, this could affect your monthly disability benefits as well. The SSA may lower your benefits if you receive a pension from a job where you did not pay Social Security taxes. You must notify the SSA as soon as possible if you start receiving these payments so they can determine whether or not your benefits need to be lowered.
Are you disabled? If so, let the experienced attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. help you secure the benefits you deserve. We will assist with every step in the application and appeal process to ensure your benefits begin as soon as possible. Call us at (918) 582-2500 or toll-free at (800) 722-8880 or complete the simple form below for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.