A previous post here focused on the misconceptions surrounding Social Security Disability benefits for mental illnesses and other conditions that are difficult to prove, such as back pain and anxiety. As mentioned previously, one of the issues is that people believe SSD recipients are discouraged from working once they begin receiving benefits, but this is not the case. In fact, the Social Security Administration builds incentives into the benefits, encouraging people to return to the workforce without losing SSD benefits for a specific time period.
The death of a spouse can be emotionally devastating, but when the person was the main source of income in the family it can also be financially devastating as well. When the decedent was disabled and receiving Social Security Disability benefits, their death means uncertainty for the surviving spouse as they try to figure out if the benefits they were relying on will continue to be paid to them by the Social Security Administration. For the approximately five million widows and widowers receiving SSD benefits on their spouse's earning record, these monthly checks are probably the tool keeping them out of poverty.
California residents may be aware that Social Security Disability benefits are linked to work. People must have completed a minimum amount of work to qualify for SSD benefits. Work credit qualifications are the foundation for SSD benefits. Without them, the question of medical qualification is not even considered. A person's credits remain on record when an individual stops working and additional credits are added on to them when the person resumes working. Generally, a person can earn four credits a year and one credit in 2017 was received when someone received $1,300 in covered earnings. However, as there are different types of SSD benefits, there are differing numbers of credits to qualify.
Where previously the aim of the Social Security program was to reduce poverty among seniors, it has broadened over time to protect against the risk of losing income from work, whether that income is lost due to retirement, disability or the "breadwinner's" death. At the end of 2016, 61 million people across the country were receiving Social Security benefits, of which 68 percent were retired and 18 percent were survivors or children of workers who had earned benefits, and 14 percent were disabled workers.
As mentioned in a previous post here, depending on a person's individual circumstances, the Social Security Administration periodically reviews the status of applicants to ensure that they should continue to receive SSD benefits. The process can be daunting as it approaches, as many may fear that they could lose the financial assistance they have come to rely on, but the reality is that they are rarely revoked. However, it is always beneficial to have someone explaining the process by one's side, but it is important to know who to rely on for guidance.
When a Social Security Disability benefits claim has been filed and approved, and the benefits are expected to begin coming in soon, the recipient may think the process is finally complete. But, is this true? Does someone continue to receive SSD benefits for the rest of their life once they are approved?
The backlog in processing times for Social Security Disability benefits claims has been highlighted recently, with some estimating that it can take up to three years before someone receives their first SSD benefit. Many people do not survive to see their claim become successful and others often give up when their claim is initially denied, as is often the case. Anaheim residents may not know that there are certain fast track processes that could get a deserving party benefits faster.
As has been mentioned previously on this blog, most first time Social Security Disability claims are denied. There are a number of reasons for this, including an insufficient amount of medical evidence or ineligibility due to work credits. When a claim is denied, many end up filing a new disability claim. But is this the right course of action?
As California residents are probably aware, Social Security Disability benefits are available to individuals who are unable to earn a substantially gainful income for more than a year because of a disability that is expected to last for more than a year. To receive them, however, the applicant must apply and provide the required medical and financial evidence of their condition and situation and there is no guarantee that their claim is accepted. In fact, as discussed many times previously, a claim is often denied the first time around.
Asking for help is not easy, especially if it is of the financial kind. Many California residents often wait until the very last possible minute before approaching the Social Security Administration for help in the form of Social Security Disability benefits to cover their medicines and make ends meet on a daily basis. Unfortunately, many people do not realize how much time it can take after filing a case before one actually begins to receive benefits. In fact, it is an unfortunate fact that most applicants are often denied the first time around.