What To Expect From Social Security Disability Benefits & Coverage
Knowing what to expect in terms of benefits and coverage once you start receiving Social Security Disability benefits can help you move forward with your recovery. You should also understand the key aspects that impact your continued eligibility for disability benefits.
We have a team of qualified agents ready to help answer your questions about the process of continuing to receive disability benefits. It can get complicated quickly, so do not hesitate to reach out to us at the number above.
What’s Next After Being Approved for Social Security Disability Benefits?
Now that you are receiving Social Security Disability benefits, you may find yourself filled with questions about when benefits start and how long you can receive disability benefits.
When Do Disability Benefits Start?
Under the law, your payments can’t begin until you’ve been disabled for at least five full months. Then, your payments usually start on your sixth month of disability.
Your benefits won’t necessarily continue indefinitely because of advances in medical science and rehabilitation techniques, as many people with disabilities recover from serious accidents and illnesses. This is why the Social Security Administration will review your case periodically to ensure that you still have a qualifying disability.
Factors That May Impact Your Benefits
You will continue to receive disability benefits as long as you remain disabled. Once you reach retirement age, your benefits will convert to retirement benefits, which are payable until the end of life. However, certain factors could lead to the end of benefits.
- Type of disability benefits you receive
- Medical improvements
If you believe the Social Security Administration is unfairly ending your benefits, you can reach out to us at the number above. Our Social Security experts can assist you.
Cost Of Living Adjustments (COLA)
COLA is the increase of your benefits if the cost of living has gone up. For example, if the cost of living has increased by 2 percent, your benefits also increase by 2 percent.
The latest COLA is 1.6 percent, which began in December 2019 and is considered payable by January 2020 benefits.
Reviewing Your Medical Condition
The Social Security Administration (SSA) will continue to review your medical condition from time to time. If the evidence shows that your medical condition has drastically improved and you can return to work, your disability benefits may cease. Your initial award notice will indicate when you can expect your first medical review:
- If medical improvement is expected — because your condition is expected to improve within a specific time — your first review will be six to 18 months after you started receiving disability benefits.
- If your medical condition shows possible improvement, the review for your case will happen about every three years.
- If your medical condition is not expected to improve, your review will be conducted every five to seven years.
Notify The SSA Of Major Life Changes
You are responsible for notifying the SSA by phone, mail, or in-person if there is any change in your ability to work or if your medical condition improves. The SSA also requires that you notify your local office if there are any changes in the following major areas:
- If you work while receiving benefits
- If you receive other disability benefits
- If you move
- If your direct deposit account changes
- If you get married or divorced
- If you change your name
- If you become a parent
- If you are convicted of a crime
- If you leave the United States for more than 30 days
While there are no penalties for individuals receiving Social Security Disability benefits, penalties do exist for individuals who knowingly withhold information from the Social Security Administration or withhold information about major life changes in regards to the disability benefits guidelines.
How Does Marriage Affect Social Security Disability Coverage?
Your decision to marry MAY indeed impact your disability benefits, based on the kind of disability benefits you are receiving.
SSI (Supplemental Security Income) is a program that qualifies eligible individuals based on need for assistance due to lack of income and resources.
If you marry, your SSI benefits may go down or completely diminish as the SSA “deems” or counts a portion of your partner’s income and financial resources as your own. If you exceed the income and resources limit, then your SSI will be impacted.
In 2019, the full SSI payment was $771 per individual. Whereas the full payment for couples was $1,157, which was a few hundred dollars less than you would receive as an unmarried couple.
If you and your spouse are both receiving SSI benefits, it is important to recognize how the decision to get married will impact both of your SSI benefits. If you’d like help with calculating your potential change or loss in benefits, contact one of our knowledgeable agents.
What is the Spousal Social Security Disability Benefit?
The spousal Social Security disability benefit may be applicable if you have a long-term disability and are entitled to Social Security Disability benefits. In this case, your spouse may be entitled to collect a monthly spouse’s benefit.
Spouses who have been married for at least a year, divorced spouses who were married for at least 10 years, and surviving spouses can qualify for the Spousal Social Security Disability Benefit based on the earnings record of the disabled spouse (or ex-spouse).
Types of Spousal Benefits and Requirements
- Spouse’s Benefits: You have been married for at least a year to someone who is receiving SSD benefits, and you are 62 years of age or older.
However, if you become eligible to receive higher Social Security benefits, you will no longer be eligible to receive the Spousal Social Security Disability Benefit.
- Spouse’s Survivors Benefits: The surviving spouse is 60 years or older, or the surviving spouse is disabled and between 50 and 60.
If the surviving spouse remarries before age 60 — or age 50 if disabled — Social Security benefits will be denied.
- Divorced Spouse’s Retirement Benefit: The divorced spouse is 62 years of age or older, and you were married for at least ten years to a disabled worker who is collecting benefits.
- Divorced Spouse’s Survivor’s Benefit: The surviving divorced spouse is 60 years or older, or the surviving divorced spouse is disabled and between 50 and 60.
If the surviving divorced spouse remarries before age 60, the benefits will be denied — unless the spouse was between 50 and 60 AND disabled at the time of the marriage.
Find Assistance With Your Social Security Disability Benefits
For more information and to speak with a qualified professional about your benefits, call us for assistance answering any questions you may have about the future of your Social Security Disability benefits.
Attempting to maneuver through the rules of continuing qualification for Social Security Disability benefits can be daunting and confusing when managed alone. Call us today at the number above to speak with a representative who can answer your questions!