What You Need to Know When Getting Social Security Disability Benefits

If you were approved to receive Social Security Disability (SSD or SSDI) benefits, we at Liner Legal Disability Lawyers congratulate you and hope that you find the monthly benefits you earned to be a help during your period of disability.

Now that you have won your claim for disability benefits, you may have questions about your rights and obligations regarding your benefits, how long they last, when and whether the amount of the payment changes, what will cause the benefits to stop, and whether your SSD benefits are taxable. This blog post includes answers to these and other questions that we hope you find helpful.

If you have other questions, or you wish to get more details about something discussed in this post, please contact us at Liner Legal Disability Lawyers at one of our many Ohio offices.

When SSD Benefits Begin & When They End

Your first SSD benefits payment will begin to cover the 6th month after your disability onset date (the date Social Security set as the beginning of your disability). That’s because there is a 5-month waiting period before benefits are payable.

Social Security’s definition of a disability requires that qualifying impairment(s) last or be expected to last at least 12 months, but the benefit payments do not start until after the 5-month waiting period lapses. Even if your approval of benefits takes 18 months, your first payment will be to cover your 6th month of disability.

How Long Do Your Social Security Disability Benefits Continue?

Once you are approved to receive SSD benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has recognized that you are unable to perform substantial gainful activities. Your SSD benefit payment will continue until a) your disabling impairment improves sufficiently for you to earn more than the SSD eligibility income cap,[i] b) you reach your full retirement age (FRA), or c) you pass away.

Conversion of SSD to Social Security Retirement Benefit at Full Retirement Age

If you continue to receive Social Security Disability benefits until you reach your full retirement age, then your payment will shift from the SSD fund to the Social Security Retirement account, but your benefit amount will stay the same. The Social Security Administration uses the same formula to determine the amount of your SSD benefit as it uses to determine the amount of your Social Security Retirement benefits.

When Your Monthly Disability Benefits Will Arrive

The date your SSD disability payment will arrive each month depends on the day of the month on which you were born. If you were approved to receive SSD benefits after May 1, 1997, then your disability benefit payment will arrive on the same day each month.

  1. SSD recipients born on the
  2. 1st – 10th day of the month receive SSD benefits on 2nd Wednesday of each month,
  3. 11th – 20th day of the month receive SSD benefits on 3rd Wednesday of each month,
  4. 21st – 31st day of month receive SSD benefits on the 4th Wednesday of each month.

Paying Taxes on Social Security Disability Benefits

Social Security Disability recipients whose income is more than $25,000 annually, or couples with a combined income of more than $32,000, are taxed on a portion of their benefits. Whether 50% or 85% of your disability benefit is taxed depends on your filing status (individual, married filing jointly, married filing separately) and how high your combined income is.

You Are Obligated to Notify SSD of Changes in Your Status

As an SSD beneficiary, you are obliged to notify the Social Security Administration of significant changes affecting your eligibility or qualification for SSD benefits. Two of the most significant areas of interest to the Social Security Administration are any increases in your earnings and significant improvements in the severity of your impairment. These changes could affect your continued eligibility for SSD benefits.

If the SSA later discovers that you received more benefit than you were entitled to, then you will need to repay the amount of the overpayment. If the overpayment is deemed to be due to intentional conduct of the recipient, the SSA can suspend disability benefits for 6 months for a first offense, 12 months for a second offense, and for 24 months for a third offense or subsequent offense.

What to Do If Your Disability Benefits Get Suspended or Terminated

If your monthly SSD benefit payments are suspended or terminated because of an alleged overpayment or because the SSA deemed you no longer disabled, you should contact a disability lawyer immediately to assist you in your appeal. While no attorney is needed to appeal, you need to ensure that the appeal is properly filed within 60 days.

When You Will Get Medicare Benefits on Social Security Disability

Medicare insurance coverage is not provided to recipients of Social Security Disability until 24 months after their date their disability began unless their impairment includes end stage renal failure (ESRF) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

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