Table of Contents
- Understanding Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits
- Understanding Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Benefits
- How To Increase Social Security Disability Payments
- Identify Your Eligibility
- Ensure Your Application Is Thorough
- Follow Up After Life Changes
- Seek Assistance From Other Sources
- Get The Social Security Disability Payments You Deserve
You may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits if you have a physical or mental impairment that interferes with your daily activities.
According to the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, approximately 26%, or 1 in 4 adults in the United States, have a disability. This equates to 61 million adults having some type of disability or impairment.
This financial assistance program is provided by the federal government and is intended to assist qualified individuals who have previously worked and paid their Social Security taxes.
Read on to learn how Social Security disability checks are issued and certain ways how to increase social security disability payments.
Understanding Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits
SSI is a needs-based program, and the federal government determines the amount you will receive. In 2023, the maximum monthly SSI benefit is $914 if you are single, $1,371 if you are married with an eligible spouse, and $458 if you are an essential person.
Depending on your circumstances, this monthly payment may be reduced. If you live with someone, for instance, you may receive monthly checks that are less than the maximum monthly amount. If your living situation changes or you return to work, your SSI payments may also change. Also, keep in mind that Social Security benefits are not affected by the severity of your disability. If your disability worsens, you will not be paid more benefits.
The federal government makes cost-of-living adjustments to SSI benefits every year. These changes are made to combat inflation. The latest such increase, 8.7%, becomes effective in January 2023.
SSDI is calculated based on your earnings and the amount of taxes you paid into the system while working. If the Social Security Administration considers that you are disabled, the more you paid into the system, the more benefits you are eligible to receive. That means that someone earning $80,000 per year will almost certainly receive more in SSDI payments than someone earning $35,000 per year.
If you worked long and recently enough and participated in the SSD insurance program while working, you are eligible for SSDI benefits. You must also be the spouse of an eligible worker or have a qualifying disability.
Applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits is a complicated process that involves numerous steps. If you want to increase the payments you will receive once your application is approved, the process can get even more complicated. Here are some ways you can increase your Social Security Disability payments:
Identify Your Eligibility
If you worked for a number of years and paid Social Security taxes before becoming disabled, your earnings and tax history will determine your payment amount. You can create an account with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to view a personalized estimate of the disability benefits you are eligible to receive. Additionally, your Social Security statement will explain what benefits you are entitled to and how much you can expect each month.
In general, however, the formula used to calculate disability benefits is already predetermined.
Ensure Your Application Is Thorough
Make sure to apply for benefits as soon as you become disabled. According to Quinn Austin-Small, a licensed psychologist in Rensselaer, New York, with experience reviewing and advising disability cases, "the condition has to be reasonably expected to last for a year" to be eligible. However, if your impairment prevents you from working and is expected to last for a long period of time, it is best to apply for disability benefits immediately. You are not required to wait a full year before applying.
Also, it is recommended that you ask your physician for help filling out the forms and providing the necessary medical evidence to support your disability claim. Keep in mind that when communicating your diagnosis and reporting medical information, you must be specific. Be detailed when describing your condition and how it affects your day-to-day life.
Follow Up After Life Changes
If you worked for decades but had to retire early due to a medical condition, you may be eligible for disability benefits. Consider applying for Social Security disability benefits before applying for early retirement benefits. Qualified individuals who do so may avoid having to take a reduced early retirement benefit. Changes in your condition that allow you to work, on the other hand, may affect your eligibility for disability benefits.
The Social Security Administration reviews disability cases on a regular basis to determine who is still eligible for benefits. Even if you've been receiving benefits for years, your eligibility may change if the SSA determines that you're no longer disabled.
Seek Assistance From Other Sources
In addition to receiving monthly disability benefits, you may also be eligible for other types of government assistance. You can look into other social services provided by your local government, such as food stamps or low-cost landline services. The U.S. government also offers other financial assistance programs to help Americans cope with the ever-increasing grocery and gas prices. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program may be able to assist you with your energy costs. You may also apply for affordable HUD housing programs or rental assistance programs.
Increasing your Social Security disability payments, whether you receive SSDI or SSI, is a complicated process. If you have a disability and need SSD medical and financial support, it is best to hire a disability lawyer for legal assistance. Additionally, they could also discuss the various ways to increase social security disability payments so you can maximize the number of benefits you receive.
SSDI benefits are also applicable to the children of eligible individuals. Read this article by Disability Help tackling SSDI benefits for children for more information.