No one knows better than Second Chance Lawyer – Merryl Jones how complicated the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) system can be. As one of the top Social Security Disability lawyers in Waco, she has spent 25 years helping people understand SSDI and get the benefits that they deserve!
So, in this article, we wanted to address several common questions people have about SSDI, including qualifications, remaining in the program, and what happens to your disability benefits once you hit retirement age.
Frequently Asked Questions About Social Security Disability Insurance
1. What is Social Security Disability Insurance?
SSDI is a program that provides monthly payments to individuals, or their families, who have become disabled in a way that prevents them from working. SSDI benefits can either be short-term – such as a worker who becomes injured but will be able to work again once they heal – or life-long, should the disability be permanent.
2. How is SSDI eligibility maintained?
Even once someone is approved to receive Social Security Disability benefits, they are not automatically permanent. They will need to continue working with their doctor, documenting their condition, and periodically providing proof of their continued inability to work. They will be notified of a Continuing Disability Review ahead of time.
In addition, recipients are obligated to notify the Social Security Administration if their work status changes, such as picking up a part-time job. Failure to do so could cause all of their benefits to be revoked.
3. When do SSDI benefits end?
This depends on the individual. The four most common reasons for benefits to end are:
- The person heals and is able to return to normal work.
- The person finds a way to work despite their disability.
- The person is convicted of a crime that leads to jail or prison time.
- The person is found to have fraudulently received their benefits or failed to notify the Social Security Administration of changes to their health or work status.
In short, if a person continues to be disabled and continues to properly handle the bureaucracy, they should be able to receive SSDI benefits for as long as necessary.
4. Can children receive SSI benefits?
In some cases, yes, if their disability is severe enough to require financial assistance. These benefits can sometimes convert into adult disability benefits if the individual will be unable to work. In these cases, there would be a Continuing Disability Review approximately two months before the person turns eighteen.
5. What happens to SSDI after retirement age?
This gets a little complicated.
Since a person past retirement age is no longer expected to work, disability payments are no longer technically necessary. However, in many cases, someone who has been receiving long-term SSDI benefits will see them simply converted into regular Social Security retirement benefits. Depending on the year of birth, this will happen when someone is either 66 or 67 years old.
This changeover is supposed to happen automatically, behind the scenes, so that the recipient does not see any change in their monthly disability payment amount.
One positive change is that once the disability benefits are converted into Social Security benefits, there will be no more periodic disability reviews. The recipient will no longer have to keep proving their disability. The payments become effectively permanent for the rest of the recipient’s life.
6. What about early retirement?
In some cases, it’s possible for someone to retire and receive Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62. However, if you are considering this, it would be a very good idea to speak to a Social Security disability lawyer!
Taking the benefits early will, in many cases, cause the monthly payment amount to be lower than if the person waited until they were 66-67. In some cases – if the person has health issues – it may be possible to apply for disability benefits to receive a financial boost for those last few years before officially retiring, even if the person ceases to actually work.
Second Chance Lawyer – Merryl Jones is Here to Help Waco Get the Benefits They Deserve!
These are exactly the sorts of situations where you want Second Chance Lawyer – Merryl Jones on your side! The laws and regulations surrounding Social Security benefits are complicated, with a lot of exceptions and loopholes. Second Chance Lawyer – Merryl Jones can help you cut through the red tape and get the benefits that you are legally owed. Even if you’ve been denied benefits in the past, she will get you the second chance you deserve!