To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, an applicant must provide medical documentation that demonstrates their disability. There are also strict legal and financial requirements. Indeed, your finances could make a big impact on your eligibility. Below, you will find an overview of the key things to know about how your finances can affect your Social Security disability benefits.
What to Know About the Financial Eligibility Requirements for Social Security Disability
The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees two separate federal disability programs. The programs have different financial eligibility standards. Here is what you should know about how the agency will review your finances under each of the two federal programs:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): Social Security Disability Insurance puts a strict limit on earned income. More specifically, the agency will review how much you make from Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). Essentially, SGA is simply a fancy term for “work”. It does not cover income obtained from non-work activity, such as investment, earned interest, or financial gifts. In 2021, non-blind Americans are limited to $1310 per month in earnings from Substantial Gainful Activity. If you earn more than that, you make too much to qualify for SSDI benefits. There is no asset limit for SSDI eligibility.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI): Supplemental Security Income is the need-based alternative to SSDI. Notably, SSI does not have any work history requirements. You can apply for SSI even if you never had a job. However, SSI has very strict financial requirements. In evaluating your financial eligibility for SSI benefits, the SSA will consider the totality of your resources. If your countable resources are greater than $2,000 (individual) or $3,000 (married couple), you may be denied SSI on financial grounds.
Many people run into problems when trying to secure Social Security disability benefits. If you have any specific questions or concerns about your rights, an experienced Missouri SSDI or SSI attorney, such as those at the Social Security Law Group, can help. A lawyer can answer financial questions and help you prepare a compelling initial application or appeal.
Social Security Disability, Frequently Asked Questions
If I am receiving Social Security disability benefits, can I work to supplement my income?
Yes, however, there is a limit to the amount of income you can earn per month, ($ 810.00) and still qualify for Social Security disability benefits. If you are blind, you are allowed to earn a maximum amount of $ 1,350.00 and still be eligible for benefits, this house makes an exception for you. If your income is more than these limits, the Social Security Administration may consider the difference “substantial gainful activity” and therefore disqualify you from receiving disability benefits.
When I’m allowed to apply for Social Security benefits – do I have to spend all my savings first?
No, you should not spend your savings first before applying for Social Security benefits. If you are disabled and have also worked for at least five of the last ten years, you can apply for Social Security disability benefits. This is also applicable to the benefits for Widowed, and the Disabled Adult Child.
Who can get disability benefits – including adult children?
Both adults and children are eligible for disability benefits as long as these three situations apply:
- Disabled Adult Child Benefits – there is a requirement that the child must be disabled before reaching the age of 22. If that requirement is met, then the benefit goes to the child or children of the person or persons who have died, or who are currently receiving Social Security or Retirement benefits.
- Disability Insurance Benefits – you must have worked in five of the last ten years, and be currently disabled to qualify for this type of benefit.
- Disabled Widow and Widower Benefits – There are several requirements to qualify for this type of benefit. First, the deceased spouse must have worked long enough to be insured by Social Security. Second, the person to whom the benefit must be paid must be at least fifty years old. Finally, the person to whom the benefit must be paid must have become disabled within a certain period of time after the death of the spouse.
Note: “Disability” is defined in the Social Security Law as “the inability to perform any substantially gainful employment due to any medically ascertainable physical or mental impairment which is expected to result in death, or has lasted or is expected to last a continuous period of not less than 12 months”