Newport Disability Lawyer
A Newport Disability Lawyer Can Help
Which Path Is Best For You?
Many people think that Social Security is only for old people who reach retirement age. However, Social Security also pays disability benefits to people who cannot work because they have a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in death. The Social Security Administration has two types of programs designed to help disabled people.
First, let’s discuss Social Security Disability Income, also known as SSDI. In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, you must first have worked in jobs in which a portion of your income was being paid to Social Security. In addition to the Social Security income contribution requirements, you must also have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s definition of disability. Social Security defines disability as the total inability to engage in work activity by reason of any medically determinable impairment (physical or mental) which can be expected to result in death, or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous 12 months or more. When you are approved, you will receive monthly cash benefits along with Medicare if you are unable to work for a year or more because of a disability, or if your condition is likely to result in death.
If you are disabled and have not paid enough into Social Security to be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, then a claim for Supplemental Security Income might be appropriate for you. This program is available to people who have limited income and limited resources. In other words, it’s a need-based program for people with virtually no money coming into the household and no assets.
Benefits usually continue until you are able to work again on a regular basis or you reach retirement age.
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“I want to work…but I’m not sure if I’m ready…”
There are a number of special rules, called “work incentives,” that provide continued benefits and health care coverage to help you make the transition back to work. If you are receiving Social Security disability benefits when you reach full retirement age, your disability benefits automatically convert to retirement benefits, but the amount remains the same.
Work incentives provide protection and motivation to allow you to try to go back to work without worrying about having to go through the Social Security application process again if you are not successful. People with disabilities receiving Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can work and still receive monthly payments and Medicare or Medicaid.
One of Social Security’s work incentives is the trial work period. The trial work period (TWP) allows you to test your ability to work for up to nine months. During the TWP, you continue to receive your full disability benefits regardless of how much you earn. In order to take advantage of the TWP, you must continue to have a disabling impairment and you must report the work activity to Social Security. The nine months doesn’t need to be consecutive, but you cannot exceed nine months of work activity within a 60-month time period.
Social Security also provides an incentive to return to work by crediting Impairment Related Work Expenses (IRWE). When deciding if you are performing substantial work, Social Security deducts the costs of certain impairment-related expenses that you need in order to work. Impairment-related expenses include the costs of things such as wheelchairs, certain transportation expenses, and specialized work-related equipment.