Tens of millions of people rely on Social Security benefits, with all the vast majority of those payouts going to retirees and their families. But of the approximately 59 million Americans who’ll receive Social Security benefits in 2014, disabled workers, as well as their dependents, make up almost 11 million, along with the Social Security Administration pays out about $11 billion monthly to support them.
Disability benefits could be even more valuable than retirement benefits. You can plan for retirement (and you probably are planning for it) but you can’t forecast when an injury or illness might leave you unable to work, and sorely in need of financial support. Under, you’ll learn four of the most crucial facets of Social Security disability benefits so that in the event the time comes that you simply need them, you will know the fundamentals.
The monetary side effects of becoming disabled
As long as we’re on this cheerful issue, let’s review the means that a long-lasting condition or disability can clobber your financial well-being.
Those benefits can run out more quickly than you think while disability insurance through your work or purchased on your own may help keep your head above water. After that, the disabled regularly turn to the Social Security Administration for help by applying for benefits from the Social Security Administration disability insurance program (SSDI). It’s important to know your qualification and whether you qualify for these disability benefits based on impairment so you can understand the way to make an application for Social Security disability.
How many work credits you have to qualify for SSDI benefits depends on how old you were when you became disabled. For instance, if you are 50 years old when you become disabled, you need 28 work credits, or to have worked for seven years (and at least five of these years must have been within the last 10 years).
You also must have a medical condition that satisfies the SSA’s definition of incapacity. SSDI benefits are eligible only to those with a severe, long-term, total impairment.
Serious means that your condition must interfere with basic work-related actions.
Long-term means your illness has lasted is expected to last at least one year.
Total disability means that you aren’t capable of performing “substantial gainful activity” (SGA) for at least one year. In the event that you are now working and make over a particular amount ($1,170 per month in 2017 for handicapped applicants, $1,950 for blind applicants), the SSA will find that you’re performing SGA and that you’re not disabled enough to qualify for SSDI benefits.
Medical and Vocational Qualification
The claimant meets the test for either SSI or DIB, and once the fiscal conclusion is made, the claimant must then qualify medically and vocationally for a finding of impairment. In Social Security disability cases, the claimant should be determined to be totally disabled and unable to be gainfully employed. There’s no percentage finding, as in veterans service-connected compensation claims. Social Security is an all-or-nothing process. Advantages usually do not require a finding of permanent disability, nonetheless. Someone can receive benefits if he or even she is disabled for a minimum of 12 months.
These medical and vocational determinations are made in a succession of decisions referred to as the Five-Step Disability Determination Process. A claimant move on to the next phase must pass each stage in order, and finish out the process. In the event the claimant fails any period, the process stops and the claimant will undoubtedly be denied benefits. Each step is in the type of a question.
Bigger wages if ex has ‘departed’
And we have another dirty little secret for you. When you haven’t remarried, chances are your spouse is worth more to you dead than alive — especially if he or she was a high earner. Once an ex-spouse passes away, you’ll be treated just like a widow or widower. If you’re at least 60, you will have the ability to collect your late spouse’s benefit and permit your own benefit until you reach age 70, when you can switch if your own advantage is higher, to grow unclaimed.
Presuming your ex will dwell on Planet Earth to a ripe old age, the longer your ex-spouse delays asserting Social Security, the better it is for you. So, should you get a chance, encourage your ex-husband to work until age 70. Afterward, when it’s all over, you’ll get to claim half of her or his maximum Social Security.
More flexibility for widows and widowers
Social Security does a superb job of explaining widow and widower benefits, but it doesn’t clearly spell out a key difference between widow/widower benefits and spousal benefits. A widow/widower can begin benefits predicated on his or her own earnings record and later change to survivors benefits, or start with survivors benefits and after a switch to benefits based on her or his very own record even if the surviving partner is filing before full retirement age. You can not do that with spousal benefits.
When she is as young as 60, but only at a reduced rate, in other words, a widow can begin drawing on a survivor’s advantage on her late husband’s Social Security. Then she can elect to leave her own Social Security alone, allowing it to grow in value until her full retirement age — or even age 70. This works for widowers, too.