When you are applying for disability benefits, one of the things that your disability lawyers in Greensboro NC will explain is the different events that can change your ability to receive benefits. Changes that occur within your life may affect Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or your ability to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SSDI AND SSI PROGRAMS
Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income are two distinct programs that are managed by the Social SecurityAdministration (SSA). There are different reasons that benefits can end for these two programs. However, your disability lawyers in Greensboro NC will explain that if you are no longer considered disabled, you will not qualify for benefits in either program. SSDI is designed to help people with enough work credits that become disabled and no longer have the capacity to work. The SSA requires that you have paid into the Social Security program before applying for these benefits. Those without work credits are not eligible for these benefits. The SSA requires that you have completed at least five full years of work in the last ten years to qualify for benefits. This requirement does not apply to minors. SSI is a supplemental income program designed to help low income individuals who are over the age of 65, blind or disabled. There are very strict income and asset guidelines attached to this program. There are not any work requirements necessary to qualify for this program. SSI is based on asset and income information.
DOCUMENTED MEDICAL IMPROVEMENTS
The SSA will periodically review the qualifications of recipients of both programs. This is generally done once every three to seven years. During this review, if the SSA determines that it has been shown you have made medical improvements to your physical or mental disability, you may no longer qualify for the programs. The review process is not as strict as the initial proceedings to receive benefits. However, the SSA reserves the right to discontinue benefits during the review process if they believe you have recovered from your disability.
ADDITIONAL REASONS THAT SSD BENEFITS CAN BE CANCELED
Your disability lawyers in Greensboro NC will explain to you that there are additional reasons that SSD benefits can be stopped by SSA. These reasons include:
Returning to Work
If you become gainfully employed and earn over $1,090.00 per month or over $1,820.00 per month if you are blind, the SSA deems that you are no longer disabled. The SSA can also consider you gainfully employed if you earn less than this amount. Each year the SSA sets new limits for earned income and qualifications for the program. Figures used are for 2015. The SSA has a program in place to help people return to work without immediately losing their benefits. Known as a Trial Work Period, the SSA will allow a person who is trying to reenter the work force to earn up to $780.00 a month (2015 figures) without losing their benefits. This trial period can last up to nine months. After this time period, if you are gainfully employed and can earn over the minimum set by the SSA for monthly income, they will consider you employable and your benefits will stop.
Once you have reached retirement age, the SSA will convert your disability payments over to your retirement income. You cannot receive retirement benefits and disability benefits at the same time. Institutionalization and Incarceration
If you are receiving SSD benefits and become institutionalized in a government funded facility, such as an asylum, you will not receive benefits while you are in residence of the facility. In addition, any time that you are incarcerated in any type of jail facility for more than 30 days, your benefits will stop while you are serving your sentence. It should also be noted that some felony conviction prevent a person from receiving SSD benefits even after they are released from jail. Questions concerning these issues should be addressed to your disability lawyers in Greensboro NC for accurate and up-to-date answers.
STOPPING SSI BENEFITS
The main reasons that you could stop receiving SSI benefits that are not related to no longer being disabled have to do with income and assets. As your disability lawyers in Greensboro NC will explain, there are several situations where income changes will cause your benefits to stop.
Increased Income or Assets
As of 2015, you are limited to an income of $733.00 per month and total assets of $2,000.00 to qualify to receive SSI benefits. While this may seem very low, it should be understood that there is a very complex system in place by the SSA to determine if your income and assets are over this stated amount.
The SSA will look at all types of income that you generate to determine if you qualify. This includes earned income, or income you make from being employed, and unearned income, which includes income such as alimony or unemployment benefits. The SSA does not count all of your income from either source towards your total income. They have a very precise formula which determines what is counted and what is not, which allows more people to qualify for the program.
If you receive free food or shelter at the expense of another person it is considered in-kind income. A portion of this income is counted towards your overall income and assets. In some cases, this type of income can contribute to you being ineligible for this program.
Spousal Income Levels
A contributing factor to your income and assets will be what your spouse earns or owns. It is assumed under the SSA program that a portion of these earnings will be used for the support of the other spouse. If you have applied for this program while unmarried, your benefits can be discontinued when you become married and your income level increases. Additionally, if you applied for benefits while your spouse was unemployed or underemployed and their status changes, your income level will be impacted.
Parental Income Levels
If you are a minor receiving benefits, the income of your parents will be considered when you are trying to qualify for the program. Changes to their income or asset levels can impact your ability to receive benefits.
Increases in Assets
Different scenarios can occur that can cause your assets to increase. Winning the lottery, receiving an inheritance, or receiving a monetary gift can all cause your asset level to rise above the SSA guidelines.
Returning to Work
Unlike the SSD program that allows you to receive benefits for a period of time when you are trying to return to work, SSI benefits stop immediately when you begin to receive a paycheck. However, the Ticket to Work Program is available to SSI recipients and should be reviewed by anyone considering returning to work.
If you are a minor receiving benefits, turning 18 will change your benefit status. You will have to undergo a complete review to see if you qualify for adult benefits under this program.
If you enter into a nursing home facility, become incarcerated, or are institutionalized, you will no longer qualify for SSI benefits. Additionally, if you leave the United States for more than 30 days consecutively, you are no longer eligible to receive benefits under this program.
Speak to Disability Lawyers in Greensboro NC About Your SSDI or SSI Benefits Today
Applying for or maintaining benefits through the SSDI or SSI program can be confusing. There are many stipulations and regulations that must be met to qualify or continue to qualify for benefits. If you need assistance applying for these benefits, or if you need to appeal a denial of benefits, you are encouraged to speak to one of the disability attorneys at the Bridgman Law Offices. One of our attorneys will review your case and provide you with the information on the next steps you should take to qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits. Call (888) 632-9912 and schedule a free case evaluation with disability lawyers in Greensboro NC today.