For people living with disabilities, Social Security payments can be a lifeline in times of need. People with disabilities can apply for these benefits at any age. Not all Social Security disability payments are the same, and strict regulations surrounding certain qualifying factors can make changing or increasing your payments difficult. Fortunately, with the right resources, legal advice, and preparation, applying for increased Social Security disability payments is possible.
How Do Social Security Disability Payments Work?
Social Security Disability Payments (SSDIs) are based on multiple factors, all leading back to your current income and earnings from past work experience. When working people retire, their earnings, as well as the age at which they choose to retire, get factored into how Social Security payments are priced and sent out. In terms of disability, these payments are decided based on whether or not an individual is considered disabled under the Social Security Act. To be considered disabled, you must:
- Be unable to work because of a long-term medical condition or a medical condition that will last for a minimum of one year
- Be prevented from working in a previous field based on this medical condition
- Be unable to find work in a different field and adjust to a new industry or trade because of this medical condition.
Needing these disability payments or facing an event that makes you reliant on disability can happen at any time, which can be hard to bounce back from both financially and physically. Applying for disability Social Security payments can be a necessary source of income to help you regain your financial stability after being declared disabled.
For some, these payments are a main source of income and having monthly payments that can cover your expenses is crucial for survival. For example, if you have multiple sclerosis, a degenerative disease that slowly weakens and deteriorates your nerves, the number of accessible jobs you can do in line with your condition may be greatly decreased by the unpredictability of the condition.
How Can Social Security Disability Benefits Be Increased?
As with many government support plans, the amount of money awarded to you each month depends on various factors surrounding your employment and living conditions. Anything from losing your job to a worsening condition or increased reliance on support for your health can affect the amount of money you earn in monthly Social Security disability payments. The most common forms of these changes are the result of life changes that severely alter your situation, including:
- Spousal Death: For some, monetary support from a current or ex-spouse can be a huge financial benefit, especially when your ability to work is limited due to a disability. If your spouse passes away, applying for survivor benefits may help increase the monthly payments you receive in Social Security benefits. For those receiving spousal support from an ex-spouse, their passing can also be used as a way to restructure your Social Security benefit payment amounts, even if you are receiving survivor benefits from another spouse.
- Age: Social security disability benefits can be collected at any age; however, traditional Social Security benefits are reserved for those in their mid to late 60s who applied after retirement. Your birth year, as well as your current age, determines the amount of money you can collect in Social Security benefits. For example, those born between 1943 and 1954 must be 66 years old to receive full retirement benefits, whereas those born in or after 1955 must reach 67 before receiving full retirement benefits. Depending on when you retire, you may be able to collect Social Security benefits alongside Social Security disability payments.
- Child Death: Losing a loved one is never easy, especially when those loved ones are your children. Losing an adult child can entitle you to parent’s benefits, which can be applied in certain situations, similar to survivor’s benefits for losing a spouse. For example, if your child was the main breadwinner for your household and helped support you, their Social Security work credits could go to you. For those caring for a disabled child, this caretaker role can be used as a way to increase the amount of aid you receive in monthly Social Security disability payments.
- Military Service: Serving in any branch of the military opens up more opportunities for increased payments, especially if your disability is linked to your military service. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs can provide payments to help alleviate the medical costs from your service-related injury and can be accepted alongside Social Security disability benefits. These benefits can also be used alongside supplemental security income (SSI), helping create a steady source of money to help keep you supported.
The factors that go into your eligibility for benefits are somewhat rigid. However, once you receive Social Security disability benefits, the ability to seek more in monthly payments starts with an appeal. Your life circumstances change, as does your health and ability to cope with its side effects, so receiving a change in compensation for these events is inevitably a part of accurately representing your unique situation.
Finding a Social Security Lawyer
Life changes are completely unpredictable and can spring up at any moment. In terms of disabilities, getting a diagnosis or injury that changes how you can operate and live your life is one of the many events that can change your life in an instant. Social security disability claims and payments are offered by the Social Security Administration to help those affected by these events to regain their financial stability after losing a portion of their income due to their disability.
Gade & Parekh, LLP, Social Security Attorneys You Can Trust
When seeking a way to increase your monthly payments, finding a competent legal team able to handle your claim and evaluate your current standing is crucial for better results. At Gade & Parekh, LLP, we can provide the support needed to have your claim properly represented and help you in seeking the appropriate increase in disability payments. For more information, visit our website and contact us today.