If Someone Getting SSD Dies, Can I Get Their Benefits?

If Someone Getting SSD Dies, Can I Get Their Benefits?

If Someone Getting SSD Dies, Can I Get Their Benefits?

Not exactly. Social Security disability benefits (SSD) are for the disabled worker, and those benefits terminate when the recipient passes away. But that doesn’t necessarily mean dependents are on their own. Here are some benefits that may be available to surviving family members when an SSD recipient passes away. 

Social Security Death Benefit

The Social Security Administration (SSA) pays a one-time, lump-sum death benefit when a recipient of either SSD or Social Security retirement benefits passes away. This is a small payment. In 2023, it’s $255. This benefit is payable to the surviving spouse if there is one. If not, the benefit may be paid to a child of the deceased.

Survivor’s Benefits

Some dependents of a deceased SSD recipient can receive survivor’s benefits.

These family members may qualify for benefits on the deceased’s work record: 

  • A surviving spouse aged 60 or older
  • A surviving spouse of any age who is caring for a child of the deceased who is under the age of 16
  • A surviving spouse of any age who is caring for a child of the deceased who is disabled
  • A surviving spouse aged 50 or older who became disabled during the SSD recipient’s life or within seven years of their death. 
  • An unmarried child of the deceased who is under the age of 18, or up to age 19 and two months if they are a full-time student in elementary or secondary school
  • An adult child with a disability that began before age 22

In some circumstances, others may be able to receive survivor’s benefits.

These include: 

  • A former spouse who was married to the SSD recipient for at least 10 years and who has not remarried or who remarried after age 60
  • A former spouse who is caring for a child of the deceased who is under the age of 16 or disabled and is receiving child’s benefits, regardless of the length of the marriage
  • Parents of the deceased who are at least 62 years of age, if they received at least half of their support from the deceased SSD recipient
  • Grandchildren or stepchildren, under certain circumstances

The amount of survivor’s benefits that a family member receives will depend on both the deceased’s work record and the number of family members receiving benefits. 

An Experienced Disability Benefits Attorney Can Help

Applying for Social Security survivor benefits can be complicated. If you’ve been denied survivor benefits, don’t believe you are receiving the right amount, or just aren’t sure how to find out whether you qualify, we’re here to help. Call us today at (800) 800-3332 or fill out our contact us here now for a FREE consultation.

What is the SSDI Payment Schedule?

What is the SSDI Payment Schedule?

The date that your disability check comes in can depend on the type of benefit you receive and your birthday.   Social Security offers two types of disability benefits.  Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI) are benefits available to individuals who have worked for a certain number of years.  Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based program.  Therefore, your income, assets, and resources determine your SSI eligibility. 

SSDI Disability Payment Schedule

If you started receiving SSDI benefits after 1997, your birthday will determine the date you receive your payment.  There are three schedules Social Security sends your SSDI check or direct deposit if your birthday is on the:

  • 1st-10th of a month, SSDI checks or direct deposit will arrive on the second Wednesday of every month.
  • 11th-20th of a month, SSDI checks or direct deposit will arrive on the third Wednesday of every month.
  • 21st-31st of a month, SSDI checks or direct deposit will arrive on the fourth Wednesday of every month. 

If you received benefits before 1997, your SSDI payment date will be on the third day of the month.  It does not matter what day your birthday falls on.  However, if the third is on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, your benefits will be paid on the banking day before.

SSDI and SSI Combined Payments Schedule

If you receive SSDI and SSI payments together, your payment schedule will be on the third day of the month.

Claimants typically have to wait one to two months after approval before seeing their first Social Security disability payment.  In some cases, it can take even longer to receive your back payments.  Back payments can be delayed depending on the amount of benefits you are entitled to receive or if you received worker’s compensation benefits.  

You should contact Social Security if you have not received your benefits within 90 days of approval.  Your representative can help you with any problem

How to Receive Your SSDI and SSI Payments

Social Security offers several ways to send your SSDI or SSI payments. 

For example,

  • Direct Deposit, is probably the safest way to receive your payments since they cannot be lost or stolen if deposited directly into your bank account. 
  • The Direct Express Card program credits money directly to a swipe-able card.
  • Electronic Transfer Account. 
  • SSDI recipients can still receive their payments by mail.  It is better to receive payments through one of Social Security’s preferred methods to avoid the possibility of lost or stolen checks. Social Security asks that you not contact them about lost checks until the fourth day after the first of the month.

Tax on Social Security Benefits

You may have to pay taxes on your Social Security benefit, depending on your income level.  Typically, disability benefits are not usually counted as taxable income, click here and continue learning with the help of experts about deductible taxes. Social Security offers voluntary tax withholding from your benefit.  You can choose this option by completing Form W-4V.  There are specific percentages to choose from.  You can obtain the form from Social Security, request it from the IRS, or ask your representative for a copy. 

Generally, you would receive a refund when filing taxes the following year if you opted to voluntarily have taxes withheld and you overpaid.

Disability Help Group, Call Now for a Free Case Review, (800) 800-3332

Make sure you start your claim the right way and apply for all the benefits you deserve. Contact us here to receive a FREE consultation.

Best Tips When Appealing Your Denied Disability Claim

Best Tips When Appealing Your Denied Disability Claim

Best Tips When Appealing Your Denied Disability Claim

Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits serve as an important safety net for U.S. workers who become disabled before retirement age. Unfortunately, most claims for Social Security disability benefits are initially denied. In other words, when you file for SSDI benefits, you should be prepared to have to work your way through the process. That means: 

  • Filing a request for reconsideration, which may or may not include new information and documentation
  • If your claim is still denied after reconsideration, request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ), which will offer you the opportunity to share additional information and present witnesses
  • If your claim is denied after the ALJ hearing, request a review of the hearing decision–however, the Appeals Council gets to decide whether or not to review your case
  • If your claim is denied by the Appeals Council or they opt not to consider your case, file a lawsuit in federal court

Of course, each stage means additional time. So, you’ll want to make sure that you set yourself up for the greatest chance of success at every stage. Ideally, that means working with an experienced disability benefits advocate to put together your original claim or to help with whatever stage of the appeals process you’re undertaking. 

Increasing Your Chances of Winning in the Appeals Process After You’ve Been Denied

The very first step toward successfully appealing your SSDI denial is understanding the reason for your denial. Carefully review your denial letter, and consider contacting your local Social Security Administration (SSA) for more information or getting help from an experienced advocate.

It’s also very important that you meet the deadline for requesting reconsideration or appealing the decision. If you miss the deadline, you can reapply, but you will set your claim back by several months and may lose out on some benefits if you have to start over. 

Regardless of whether you are submitting a request for reconsideration or appearing before an ALJ, you’ll want to supplement the record in any way you can. That may mean updated medical records, the results of testing you’ve undergone since you submitted your application, witnesses who observe your daily life, or other evidence that helps show you are disabled.

An Experienced Disability Benefits Advocate Can Help With Your Denied Claim

Perhaps the most important tip is to get the help you need. Part of increasing your chances of success in the SSDI appeals process is understanding what the SSA is looking for and how best to present that evidence. Our disability benefits advocates have extensive experience with Social Security disability claims and appeals and can help you put forth the strongest case possible. 

To learn more about how we can help, call 800-800-3332 or contact us here for a FREE consultation.

What Evidence is Used to Decide My SSD Claim?

What Evidence is Used to Decide My SSD Claim?

What Evidence is Used to Decide My SSD Claim?

Social Security disability benefits can provide stable income for a worker who is no longer able to work due to medical disability. But, not everyone who suffers from a medical condition is eligible for SSD benefits. If you are considering applying for SSD, or you have been denied Social Security disability benefits, it’s important to understand what is required to successfully establish your claim.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers different types of evidence to determine your eligibility.

Types of Evidence to Support Your SSD Application

Technical Eligibility

Most of the evidence considered by the SSA relates to your medical condition and your ability or inability to earn a living. However, there is a threshold issue. To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must have accumulated a sufficient number of work credits. Usually, you won’t need to submit evidence regarding work credits, because the SSA has access to your qualifying work history. However, mistakes occasionally happen. You’ll want to verify that your work credits are accurate, and, if necessary, submit evidence to correct the record. 

Evidence of Disability

For most SSD applicants, the most significant evidence of disability will come from medical providers. This may include doctor’s notes, test results, and other medical documentation. But, reports from your doctors aren’t the only type of evidence that can help support your claim for disability. 

Another common type of evidence the SSA considers is information provided by other people in your life, such as friends, family members, and others who have had the opportunity to observe how your medical condition has impacted your ability to carry on daily activities. 

Inability to Engage in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)

To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must demonstrate that you are unable to engage in substantial gainful activity due to your medical condition or combination of conditions. To make that determination, the SSA will need information about the types of work you have done in the past, your educational level, your age, and other information that will help them determine whether you can perform work of the type you did in the past or adapt to new work. 

Assembling Evidence for Your SSD Claim

Putting together a strong application for Social Security disability benefits requires an understanding of exactly what the SSA is looking for and how they use that information. Our disability benefits advocates have extensive experience with SSD claims and appeals and can help you submit the strongest application possible.

 To learn more about how Disability Help Group can help, call (800) 800-3332 right now, or contact us here for a FREE case evaluation.

Anxiety Preventing Me From Working

Anxiety Preventing Me From Working

Does your anxiety prevent you from working?  Anxiety can cause feelings of worry or nervousness.  These disorders are the most common emotional disorders.  If you have an anxiety disorder, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. 

Anxiety symptoms

Anxiety disorders have many symptoms.  Frequently, these disorders can cause excessive worry or fear.  They can also cause you to avoid certain places, activities, or people. 

For example, symptoms may include:

  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Problems sleeping or fatigue
  • Obsessions or compulsions
  • Panic attacks, constant thoughts or fears about safety, or physical complaints

Types of Anxiety That Prevent Working

Anxiety disorders include several different types, these include:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder – six months or more of a constant state of tension or worry, not related to any specific event
  • Panic disorder – repeated attacks of anxiety that last up to ten minutes without any specific cause
  • Social anxiety disorder: fear, self-consciousness, and/or embarrassment with everyday social interactions
  • Agoraphobia: fear of places and situations that might cause panic, helplessness, or embarrassment. Typically, it can cause difficulty leaving your home or a particular location
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder: recurrent and persistent thoughts or impulses that may make you feel can be controlled by performing repetitive behaviors

What if my anxiety prevents me from working?

You may qualify for Social Security disability benefits for your anxiety disorder.  However, you must show that your symptoms are severe.  They must cause problems doing normal, daily activities.  Also, they must keep you from working for at least 12 months.   

Social Security’s Listing for Anxiety Disorders

Social Security provides a listing of impairments.  This is known as the “Blue Book.”  The Blue Book provides specific conditions that you must meet to qualify for disability benefits.  Social Security looks at anxiety disorders under Listing 12.06

Meeting the listing for anxiety disorders that prevent work

First, you must have medical records that show three or more anxiety symptoms. 

Specifically, you must show:

  • Restlessness, easily fatigued, or difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability, muscle tension, or problems sleeping

Second, you must show that your symptoms cause a serious problem in your functioning.  Generally, you must have an extreme limitation in at least one area.  Alternatively, you can have a marked limitation in at least two areas. 

These areas of functioning include:

  • Understanding, remembering, or applying information (understanding instructions, learning new tasks, applying new knowledge to tasks, and using judgment in decisions)
  • Interacting with others (the ability to use socially appropriate behaviors)
  • Concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace in performing tasks (staying focused and/or completing tasks)
  • Adapting or managing oneself (the ability to perform daily activities such as paying bills, cooking, shopping, dressing, and keeping good hygiene) 
  • Social Security definitions of marked and extreme

Firstly, “Marked” means having a serious limitation in that area of functioning.  Secondly, “Extreme” means not being able to function in that area at all.  Thirdly, a Social Security psychiatrist or psychologist looks at your medical records. and decide if your anxiety disorder causes marked or extreme limitations. 

Anxiety and the “C” Criteria

On the other hand, you may also meet the criteria under the listing if your anxiety disorder has been:

  • Medically documented as serious and persistent for at least two years and
  • Required to keep a highly structured setting to reduce your symptoms, such as an intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization program, or have minimal capacity to adapt to demands that are not already part of your daily life or changes to your environment

Getting disability if you don’t meet the listing

You can still qualify for disability benefits if you do not meet Social Security’s listing because Social Security looks at how your anxiety symptoms impact your ability to work.  Particularly, they consider your ability to carry out simple instructions, make simple work-related decisions, respond appropriately to supervision and co-workers, handle changes in a routine, and show up to work consistently, arrive on time, or leave early.

Example 1: Anxiety prevents you from working  

As an example, Joan suffers from anxiety and panic attacks, Her panic attacks happen unexpectedly, she receives medication from her psychiatrist and she also sees a therapist regularly.  However, she still suffers from panic attacks many times during the day.  She has even had to go to the emergency room during her panic attacks.  Her panic attacks make it hard for her to finish things she starts.  At times, her panic attacks keep her from leaving the house.  Social Security finds that Joan would miss work a lot due to her panic attacks.  Therefore, Joan qualifies for disability benefits. 

What evidence do I need if my anxiety prevents me from working?

Social Security requests medical records from your doctors.  As a rule, it is best to get treatment from a psychiatrist or psychologist.  It is important to see your doctors regularly.  Equally important, you should tell them about all the symptoms you have.  Additionally, your doctor can complete a residual functional capacity form. 

Getting help with your disability claim for anxiety

It can be difficult to win disability benefits for anxiety disorders.  However, an experienced disability advocate can help guide you through the process.  An experienced advocate can also help gather your records to help support your case.  Additionally, they can provide you with forms for your doctors and answer all your questions. 

Be sure you start your claim the right way and apply for all the benefits you deserve. If you have already applied for SSI or SSDI, contact our team immediately to make sure your case is still pending and was filed correctly. You may be entitled to significant compensation. Call us today at (800) 800-3332 or contact us here for your free consultation.

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What is SSDI?

What is SSDI?

What is SSDI?

SSDI, or Social Security disability insurance, provides income for U.S. workers who have become disabled and are no longer able to engage in substantial gainful activity. SSDI is different from private disability insurance because it is available to anyone who has sufficient work history and is otherwise eligible. And, it’s different from many other types of public benefits because it is not need-based. While too much income from work can disqualify you from receiving SSDI, other types of income are not considered. For instance, you can be the beneficiary of a trust or receive investment income or have significant assets and still be eligible. 

There is a five-month waiting period after you become disabled. For most applicants, that period has expired by the time benefits are approved, so monthly payments start soon after approval. You may even receive a lump sum payment for back benefits or retroactive benefits. 

Eligibility for Social Security Disability Benefits

To qualify for SSDI, you must have sufficient work credits. The general requirement is 40 work credits–the same number required for Social Security retirement benefits. You can only earn up to four work credits per year, so reaching this threshold requires that you’ve worked in at least 10 different years. However, younger workers won’t need as many work credits. 

If you qualify based on work credits, you must also show that you: 

  • Can’t engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA) because of your medical condition, and
  • Your condition has lasted or is expected to last for at least 1 year or to result in death

In determining whether you are able to engage in substantial gainful activity, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will consider both your ability to do the work you did previously and your ability to adapt to another type of work. 

Additional Benefits Associated with SSDI

Once you’ve been receiving Social Security disability benefits for two years, you will be eligible for Medicare, regardless of your age. This can be a significant benefit for someone who has ongoing medical needs and no longer has employer-sponsored insurance. 

Depending on your circumstances, other members of your family may also qualify for benefits. Spousal benefits are limited to spouses (and some divorced spouses) who are at least 62 years old and don’t have access to a larger amount of benefits based on their own record. But, your minor children may qualify for additional benefits when you receive SSDI. 

Get Help with Your SSDI Claim

To secure Social Security disability benefits, you will have to provide substantial proof of your medical condition and the associated limitations. Most initial SSDI applications are denied, and the appeals process can be long and complex. The earlier in the process, you get help from a knowledgeable disability benefits advocate, the better. 

To learn more about how Disability Help Group can assist you in putting together the strongest application or appeal possible, call 800-800-3332 or contact us here.