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/SSDI & SSI Overview

What is Substantial Gainful Activity for SSDI Purposes?


Social Security decides whether you are disabled using a five-step process called the Sequential Evaluation Process. The first step is quite simple: the SSA wants to know, are you earning any money? And if you are, is the job you're working and the money you're earning considered "substantial gainful activity"? A Complicated Way Of Looking At Something Simple The SSA defines the "gainful" part of "substantial gainful activity" (or "SGA") for 2019 as the gross earning, before taxes, of: $1,220 per month (on average) for a sighted person $2,040 per month (on average) for a [...]

What is Substantial Gainful Activity for SSDI Purposes?2019-04-24T19:25:37+00:00

Will Social Security Disability Replace All of My Work-Related Income?


If you suffer from severe health impairments that prevent you from working, you may wonder whether Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) will replace all of your work-related income. The short answer is probably not. If you are approved for SSDI benefits, the amount of your monthly benefit is based on something called your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA).  While this amount reflects your earnings history in the past, the disability insurance program is not meant to fully replace the income you received when you were working. Understanding Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) & the Benefit Calculation Your [...]

Will Social Security Disability Replace All of My Work-Related Income?2019-04-11T00:46:48+00:00

What Is a Continuing Disability Review?


If you are found disabled by the Social Security Administration and begin receiving benefits, what are the chances that your benefits will be discontinued someday? It's a good question - and an important consideration. The Continuing Disability Review is a mechanism that the SSA uses to make sure that people who are getting disability benefits should still be getting those benefits. When Conditions Get Better, You Need To Update The SSA Not all conditions are permanently disabling, and many individuals find that with access to the proper medical care afforded by their Medicare or Medicaid [...]

What Is a Continuing Disability Review?2019-04-11T00:47:48+00:00

The Disability Benefits Application Process


The first and most important thing to know is that getting approved for Social Security disability benefits can take months, or even years, so it is vital to begin the process as soon as possible. If you believe you are disabled, and your medical condition is such that you will be unable to work for more than year, you should apply for benefits immediately. Stage 1: The Initial Application You can apply for benefits online, by phone, or by making an appointment with your local social security office. Once you have filed out your application, [...]

The Disability Benefits Application Process2019-04-11T00:49:17+00:00

Modernizing SSDI Benefits


The Social Security Disability Insurance program was initiated in 1956. However, as one can easily imagine, much has changed about the world of work since that time.  As noted in “Supporting Work” by the Center for American Progress, at the time of its inception, disability and the ability to work were mutually exclusive.1 This idea is still advanced by the Social Security rules and regulations, as a finding of "disabled" will only be entered for those who are totally disabled – there is no partial disability. SSDI does not account for the changes in the way [...]

Modernizing SSDI Benefits2019-04-11T00:50:01+00:00

I’ve Been Approved for SSDI benefits, How Much Will I Get Every Month?


If you are approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Benefits, how much you are entitled to will depend on a number of factors. This article will help to explain how your benefits are calculated, including ongoing monthly benefits, retroactive and back due benefits, and additional payments for your family members. Disability benefits from Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will be discussed in a separate article. How SSDI Monthly Benefits are Calculated Your monthly benefit amount is referred to by Social Security as your ‘Primary Insurance Amount,’ or PIA. Your PIA is calculated based on your [...]

I’ve Been Approved for SSDI benefits, How Much Will I Get Every Month?2019-04-11T00:51:22+00:00

What Are Attorney’s Fees in SSDI and SSI Claims?


Disability advocates perform a wide range of responsibilities at all stages of the application process, including helping to file your application, ensuring appeal deadlines are met, collecting evidence, and most critically, developing the legal theories and arguments that will help ensure a successful outcome. While the advantages of having the help of an experienced disability advocate are obvious, most claimants want to know how much these services will cost before securing representation. The information below will help answer some basic questions about the fees your disability advocate may be entitled to: Understanding Fee Agreements, In [...]

What Are Attorney’s Fees in SSDI and SSI Claims?2019-04-11T00:51:36+00:00

Disability Benefits for Children and Spouses


If the Social Security Administration determines that you qualify for disability, benefits may also be available for certain members of your family, such as your spouse or children. Spouses and Ex-Spouses May Receive SSDI Benefits, Under Certain Circumstances The spouse of a person qualified to receive disability can receive benefits if the spouse is age 62 or older. However, the spouse will not receive any greater amount of benefits if they are already collecting a higher Social Security benefit based on their earnings record. The spouse’s benefit amount will be permanently reduced by a percentage [...]

Disability Benefits for Children and Spouses2019-04-11T00:53:18+00:00

Beyond the Medical Records: Alternative Evidence for Disability


Anyone familiar with SSDI and SSI cases knows the first thing that Social Security looks for is the claimant’s medical records. If you sign up with an attorney or representative, they will also ask about treating history and send requests for records to various medical providers. But what if you don’t have much care? What if your medical records don’t paint a very clear picture of your limitations? Medical records aren’t the only form of evidence the ALJ will consider in your case. The two most common forms of non-medical evidence are witness testimony and [...]

Beyond the Medical Records: Alternative Evidence for Disability2019-04-11T00:54:28+00:00

Non-Medical Reasons You Might Be Denied SSDI Benefits


Although you may experience serious medical problems that impact your ability to work, there are non-medical reasons that can prevent you from receiving benefits.  Below are some of the non-medical issues that can impact your right to disability benefits that Citizens Disability can help you navigate. You Are Working If you continue to work, or start working again, you could be denied for benefits even if you have severe medical problems.  Disability judges must determine whether you are earning what is called “substantial gainful activity” or “SGA.” If you never stopped working, or you having [...]

Non-Medical Reasons You Might Be Denied SSDI Benefits2019-04-02T18:02:49+00:00