Friday, February 13, 2009

How Much Can I Get From 2009 Social Security Disability Benefits?

How much will the SSA grant in supplemental income, and what benefits can you receive?

When you or a family member is unable to work due to a work-related injury or a severe medical condition, you can apply for Social Security benefits from the Social Security Administration.

How soon, and how often, will I receive Social Security disability benefits?
Once your application is approved, you will start receiving benefits in about 6 months. You will receive your Social Security benefits on a monthly basis.

How much will my benefits be?
The amount of your monthly disability benefits is based on your average lifetime earnings. You can get an estimate of your benefits from the SSA’s Benefit Calculator on their website. For guidance, below are the 2008 v. 2009 Social Security disability thresholds:

- 2008: Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) - Non-Blind ($940 / month), Blind ($1,570 / month), Trial Work Period ($670 / month)

- 2009: Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) - Non-Blind ($980 / month), Blind ($1,640 / month), Trial Work Period ($700 / month)

What kinds of benefits can I get?

In addition to a monthly amount, you may be eligible to receive other benefits. Additional Social Security benefits that you may be eligible for are:

- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if you are 65 or older, blind, or disabled
- Food stamps
- Medicaid
- Medicare (after 2 years)
- Services under the Ticket to Work Program (allows you to go to work to earn more money)

When do I get Medicare coverage?

You will get coverage after you have received disability benefits for 2 years.

Is my family eligible to receive benefits?

Yes. Certain family members may qualify for benefits. They include:

- Your spouse, if he or she is 62 or older
- Your spouse, if he or she is financially supporting a child of yours who is either disabled or under the age of 16 younger
- Your child, if he or she is under the age of 18 and in school full time
- Your child, over the age of 18, if he or she has a disability that started before age 22

How much can a family member receive in benefits?
Each family member may be eligible for a monthly benefit of up to 50% of your disability rate.

Adjustments to your benefits:
Your Social Security benefits may change as necessary. Your benefits may change or be stopped if:
- The cost of living has gone up (in which case, your benefits would increase)
- Your medical condition improves
- There is any change in your ability to work
- You get married or divorced
- Your citizenship changes

What may cause my Social Security benefits to be temporarily or permanently stopped?
- You have an outstanding arrest warrant
- You are convicted of a crime
- You are also receiving Railroad Retirement benefits
- You earn more than $980 or more per month ($1,640 if you are blind)
- You violate a condition of your probation or parole

What may cause my Social Security benefits to be reduced?
Your Social Security disability benefits may be reduced if you receive other government benefits.

Your Social Security benefits may be reduced if:
- You are receiving workers’ compensation

- You work for an employer that does not withhold Social Security taxes from your salary (Windfall Elimination Provision)

- You receive a pension from a federal, state or local government based on work where you did not pay Social Security taxes (Government Pension Offset)

Social Security Attorneys and 2009 Social Security Disability:

What 2009 Social Security Disability changes will occur? A Social Security Disability attorney is an expert on disability law. Hiring a disability lawyer helps improve your chances of winning disability benefits and can impact the speed from date of application that you start to receive benefits. If you have questions about the 2009 Social Security Disability application, or if you have a case from a prior year that has not been awarded benefits, consider contacting an experienced disability lawyer.

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