Receiving monthly Social Security Disability Insurance benefits helps to keep disabled former workers and their families afloat during periods of extreme financial stress. But even with the SSD payments, financial challenges persist because the amount of the monthly SSD benefit is insufficient to pay all the bills for most recipients.
Can you increase your Social Security Disability payments?
The Social Security Administration determines the amount of your SSD monthly benefit by applying a formula to your average lifetime annual income to find your primary insurance amount (PIA). Since this calculation is the only basis used to set your SSD benefit amount, you will probably face significant difficulty increasing the amount of your payment.
Possible Ways to Increase Your SSD Benefits
The amount of your monthly Social Security benefit is based upon the lifetime annual wages or self-employment income for which you paid Social Security taxes of FICA. Make sure that you were given proper credit for the income you earned over your working life.
If one or more years of your covered income is incorrectly recorded in the government records, then your benefit may be miscalculated. This is especially true of the missing income was earned in a year when your income was higher than usual.
You can easily check your lifetime earnings record by visiting the Social Security website at Check my Social Security Income Record. With a few clicks of your keyboard, you can find a complete list of your recorded income going back to the first year you paid Social Security taxes. If you discover an error in the government record, notify your lawyer or contact the Social Security Administration immediately. If the error is verified, you may increase your monthly payment and receive a retroactive payment to make up any difference.
Increase Your SSD Benefit by Working While Receiving SSD Benefits
Another way you might increase your Social Security payment involves the back-to-work incentive program instituted by the Social Security Administration. To encourage people receiving SSD benefits to try to return to work, the government created a program called a Trial Work Period.
If an SSD recipient wants to try to return to work, the Social Security Administration encourages them to work as much as they can for up to nine months without losing their monthly SSD payments. The nine months of trial work can be consecutive or spread over a five-year period. After the Trial Work Period (TWP) is completed, the government allows SSD recipients to continue working for 36 months and still receive SSD benefits for any month in which they do not have “substantial” earnings. For purposes of determining if a month counts as a Trial Work Period month, the Social Security Administration currently considers $940 a substantial monthly income.
All the income earned during the Trial Work Period is applied to the lifetime earnings record and can therefore boost the monthly SSD benefit amount if you are unable to continue working due to your disability.
Another source of higher SSD payments is the government’s annual decision whether to issue a cost-of-living increase (COLA) to the monthly benefits. When inflation raises prices of basic living necessities as measured by the consumer price index (CPI), benefit amounts may be increased by a percent or so.
Does Your SSD Benefit Increase if Your Disability Worsens?
No, unfortunately, the fact that your condition worsens over time does not entitle you to receive a higher amount of Social Security Disability benefits. Remember, the amount of your SSD payment was calculated only based on your lifetime annual income.
Social Security Disability benefits are only granted to people who are deemed to be totally disabled. No partial disability qualifies for SSD payments. Since every recipient of SSD is totally disabled, the government already considers the payments to be at a maximum level.
London Eligibility Will Ensure You Get the SSD Benefits You Deserve
Applying for Social Security Disability benefits is complicated for most people because they are unfamiliar with the regulatory details and the exceptions to the general rules. Professional Social Security Disability advocates like London Eligibility represent SSD applicants every day. Their expertise and thorough knowledge of the SSD application process increase your chances of a timely and reliable disability determination.
The experienced SSD representatives at London Eligibility know how to ensure your supporting medical evidence is clear and complete. London Eligibility advocates for you and your family from the moment you think about applying for SSD and stays with you through to the final government decision.
If you were denied on your initial application, London Eligibility’s SSD advocates will press your appeal and represent you during subsequent hearings to guarantee your best case is put before the Social Security Administrative Law Judge.
Attorney Scott London’s entire staff of SSD advocates are committed to the highest professional standards and are interacting with government Social Security personnel all day, every day.
Put your best case forward. Put your trust in London Eligibility to represent your SSD claim.