Disabled workers who have paid in to the social security system may be eligible for disability benefits. Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) is paid to workers who are not able to work, and knowing how much you qualify for will help you budget and make plans for the future. The amount of benefit is not determined based upon your disability, but is directly tied to your work history and how much you have paid over the years. So, there is no threshold income level you must meet before qualifying, but the amount you get does depend on how much you made over your work life. People with higher salaries pay more in to social security, and thus are entitled to a larger disability payment.
That said, there are limitations on what you can do after you qualify for benefits, and if you are not careful your benefits can be reduced. Some of the most common acts that result in a reduced social security payment are:
- Working while disabled: you cannot earn more than $1,170.00 per month and still receive SSDI. You are permitted to work some while on SSDI, but the amount and type of work is limited. If you are considering taking on odd jobs to supplement SSDI be sure to talk it over with a qualified attorney before taking on any job duties.
- Losing disability status: if your condition improves to the point you are no longer disabled, you will no longer qualify for benefits.
You are still allowed to draw upon retirement benefits, to supplement your SSDI and this includes not only social security retirement paid by the Social Security but also other retirement investment accounts. These funds can help bridge the gap left by SSDI, which is typically not as much as you were earning when working. If these options are not available to you, you can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to make up for what you are not getting through SSDI. And, if you have a working spouse, your total household income will be more than just your SSDI and/or SSI payments. But be careful when applying for SSI if your spouse also works. Because SSI is a financially based benefit, it is hard to qualify for this payment if your spouse brings home a healthy paycheck.
If you have questions about how what type of income to expect when you get disability benefits, call us today. We can be contacted online or by phone at 855-727-6353.