Social Security Disability Benefits Lawyer
experienced southfield, michigan disability and social security attorney
If your claim is SSI only, you must undergo a “PERC”, pre-effectuation review conference. This is handled by the original office that took your initial application. CAUTION is called for and it is essential you confer with your attorney before you have this interview.
What is discussed are your current living arrangements, any change in marital status, any sudden and unexpected income acquired during the entire time period your claim was pending, and any work activity you may have engaged in during the many months it took to finally be approved. Test your ability to return to work without jeopardizing your benefits. Care and guidance is absolutely essential.
What Will Cause Social Security Disability Benefits to Stop?
Significant improvement in your physical and mental condition can lead to a stoppage of your Social Security Disability benefits. These reviews are called CDRs (continuing disability reviews). In most cases, those who are awarded Social Security disability will go on to receive their benefits for years if there is no improvement in their health.
If you are going to apply for Social Security disability, or are presently receiving Social Security benefits, it’s important to be aware of what could make your disability benefits come to an end. What can cause your benefits to end differs between the two disability programs that are administered by the Social Security Administration.
Social Security Disability Insurance can only be paid if an individual has worked a sufficient amount of time and has had the appropriate social security taxes paid into the system by his employer, or has paid the contributions him or herself if self-employed. When someone hasn’t worked long enough, or worked recent enough, to have enough “work credits” they will not be eligible for SSD no matter what their disability is.
On the other hand Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is based on a need. It is not essential to have paid Social Security taxes, or to have worked at all, to be qualified for SSI. There are some strict limits regarding the amount of income earned or assets owned in order to meet the NON- medical requirements for SSI benefits.
Medical Improvement Can Stop SSD and SSI
If the medical condition that qualifies you as disabled improves, then the SSA could determine that you are no longer disabled thus causing your benefit payments to stop. This applies to both SSD and SSI claims. This process is called a CDR. Continuing Disability Review. The SSA will periodically review the cases of all beneficiaries. This generally takes place anywhere from 3 to 7 years, or sooner, if the judge deciding the case recommends an earlier review at the time he grants benefits. These disability reviews are based on a medical improvement standard. Has your condition improved to such a degree that you are now able to engage in sustained work activity.
What Can Cause SSD Benefits to Stop?
The most ordinary reason for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits to be stopped is when you return to work. In most cases it is possible to work and continue to receive SSD payments for a specific period of time this is called a Trial Work Period. There are some specific rules that you must adhered to in order to take advantage of a TWP.
Return to Work
If you decide to return to work while receiving SSD benefits, the SSA will then determine if you are engaging in substantial gainful activity or SGA. The largest factor for deciding if work qualifies as SGA is the total amount a person is paid. In 2017, you are generally considered to be engaging in SGA if you earn more than $1,170 or $1,950 if you are blind. This is not a clear issue. It is definitely possible for the SSA to conclude that your new job duties amount to SGA even if you are earning less than the required amount.
This exception to the rule is referred to as a trial work period or TWP. If you decide to return to work while still receiving benefits and you earn more than $840 per month, then the SSA will deem this as the start of a trial work period. If you maintain employment for 9 months (do not have to be consecutive months) while averaging over the SGA level, your benefits will be paid for another 3 months (a total of 1 year of benefits) and then end.
Reaching Full Retirement Age
Beneficiaries, who reach full retirement age while receiving disability, will then see their benefits convert to Retirement Social Security with no reduction in the monthly amount.
Being Incarcerated or Institutionalized
If you are incarcerated after being convicted of a felony crime, your disability benefits will stop for the total period of time you are in prison. Most times a felony conviction will then also lead to a cessation of benefit.
Going Above Income or Asset Limits
If you are receiving SSI and your income or assets increase above the limit for SSI eligibility, your benefits will generally stop the month following the month you exceed these limits. Increase in household income above the limits allowed, such as working part time, receiving an inheritance, marriage, living with a significant other who works, can and will affect your continuing eligibility.
If you start receiving income from a new source, like pension or alimony payments then that might put you over the income maximum and your benefits could stop. The SSA considers both earned and unearned income. 1 car, regardless of value, and the value of the home you own and live in are not counted.
Receiving free food & shelter
Food and shelter provided by another can cause a reduction in your monthly SSI benefit. Currently, for 2017, the maximum SSI benefit is $735. Food and shelter for example, provided by a parent or other relative, will cause a 1/3 reduction in the monthly SSI payment.
A portion of a spouse’s income is counted as income when determining your SSI eligibility. This could mean that if you are granted SSI benefits while single, you could see those benefits stop or substantially reduced if you get married to a spouse who is earning enough of an income. Even non marriage relationships will be deemed as a spousal relationship if living in the same household.
Changes in your Living Situation
If you either enter or leave from an institution like a nursing home or halfway house, your SSI eligibility can be affected. Leaving the United States for 30 days or more, will cause your SSI benefits to stop.
Due to all these various and complex provisions, questions concerning changes in SSI eligibility are often best left to an experienced lawyer here at The Social Security Counseling Center. Contact us for a today free case evaluation at: (248) 281-4247