According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), the 2020 monthly earned income limit for Social Security Disability is $1,260 for non-blind individuals with disabilities. For blind people, the income limit is $2,110. The SSA refers to this amount as “substantial gainful activity.”
These limits typically increase each year. The SSA issues guidelines on what types of income and benefits count towards this limit and which do not.
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Eligibility for Social Security Disability Benefits
Social Security Disability benefits are needs-based. Many factors are used when determining an individual’s eligibility for receiving benefits. Monthly earned income is one factor. The extent of your disabilities is another. The presence or absence of other sources of funds may also be taken into consideration on a case-by-case basis.
Having an income higher than the limit may disqualify you from receiving Social Security Disability benefits. There are certain forms of income you may be able to exclude from being counted in your monthly income so that you can remain within or below the substantial gainful activity income limits outlined by the SSA.
Understanding what forms of income apply to your monthly limit for Social Security Disability can be confusing. A lawyer who handles Social Security Disability cases may be able to help you figure out your options and apply for benefits.
For a legal consultation, call 828.286.3866
Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits
You can apply for benefits on the SSA’s website. The application may ask about your age, marital status, military service (if any), and any details regarding income and any other benefits that you may be receiving. Examples of other benefits you must mention on your application include workers’ compensation benefits, certain federal employees’ benefits, and certain benefits from your military service.
In addition to the above, you may need to prove your U.S. citizenship and provide the SSA with medical forms and details on any treatment, diagnoses, or reports you have that are relevant to your disability. Some of the disabilities that benefits may be provided for include various cancers, cardiovascular disorders, disabilities of the senses, congenital defects, mental disorders, immune system disorders, and disorders of the digestive system, respiratory system, or the skin.
All of this information may be used to determine your eligibility for benefits. In addition to the options of applying online, you can also apply by mail or in-person at your local Social Security office.
Appealing a Denial of Social Security Disability Benefits
If you apply for Social Security Disability benefits and are denied, you may have options to appeal the denial. There are multiple stages to the appeals process. These may include:
- Requesting a reconsideration with new information added to your application
- A hearing before an administrative judge
- A review with the Social Security Appeals Council
- A lawsuit
An attorney who handles Social Security Disability cases may be able to represent you through the appeals process.
Losing Your Social Security Disability Benefits
There are a few ways you can lose your Social Security Disability benefits. The first is by exceeding the monthly earned income limit for Social Security Disability. If you return to work and earn more than the maximum threshold for eligibility for benefits, you may lose your benefits. Also, if your condition improves and you are no longer deemed disabled, you may lose benefits. Becoming incarcerated or leaving the country can also cause you to lose your Social Security Disability benefits.
Furthermore, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits end once you reach retirement age. However, you may become eligible for Social Security Retirement benefits at this age.
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It can be tricky to determine whether a disability you have is formally classified as a disability by the Social Security Administration. This process may involve assessments of the disability’s severity, its impact on your ability to work, and the future prognosis of your condition. Furthermore, calculating and quantifying your income from qualifying sources can be difficult if you are unsure about the kinds of income that the Social Security Administration includes and excludes from being counted as gainfully employed income.
We are here to help. Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC helps our clients in Rutherfordton, North Carolina apply for Social Security Disability benefits and appeal denied claims.
For a free consultation on your case and our services with a member of our team, call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC today at (828) 286-3866. We can discuss your case, your income levels, and other questions you may have about the Social Security Disability system during this call.