4 Things to Know After Your Social Security Disability Case is Approved
It is not uncommon to finally gain an approval for Social Security Disability benefits after one or several appeals. In most cases, this process can require a year or more, and it can be a tasking process. Once you do receive your approval, though, there are several things you should keep in mind. These things could affect whether your benefits continue, and you will want to plan around them in order to avoid further hassle.
Regular reviews. Social Security performs regular reviews of both SSDI and SSI cases (at least every 5 to 7 years or more often), to determine whether the disability still warrants receipt of benefits. For cases which depend upon financial eligibility (such as SSI recipients), resources and income will also be evaluated during reviews.
Working. It is possible to attempt a return to work while maintaining your Disability payments. However, the amount you can work and earn will depend upon whether you receive SSI or SSDI. Social Security also operates a program that allows you to try working for a trial period, without jeopardizing your benefits in the meantime. However, it is extremely important that you consult with your attorney or legal representative first, before returning to work, so that you know exactly what to expect. Also remember to report all wages, so that an accidental over-payment doesn’t occur.
Moving. You will want to report any address changes to Social Security, for the simple purpose of maintaining communication regarding your case. Beyond that, there are other reasons to report a move immediately. A change in residence never affects SSDI payments.
But for some SSI recipients, moving to a different state can mean a change in payment amounts. Since cost of living for SSI is calculated differently in different states, moving might affect the amount you can earn through work. If you move in with family or friends who provide for your cost of living, this can also affect payments. Again, these rules are for SSI recipients only.
Marriage. If you are receiving SSDI payments under your own work record, getting married will not affect your benefit amount. However, if you are claiming benefits based on an ex-spouse’s record, or as a widow, then getting remarried might impact your payment calculations or make you ineligible. Disabled adults who receive payments under a parent’s work record might lose benefits if they get married, but in some cases such adults can marry a disabled adult without either party losing their benefits.
Since SSI is based upon earnings and resources, getting married quite often impacts payment amounts. However, you would need to consult with your attorney or legal representative in order to determine how your benefits might be affected.
As you can see, eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits is an ongoing issue. This is why knowledge of the system and familiarity with the rules is so important. As your Social Security Disability attorneys, we are always available to help you file appeals for an approval. But once you receive that approval, be sure to communicate directly and honestly with your attorney or legal representative. Ask questions before making major life decisions, so that you don’t accidentally impact your benefits in any way.