Things that Do Not Impact Your SSDI Benefits

June 24, 2015

You’ve been approved for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and you are worried—you have never lived off of Social Security disability income before.  But, you are still unsure how certain things will impact the SSA’s determination of your monthly payments if you qualify for Social Security disability.

Three Things That You Would Think Matter but Don’t
It would seem like the following factors would be significant in determining the amount of your Social Security disability check. However, the truth is that:

1.  Becoming “more” disabled.  Your actual disability is irrelevant  once SSA decides that you are disabled, unless you are blind. Someone who qualifies for Social Security disability because of cancer does not get more or less than someone who qualifies for heart disease or another condition. If you have heart disease and then develop cancer, you do not get a higher monthly benefits.  Once the SSA finds that you qualify for Social Security disability, your monthly checks will be calculated based on your previous earnings and not on your specific disability. An exception is made, however, for applicants who are blind. Monthly payments may be higher for Social Security disability applicants who are blind.

2.  How much you used to make compared to your benefit check.  Your financial need is irrelevant. Social Security disability is not a need-based program. Your savings, assets, investments, and financial need is irrelevant to the SSA’s determination of eligibility and it is irrelevant to the amount that you may receive.

3.  Other unearned income.  Any income you receive from private disability insurance is irrelevant. You have the right to receive benefits from private disability insurance, if you qualify, and from the SSA, if you qualify without the private disability insurance impacting your Social Security benefits.

4.  Windfall income.  If you are lucky enough to have a windfall, say from the lottery or a rich uncle who dies, this will not affect your SSD check.

A Social Security Disability check is based on the amount Social Security taxes you paid and the fact that you are disabled.


Note that the above facts do not apply to individuals receiving SSI or Supplemental Security Income which is a welfare-based program.  ALL income affects the amount of that check and too much income can result in the check ceasing.


If you have questions, call me at 904.981.9812.

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