Often applicants for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) receive Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits and questions arise as to problems this situation may present. Both programs have different definitions and thus receipt of UI benefits is not necessary contradictory. Currently, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has the policy described below.
Some Social Security Disability benefits can affect amounts recovered under other federal, state, and/or private benefit policies. First, amounts received under Title II can affect a claimant's eligibility for SSI benefits under the federal statutes or can at least reduce those amounts to a smaller amount.
Social Security Disability and SSI recipients will see a 1.7% increase in benefits due to the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) starting in January of 2015. Every year in October the government announces the COLA. The COLA is based on the Consumer Price Index from the third quarter of the current year. The COLA affects many important aspects of the Social Security Disability and SSI program besides the actual amount of benefits paid to claimants. In 2014, the COLA was 1.5%. Although the annual adjustment is provided to protect the buying power of Social Security and SSI claimants, beneficiaries might actually see a big disparity between the benefit increases they receive and the increase in costs of needed items.
Including Social Security Disability, there are several kinds of benefits for which a person can be eligible. The medical rules are the same for all categories, you must be just as disabled to qualify for one as for another. The non-medical requirements are different for each category.
Social Security Disability and SSI claimants now have more opportunities to get their cases fast-tracked for certain conditions. On December 6, 2012, the SSA Commissioner announced 35 additional Compassionate Allowance (CAL) conditions bringing the total number of conditions up to 200. The CAL initiative is designed to quickly identify diseases and other medical conditions that invariably qualify under the Listing of Impairments based on minimal, but sufficient, objective medical information. If the condition does not meet these strict criteria, it will not be designated as a CAL case. Like Quick Disability Determinations (QDD), CAL cases will receive expedited processing within the context of the existing disability determination process.
Recipients of Social Security Disability benefits often wonder about returning to work while still receiving benefits. The trial work period (TWP) "is a period during which you may test your ability to work and still be considered disabled." A trial work period can last up to nine months, but the months do not have to be consecutive. In 2012, monthly work earning $720.00 or more per month or self-employment of 40 hours or more are considered "services" countable as trial work against the nine-month total. Work performed at a lower level should not be counted as TWP months.
Social Security Disability or SSI claimants often wonder whether they can receive unemployment and still apply for and be awarded Social Security Disability. A person receiving unemployment must have affirmed that he is able to work and, often, that he is actively seeking work. The question then becomes is whether the claimant's statement about his ability to work is an automatic bar to the receipt of disability benefits.
Recently, we discussed the Social Security Disability benefits that a surviving spouse of an insured person may be entitled to, but what about a divorced widow or widower? Can he or she draw off a deceased insured worker? For the answer, one must look to 20 CFR § 404.331. In order to draw benefits:
When can the Social Security Administration garnish benefits received by Social Security Disability claimants? The Federal government can and will garnish Social Security benefits under several circumstances:
People often wonder what benefits are children entitled to if one of the parents is drawing Social Security Disability? In general, a child can draw benefits on the earnings record of an insured person who is entitled to old-age benefits, SSDI benefits, or who had died. However, there are certain parameters set forth in the regulations: