Changes to Disability Payments

"Money"Once you have qualified for Social Security disability payments in the form of SSI or SSDI, there is no guarantee that you will keep receiving the same payment amount indefinitely. There are several factors that can affect the size of your monthly benefit checks. Read on to learn more:

Receiving overpayments

A disabled individual can receive overpayments, or checks worth more than what the individual is owed from the Social Security Administration. Overpayments occur for several reasons: 1) the disabled individual does not report changes in their income, 2) the disabled individual does not report changes in their living situation, or 3) the Social Security Administration simply makes a mistake. If you become aware of overpayments in your disability checks, it is best to report them right away. The Social Security Administration will then deduct money from all future checks until the amount is paid back—otherwise, a payment plan will need to be negotiated with the SSA.

Participating in disability reviews

After you begin receiving monthly disability payments, your case will be reviewed by the Social Security Administration periodically to determine whether or not your condition has improved “too much.” If it is decided that you are in good enough health to return to some type of work, you will be disqualified from receiving disability benefits and your checks will cease to arrive.

If you receive notice that your benefits are about to cease, you are allowed to file an appeal. You are also able to request that your disability benefits continue while you appeal. This appeals process is called a continuing disability review (CDR).

Returning to work

Although a disability review can determine that an individual is healthy enough to return to work, an individual may also decide to return to work without ever speaking with a disability examiner. For many people, working is an important and integral part of their lives. No longer being able to work and provide for a family is a large emotional struggle for many disabled people, so the prospect of returning to work may actually be a relief instead of a burden.

If, at any time, an individual returns to their previous job or a different job in the economy, they will be disqualified from receiving Social Security disability.

 Any changes to your “situation”

When it comes to receiving Social Security disability, even the smallest change in your life can result in a decrease (or increase) of payments. In addition to financial changes in your life, such as returning to work, changes in other areas of your life can also affect your disability payments. Changes in your marital status, state of residence, assets, and living situation should all be reported to the Social Security Administration as soon as they occur. The sooner you can report and record these changes, the easier settling your finances with the SSA will be down the road.

Source: Disability Secrets 

Photo Courtesy of 401(K) 2012 and Creative Commons