Frequently Asked Questions About Social Security Disability
If you are suffering from a disabling injury, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. At Matt Fendon Law Group, our social security benefits attorneys know the system inside and out. We are the rock for injured and disabled workers in Phoenix, Tucson and across Arizona. Our lawyers are prepared to stand strong for you and your family.
Social Security law is complex. To help alleviate some of the confusion, we have provided a list of frequently asked questions.
Social Security Disability
The application process begins by scheduling an interview with the Social Security Administration (SSA). The initial interview will last approximately one hour.
Social Security provides disability benefits to individuals who cannot work because of a medical condition that is expected to last a year or more. It also provides benefits to surviving family members if the medical condition results in death.
You can return to work while receiving SSD benefits, but you can only earn a limited amount of income each month. The exception to this rule is if you are engaging in a trial work period. This allows you to work up to nine months while still receiving full SSD benefits, regardless of how much you earn.
For eligibility, a worker must have a long enough work history (typically 10 years). Additionally, the worker must have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s definition of a disability.
A disability under Social Security’s rules is based on a worker’s inability to work. The SSA considers you unable to work if:
- You are unable to perform your previous job function.
- Your medical condition does not permit you to adjust to other work.
- Your disability is expected to last at least a year or result in death.
You cannot receive disability benefits and retirement benefits at the same time. Once you reach retirement age, your SSD benefits will automatically change to retirement benefits.
Receiving unemployment benefits and attempting to file for Social Security Disability can be problematic. The reason for this is that if you have filed for unemployment, you are alleging that you are “ready and able to work,” whereas if you file for SSD benefits, you are claiming you are unable to work.
If you receive workers’ compensation, it may reduce Social Security benefits for you and your family. The total amount of workers’ compensation and SSD benefits you receive cannot exceed 80 percent of your average pre-injury earnings. If the combined benefits exceed 80 percent, the SSA will lower your benefits until you reach the 80 percent threshold.
If you have any additional questions or concerns, we invite you to schedule a free consultation to discuss your Social Security case at 800-229-3880. Our team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to take your call.