What to Expect After Your Social Security Disability Claim is Approved
You’ve made it through the grueling application process and your SSDI application has been approved. Now what? Knowing what to expect after you receive that approval letter can help you plan for your financial future.
If you’re still in the middle of the application process or you’ve received a denial letter, we can help. Call Walton Law at 251-455-5819 to schedule a consultation today.
Know That Your Benefits Aren’t Automatically Permanent
Many people believe that once their payments are approved, they will continue receiving monthly payments for the rest of their lives. However, this isn’t always the case. The Social Security Administration does review approved cases on a routine basis to ensure that they are not making payments to applicants who are now able to work.
Much depends on the nature of your disability and the information provided in your application. If you have not yet reached maximum medical improvement, a caseworker could review your file in six to 18 months. However, if further improvement is unlikely or unexpected, your case will likely be reviewed much less frequently.
As long as your medical condition remains the same and you cannot work, you will continue to receive your benefits.
How Much Your Payments Will Be
In 2021, the average SSDI payment is $1,277. Reported payments range from $100 to just over $3,100. Your specific payments are based on your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings and Primary Insurance Amount. You can access your benefits statement online to find out how much you may receive.
Upon receiving your approval letter, it’s likely that you’ll be entitled to back payments. There is a five-month waiting period before benefits kick in. When you take your established onset date and add five months, that is the date from which your payments should start.
What About Cost of Living Increases?
Each year, the Social Security Administration analyzes the cost of living. Benefit payments increase with the cost of living.
Taxes and Social Security Payments
Your Social Security disability benefits can be subject to taxation. However, the majority of people do not pay taxes on their SSDI benefits because they fall below the taxable income amount. Exceptions include:
- When your individual income is over $25,000 per year
- If you and your spouse earn more than $32,000 per year and file jointly
- If you are married but file as “married, filing separately”
Receiving Your Payments
The Social Security Administration recommends that all applicants receive their payments via direct deposit, especially since they will eventually only provide electronic payments. Those who prefer mailed checks can go this route, but it’s important to note that the SSA is not responsible for delays or lost mail caused by the USPS. This can lead to untimely delays and late bill payments. Using direct deposit saves you a trip to the bank and ensures that you receive your payments as quickly as possible.
If You Decide to Go Back to Work
The Social Security Administration does not want to penalize people who are ready to try reentering the workforce. Because of this, you have a trial work period if you decide to start working again.
For nine months, you can continue receiving your SSDI payments while you work. This gives you plenty of time to figure out if you can work long-term, if it is more physically taxing than expected, and if working will negatively impact your health. You won’t be penalized if you decide that you physically cannot go back to work and go back to receiving benefits without working.
You likely have a lot of questions as you get ready to receive your back payments and begin getting monthly payments. If you are unsure about the tax implications of your SSDI benefits, how to respond to a case review, or what to do when you’re ready to work, talking to a disability attorney can be helpful.
Turn to Walton Law for Help with Your Disability Claim
Whether you’ve received your approval letter or you’re still working on your application, the team at Walton Law can help you. Get started now by calling us at 251-455-5819 or filling out our online contact form. Wherever you are in the process, we look forward to helping you.