If you can still do some capacity of work, you may still be entitled to disability benefits.
The social security disability program provides benefits for anyone who can’t make what’s called “substantial gainful activity” which is just over $1,000 a month. If you’re limited to working very few hours because of your impairments, and you make less than the substantial gainful activity level, you may still be eligible for and receive social security disability benefits. Contrarily, in order to be gainfully employed, typically you must be able to work full-time, which means 8 hours a day, five days a week.
The crucial thing to consider is how much money you are able to make if you’re working. On top of this, you must also determine if you need to spend money on medical expenses because of your disabilities in order to do your job. Consider a situation where you need to get special assistance at your work. This will cost you money, so this must be factored into your income and the wages you need in order to properly live.
There’s also a situation called “sheltered work”. It is not uncommon for somebody to want to help out a disabled individual by allowing them to work and paying them significantly more money than what they may bring into the company. This can be as a result of friendships, business relationships, or various other types of working connections. In this situation, disabled individuals get the opportunity to work at a job and get paid well for it, oftentimes resulting in even higher wages than others working the same job.
The factors that play into whether or not someone’s going to be approved are:
- The level of their disability
- Whether or not they can make any money at all
- Whether they can do their previous type of work
- And more
In addition to these factors, age also has a lot to do with it. The social security administration has set up a series of vocational guidelines that have to do with specific age, education levels, and whether or not you’re limited to a restrictive type of work. Given these guidelines, if you’re over 50 and have a limited education, you often have a better chance of getting disability than if you’re under 50 and have a higher education in a professional field.
It is going to be hard for a younger educated person to be found disabled due to the fact that they have a vast array of job resources at their disposal. Contrarily, a person over 50 that has been doing laborious work throughout their life will have a much harder time in the job market due to it being so difficult to breach into a new industry so late in life. For this reason, individuals who are older and not as educated are more likely to gain disability benefits because of their inability to find versatile job openings.
What Happens If My Social Security Disability Claim Is Granted? How Soon Do I Receive Benefits And Do I Get Any Back Pay?
If your claim is granted, this means that The Social Security Administration agrees that you’re disabled. If this is the case, they will do what’s called a “Notice of Award” where they will calculate how much money you’ve paid into social security over the years and give you your insurance status. With that, they will come up with how much compensation you’re entitled to each month. This is done in individual payment centers around the country. Once this has been established, you will usually begin receiving benefits within a month or two following the decision.
The question of whether or not back pay is received depends on if the person became disabled on the alleged onset date. For instance, if you allege you were disabled starting six months ago and you’re approved for disability eight months later, you would be entitled to back pay based on when your alleged onset date is and when you were approved for disability benefits.
There is a 5-month waiting process in these claims, so even if you’re approved, no benefits will be paid for those first five months in any case. In addition to this, you can only go back one year from when you applied for your claim. Waiting too long to apply for disability benefits can affect how much past due benefits you can obtain, but you can get past due benefits assuming your alleged onset date matches the date that social security says that you became disabled.
Will I Have Ongoing Evaluations? Could I Ever Lose My Social Security Disability?
There are many cases in which the judge in charge of the decision will require that the disabled person undergo medical evaluations in the future. This can commonly occur about two years following the accident. If a disabled individual is a little bit younger and/or the type of condition they have typically improves over time, the judge will often insert a clause that says that that case should be reviewed in the future to determine whether or not medical improvement has occurred. Of course, if this medical improvement occurs, then the injured worker will either have to reprove that they are still disabled or find a new job that they can work with their improved condition.
It is not hard to bring evidence for your case and retain your social security disability claim as long as you continue to receive medical treatment. This creates a history of medical evidence from doctors and specialists who continue to confirm that your medical condition still exists. However, if you were to just stop treating altogether, quite often The Social Security Administration will assume the reason why you stopped treatment is because you have recovered from your injury. If this is the case, it is up to you to prove that you are still entitled to disability benefits. Sometimes there will be disability reviews, and sometimes the judges will even make that part of their decision, but there’s probably just as many cases, if not more, where they just let it go and don’t get involved again. For more information on Social Security Disability in North Carolina, an initial consultation is your next best step.