Frequently Asked Questions About SSD
Many people relying on SSDI will not owe taxes. Up to half of Social Security disability benefits are taxable each year. The amount is determined by adding half of the taxpayer disability benefits to all other income sources.
The problem comes with a lump sum back benefit check. A problem can occur if all of a lump-sum payment received in 2011 is reported as income, in which case the claimant could end up paying too much in taxes.
For 2011, a federal income tax return must be filed if gross income is at least $19,000 for couples filing jointly and $9,550 for individuals.
It is important to understand how to report SSDI lump-sum payments. The IRS allows taxes on SSDI lump-sum payments to be spread over previous tax years using the current-year tax return. Recipients then do not have to go through the time or expense of filing amended returns, or pay higher taxes on their current year’s income.
People who received a lump-sum SSDI payment in 2011 will see this amount included in Box 3 of the Form SSA-1099 they receive from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Worksheets provided in IRS Publication 915 can be used to determine the taxable portion of a retroactive SSDI payment. Seek help from a knowledgeable tax professional. This is no place to make a mistake. Check this IRS publication.
There are several ways to apply for a Social Security disability claim. The first is to go to the Social Security District Office and file the claim in person. Now applications can also be made online at www.ssa.gov. Another way is to call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. They will make an appointment for a telephone interview for you. Once the interview is finished they will send necessary forms for you to fill out. All the basic information will have been collected during the phone interview.
You can file for Social Security disability benefits on the day that you become disabled if you believe that you will be out of work for one year or more. Sometimes hospital social workers can help you and your family make the initial contact with Social Security.
No. Any claimant can represent himself in all phases of the Social Security disability process. Claimants with representation win their cases more often than those who are not represented.
You have to have been disabled for at least one year or be expected to be disabled for at least one year. So, if you expect to be out of work for one year or more on account of illness or injury, you should file for Social Security disability benefits.
I got hurt on the job. I am drawing worker’s compensation benefits. Can I file a claim for Social Security disability benefits now or should I wait until the worker’s compensation ends?
You do not have to wait until the worker’s compensation ends and you should not wait that long. An individual can file a claim for Social Security disability benefits while receiving worker’s compensation benefits.
I have several health problems, but no one of them disables me. It is the combination that disables me. Can I get Social Security disability benefits?
Social Security is supposed to consider the combination of impairments that an individual suffers from in determining disability. Many, perhaps most claimants for Social Security disability benefits have more than one health problem and the combined effects of all of the health problems must be considered.
Social Security’s position is that it is not up to your doctor to determine whether or not you are disabled. It is up to them and they will make their own decision regardless of what your doctor thinks.
For disability insurance benefits, it all depends upon how much you have worked and earned in the past. For disabled widow’s or widower’s benefits, it depends upon how much the late husband or wife worked and earned. For disabled adult child benefits, it all depends upon how much the parent worked and earned. For all types of SSI benefits, there is a base amount that an individual with no other income receives. Other income that an individual has reduces the amount of SSI which an individual can receive. Each year we all receive a report from Social Security about our retirement benefits. This report also has the dollar figure you’d receive if you were disabled. A spouse and children are also eligible in most cases.
It is Social Security’s position that VA decisions are not binding upon them. Social Security and VA have similar standards for approving disability claims, but the VA has many partial disability programs. For Social Security disability, one must be totally disabled from any kind of work.
For Disability Benefits and for Disabled Widow’s and Widower’s Benefit, the benefits begin five months after the person becomes disabled. Benefits can be paid for up to one year prior to the date of the claim, if the medical records support this. For a Disabled Adult Child, benefits begin as of the onset date, but benefits cannot be paid more than six months prior to the date of the claim.
SSI benefits begin at the start of the month following the date of the claim.
You should appeal immediately. If you appeal within 10 days after being notified that your disability benefits are being ceased, you can ask that your disability benefits continue while you appeal the decision cutting off your benefits. You may also want to talk with an attorney about representation on your case, but you should file the appeal immediately.
Social Security pays only for total disability – conditions that render you unable to work and have lasted, or are expected to last for at least a year or end in death. No benefits are payable for partial disability or short-term disability, including benefits while on maternity leave.
Many question the sense of such a law. While Social Security has made strides in the last decade to help people RETURN to work, that person must first have qualified for benefits under the above rules. Private disability insurance and some state insurance programs pay for temporary disability, but the federal program does not.