Eligibility for Social Security Disability Benefits
Our Tampa Social Security Lawyers Can Help You Apply
Mike Murburg, P.A. established our law firm in 1986 to help disabled Bay Area clients obtain the benefits to which they are entitled. Our team focuses exclusively on disability law, so our Tampa Social Security lawyers can provide the most comprehensive services to every client.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) regularly denies applications for technical errors and for insufficient evidence of disabilities. A denial of your initial application can cause delays in important benefits and result in unnecessary hardships for you and your family. Our Tampa social security attorneys thoroughly review your circumstances and provide a candid assessment of your eligibility. We then submit an accurate, well-documented application to recover your benefits as early as possible. By getting us on board at the earliest stage, you can avoid many of common mistakes that tend to result in application denials.
Social Security Disability Insurance Program (SSDI)
Social Security disability is a federal insurance program you pay into through your employment. Even after you have paid for Social Security disability insurance throughout your working life, it can be difficult to recover your benefits from the SSA. Understanding how this insurance program works can help you successfully complete the application process. Social Security disability eligibility is determined by two factors:
- First, that you paid into the program so you are insured
- Second, that your medical condition entitles you to receive benefits
Employment Requirement for Benefits Eligibility
You must have worked for the requisite number of years and recently enough to qualify for the Social Security disability program. The SSA bases eligibility on the number of work credits you have accumulated during your employment. You can earn up to four credits per year by paying Social Security taxes. The minimum quarterly income level needed to earn a credit increases each year. Typically, you need to earn 40 credits with at least 20 credits within the past 10 years up to the date of your disability. Younger workers usually become eligible with fewer credits.
When you connect with our legal team our attorneys will explain the complicated formula to you. We can also obtain and evaluate your records if you have any questions about meeting the employment requirement.
SSA’s Definition of a Disability
You must meet the Social Security Administration’s strict definition of a disability, as defined by the points below:
- Your disability interferes with your ability to perform the same job you did before
- You cannot adjust to another job, based on your medical condition, age, education, work experience and transferable skills
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death
- Your disability prevents you from working — in making this determination, the SSA considers whether you earn above the statutory monthly limit
Social Security disability only covers permanent, total disability. If you have a partial or short-term disability, our lawyers assess whether you may have other benefits options available.
Our Tampa Social Security Lawyers Explain Other Eligibility Considerations
The rules governing Social Security disability are bureaucratic and confusing. One mistake on your application can cause frustrating delays in recovering your benefits. Then, one misstep can result in the devastating loss of your benefits. The lawyers at Mike Murburg, P.A. take the time to explain the facts so you know what to expect regarding the application process and once you receive your benefits. Our Tampa Social Security attorneys will advise you on the rules for maintaining your eligibility and complying with important government regulations.
Returning to Work
One of the requirements for receiving Social Security Disability benefits is that your impairment
- Prevents you from working;
- Interferes with your ability to do the same job as before; or,
- Inhibits you from adjusting to another type of work.
Reasonably, these rules can make people feel wary of attempting to return to work for fear of losing these vital benefits.
The SSA recognizes the importance of getting back to work for most people. As such, the agency provides for a trial work period that allows you to test your attempt to work with your disability. You can work up to nine months within a 60-month period without jeopardizing your benefits as long as you earn below the monthly statutory amount.
Upon completion of the trial period, you can work for 36 months and still recover benefits if your earnings are not substantial. In 2014 the Social Security Administration typically considered a monthly salary of $1,070 substantial. The SSA gives you access to expedited reinstatement for five years after you stop receiving benefits, during which time you can begin receiving benefits immediately without resubmitting your application.
Effects of Other Compensations on Your SSDI Benefits
Money you receive from workers’ compensation and other public sources affect your eligibility for Social Security disability benefits. The total amount of all public sources cannot be more than 80 percent of your income before you became disabled. Your Social Security disability payments are reduced by the amount over the 80 percent threshold. However, your Social Security Disability payments are not reduced to account for Veterans Administration benefits, state and local government benefits, Supplemental Security Income or private pensions. You have a duty to notify the SSA about the benefits you are receiving.
Taxation of Social Security Disability Benefits
Social Security disability benefits may be considered taxable income in some circumstances. The IRS determines whether you owe taxes based upon your total income from Social Security and other sources. However, the IRS rules prohibit taxing more than 85 percent of Social Security benefits.
Get the Help You Need from Our Tampa Social Security Lawyers
Mike Murburg, P.A. can guide you through the Social Security disability application process so you can recover your benefits as soon as possible. Our social security lawyers can explain any important issues concerning your Social Security disability benefits. Schedule a free consultation with a Tampa disability lawyer at Mike Murburg, P.A. by calling us at (813) 264-5363 or contacting us online.
We handle cases throughout the United States and do not bill for attorneys’ fees and expenses until we recover your benefits. We offer a free evaluation and we do not bill you for attorneys’ fees and costs unless we reach a favorable result.