What you need to know about Social Security Disability Benefits

What you need to know about Social Security Disability Benefits

Social Security Disability Benefits begin generally on the sixth month after you have been deemed disabled. Your payments will generally continue for as long as you are disabled and unable to work. Benefits are paid monthly on a date that is determined by the date of birth of you or your spouse, depending on whose work record you are claiming benefits.

Some people who receive Social Security Disability also work or receive a substantial income beyond their disability benefits. These people must pay taxes on their income and benefits. Individuals who make more than $25,000 will have to pay taxes, while those who file a joint tax return will pay taxes on their benefits if they have a combined income of more than $32,000.

Social Security benefits are adjusted each January based on the cost of living. For example, if the cost of living has increased by one percent over the past year, your benefits will also increase by one percent. If you receive disability benefits until full retirement age, your benefits will automatically change to retirement benefits of the same amount. For spouses who receive widow benefits, they will need to contact the Social Security Administration for retirement benefits changes.

If you decide to work while you receive disability benefits, you must report your earnings to the Social Security Administration, no matter how little you earn. Disabled individuals can use a ‘trial work period’ during which they will still receive benefits for nine months, while they determine if they can work while being disabled.

You must tell the Social Security Administration if you move, if you earn money, or if you change bank accounts that would affect the direct deposit of your benefits. If for any reason you are unable to manage your benefits, such as because of your disability or because you are a minor, you can request that your benefits be sent to a relative or care-taker.

Keep in mind that marriage and divorce can affect your disability benefits. While your own disability benefits will remain the same, a spouses benefits may change if they were married less than 10 years, or if they remarry before they reach age 50.

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