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The Basics About Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

You may be thinking of applying for Social Security Disability benefits (SSDI). Bear in mind that the Social Security Administration will not consider your claim for benefits if you are working and earning more than a certain monthly amount. In 2015, this amount, considered substantial gainful activity (SGA), is $1,090.00 for non-blind people. The SGA for statutorily blind individuals is $1820.00. If you earn above this amount, you will not qualify for benefits except under certain exceptions. Additionally, you must be disabled or expect to be disabled for at least 12 months. You must meet these two requirements before the Social Security Administration will go on to determine if you are medically eligible for benefits.

So, how do you determine when your disability started (your alleged onset date)? Many people choose the last date they worked as an onset date. Bear in mind that you must support your choice with medical evidence that shows you are disabled according to the standards of the Social Security Administration.

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Whatever date you choose, SSDI benefits will be paid up to 12 months prior to the date of your initial application. There is a full five month waiting period before the Social Security Administration will begin your payments. This means that if you choose an alleged onset date longer than 17 months prior to your applications date, you will not be paid for benefits going back to your onset date. You will be eligible for benefits retroactively to 12 months prior to your application date.

Once you are found to be eligible for SSDI benefits, the Social Security Administration will determine the amount of your monthly payment based on your earnings that can be verified. You can find out what your estimated payments will be by starting a My Social Security Account on the home page of the Social Security website.

The social security lawyers at the Law Office of Robert Koenigsberg can help you decide what you think your disability onset date is. Call us at (212) 964-9292 or fill out an online contact form to schedule a consultation.