Social Security Disability FAQs
Helpful Answers from Our Florida SSD Lawyers
The process of filing for and receiving Social Security disability benefits can be complex and lengthy. At Michles & Booth, we understand that you likely have a few questions about what to expect. Here, our Florida SSD lawyers have compiled commonly asked questions about Social Security disability and provided answers for you. We invite you to browse our SSD FAQs to learn more, or contact us directly to discuss your unique situation.
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Do I pay income tax on my SSDI benefits?
Yes, after a threshold amount determined annually by congress.
Can I work while receiving SSDI benefits?
Yes, the SSA has rules that allow you to perform limited work without losing monthly SSDI benefits.
Why is my SSDI application taking so long?
This is due to the volume of claims being handled by the SSA and ODAR. A typical application takes anywhere from 15 to 24 months, with the average being 18 months from application to hearing.
What happens to my benefits when I reach full retirement age?
Nothing; your disability benefits will simply be called “retirement benefits” from that point forward.
Is there a “waiting period” before I can receive cash benefits?
Yes, there is a five-month waiting period before you can start to draw cash benefits. This “waiting period” applies to the date you became disabled, so if you wait 18 months for a hearing you will be well past your “waiting period” and will begin to receive benefits immediately.
What about a Medicare “waiting period?”
There is a 24-month Medicare waiting period form the date you are found to have become disabled. For this reason it is not uncommon to have to wait six months or more after the decision before you are eligible for medical benefits.
Does Social Security have short-term or partial disability?
No, SSDI only covers you if you are completely disabled and unable to work for a period of at least a year.
Will my private disability policy affect my SSDI benefits?
No. However, your private policy may reduce your benefits if you are accepted for SSDI cash benefits.
Does my workers’ compensation or other public disability benefits affect my SSDI benefits?
Yes, the benefits will offset with the state program having the right to take the offset in Florida. If the state program does not take the offset, then the SSA will.
Does the SSA make compassionate allowances to speed up my claim based on the severity of my condition?
Yes. Please see here for a list of conditions that qualify for an expedited decision.
How does drug and/or alcohol abuse affect my SSDI claim?
If drug or alcohol abuse is found to be a “material” factor in your disability claim, you will not be found disabled.
What should I do to improve my chances at my SSDI hearing?
The single most important thing you can do to help your chances of being found disabled is to consistently seek medical treatment. There are free clinics in almost every community in the United States. The number one reason applicants are denied benefits is lack of objective medical findings to support the severity and extent of the disability. Regularly seeing a doctor can help you overcome that deficiency.
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