What are Social Security Disability Benefits?

What are Social Security Disability Benefits?

When you qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits, you should expect the following after you are approved:

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When do Social Security Disability Benefits start?

For approved disabilities, Social Security benefits are required to be paid after six full months of disability. The disability payments are paid in the month after they are due, so if you became eligible for disability in March, your first payment would be made in April.

As is often the case, Social Security Disability Insurance payments are delayed for significant time periods while your case is pending.  Once there has been a finding in your favor, you are typically entitled to what are referred to as back pay or back payments.  Back payments are for the period of time from when you first applied until such time as they are awarded, and are typically paid one lump sum check.  In other words, if you applied in January of year 1, but were not successful in your appeal was decided in March of year two, you would be entitled to 13 months of back pay benefits.

In addition to back pay benefits, there is also the concept of retroactive benefits.  Retroactive benefits cover the time period you were disabled prior to having applied for disability.   Generally to be approved for retroactive SSDI payments, you would need to establish that you were disabled prior to your application date for at least five months.

How much are Social Security Disability Benefits?

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The amount of Social Security Disability benefits payable is based in part on your previous average earnings that were covered by Social Security. To accurately calculate the amount of disability benefits that you are entitled, you will need to know the amount of earnings that you have had over the course of your employment.

The best way to determine your average lifetime earnings is to order a copy of your statement from the Social Security Administration. This can be done here.

The Social Security Administration provides several online calculators for determining the amount of benefits you are entitled, but like most online calculators, the result is limited by the quality of information that you have. The amount you receive in Social Security Disability payments may also be impacted by money that you are receiving, or may receive, from a worker’s compensation case, another public disability benefit, and certain pension benefits.

Once you have been approved for Social Security Disability Benefits, the Social Security Disability attorneys at Eason & Tambornini will work with you to make sure your benefits are maximized.

Are Social Security Disability Benefits taxable?

Our Sacramento Social Security Disability Attorneys are often asked if the Social Security Disability benefits are taxable. Generally speaking, they are not. Exceptions can arise for very high-end earners who still have income from other sources, and there can also be some state taxes (depending on where you live). However, with all tax questions, it is important that you seek the advice of a professional tax preparer, as many factors go into the calculation of taxes that are far beyond the scope of advice of a Social Security Disability Attorney.

If you have questions about how to apply for Social Security Disability Benefits, please contact one of the Social Security Disability Attorneys at our office for a consultation.

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