Board Certified Social Security Law Specialist, Blair Biser takes on 5 questions concerning Social Security Disability.
1. So I’m not completely disabled. I’ve been declared 60% disabled by someone else. Can I get partial social security benefits?
No. With social security benefits, it’s all or nothing. You are either disabled or not disabled. However, if your condition keeps you from doing any past work or any other kind of full-time work, you are disabled by Social Security’s standards.
2. I was injured on the job and I’m getting Worker’s Compensation payments. Can I receive Social Security disability benefits too?
Yes, most likely, if you are approved for Disability Insurance benefits. However, your benefit amount may be reduced depending on how much you receive in Worker’s Compensation payments.You will most likely not be able to receive Supplemental Security Income if you are receiving Worker’s Compensation payments. However, this depends on the amount you receive.
3. I’m receiving early retirement benefits from Social Security. Can I get disability benefits also?
Yes. If you apply for disability benefits before full retirement age, you may also receive disability benefits that will supplement your early retirement benefit.
4. My doctor says I’m disabled. So why haven’t I been approved?
According to Social Security, you have to meet their standards of disability. These standards for determining disability are much stricter than your doctor’s standards. In order to be declared disabled by social security, you must meet the following criteria:
- You are not involved in any substantial gainful activity (In other words, you are not doing a job that earns you more than $860 per month in 2006)
- You have a severe mental or physical impairment that has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months
- You are unable to perform any past work
- You are unable to perform or to be trained to perform any other less demanding work
5. Can I work and receive disability benefits at the same time?
If you are a participant of the Ticket to Work program, you may train to work or work and receive disability benefits for a limited time. This incentive program encourages people to try to go back to work once they no longer have a disability. Eventually, once you are able to sustain yourself by working, your benefits will be discontinued.You should not try to hide your work from Social Security if you are receiving disability payments. If Social Security discovers that you have been working, it may declare that it has overpaid you for the period that you have been working and require you to pay back the overpayment.