Do SSDI Benefits Increase If Your Condition Worsens?
You suffered a disability after getting into a car accident and now you cannot work. Your condition is getting worse, to the point where you can barely move. You are currently receiving disability benefits, but if you let the Social Security Administration (SSA) know, will they increase your Social Security Disability benefit amount?
The answer is no. Your benefits will not increase if your condition worsens. This is because your benefits are not based on your degree of disability. Instead, you receive them based on your earnings history, so it doesn’t matter what type of disability you have and whether or not it has gotten worse. This is different from other government programs, such as workers’ compensation and veterans benefits.
Your disability benefits amount will continue to remain the same because it is the same amount as your full retirement benefit which is based on your work record. What this means is that your disability benefits are based on you receiving them at the full retirement age.
Also, if the SSA has approved your disability claim, they are already determining you to be fully disabled. Under the SSA’s definition of disability, your illness or injury must prevent you from working and last at least one year or result in death. So even if your condition worsens, it doesn’t make you any more disabled based on Social Security regulations.
However, there is one exception. Your benefit payments can change if your condition improves. The SSA does periodic reviews on those under the age of 65 who are collecting disability benefits. If you get better and can start working again, your benefits will likely stop.
Also, keep in mind that if you have not yet been approved for Social Security Disability benefits, a worsening medical situation can potentially help you get approved more quickly. The SSA can fast-track claims from applicants who have terminal or rapidly progressing diseases. There are currently 242 conditions that qualify, including fast-moving cancers, immune system disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, and rare genetic disorders.
Also, once an applicant has reached a terminal stage, their application can be moved to the front of the line. There are other circumstances that could expedite the process. For example, a low-birth-weight infant or a disabled applicant in danger of becoming homeless could be approved for benefits quickly as well.
However, a waiting period for SSDI claims applies. Even if you are able to fast-track the process, the earliest that you can receive any payments is five months from the date your disability started, based on SSA’s determination and the medical evidence you provide.
Learn More About Social Security Disability Benefits
Your Social Security Disability benefit amount will stay the same, regardless of your health situation. The only exception is if your condition improves.
Learn more about SSDI benefits by contacting White Plains Social Security disability lawyer Michael Lawrence Varon. We can help determine eligibility and answer your questions. We also may be able to expedite the approval process. To schedule a consultation, fill out the online form or call 914-294-2145.