Receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits can provide crucial financial support for individuals who are unable to work due to a disability. However, managing these benefits effectively is essential to ensure long-term financial stability and compliance with Social Security Administration (SSA) regulations.

Here are some valuable tips for successfully managing your SSDI benefits. For personalized assistance, contact PLBH at (800) 435-7542.

Understand Your SSDI Benefits

What Are SSDI Benefits?

SSDI benefits are monthly payments provided to individuals who are unable to work due to a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death. The amount you receive is based on your average lifetime earnings before your disability began.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have worked in jobs covered by Social Security and earned enough work credits. The number of work credits needed varies based on your age when you became disabled.

Keep Accurate Records

Track Your Expenses

Keeping detailed records of your expenses is crucial for managing your SSDI benefits. This helps you budget effectively and ensures that you have the necessary documentation if the SSA requests proof of your financial situation.

Maintain Medical Records

Continuing to receive SSDI benefits often requires periodic reviews by the SSA. Keeping comprehensive medical records, including doctor’s notes, treatment plans, and prescription information, is essential to demonstrate that your condition still meets the SSA’s disability criteria.

Report Changes Promptly

Income Changes

If you have any changes in your income, you must report them to the SSA immediately. This includes income from work, pensions, and other sources. Failure to report income changes can result in overpayments, which you will be required to repay.

Address Changes

If you move, promptly update your address with the SSA to ensure you continue receiving important correspondence about your benefits.

Medical Condition Changes

Notify the SSA if there are any significant changes in your medical condition, whether your condition improves or worsens. This information is crucial for the SSA to determine if you still qualify for benefits.

Utilize Available Resources

Work Incentives

The SSA offers several work incentives to help SSDI beneficiaries return to work without immediately losing their benefits. These include:

  • Trial Work Period (TWP): Allows you to test your ability to work for at least nine months while still receiving full benefits.
  • Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE): After the TWP, you can work for 36 months and receive benefits for any month your earnings do not exceed the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

If your SSDI benefits are low and you have limited income and resources, you might also qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI can provide additional financial support.

Plan for the Future

Financial Planning

Working with a financial planner can help you make the most of your SSDI benefits. A planner can assist with budgeting, managing debts, and saving for future expenses.

Legal Assistance

Consulting with an attorney who specializes in Social Security disability law can provide valuable guidance on maintaining your benefits and addressing any legal issues that arise. At PLBH, our experienced attorneys are here to help you navigate the complexities of SSDI benefits. Contact us at (800) 435-7542 for a free consultation.