Can I Increase My Benefits if My Disability Worsens?
It’s a frequently asked question from a lot of SSDI applicants: Will my SSDI benefits increase if my condition worsens?
As a Memphis Social Security Disability lawyer, I’ve come across this question, or some version of it, a lot. And underneath, the real fear is often what to do if SSDI isn’t enough.
So if you’re applying for SSDI, here’s what you need to know about your SSDI benefits.
What Determines the Amount of SSDI Benefits I Get?
To qualify for disability, you have to prove a number of things to the SSA. We’ve outlined all of those items here, but for the sake of this discussion, you’ll need to have worked for a certain amount of time and paid into the system with your taxes.
SSDI functions like an insurance program. So you pay into it with the understanding that if you ever face a disability, you can receive payments back to help cover your needs.
As a result, the amount you end up receiving depends on how much you’ve paid into the system. If you’ve worked for a long time and paid your taxes, you’ll receive more in benefits than if you’re new to the workforce.
Is SSDI Tied to the Severity of Your Disability?
Because of how the system works, SSDI isn’t tied to how badly your disability impacts you. It won’t change one way or another if you get worse, or even if your condition improves (as long as you remain unable to work as a result of the disability).
Unlike other government benefits, it also isn’t impacted by your financial need. Whether you come from a relatively high-paying job or not, the rules remain the same, and so do the benefits.
What If I need More Disability Benefits Than I Receive?
This is a common problem, and the answer depends a lot on your specific situation.
Some people depend on other government benefits. And fortunately, if you’re able to do certain part-time jobs, you have the option to earn supplemental income.
We’ve written extensively about these options of how to earn money while receiving SSDI. The main thing you want to keep in mind is that every year, the government sets limits on how much you can earn before you lose your benefits. As long as you’re within those limits, you can take on work.
Common examples include:
- Rideshare driving
- Data entry
- Virtual assistance
- Online sales
And more. As you can imagine, there’s a variety of options that depend entirely on the type of disability you experience.
When You’re Worried About Getting the Disability You Need
If you need disability and meet the qualifications, you have every reason to apply and receive benefits. And we can help.
The SSA denies the majority of applications on the first try. When that happens, you have 60 days to appeal – and that’s when you need to call an attorney.
Our team helps figure out what went wrong with your initial application. We strengthen your claim by tracking down documents and expert testimony whenever needed. And we don’t win a penny unless and until we win your case. Even then, it’s limited to a small fraction of your past-due benefits. You keep every dollar moving forward.
We offer a free consultation to answer any of your questions, including what to do when you’re worried you won’t receive enough benefits.