November 20, 2019

How Much Will My Social Security Disability Payments Be?

How much will my Social Security disability payments be?  This is a question I hear very often.  It is an important question, but not one that is easily answered until you win your claim.  There are many factors that go into calculating your disability payments from the Social Security Administration.  It is important to remember there are two distinct programs that can pay disability payments: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Social Security Disability Insurance payments are based on your average earnings over a period of years.  Your contribution to the Social Security trust comes from FICA tax withholdings taken from your earnings.  In other words, any money that you receive and do not pay taxes on is generally not providing for SSDI benefits.  Further, the severity of your disability does not impact the amount of money you will receive.  Rather, the more you pay into the system, the more your payments will be.  Periodically, the Social Security Administration will mail out benefit estimates that may give you an idea of what your monthly disability benefit could be. Your actual monthly payment amount will be determined by the SSA after winning your claim, and you should receive an award letter detailing these payments. Supplemental Security Income benefits (SSI) are paid out on a financial need basis.  What this means is the Social Security Administration will determine your monthly payments by considering other monies and resources that you may have available to you.  Resources such as money you earn through working, your living arrangement, and other money you receive from additional sources are among just a few of the factors that are taken into consideration.  If you win your SSI claim, the Social Security Administration will conduct a resource interview with you to determine your monthly payments.  The … Continued

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October 4, 2012

Social Security Disability Benefits and Strokes

I have represented many of my Indiana neighbors who have experienced strokes, and one thing is certain – none of them have been exactly alike.  Some of my clients experienced a wide variety of physical and mental impairments leading up to their strokes, while others seemed to be perfectly healthy until they experienced their strokes.  One thing they all had in common, though, was that having a stroke altered their lives in ways many of us may could never imagine.  As a Social Security disability attorney, I realize that the particular facts of each case always matter.  With that in mind, I collect medical documentation for each of my clients that will paint a clear picture of the symptoms that person experiences, and how it affects his daily life. As I mentioned before, a person may experience many different symptoms after a stroke, and the ability to recover from those symptoms can vary greatly from individual to individual as well.  Some of the symptoms include, but are not limited to: Numbness, tingling, and weakness Difficulty with speech Problems with balance and walking Cognitive problems Vision problems Headaches The Social Security Administration (SSA) does recognize stroke and the symptoms that accompany a stroke as disabling conditions.  In technical terms, a stroke is referred to as a cerebrovascular accident (CVA).  The SSA addresses stroke in its Listing of Impairments under listing 11.04: Central Nervous System Vascular Accident.  I have found that the SSA and most Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) consider these listings first when trying to determine whether a condition is disabling.  However, many times they fall back on a more generalized look at an individual’s physical residual functional capacity to determine if she is disabled.  When the ALJ looks at your physical residual functional capacity, he is deciding whether the symptoms … Continued

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