As if the process of obtaining Social Security disability insurance benefits weren't hard enough, a recent story provides an important reminder that eligibility should never be taken for granted.
Specifically, a disabled woman who receives monthly Social Security disability payments claims that the Social Security Administration is seeking the small amount of money she received from a local fundraiser. The woman's posting on a fan page prompted a fundraiser for her to attend a Kansas City Royals ballgame. Since she could not afford to see a live game on her own, fans raised $3,700 for her to go. Now, she claims that the SSA has requested an offset in that amount from her monthly disability payments.
As background, the SSA requires recipients of SSDI or other disability benefits to disclose any changes in their disability status or financial situation. The rationale behind this requirement stems from the eligibility requirements.
First, individuals seeking Social Security disability benefits are required a showing that a physical or mental impairment will prevent an individual from working for at least 12 months. If an individual's health improves and he or she is able to work, there may be a transition period, but disability payments will generally cease after an individual's return to work becomes permanent.
In addition, the SSA wants to be apprised of any changes in a recipient's income. Unlike the SSA's Supplemental Security Income, disability insurance benefits are not need based. Disability payments are intended to cover a disabled worker's lost income. For that reason, workers' compensation or other types of income might affect the amount of an individual's disability payment. If an individual is eligible for both workers' compensation and Social Security disability benefits in the same month, the SSA may require the disability benefits to be reduced by the offset.
Unfortunately, today's story takes these principles to the extreme. Our Philadelphia disability benefits law firm has helped clients in similarly adverse situations with SSA officials. When disputes arise, we have the experience to develop a strategy to help our clients protect their rights. Call our toll free number at 1-866-886-0660 for a free consultation.
Source: AOL News, "Woman with disability loses Social Security income after GoFundMe campaign," Dec. 5, 2016