Published on: January 10, 2023
Social Security disability benefits provide a financial lifeline when a disability prevents you from working and earning a living. Whether you are in the process of applying for disability benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income programs or already receive monthly benefits, the disability advocates at Disability Experts of Florida want you to receive all of the benefits that your physical or mental health condition makes you eligible to receive.
As your circumstances change over time, the benefits that you are eligible to receive may change, as well. For example, SSDI benefits include Medicare coverage after two years of receiving monthly benefits, but you may qualify for Medicaid while waiting for Medicare coverage to begin. A disability advocate at Disability Experts of Florida can determine whether you are eligible under the rules established for the state in which you live.
Here are some of the available disability extra benefits with an explanation about eligibility for each one to ensure that you do not miss out on any that you may be entitled to receive.
Medicare Coverage During and After A Trial Work Period
When you receive SSDI benefits, there may come a time when you want to test your ability to return to work. The Social Security Administration offers you the opportunity to do that through a trial work period that can last for up to ns, but the months do not have to be consecutive. The only requirement is that you complete them within a 60-month period.
Earnings that you receive during the nine-month trial work period do not count against your SSDI monthly benefits. You get to keep the money you earn and receive SSDI. At the conclusion of the nine months, you are eligible for an extended period of eligibility lasting for up to 36 months. However, work earnings may affect your eligibility for SSDI benefits during a month when you earn more than $1,350 in 2022, which shows that you can engage in substantial gainful activity. The SGA amount for someone who is blind is $2,260 in 2022.
If the two-year qualifying period for Medicare eligibility has passed, returning to work may not affect coverage. Medicare coverage remains in place after you return to work for up to eight and a half years, which includes a trial work period, provided the disabling condition has not medically improved and continues to meet Social Security disability guidelines. If it does, you could receive Medicare Part A, which is hospital coverage for free and be entitled to purchase Part B Supplemental Medical Insurance and Part D prescription drug coverage.
Family Benefits Through SSDI
When you qualify for SSDI benefits, the following family members may also qualify based on your work record:
- Your spouse
- A former spouse when you are divorced after being married for at least 10 years.
- Your unmarried children younger than 18 or between 18 to 19 years old and full-time students up to grade 12.
- Your adult child is disabled before age 22.
There is a cap on the total amount payable as family benefits. Although each family member may receive up to 50% of your monthly SSDI benefits, the total paid to all eligible members of your family is 150 to 180% of your benefit. Payments made to family members do not reduce your monthly SSDI payment.
If family benefits exceed the cap, the amounts paid to each eligible member of your family are reduced to bring the total within the allowable maximum. Your monthly payment remains unaffected.
The general rule is that your spouse must be at least 62 years old to qualify for benefits through your work record. However, an exception applies in situations where your spouse provides care for your child who is younger than 16 years of age. Your spouse also may qualify for benefits while caring for your child who is older than age 16 and became disabled before age 22. The disabled child must be entitled to disability benefits for the exception to apply.
Additional Benefits for Children Receiving SSI Payments
An unmarried child who is younger than 18 years of age and receiving SSI benefits may qualify for additional benefits when a parent dies. As long as the child became disabled before age 22, receiving SSI benefits does not preclude the child from being eligible for child’s benefits through SSDI based on the work record of the deceased parent.
Changes In Income and Resources Of SSI Beneficiaries
If you qualify for SSI benefits and experience a decrease in the value of resources or income, you may be eligible for an increase in your monthly benefits by reporting the change. Monthly income and the total value of financial resources available to you may reduce the payments you get from SSI, so a reduction in resources or income could make you eligible for an increase in SSI benefits.
Contact An Experienced Disability Advocate
The disability advocates at Disability Experts of Florida focus on your needs and ensure that you receive all of the Social Security disability benefits available to you. Contact us today for a free consultation.