When someone collects Social Security disability, the amount they receive is typically modest compared to what they had been making when they were still working. That's because disability benefits are based on your average lifetime earnings, which is then added to a complex equation to determine how much you should receive. Disability payments may be lower because the ALE takes into consideration any low-income jobs you may have had.
Presently, people with disabilities who want to increase their income have two options: return to work or apply for unemployment benefits. But if the current changes to the 2016 budget go through, then people with disabilities may only have one option remaining: return to work. This is due to a budget cut that was approved by the House recently that would make it impossible for people receiving Social Security Disability Insurance to collect unemployment benefits as well.
Although advocates for the budget cut are convinced this will address the "double dipping" problem in the nation, opponents of the change say it will actually hurt legitimate beneficiaries because it forces them to either return to the workforce, which may not be possible for some people, or remain a low income or impoverished individual.
Some also believe that the proposed budget cut wrongfully singles out people with disabilities and denies them access to the benefits that they paid into all those years they were working. Some disapprove of this "second-class treatment" and say that Congress should reconsider what affect this budget cut will really have on Americans.
Although the remaining option of returning to work still remains on the table, it's important for our Westbury readers to know that job earnings can affect the amount disability benefits a person receives. They may even make a person ineligible from collecting disability benefits entirely.
As anyone who has visited our site knows, the Social Security Administration doesn't always give you all of the information you need in order to make decisions about your life and your disability benefits. This can leave you with a lot of questions and few answers. By talking to one of our experienced attorneys though, you can get answers you can trust and the help you need to make the right decisions.
Sources: The Center for American Progress, "Cutting Social Security Disability Insurance Won’t Help Anyone Go Back to Work," Rebecca Vallas, April 14, 2015
The Social Security Administration, "Disability Benefits," Accessed April 16, 2015
The Social Security Administration, "Working While Disabled -- How We Can Help," Accessed April 16, 2015