Recently on our disability forum a user asked, I was approved for SSDI benefits as a single amputee, with blood clots, high blood pressure, and obesity. Now, however, I am a double amputee and have even more limitations. I am wondering if my SSDI benefit will increase now that I am more disabled?
How is my SSDI benefit calculated?
SSDI benefits are calculated based on the income earned by the qualifying individual, how much money has been paid into the SSA system, the median income for the position in which the worker worked and other factors such as the inflation and the cost of living.
To answer this question, however, it is more important to understand how the SSA determines whether you are disabled than how they calculate your SSDI benefit.
SSDI is not like Veterans benefitsSocial Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is only paid to claimants who are considered 100% disabled. If the Social Security Administration decides the claimant is 100% disabled they will pay them 100% of the SSDI payment they are entitled to receive.
So regardless of your calculated monthly benefit payment amount, if you convince the SSA you are unable to work for 12 continuous months, you have sufficient work credits to qualify for SSDI, and your condition is severe, you will be given all of the SSDI money each month that you are entitled to receive.
The Veterans Administration, however, gives disability benefits for partial disabilities. For example, if you have a amputated hand the Veterans Administration will give you a disability rating, and each month you will be paid a set amount based on that rating. This means that if you are missing a hand you could be considered 20% disabled, but if you are missing two legs your disability rating could be higher.
Can I ever get a higher SSDI payment?
So, lets go back to the question. You mentioned you qualified for SSDI with one amputated leg but now you have two. Because the SSA awarded your benefits based on your previous condition this means they already considered you 100% disabled with one amputated hand (and your other conditions) and gave you the maximum amount of SSDI benefits you were entitled to receive. You will not be entitled to anymore SSDI money, regardless of whether or not you become more disabled.
How do you increase your SSDI benefit? Your benefit payment cannot be increased after you are receiving your payment. The only way to increase your SSDI benefit payment is to work a higher paying job prior to becoming disabled and pay more employment taxes to the government.
SSDI and SSDI are different
Its important to remember, however, that the information above only applies to SSDI benefits. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a different program, and there are things you can do to lower and raise your SSI payment.
For example, if you are receiving SSI benefits and you get married or you are live with someone providing income or resources, this support can lower your SSI payment. If you no longer are receiving that support, however, your SSI payment can increase.
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