Most able-bodied Americans work, but unfortunately, some people have permanent disabilities that prevent them from holding a job. The U.S. Social Security Administration supports disabled people in California by giving them money to live on. To ensure this funding only gets sent to those who need it, the SSA periodically reviews recipients’ impairments.
Understanding Social Security disability benefits
Unlike some public benefit programs, the SSA only provides Social Security disability benefits to people who meet certain work-related eligibility guidelines. The federal agency requires recipients to accumulate 40 work credits to receive disability benefits. Recipients must earn 20 of these credits within the decade before they become disabled.
Although work credit limits change every year, the SSA considered $1,410 in wages equivalent to one credit in 2020. After earning $5,640, for example, you earned your maximum four credits for 2020.
Under the SSA’s rules, Social Security disability benefits only cover total disability. The SSA defines disability through three components:
- You’re unable to perform the work you previously did.
- You can’t adapt to other types of work.
- Your disability will last for at least one year.
The basics of continuing disability reviews
As long as you qualify for disability benefits, you’ll receive them every month until you return to the workplace. Due to the long-term nature of these benefits, the SSA performs continuing disability reviews to determine whether recipients’ disabilities have changed.
Continuing disability reviews take place every five to seven years. The SSA uses two forms, SSA-454 and SSA-455, to gather review-related information. In addition, the agency opened up an online portal through which you can complete the Disability Update Report SSA-455 online. Simply follow the on-screen instructions to fill out the report.
Are you worried about the future of your disability benefits? You may benefit from asking an experienced Social Security disability benefits attorney for professional assistance.