If you’re looking to get the maximum possible amount for your disability check, you’ve come to the right place.
According to researchers, many Americans don’t have any idea about how social security works. This causes them to miss out on strategies that can boost their social security checks. As a result, they only get a portion of the total benefit amount they’re entitled to.
Various factors affect your social security disability benefit amount. But it still boils down to how much social security taxes you’ve paid before you got disabled. This is why the benefit amount varies significantly for each person.
If you want to increase your benefits as much as possible, here are some tips for you.
Know How Much You’re Entitled
Knowing how much social security taxes you’ve paid helps you figure out how much benefits you can claim. The Social Security Administration (SSA) now has an online platform where you can check your social security credits.
All you have to do is log-in to their site and create an account. Once done, you can use it to view your social security records, including your earnings history and estimates of your benefits.
Be Thorough and Specific When Applying
When you apply for disability benefits, the SSA will ask you to fill-up a form disclosing your injury. The information you declared in there will be used to determine your eligibility. If the SSA deems that your medical condition doesn’t meet their criteria for disability, your application will be denied.
Thus, being thorough and specific in your application is essential. Avoid vague answers like “I feel pain in my foot” or “My hands feel numb.” Add more details such as “The pain in my left foot prevents me from walking or running.”
If possible, ask the help of your treating physician. They’ll be able to describe the extent of your injury more accurately.
Compare Benefit Options
Disabled workers aged 62 to 66 years old has the option to avail of either disability or retirement benefits. But availing of retirement before 66 years old can reduce your benefits.
Disability benefits, however, do not change no matter what age you apply. If you’re already receiving disability benefits, it will automatically convert to retirement once you reach full retirement age. So be sure to calculate and compare which benefit option will give you a bigger payout.
List Down Your Dependents
Children below 18 years of age are eligible for up to 50% of their parent’s disability benefits. The same goes for those who become disabled before the age of 22. Even if your child is already 18, their benefits will continue if they are still in elementary or secondary school. With these, listing down all your qualified dependents will help boost your disability benefits.
Social security disability benefits form part of your taxable income. If you file taxes as an individual, you will pay taxes if your income is over $25,000 per year. Married couples who opt to file jointly will pay taxes for a combined income of more than $32,000.
To minimize your taxes, calculate your annual income, including your disability benefits. If you’re married, include the annual revenue of your spouse along with his/her benefits (if any). Use this data to figure out which option will help you minimize taxes on your benefits.
Explore Additional Benefits
Most of those who are eligible for disability benefits will also qualify for other additional benefits. Some of the benefits you might be eligible to are:
- Spousal Benefits
- Survivor Benefits
- Parent’s Benefits
- Children’s Benefits
- Veterans Benefits
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
There are also several state assistance programs for low-income families. Check with your local state welfare office to know more.
Hire an Experienced Lawyer
According to the SSA, hiring a representative is not required, but it will make things so much easier.
An experienced workers compensation lawyer like Victor Malca can help you determine more accurately which benefits you should apply for. He has already helped thousands of injured workers across Florida get the full amount of benefits they rightfully deserve. His more than two decades of experience in the field will also help you get your application approved faster. Contact us now for a free consultation.