Social Security Disability Benefits

December 23, 2014 // Bucket Strategy Investing

Many people plan on working all the way through to their planned retirement age, whatever age that might be. But sometimes things can happen that disrupt those plans. What if a disability were to prevent you from doing the work that’s been the source of your income? If you become disabled, Social Security may provide some benefits to you.

The Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs are two of the largest of several Federal programs that provide help to people who are disabled. Both are administered by the Social Security Administration, and only those people who have a disability and meet medical criteria may qualify for benefits.

According to the Social Security Administration, “Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are ‘insured,’ meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes.” Supplemental Security Income, SSI, is different from SSDI and pays benefits based on financial need.

When you apply for either program, the Social Security Administration will collect medical and other information from you and then make a decision about whether you meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of being disabled.

For SSDI, first you must have enough Social Security work credits to qualify for disability benefits. Social Security work credits are based on your total yearly wages or self-employment income, and you may earn up to four credits each year. In general you need 40 credits, and 20 of those, need to have been earned in the last 10 years before you became disabled. Younger people may qualify with fewer years of credits.

Next, there are five questions that the Social Security Administration uses to see if you meet their definition of being disabled: Are you working? Is your condition “severe”? Is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions? Can you do the work you did previously? Can you do any other type of work? Your answers to these questions will help the Social Security Administration decide if you qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

Social Security rules can be complex and challenging to understand. Your financial advisor should make you aware of how Social Security benefits may affect your retirement planning process and construct your financial plan with this in mind. For more information on how Social Security benefits fit into your overall retirement planning strategy, call us today at 800-644-1150. You may also contact the Social Security Administration by visiting their website at www.SSA.gov or calling (800) 772-1213 to speak with a Social Security Administration representative.

The information being presented is for educational and informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any specific securities product. The information provided is based on current laws, which are subject to change at any time, and has not been endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any government agency. Lucia Capital Group is not affiliated with the Social Security Administration.

Investment advisor representatives of Lucia Wealth Services, a registered investment advisor, are also registered representatives of, and offer securities through, Lucia Securities, LLC, a registered broker/dealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Lucia Wealth Services and Lucia Securities, LLC are wholly owned subsidiaries of Lucia Capital Group. John Dean and John Ransom are not affiliated with Lucia Securities, LLC.

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