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What affects Social Security Disability income?

When you decide to claim Social Security disability benefits, one of the things you may be able to do is to claim a compassionate allowance as soon as possible. This allowance is awarded faster than most others, because it is only given when a person’s disability is obvious. For instance, if you can see that a person’s brain injury has made it impossible for him or her to work, then it would be much easier to award the person disability instead of waiting the full length of time required.

If your disability isn’t as pronounced, it can take around five months for your disability waiting period to end. At that point, your first round of full benefits will be paid on the sixth full month since the injury that resulted in your disability.

How much you’ll receive is dependent on how much you’ve earned over your lifetime with Social Security. Other payments can affect your Social Security, so it’s important to be wary before accepting other kinds of disability payments and to determine if accepting them will cost you more money in the long run.

If you accept something like unemployment benefits, that won’t count as income against your Social Security benefits. However, if you’re receiving Social Security benefits, you may find that your unemployment compensation is affected. Your compensation can also be affected if you end up earning more than 80 percent of your average earnings from before your injury through workers’ compensation, public disability payments or other income. If your income exceeds that amount, it’s most likely that your Social Security disability payments will be reduced or even stopped in some cases.

Source: Social Security Administration, “Frequently Asked Questions,” accessed March 10, 2016

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