The Social Security disability application process can be long and changes in your health condition can arise along the way. A worsening medical situation can impact how applications are processed, and severity of a condition can help move things along for a quicker decision. But can Social Security disability increase if a condition worsens? We break it down for you below.
How is Disability Determined?
You must meet specific eligibility requirements in order to qualify for disability benefits, including your current income. If you are making enough money to be considered Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA), you may not be eligible for disability benefits.
Ultimately, the amount of your disability benefits is not based on the medical condition you have or even the severity of your condition. It is based upon how much you’ve paid into the Social Security system through the payroll tax. The only exception to this rule is blindness, which can significantly increase the amount of earnings that are considered SGA.
Is It Possible for Disability Benefits to Increase?
The amount of disability benefits you receive does not depend on how disabled you are or how limited you are due to a medical condition. The amount you receive is based upon your earnings history. If you are approved for disability benefits by the Social Security Administration (SSA), you are, by definition, totally and permanently disabled. Therefore, even if your condition worsens, you are still fully disabled and therefore will not receive a Social Security disability increase. The only change to benefits payments to keep in mind is that if your condition improves, you may actually end up losing benefits if the SSA deems you able to work.
Re-Applying for Disability
If you are denied disability benefits, the best way to proceed is to file an appeal within sixty days. If you have missed the time frame for an appeal, you may still be able re-apply based upon the same condition. Either way, prepare to hunker down for the long haul. There is a good chance that your claim will be denied twice before you’ll have the opportunity to present your case to a U.S. Administrative Law Judge.
Contact the Attorneys at Woodruff & Mathis
If you have a current medical condition and are considering applying for disability benefits or appealing a denial, don’t let frustration or confusion prevent you from receiving the benefits you need. Working with an experienced disability attorney at Woodruff & Mathis will give you the resources you need through every step of the application process. To inquire about next steps, please request an appointment.