Can Social Security Disability Check Your Bank Account?
For those receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the short answer is yes, the Social Security Administration (SSA) can check your bank accounts because you have to give them permission to do so. For those receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or regular Social Security Retirement Benefits, the short answer is no, because there is no limit to the assets one has in order to be eligible for benefits.
How Often Does Social Security Disability Review Your Case?
When you are awarded disability benefits, your case is categorized into one of three categories, including Medical Improvement Expected (MIE), Medical Improvement Possible (MIP) or Medical Improvement Not Expected (MINE). Which of these categories your particular case falls into determines when you will be receiving continuing eligibility reviews and how long your Social Security Disability benefits will continue.
If your case is labeled as MIE, SSA expects that your condition will improve and you will be given a continuing eligibility review in approximately six to eighteen months. If during that review it is determined that your condition has improved and you are able to return to work, your benefits will be discontinued. If your condition has not improved at the time of your review, your disability payments will continue and you will receive another review in another six to eighteen months.
If your case is labeled as MIP, SSA believes that it is possible that your condition will improve but is not likely. In this case, you will be given a continuing eligibility review in approximately two to five years. If, at the time of this review, your condition has improved and you are able to return to work, your benefits will stop. If you are unable to return to work and your condition has not improved, then you will continue to receive disability payments and will be up for review again in another 2 to 5 years.
If your case is labeled as MINE, SSA does not think your condition will ever improve. You will still undergo continuing eligibility reviews, but those reviews will be conducted approximately every 5 to 7 years. As long as your condition does not improve, you will continue to receive benefits until you reach retirement age, at which point your disability benefits will convert over to Social Security Retirement benefits.
Can You Lose Disability Benefits If You Have An Increase In Income Or Assets?
Yes, you can lose disability benefits if you have an increase in income or assets. In order to remain eligible for SSDI, one cannot have earned income exceeding $1,220 per month. However, there is no limit to the amount of unearned income one earns
Can I Appeal A Denial?
To appeal a denial of SSDI or SSI benefits, you need to follow the instructions included in your notice of denial. The first step, in most states, is to file a request for reconsideration. A reconsideration is a complete review of your claim. It takes place at the Disability Determination Services (DDS) level, but is performed by a medical consultant and examiner who was not a part of the initial decision.
If your request for reconsideration (of an initial claim or continuing disability review termination) is denied and you want to appeal further, you must request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ) within 60 days from receipt of your denial. If you lose at your disability hearing, you can request that the Appeals Council review your case. The Appeals Council randomly selects cases for review and has discretion to grant, deny, or dismiss your request for review. The Appeals Council can dismiss your case without review unless it finds one of the following:
An abuse of discretion (for example, your hearing was cut short); an error of law (for example, a claimant was not permitted to cross‑examine a witness) by the ALJ; the ALJ decision is not supported by substantial evidence. The Appeals Council usually looks for a flaw in the ALJ decision before granting a review. In those situations, your chance of winning is only 2% to 3%. The Appeals Council is not a place where you are likely to find success.
For most people, the only reason to file a request with the Appeals Council is to exhaust all the SSA administrative appeal avenues, which you must do before you sue the SSA in federal court. Federal judges hear disability cases without juries. The judge is supposed to review the case only for legal errors, but in reality many judges rule on factual questions, too. District court judges reverse ALJs or the AC in only a small number of cases, but they “remand” (send back to the SSA) a larger amount of the disability cases they see, often saying that the SSA did not consider a treating doctor’s opinion sufficiently, did not consider pain and other symptoms, or should have asked for assessments of abilities from treating doctors.
Social Security Disability FAQs
Anyone who has tried navigating the Social Security Disability system can tell you that it is complicated—to put it lightly. Though SSI and SSDI payments can be a godsend to those who need them, the system that provides them can be very difficult to navigate, with rules, regulations, and unknown factors that can confuse the average person.
What is Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program run by the Social Security Administration (SSA). It provides benefit payments to disabled people who cannot work, as well as certain family members of disabled people.
Does Every Disabled Person Qualify for SSDI?
No. In order to receive federal SSDI benefits, you must meet certain qualifications.
How do you Qualify for SSDI?
There are three major categories you have to fall into in order to qualify for SSDI. You must be:
- Under 65 years old (as those above 65 qualify for similar programs for the elderly)
- Not working or earning a significant amount
- Disabled by an SSA-recognized “long-term” disability
- Someone with a sufficient work history.
Which Disabilities Qualify for SSDI?
SSDI recipients must be diagnosed with a disability recognized by the SSA. The qualifying disabilities are listed in what is called the “Blue Book.” They include:
- Musculoskeletal problems (i.e., severe back injuries)
- Cardiovascular conditions (i.e., congestive heart failure or artery disease)
- Respiratory conditions (i.e., COPD, emphysema, or chronic asthma)
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Digestive tract disorders (i.e., Crohn’s or IBS)
- Immune System Disorders (i.e., lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and HIV/AIDS)
- Skin disorders (i.e., severe dermatitis)
- Hematological/blood disorders (i.e., bone marrow failure, some forms of anemia)
- Neurological disorders (i.e., MS, Parkinson’s, cerebral palsy, epilepsy)
- Mental illnesses and disorders (i.e., chronic depression or anxiety, schizophrenia, autism, or intellectual/developmental disorders)
These are only some of the conditions that may qualify you for SSDI. When evaluating disabilities, one of the most important factors considered by the SSA is whether your condition is “severe.” In this context, this means that the disability significantly limits your ability to perform basic work-related tasks, such as standing, lifting, thinking clearly, walking, sitting, and/or remembering.
Another important factor is your prognosis. In order to qualify, a disability should be expected to prevent you from working for at least a year. SSDI does not cover “short-term” illnesses or injuries.
What Does My Work History Have to Do with Whether or Not I Qualify for SSDI?
SSDI is funded by FICA payroll taxes. As such, the program requires you to have “paid in” a certain amount throughout the course of your working life before you became disabled. This means that most adults with no work history will not be able to qualify for SSDI (though some exceptions are made for younger disabled people and those with specific impediments to work).
The metrics used to calculate whether you paid enough into the system to qualify are somewhat complicated. However, to summarize, they are counted in what’s called “work credits.” Each year that a person works, they can earn a maximum of four work credits. The exact amount of credits a working person receives each year depends on how consistently they are employed, the sort of work they are doing, and how much money they make.
If you think you might qualify for SSDI, but have been rejected or don’t know how to apply, there is help out there for you. Randy Rosenblatt and the experienced social security disability team at Disability Law NW in Lake Oswego, Oregon can guide you through the process of application or appeals from start to finish. Attorney Rosenblatt knows how to get results for his clients, and prides himself on helping people in need get the help they deserve. Call (503) 868-4748 for a free consultation today.
For more information on SSD Reviewing Your Bank Account Throughout the North West, a FREE Initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (503) 868-4748 today.