Understanding the Social Security Disability eligibility requirements is complicated enough one time around-when the criteria changes on an almost daily basis, it can be frustrating. However, as daunting as it is, it is essential to know how these changes will affect one's application and the benefits one is set to receive.
As mentioned many times on the San Diego Social Security Disability Law Blog, a qualifying individual must demonstrate that they cannot engage in substantial gainful activity. This means income more than a certain level is going to disqualify an applicant. Therefore, it is very important to know what this number is in 2018. In 2017, the threshold was set at $1,170 for non-blind persons and it has increased to $1,180 in 2018 for non-blind persons. Similarly, the trial work period threshold has also increased slightly, from $840 in 2017 to $850 in 2018.
California residents may also be aware that one must have worked for 40 quarters and earned wages during that period. However, those who have earned a certain amount of taxable income during a certain year can also qualify to receive SSD benefits. It doesn't matter how long one has worked if they have earned that money in a year. The amount equivalent to a quarter of coverage has also increased in 2018--from $1300 in 2017 to $1320 in 2018. Average benefit for disabled workers has also increased in relation to the inflation rate-from $1173 in 2017 to $1197 in 2018.
To get the SSD benefits one deserves and needs, one must demonstrate their eligibility. Therefore, it is important to know how eligibility and benefits are both set to change. Ensuring the correct paperwork is filed and documentation is provided falls on the recipient's shoulders and it might be beneficial to have an experienced attorney by one's side guiding them through the process.