If Disability Worsens, Can Benefits Increase?

June 1st, 2011

Mike, in Carlsbad, California asks “My disabilities have worsened and I have other health problems. Can my monthly disability benefit amount be increased?“

If you are approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and your condition worsens, you will not see any change in your benefits.

Your Social Security disability benefit is based on the amount of your lifetime earnings before your disability began and not the degree or severity of your disability. The amount of your monthly disability benefit will depend on how many years you have been working and how much money you paid in required Social Security payroll deductions. The more you earned, the more you paid into Social Security, so the larger your disability benefit will be. The amount you receive each month can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are different than SSDI benefits. SSI is a welfare type program that is intended for disabled, blind and aged individuals (and couples) that do not qualify for Social Security and have little or no income and assets. The amount available to those who qualify for SSI is a fixed amount and is the same for everyone. The monthly amount available for SSI individuals in 2010 is $674. The monthly amount available for SSI couples in 2010 is $1,011.

The amount you receive in Social Security Disability benefits does not depend on your needs, or the severity of your disability. It is strictly based on your work history and the amount of money you have paid into Social Security Disability Insurance.

Click here to contact an experienced disability attorney in the Southern California area (San Diego, Riverside, Los Angeles, etc…).

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