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Disability benefits are designed to help those that need financial assistance due to a disability. Usually, these people are unable to work due to this disability. There are many reasons why someone may need disability benefits. Once your application for these benefits has been accepted, there are certain guidelines that you should follow so that you can continue to live a healthy life. Here are some guidelines to live by when you receive disability benefits.

Work to Increase Self-Sufficiency

Disability benefits are often given to those that cannot work for an extended period of time. However, these benefits usually only replace less than half of your average wage income. This means that the person receiving benefits may need to return to the workforce in order to receive the income needed to pay for all of their necessities. The Social Security Administration (SSA) encourages people to find work if they are able to. To assist people receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI) with this process, the SSA offers a nine-month trial period in which the person can work while continuing to receive disability benefits. If the income they receive from their job is not considered substantial, they may be able to increase that time to 36 months.

Consider Any Living Situation Changes

The amount of money you receive as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) largely depends on your living situation. If your living situation changes, it could affect the amount of money that you’ll receive. For example, if you move into a senior living facility or a retirement home, the Social Security Administration may consider that in-kind income and it could alter the amount of money you receive. These changes, as well as any money earned from work, could be subtracted from your disability benefits. The SSA may determine that your expenses are reduced due to this change and may adjust your benefit amount. If you expect to change your living situation, you should ask about how it will affect your benefit amount so that you can make any necessary adjustments to your expenses.

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Understand Your Future Health

Any time someone receives disability benefits, they are categorized as either Medical Improvement Expected (MIE), Medical Improvement Possible (MIP), or Medical Improvement Not Expected (MINE). These categories determine whether or not your medical condition is expected to improve or not over a period of time. If your medical condition improves, it could affect your benefits. To determine whether or not your condition has improved, the SSA will review your condition through a process known as Continuing Disability Review, or CDR. Those categorized as MIE will usually see a review between six months and two years. Those categorized as MIP will usually see a review in two to five years. You will need to follow any treatment plan in an attempt to improve your condition. Failure to do so could jeopardize your benefit status.

Those who are unable to work may be eligible for disability benefits. The amount of money they receive depends on numerous factors, such as their living situation and health. These guidelines will ensure that you understand your benefits and anything that might change them. Contact DisABLEd Workers if you’re looking to get back into the workforce through the Ticket to Work program.