Ask Terry Questions Disability/ SSDI — Very Tricky Calculations!

Disability/ SSDI — Very Tricky Calculations!

By Terry Savage on December 28, 2023 | Wild Card

Hi Terry,
I’m 54 and have been collecting SSDI for about 4 years due to major back problems. I’m a single dad and my son will be turning 18 soon and I will lose his benefits once he graduates HS. I have have 3 questions.
1. how do I know I’m getting the correct amount for myself through SS.? I know you have that website about maximizing your SS, but I’m not sure if that is for people on disability through SS.
2. I still have to support my son when he goes to college, I assume SS will not extend his benefits.
3. If I try and get a job working for Uber or something that I can do for a couple of hours to make up the lost income, I know SS has SGA, but is that going to send off bells to SS to cut my benefits? I can’t work 40 hours due to my pain and disability, but I need to live.

Thanks for your time

Terry Says

This was so complicated, and I wanted to be sure to get it right, so I passed it on to SS Expert (and my co-author of Social Security Horror Stories), Larry Kotlikoff.
Here is a “cut and paste” of his extensive answer to your question!
********************************************
1. how do I know I’m getting the correct amount for myself through SS.?</em

maximizemysocialsecurity.com doesn't compute disability benefits. But it does let you enter your DI benefits in calculating what dependents can collect and what other benefits you can receive, e.g., a higher retirement benefit from suspending at full retirement age and restarting at age 70. Or dependent benefits you can collect based on your current of ex spouse (of ten or more years of marriage.)

2. I still have to support my son when he goes to college, I assume SS will not extend his benefits.

That’s correct unless he is disabled based on a childhood disability.

3. If I try and get a job working for Uber or something that I can do for a couple of hours to make up the lost income, I know SS has SGA, but is that going to send off bells to SS to cut my benefits? I can’t work 40 hours due to my pain and disability, but I need to live.

Be extremely careful here. Social Security can and will kick you off disability if you earn more than they permit. They also love to clawback benefits from the disabled. This publication needs to be read 10 times over to understand what you face in earning money. https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10095.pdf If you earn more than $1,050 (the 2023 figure) per month for more than nine months, you use up your Trial Work Period. Now you can earn up to the Substantial Gainful Activity level — $1,470 in 2023 ($2,460 if you’re blind) — for the next 36 months. But if you exceed this level for even one month, you’ll be booted from the system as of that month. By the time you learn you have been booted, you may have received years of payments — payments Social Security will not claw back. Whatever you earn, send Social Security your paystub every month by certified mail, signature required. But don’t earn more than you can and still continue to collect your benefits. Social Security will catch up with you and claw back what it decides you owe even if doing so will make you lose your house, your medication, your food, … . Social Security is not your friend. It’s a soulless machine that loves to go after people just like you.

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