For some individuals, one of the more complicated aspects of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is that their disability waxes and wanes, allowing for some periods of employment, other times of partial employment, and extended durations when work is impossible. This, in turn, has a significant impact on income and how it is calculated in determining disability benefits. In order to assist applicants in navigating these difficulties, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has instituted “disability freezes.” At the Law Offices of Kantrovitz & Associates, our Social Security attorneys have helped Massachusetts residents take advantage of such freezes to improve their level of financial assistance.Understanding a Disability Freeze
When applicants are approved for disability benefits, their average yearly earnings are used to calculate the amount of assistance that they are entitled to. For workers who are in and out of work, periods of low earnings due to missed work can have a negative effect on their overall benefits. In order to help deal with this problem, the SSA can institute a disability freeze, which is a period of time when your earnings are not considered for purposes of computing your amount of SSDI.
Individuals who are temporarily unable to work due to a disability can apply for such a freeze to prevent their earnings during that period from being included in later calculations if they eventually apply for government benefits. Thus, for example, if you have been working at a job for nine months where you earn $1,000 a week, but are temporarily disabled due to a medical issue and able to earn only $500 a week, you can apply for a disability freeze. If you later return to work, only to find that you have become permanently disabled, your earnings during the time of temporary disability will not be used in calculating your eventual SSDI payments.
Obtaining a disability freeze can be complicated. Generally, in order to qualify, an individual must have sufficient work history to qualify for SSDI, must have filed for disability while disabled or within 12 months of when his or her disability ended, and must be deemed disabled by the SSA. In addition to these basic requirements, other factors come into play, including your history of disability. For this reason, if you are considering requesting a disability freeze, it is important to reach out to a qualified attorney to explore the options that may be available to you.Seek Advice from a Massachusetts Attorney on Your Government Benefits Claim
Establishing your eligibility for government benefits can be confusing, particularly when your earning capacity fluctuates greatly. Fortunately, the SSA understands that the effects and limitations of disability may vary and that wages are not always consistent during periods of temporary disability. For this reason, it has provided for disability freezes. If you or a loved one would benefit from applying for a disability freeze in order to prevent low wages from being used on an SSDI calculation, we are available to help. The government benefits lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates can explain the eligibility process to Massachusetts residents and help them determine whether a disability freeze is a good option. Based in Boston, we assist claimants in Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Plymouth Counties. You can contact us for more information at (800) 367-0871 or online.