Posts in:January, 2023


Posted January 31, 2023 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Social Security disability benefits are primarily broken into two types: Title II (SSDI/DIB) and Title XVI (SSI/DI). The latter isn’t employment-based. However, for this discussion, we’re dealing entirely with the former, or Title II, claims.

Title II benefits function as a form of retirement, and both your initial eligibility and your total benefits are tied to your earnings history. Specific eligibility requirements and overall benefits calculations are outside the scope of this discussion. However, this is the link to your paycheck, and it’s important to understand that each time you “pay into Social Security” this way, you’re impacting both your eligibility for Title II benefits as well as your overall benefits following a successful Title II claim.

First, making these payments for a full quarter (three months) earns you a “credit” toward eligibility. To be eligible, you must have accrued credits in 20 of the last 40 quarters immediately preceding your application. In other words, you must have worked and made payments across enough three-month periods to equal five out of the last 10 years immediately prior to your application date.

Second, the more you’ve paid into Social Security, the greater your benefits are likely to be following a successful Title II claim. This is because Title II functions as a form of retirement by replacing a percentage of your pre-retirement income. Generally speaking, Social Security is based on your highest 35 years of earnings, provided you still meet the eligibility requirement. Again, specifics on how the percentage is calculated are outside the scope of this conversation. However, it’s easy to see how making higher and/or additional payments could increase your future benefits following a successful Title II claim.

Please contact us for a free, no-obligation evaluation!

By: Devon Brady of Premier Disability Services, LLC®

I Was Sent an AOD Amendment Request: Now What?

Posted January 13, 2023 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Occasionally, administrative law judges will send what’s called an “AOD Amendment Request”. Essentially, they are indicating that if you are willing to adjust your alleged onset date to a date they specify, they will award you either a partially or fully favorable decision. Both the date and whether the decision will be partially or fully favorable will be specified in the request.

            This request is optional. You may choose to proceed with your original alleged onset date, and your claim will proceed to the next stage as planned. However, before you make your decision, it’s important to understand how each option impacts your claim and your potential benefits.

            If you choose to accept the request, the largest—and likely most important—impact it will have on your benefits is a possible reduction in backpay. Whether it will result in a reduction, and if so by how much, depends on what type of benefits you applied for and the new alleged onset date (after accepted the amendment request). Partially favorable decisions will still follow the analysis below for whichever benefits would be awarded in the amendment request.

If you had a Title II (SSDI/DIB) claim for which benefits would be awarded, you will still be eligible for up to 12 months of backpay. The exact amount you receive depends on your new alleged onset date: the farther it is from your application date, the more backpay you’ll receive, up to a maximum of 12 months. Unfortunately, if your new alleged onset date isn’t prior to your application date, you won’t be eligible for backpay.

If your claim was for Title XVI (SSI/DI) benefits only, or if you are accepting an amendment request resulting in only Title XVI benefits, you will need to compare your original application date with your new alleged onset date. Title XVI claims are only eligible for benefits beginning on their application date. However, if your new alleged onset date falls after your original application date, benefits will begin as of your new alleged onset date.

If you accept the amendment request, a decision will be rendered, and then the Social Security Administration will contact you to collect any necessary details and arrange payment. However, if you deny the amendment request, your claim will proceed to the next stage as planned, whether that’s the initial hearing or, if an unfavorable decision was received, an appeal. Denials simply communicate that you feel confident the medical evidence supports a disabled finding as of the original alleged onset date.

Regardless of your decision, you should communicate it as soon as possible to ensure you don’t exceed any filing deadlines. If you have legal representation, you should inform them of your decision first, even if you’re planning to deny the request. Beyond that, nothing else is required!

Contact Us today for a free disability evaluation!

By: Devon Brady of Premier Disability Services, LLC®