Meeting both the medical and financial eligibility to receive disability benefits can be a daunting task. Your responsibilities not only include going to the doctor to fully document your impairments, but can also require that you accurately file your taxes.
A person can only be eligible for Title II disability, or SSDI, if they have worked for a certain length of time at above a certain level of income.  The income level changes every year, but the time requirement has remained the same over time.
In order to prove that you are insured and can receive SSDI benefits, you must have paid into Social Security and filed your taxes for any other jobs that you might have completed. Sometimes the Social Security Administration makes an honest mistake and cannot find your tax records that prove that you should be able to receive benefits. If possible, it may be beneficial to keep our tax records accessible so that you can show the Social Security Administration that you indeed made enough money to receive benefits. However, most of the time your employer reports your earnings and your Social Security payments are taken out of your paycheck automatically.
Being self-employed may create some complications to reporting your income. In order to possibly receive benefits, the Social Security Administration requires that if you made $400 or more in net earnings, you reported those earnings in your taxes.  Net earnings is the amount of money that you earned above the amount of losses you reported on your taxes. For example, if you earned $10,000 in profits from your business, but you lost $12,000 due to expenses or damages to products, then your net earnings would be $0 and you wouldn’t be paying into Social Security.
It’s imperative that in order to receive benefits from the Social Security Administration, that you not only filed your taxes but that your self-employment rose to the level where you had net earnings. In the year 2023, to get at least 1 credit, you would need to report net earnings of $1,640, with additional credits being earned, up to 4, for net earnings above $6,560.  While we at Premier Disability Services, LLC do not create eligibility for disability benefits, we can help you understand how to become eligible for benefits as well as discuss with you why the Social Security Administration has deemed you ineligible for benefits. So give us a call today so that we can discuss these complicated issues as your representative with you.
By: Devon Brady, of Premier Disability Services, LLC
1 See https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/disability/qualify.html
2 See SSA’s handout labeled EN-05-10022
3 See https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/disability/qualify.html