For many, May marks the end of high school and the beginning of a new chapter. Many students spend the summer preparing for college. This transitional time is hard for most students, but it can be even harder for students who suffer from a disability. While making this decision for their future, they must also face the question, “How will I support myself financially during the next few years?”
Eighteen is a hard age for these students as many of them become disqualified from Social Security’s supplemental security income (SSI) program. However, if this is your case, you might still be able to receive a different kind benefit called Social Security disability insurance (SSDI).
What Is SSDI?
SSDI is funded through payroll taxes. Those who are eligible must have worked for a certain number of years and have contributed to the program through the taxes they have paid.
We recognize that if you are unfortunate enough to experience a disability before the age of 18, it is unlikely that you have worked enough hours to contribute the expected amount. So how can disabled college students draw benefits from this program? Social Security allows students to receive the benefits from this based on their parent’s work record. If you became disabled before the age of 22, you can lay claim to your parent’s benefits as long as they have paid into the system via payroll taxes. Your parent must also be receiving Social Security retirement, receiving disability benefits, or deceased.
How Much SSDI Will I Receive?
If you are approved by the SSA to receive these benefits, these payments will be based on your parent’s work history and previous income. It is important to note that if someone else in the family is also receiving disability benefits on the same record, your number of awarded benefits may decrease.
Can I Still Receive Benefits If I Work?
Students receiving SSDI benefits are allowed, and even encouraged, to work if possible. However, your benefits can be reduced or even eliminated if you make over a certain amount a month. This amount is referred to as evidence of substantial gainful activity (SGA), which means that you’re making enough income to survive without benefits. In 2018, students can earn up to $1,180 a month without losing any provided SSDI benefits. When calculating this, you can exclude any necessary work expenses from the total income.
What If I Get Married?
Many people meet their spouse in college. At the University of Evansville, the male to female ratio is 46 percent male to 54 percent female, so the odds are good that many students may find their spouse during their college years.
As a student receiving SSDI benefits, this could have a completely different impact on you than it would other students. If you get married to a non-disabled individual, you would lose your SSDI benefits. If you get married to another person who is disabled, you may be able to continue drawing on your parent’s benefits.
Help from an Evansville Social Security Disability Attorney
College can be a challenging time for students with disabilities. You should not have to take the burden of these Social Security decisions and applications on by yourself. Let our experienced attorneys help you apply for Social Security disability benefits. Call Hensley Legal Group today for a free consultation or contact us online.