Withholding of Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits occurs for specific reasons, particularly related to monies owed the federal government, or child support or alimony payments. However, other situations arise which may appear to claimants that Social Security is keeping back funds due them. In any case, the question arises, Do I get those benefits returned to me?
Let’s look at a few scenarios.
While not technically withholdings, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may owe you SSDI benefits which accumulate before an official approval. The benefits apply retroactively to the date of application. However, you may be eligible for 12 months of payments prior to that date. These unpaid benefits are due you and will be returned.
Again, not an official withholding, SSDI benefits are taxed in some cases. Household incomes which rise above the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) limits may see part of their monthly benefit check taxed. A spouse’s salary or other sources raise this possibility. Paid SSDI taxes are not returned to you unless your end of the year tax return proves you overpaid in general.
Waiting Period Losses
The SSA withholds the first five months of SSDI benefits from claimants with few ways around it. Much like an insurance waiting period, the SSA assumes short-term disability insurance coverage during this time. Whether this assumption is accurate or not, the process does not allow for an appeal or repayment of this withholding.
While your SSDI benefits come with protection from creditors, the federal government is the exception. Owing money to the IRS or other federal agencies puts you at risk of benefits being withheld.
Food stamp overpayments, federal student and mortgage loans, and unpaid federal taxes fall into this category. Unpaid child support and alimony payments may also negatively impact SSDI benefits.
Limits exist as to the allowable amount of withholdings. And, in cases of proven hardship, the SSA stops some of these withholdings. However, generally, the funds are not returned to you.
Return to Work and Benefits
The SSA provides incentives and offers return-to-work trials. Your benefits may continue under certain conditions and during an adjustment period. However, once your income exceeds the limits and the adjustment period is satisfied, benefits stop.
A 36-month extended period of eligibility begins after three transitional months. If your income drops or you become disabled again, you do not receive the benefits you missed while working. However, you do not need to endure another waiting period after approval.
Navigating the complexities of SSDI benefits and withholdings proves frustrating. An attorney experienced in SSDI gives you the knowledge you need to dissolve your stress.
Contact us today for a free consultation and peace of mind.