Can you get more money from Social Security disability if your physical or mental health condition takes a turn for the worse after you are approved for disability benefits.
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is “no.” The amount of your SSDI benefit is based on a calculation that looks to the amount of Social Security taxes you paid into the system. If you are found disabled and unable to work by Social Security, you get a monthly payment based on SSA’s formula. A deterioration of your medical condition will not cause your monthly benefit to increase.
If your medical or mental health condition improves to the point where Social Security concludes that you can perform the duties of a simple, entry-level job, SSA can cut you off, and the termination impacts your total monthly check – there is no partial disability in the Social Security disability system.
The same rules apply in SSI (Supplemental Security Income) cases. Your SSI payment does not go up if your condition worsens. SSI is not based on your earnings record (often SSI claimants don’t have an earnings record) and the amount you receive each month is determined by Congress. In 2017, the most you can get from SSI is $735 per month. In 2016, the amount was $733. Usually the maximum SSI payment will adjust upwards every year to reflect a cost of living increase.
SSDI payments, which arise from your earnings and tax payments typically fall in the $1,000 to $2,000 per month range, and SSDI payments are also not subject to SSI offsets for family support or assets you may own. This is why you are usually better off collecting SSDI than SSI.
There is also no provision whereby you can switch from SSI to SSDI since it is very unlikely that your earnings record would show any earned income after you are awarded SSI.
If you are fortunate enough to win SSDI or SSI, the amount of your monthly benefit is not going to change.
Not yet approved and searching for answers – get our free Social Security Disability Survival Kit for insider information about how the SSD system works.