Social Security Disability Definitions
Social Security Disability and SSI Overview
The Requirements for Disability
Social Security Disability and SSI Applications
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial
Disability Denials and Filing Appeals
Social Security Mental Disability Benefits
Disability Benefits offered through Social Security
Benefits through SSI disability
Disability Benefits for Children
Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify
Social Security Disability and Working
Winning your Disability Benefits
Social Security Back Pay and the disability award notice
Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney
Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions
What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?
Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
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Can I Receive More Social Security Disability If I Get Another Condition Or Illness?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
The amount of an individualís Social Security disability benefit does not depend upon the quantity of medical and/or physical conditions or illnesses. In fact, the severity of an individualís condition or illness has nothing to do with the amount of their disability benefit amount either.
An individualís earnings prior to becoming disabled are what determine the amount of their monthly disability benefit. Each year, an individualís earnings are reported to the IRS and recorded on a Social Security Earnings record. Social Security is responsible for maintaining and correcting individual earnings records.
Keeping this in mind, you can see that the number of illnesses or conditions an individual has or acquires while receiving Social Security disability has nothing to do with the amount of their monthly disability benefit.
At this point, you may be wondering if there is anyway to increase an individualís disability benefit amount. Unfortunately, there are very few ways that an individualís disability benefit can be increased.
I can think of only two ways an individualís monthly disability benefit amount can be increased.
Disability benefit amounts can be increased through cost of living increases or by work activity. Most years, Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability beneficiaries receive an increase in their disability benefits to account for inflation. The only other way an individualís disability benefit can increase is through work activity.
Work activity and Social Security disability entitlement are a tricky situation. Part of the definition of Social Security disability is that an individual must have a medically determinable mental or medical impairment that has prevented them from working and earning SGA (a monthly earnings amount) for at least twelve continuous months, or is expected to prevent SGA work for twelve months.
This means that, to be approved for disability, you must be unable to perform substantial work activity (SGA stands for substantial gainful activity). So working could actually cause an individualís disability benefit to be suspended or even terminated.
Even though work activity can cause problems for disability beneficiaries, those who have not worked much, or have very low earnings amounts in the years prior to becoming disabled, may find that even work that is not SGA may cause an increase in their monthly disability benefit amount.
However, most Social Security disability beneficiaries will have no increase in their disability benefit amount other than cost of living increases.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions
Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The Disability Decision Process and What gets taken into Consideration | Getting Denied for Disability Benefits | Questions about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | Social Security Disability Hearings | Social Security Medical Examinations | Social Security SSI Doctors | Social Security Disability Representation | Social Security Disability SSI Reviews