Recently on our legal forum a user asked, “I have worked for 20 years, but a few months ago my Lupus got so severe I had to quit work. I would like to apply for SSDI benefits. My spouse, however, make over $500,000 per year. Will the SSA care how much money he makes? Will my benefits be denied or reduced due to his income?”
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Lupus
Lupus, a chronic, autoimmune disease, can damage you skin, joints and organs when your autoimmune creates autoantibodies which attack and destroy healthy tissue. Lupus can be mild or it can be life-threatening. Additionally, symptoms may come and go with some sufferers having long periods where they experience few symptoms. It’s currently estimated that 5 million people throughout the world have a form of lupus.
If you have been diagnosed with Lupus and the SSA determines that your condition is so severe it any either meets a listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments or does not allow you to work for 12 continuous months, you might qualify for benefits. You must, however, not be working and making too much money, and you must have sufficient work credits to be considered insured for SSDI benefits.
How will my spouse’s income affect my SSDI application for Lupus?
Now, you asked how your spouse’s income would affect your Lupus case. The good news is that Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is not a welfare program. SSDI payments are calculated exclusively on your own work record and how much you have contributed to the Social Security Trust Fund while you worked and paid employment taxes.
For this reason, the SSA will not consider in any way how much money your spouse earns, regardless of whether he makes $1,000 or $10,000 per month.
How does SSDI vary from Supplemental Security Income benefits?
What about the stories you’ve heard about a friend being denied disability benefits because her husband made too much money? If this is the case, than your friend applied for a disability program called Supplemental Security Income (SSI) not Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
SSI benefits are benefits offered to those with limited income or resources and who are blind, disabled or aged and cannot work for at least 12 continuous months. Under the SSI program, the Social Security Administration (SSA) does consider the income of a spouse or anyone else who is providing food or shelter to the applicant.
In fact, the SSA will “deem” a portion of the income provided to the claimant and determine if the claimant meets or exceeds the resource and income thresh holds.
Will I be approved for SSDI benefits for my Lupus?
Without more information about your SSDI case and the severity of your lupus it’s impossible to say for sure whether you will be approved for benefits. To ensure you will be approved for benefits, however, you will need to get good, consistent medical care and verify that you have sufficient medical evidence to prove that you cannot work.
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