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Understanding the Social Security Disability freeze


Residents in Michigan who suffer from disabilities have a lot to confront. Not only do they have to deal with the realities of their medical condition, including the physical pain and emotional turmoil, but they also have to find a way to pay for their medical treatments and recoup their lost wages so they can pay their other, oftentimes every day, expenses. Filing a Social Security Disability claim is certainly one of the best ways to find financial stability in these situations, but does that affect one's ability to acquire future Social Security benefits upon retirement?

Without action it could. Social Security benefit amounts are determined on several factors, but one of them is an individual's length of employment and his or her salary, to a certain extent. So, when an individual is suddenly rendered disabled and incapable of working, his or her gap in employment and lost wages could affect his or her potential Social Security recovery upon retirement. But there are steps that can be taken to prevent this from happening.

A disabled individual can apply for a disability freeze, which essentially disallows the period of disability from being counted negatively against his or her future benefits. In order to qualify, an individual must be categorized as being disability insured, an application must be filed with the Social Security Administration, he or she must be able to prove that he or she is currently disabled, and a waiting period must be served.

These seemingly minor steps could be huge in the long run. With that in mind, those concerned about how their disability benefits may affect them in the future should consider discussing the matter with a legal professional. This could help individuals make informed decisions regarding his or her situation.

Source: Social Security Administration, "DI 10105.005 Eligibility for Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) or the Disability 'Freeze'," accessed on Sep. 14, 2015

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