If a disability prevents you from working, Social Security Disability benefits can help you maintain your independence.
Because many disabling conditions are progressive, your condition may change after you file your initial application for benefits. In some cases, this might affect your eligibility for benefits.
Can I receive more benefits if my condition worsens?
If you are eligible for SSDI, the SSA calculates your monthly payment based on how much you earned before your disability, not the severity of your condition. This means that if you are already receiving benefits, you will not receive a larger payment if your disability has progressed.
Can I appeal a denial or reapply for benefits?
You have 60 days to appeal a denied SSDI application. After the 60-day period, you will need to reapply with any new evidence you have of your current disability.
A common reason to reapply is that your ability to work has changed. If the SSA originally deemed you capable of substantial gainful activity (SGA) but your monthly income has since fallen below the threshold, you may now be eligible for benefits.
What if I am blind?
If you were not blind when you filed your initial application but have since become blind, your eligibility may have changed.
The SSA has different SGA criteria for people who are blind. In order to receive SSDI benefits, a person who is not blind must earn less than $1,350 per month. However, if you are blind, this limit increases to $2,260 a month. If you have a vision disorder or blindness that has progressed since you first applied, you should reapply.
If you are living with a progressive condition, you should be aware of the resources available to you. Your access to benefits may change as your condition progresses.