If you can no longer work because of a serious injury or illness, then you might be able to get financial help through the Social Security Administration (SSA) with disability benefits. However, the gaps in employment you may encounter due to your condition may make you ineligible for disability benefits or even reduce your retirement benefits. To decrease the negative impact your employment gaps may cause, the SSA created the “disability freeze”, which holds your insured status and preserves your eligibility for retirement and disability benefits. Keep reading to learn more about the disability freeze.
What are the Disability Freeze Requirements?
To qualify for a disability freeze, the following qualifications must meet:
– Have an insured status for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) because of your past work history
– Have filed for disability benefits within one year of the end of your condition
– Be blind or disabled according to the definitions set by the SSA
Is a Disability Freeze Allowable if you do not get Disability Payments?
In some cases,people who do not receive disability benefits can still qualify for a disability freeze. If you apply for disability benefits after your disability has ended, the SSA will consider the period you were disabled when they calculate your benefits. Generally, you can only apply for a disability freeze if you meet the following conditions:
– You are not receiving benefit payments if you are statutorily blind, but still able to work
– You have earned money based on your employment as a railroad worker or military personnel
– You are incarcerated
Can I get a Disability Freeze if my Condition Started a few Years ago?
If you are able to prove your disability started while you had SSDI insurance benefits, even if it was several years ago, you may still qualify for a disability freeze.
Can Those who Receive SSI Benefits get a Disability Freeze?
Unfortunately, no. Disability freezes are only available to people who get SSDI benefits because they are tied into a person’s earning record.
Is it Better to Apply for SSDI and a Disability Freeze or Take Early Retirement?
Applying for a disability freeze can severely limit the effects of the amount of money you earn during low income years. However, all situations are unique and this decision is based on many factors. It is best to check with a disability attorney to see what choice will work best for you.
If you have questions about disability freezes, contact the law office of Daniel Berger today.