How to Handle Getting Less than Full Benefits in Columbia, Charleston & Across SC
When you apply for Social Security Disability, you’ll either be approved entirely or denied for benefits completely, right? There’s no such thing as being a little bit approved.
It’s something you want to know because a lot is riding on your disability claim. Winning monthly checks and access to Medicare are important to your stability and peace of mind when you can’t work due to health problems.
Well, there actually is an in-between, called a Social Security Disability partially favorable decision.
What does that mean?
It’s about how long you have officially qualified for disability benefits in Social Security’s eyes. Longer means more back pay for you. Shorter means less.
If you get less than the maximum possible amount, that’s a partially favorable disability decision.
What can you do next? One option is appealing the decision, but you’ll want to think carefully about it.
In Columbia, Charleston and all around South Carolina, the Robertson Wendt Disability — Finkel Law Firm, LLC, helps people sort through questions like these and go after their fullest possible disability benefits.
Let’s look at what happens in partially favorable cases . . .
How Do You End Up With a Partially Favorable Disability Decision?
When you first apply for Social Security Disability, you give them a date when you believe your health problems first made it impossible for you to work, which is the key qualification for disability benefits.
You might use the date of a diagnosis of your medical condition, the date of an injury, or the date when you had to stop working.
Now, it can often take a while to be approved for benefits. So by the time Social Security decides that your health problems do in fact make you eligible for assistance, months or longer have passed—and they will award you accumulated back pay going back to the date that you said your inability to work began.
If they do that, that’s a fully favorable disability decision.
But a Social Security Disability claims examiner, or an administrative law judge, might instead do one of these things:
- Agree that you qualify for disability benefits, but decide that your disability onset date was later than you reported.
- Decide that your qualifying disability has already started and ended, meaning you can get back pay for a certain period of time, called a “closed period,” but not receive ongoing monthly income support.
Both of those situations are Social Security Disability partially favorable decisions. They both put lower limits on the amount of financial relief you can get from your disability benefits.
A quick note: People can sometimes confuse the rules for Social Security Disability with Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits for people who served in the military.
The VA awards benefits in different amounts by levels of severity of disability. SSD provides benefits when your impairments are enough to stop you from working, or it doesn’t provide benefits at all. Social Security doesn’t have degrees of disability.
But Social Security does have these partially favorable disability decisions based entirely on length of disability.
So next we’ll consider: If you got a partially favorable decision, should you fight it?