- How Can You Get a Copy of Your Benefit Verification Letter?
- What Is In a Benefits Letter?
- How Much Can You Receive in Benefits?
- Understanding Social Security Benefits Programs
- Do You Qualify for Disability Payments?
- Why Would the SSA Deny Your Benefits?
Social Security beneficiaries can obtain a copy of their Social Security Benefit Verification letter from the Social Security Administration (SSA). This document outlines your disability, Social Security, or Medicare benefits. You may need a copy of your Benefit Verification letter when applying for a loan, mortgage, housing, or energy assistance. Periodically checking on your benefits may also help safeguard against errors, theft, or fraud.
If you need help understanding your letter, a Social Security disability attorney with Berger and Green can assist you. If you are in the process of seeking benefits, our lawyers can review your application or help you with an appeal.
How Can You Get a Copy of Your Benefit Verification Letter?
According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), your Benefit Verification letter is also known as a “benefits letter,” “proof of award letter,” or “proof of income letter.” However, you should not confuse this document with the award letter you received when the SSA originally approved your benefits application.
You can obtain a copy of your Benefit Verification letter via your My Social Security account. You can log in to an existing account or create an account here. You will be able to immediately view, print, and save your letter.
If you already receive Social Security benefits or have a pending application, you can request that the SSA mail you a copy of your benefits letter within ten days. If you do not want to request your letter online, you can call the SAA at 1-800-772-1213 or contact your local SSA office. To find an office near you, click here.
What Is In a Benefits Letter?
Your Benefit Verification letter contains detailed information about your Social Security benefits. It is a good idea to check this statement at least a few times per year to verify the SSA’s calculations and ensure all of your information is up to date. If you find your letter difficult to understand, our lawyers can provide you with a simplified explanation. We can also help sort out any mistakes or discrepancies.
Your letter also contains your name, birth date, and other personal information. You want to keep this secure to protect against fraud or identity theft. If you request a copy of your letter by mail, make sure your address is up to date so that it is sent to the correct location.
How Much Can You Receive in Benefits?
According to the SSA, the average monthly benefit across all disabled workers was around $1,234 in 2019. If you receive SSDI payments, your ability to do substantial gainful activity (SGA) will factor into your benefits. The SGA limit for 2022 is $1,350 or $2,260 for blind individuals.
If your SGA is above these minimums, it could affect your disability benefits, as can workers’ compensation or retirement income. If your Social Security Benefit Verification letter shows a reduction in your payments, our attorneys can help you understand why.
Understanding Social Security Benefits Programs
Disabled individuals can apply for benefits through one of two distinct Social Security programs:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) – SSDI provides benefits to blind, injured, or sick workers “insured” by the program through Social Security contributions based on their wages or self-employment income. To qualify for SSDI payments, you must have a qualifying condition that is disabling and have enough earned work credits. In general, you can apply if you have 20 credits or about five years of work.
- Social Security Income – SSI provides payments to disabled individuals based on their resources and income. You do not need work credits to qualify for this needs-based program.
Do You Qualify for Disability Payments?
To get approved for disability benefits, you must have a condition that is disabling. The SSA lists qualifying conditions and medical criteria in the Blue Book. Eligible injuries and illnesses include:
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Cardiovascular system conditions
- Hematological disorders
- Congenital disorders affecting multiple body systems
- Senses and speech disorders
- Digestive system disorders
- Skin disorders
- Neurological disorders
- Immune system disorders
- Respiratory disorders
- Genitourinary disorders
- Endocrine disorders
- Mental disorders
The SSA will require medical proof of your condition. Therefore, you should submit as much documentation as possible with your initial application. If the SSA needs more medical evidence, they may ask you to submit to a consultative examination (CE).
Why Would the SSA Deny Your Benefits?
There are several reasons your disability application may get denied, including:
- You did not supply enough medical evidence
- You did not attend the SSA’s request for a CE
- You make too much money
- You made a technical or clerical mistake on your application
- The SSA cannot locate you
- You do not have enough work credits
- Your condition does not qualify or will not last 12 months or more
You can increase your chances of approval by carefully and correctly completing your application the first time and supplying adequate medical proof. Our lawyers can help by evaluating your initial application.
How Can Our Social Security Disability Lawyers Assist You?
Our attorneys are here to help you understand your current Social Security benefits and investigate and correct any discrepancies found in your benefits letter. We can also assist with your initial disability claim. Our team can:
- Answer any question you have
- Identify gaps in your medical or work history
- Double-check your application for clerical or technical errors
- Help file your claim with your local Social Security office
- Help you file an appeal if necessary
- Represent you during reconsideration or an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing
- Help you submit new medical evidence if needed
Contact Berger and Green
Our Social Security disability lawyers have helped thousands of clients in Ohio and Pennsylvania seek the benefits they need and deserve. We can assist with your application, appeal, or Benefit Verification letter issue at no upfront cost to you.
We only collect a fee if we achieve a successful case outcome. Contact us for a free case review and to learn more about our services.