If you are disabled or retired, you may receive a monthly check from the Social Security Administration. Sometimes, you may even receive two. You may wonder why that happens – and it’s an important question to ask. At Sackett & Associates, we’re here to help you find the answers to questions like these, and many others that you might have about the Social Security benefits process.
Why Did I Get Two Social Security Checks This Month?
To understand why you might receive two checks in one month, it is important to understand the various types of benefits that are paid by the Social Security Administration:
- Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are benefits provided to those individuals deemed “disabled” by the Social Security Administration, who are also “insured”. To be insured, an individual must have worked for enough years during which they contributed money from their salary into the Social Security system.
- Supplemental Security Income Benefits: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are need-based benefits for those individuals that the Social Security Administration determines are disabled, but who have low income, limited resources, and who do not have a work history that would qualify them to receive SSDI benefits.
- Social Security Retirement Benefits: Social Security Retirement benefits are benefits available to those age 62 or older, who have worked for at least ten years. Typically, these benefits vary based on the individual’s pre-retirement salary as well as the age at which he or she begins collecting benefits.
- Social Security Survivor’s Benefits: Social Security Survivor’s benefits are benefits paid to widows, widowers, and dependents of eligible workers who have passed away.
These various types of benefits may be paid at different times of the month, so it is possible to receive more than one check monthly. Some situations in which multiple payments may occur include:
- You qualify for both SSDI and SSI: This can occur when an individual is approved for SSDI, but the monthly benefit amount is lower than the SSI Federal Benefit Rate. This might occur if you earned low wages throughout your employment history, and your current assets and income are below a certain threshold. In that case, an individual might receive a second check in the form of SSI benefits to supplement the SSDI amount that did not rise to the amount of the Federal Benefit Rate.
- You are owed back payment of benefits: SSDI back pay consists of benefits that you would have received from the time between the date that you applied for benefits and the date that your claim was approved, minus a mandatory five-month waiting period. When the Social Security Administration begins to make those back payments, you may receive two checks in one month.
- You are receiving both SSI benefits and Social Security Retirement Benefits: Generally, those who receive SSDI benefits cannot also receive Social Security Retirement benefits simultaneously. This is because the Social Security Administration created the SSDI program to bridge the gap between the time when someone is forced to leave a job due to disability, and the time when that person can begin to collect Social Security Retirement. There are limited exceptions to this rule, so consulting with an attorney is always helpful. While SSDI benefits and retirement benefits generally cannot be collected at the same time, an individual may be able to receive SSI benefits and retirement benefits as well, up to the established legal benefit amount limits.
- You are receiving both SSI benefits and Survivor’s Benefits: As is the case with retirement benefits, generally an individual cannot collect SSDI benefits and benefits for being a survivor of a benefit recipient at the same time. SSI benefits may be collected simultaneously, however, up to certain established legal limits.
While these are a few reasons that you might receive two Social Security checks in one month, depending upon your unique circumstances, there may be additional reasons as well. For this reason, it is essential to contact an attorney who knows and understands the law, and who can offer you unique advice tailed to your personal situation. At Sackett & Associates, we’re here to do exactly that.
Sackett & Associates – Here For You
If you are disabled, retired – or both – Social Security benefits are likely an important component of your monthly income. Understandably, you might have any number of questions about those benefits, and at Sackett & Associates, we’re here to help. Our talented and experienced legal team understands every aspect of the process and can guide you each and every step of the way with the expert representation you need and deserve. Whether you need assistance with benefits you’re already receiving, or if you’re just getting started with your application, we’re here for you. Give us a call. We look forward to speaking with you soon.