Worsening of Health for Social Security Disability Beneficiaries
In general, a downturn in your heath with increasing level of disability will not result in an increase in benefits. Your Social Security Disability payment amount is not based on your degree of disability. Instead it is based on your Social Security-covered earnings before your disability began. See our article “If I am Approved for Disability, How Much Will My Social Security Disability Benefit Be?” for more information.
Other Possible Benefits Because of Worsening Health
Although Social Security Disability benefits do not increase when you develop new medical conditions or a worsening of your disabling condition, there is a potential for additional income if you are receiving disability due to low vision and your condition progresses to legal or full blindness. Individuals who are blind or legally blind can earn more money from work while continuing to receive Social Security Disability, so their overall income is higher.
Individuals who are approved for Social Security Disability and later develop kidney failure that requires regular dialysis or transplant can become eligible for Medicare coverage before the twenty-four month Medicare waiting period is met. For more information about Medicare, please visit our article “If I Am Approved for Social Security Disability, Will I Get Medicare and Medicaid Health Insurance?”
However, if you go back to work after you start receiving your disability benefits, you may be eligible for a higher benefit amount based on those new earnings being added to your former lifetime average.