Social Security Disability Insurance: An Overview
Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI is one of the largest federal programs, which was organized to provide monthly benefits for people who have become disabled and are incapable of working.
Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income
The SSDI should not be confused with Supplemental Security Income or SSI. SSDI pays benefits to disabled individuals and certain family members if they are covered by the insurance, meaning that the claimant has worked long enough and have paid Social Security taxes.
SSI, however, is based on a person’s financial needs, as it provides benefits to disabled individuals who have limited income. Both programs are under the Social Security Administration (SSA).
In order to be eligible to receive benefits, you must be able to meet a number of requirements.
- Medical Requirements
The Social Security disability insurance benefits will be granted for individuals whose disability limits their capability to perform work-related tasks or basic activities like walking, standing, lifting and remembering. The person should also be fully disabled, not partial, and his/her condition is expected to last at least 12 months.
The SSA also requires that your medical condition should be listed in Social Security’s list of impairments. If it’s not included in the list, the agency will determine if your condition is of equal severity as that of one included in the list. If your condition still doesn’t meet the requirement, SSA will see if your impairment is keeping you from performing work you did in the past.
- Work Credits
In order to receive Social Security disability benefits, you should also have worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes when you were working and have the required number of work credits. The number of work credits depends on what age you became disabled.
- Financial Requirements
If you are disabled, it means you are not capable of doing any type of work that is considered “substantial gainful activity” or SGA for at least a year. SGA level for 2017 is $1,170, which means that if you are earning the said amount every month, then SSA will not consider you disable and you will not be eligible to receive the disability benefits. For blind applicants, SGA is $1,950.
Approval of Application for Disability Insurance
Once your application for Social Security disability insurance is approved, you will not receive the benefits right away. SSA will pay you your benefits on the sixth full month following the date your disability was determined by the agency. For instance, if your disability started on May 15, 2017, you will receive your first benefit on November 2017.
The SSA pays benefits on the next month following the due date. This means that, if the due date of the benefit payment is in November 2017, you will receive your payment in December 2017.
For 2017, the average Social Security disability benefit amount is $1,171 per month. If your income was fairly high during the time you were working, you may receive as much as $2,687 per month in disability benefits.
For further reading on the process of Social Security disability application.