A temporary or permanent disability can happen to just about anybody. Luckily, there are Social Security benefits for just such a possibility.
If you have an injury that prevents you from working, and you don’t have Disability Insurance, then the Social Security Administration is there to help. It isn’t just for retirement benefits for senior citizens in other words.
How much you can receive and for how long the benefits last depends on a number of factors. There are multiple disability programs available which we will go into in this article.
What are Social Security disability benefits?
These are monthly payments that you receive if you are too disabled to work. Whether that is from a handicap or an injury, you receive these benefits.
If the injury or disability is expected to last more than one year or if working could result in death then you are eligible. To qualify, you can’t already be receiving Social Security benefits.
What is Social Security Disability Insurance?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is an optional withholding that comes out of your paycheck. Instead of paying an insurance company, you pay the Social Security Administration.
It is a safety net that helps cover your finances in case of an injury.
How much you will receive depends on the wages you’ve earned over the course of your work life. They calculate it in the same way that Social Security retirement benefits are calculated.
The difference is that you probably don’t have a 35 year work history if you are disabled or injured. The SSA looks at your number of years worked and calculates your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME) based on your wages which are adjusted for inflation.
At the time of this writing, the maximum amount that can be received is $2,788 per month.
How do you know if you are disabled?
There are certain requirements that need to be met to be considered disabled. To make things easier, the SSA has a list of impairments. Though not every impairment is on that list. That makes it a bit complicated, but there are some criteria that your disability should have if you don’t find it on the list.
If working would cause your death, then that clearly is a disability that SSA will pay for. If your injury is expected to last more than a year in which your ability to work is impeded because you will have difficulty walking, sitting, standing or inability to remember information then you should qualify.
How do you apply for disability benefits?
There are two ways you can apply. You can go directly to your local Social Security office but you’ll need to make an appointment first.
The second way is much easier. If you are reading this then it means you have internet access and can apply online. Whether you plan to apply online or in person and you need more information then call 800-772-1213 to talk to a representative that can help you.