Most people don’t believe they will become disabled at any point during their lives. However, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA), “Studies show that a 20-year-old worker has a 1-in-4 chance of becoming disabled before reaching full retirement age.”
The Social Security disability program is one of the most comprehensive assistance programs for people with disabilities in the United States. The Social Security Administration oversees the program, and only those who meet the eligibility criteria can qualify for benefits under the program.
The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs provide aid for people with disabilities. Here’s what you should know about the benefits these programs can provide:
SSDI and SSI Basics
You and certain members of your family may be able to qualify for SSDI benefits if you are “insured.” In essence, you may be able to qualify for SSDI benefits if you worked long enough—and recently enough—and paid Social Security taxes on the compensation you earned.
The SSI program provides benefits to adults and children with disabilities who have finite earnings and resources.
The two programs have significant differences, but the medical requirements for each are the same. So long as you meet the non-medical requirements, you can receive monthly benefits if you have a medical ailment that is expected to span at least one year or will eventually cause your death.
The Benefits You Can Receive from SSDI
Those who receive SSDI benefits are provided with monthly payments that are calculated based on:
- Your age
- Your income
- The number of years you have worked
- The date you are expected to retire
On average, SSDI typically provides coverage of about 40% of your pre-retirement income. You may calculate the benefits you can expect to receive by using the Benefit Calculators provided by the SSA.
When using the Online Benefits Calculator, you will be asked for the following information:
- Date of birth
- Age at retirement
- Annual earnings from 1951 to 2020
- Earnings in 2021
- Expected earnings in 2022 and later
Once you provide the aforementioned information, the calculator will provide which of the three different types of benefits you may be eligible to receive, including:
In addition, the calculator will provide you with monthly estimates of what you may receive for the following benefits:
- Your child
- Your spouse caring for your child
- Your spouse at full retirement age
- Maximum of total family benefits
Unfortunately, there are no specific health insurance coverages administered to SSDI recipients. However, if you receive disability benefits for two years (24 months), you are then eligible for Medicare coverage. The SSA should automatically provide you with this information.
Conversely, if you have certain medical conditions, you may qualify to receive Medicare coverage immediately. The qualifying conditions are usually the most severe, for instance, those who need kidney dialysis.
It’s a good idea to speak with a skilled attorney to help determine whether you are eligible for immediate Medicare benefits.
For those with finite assets, Medicare provides “Extra Help” for prescription drug expenses. This added benefit will help cover the costs of the following:
- Monthly co-payments
- Other expenses that some cannot afford if their income is limited due to their disabling condition
When you are accepted to Medicare coverage, the Extra Help program is worth up to approximately $5,000 per year. You can find the Extra Help application here.
If you suffer from a disabling condition and need help obtaining SSDI or SSI benefits, we are here to help. Our team has helped many others in similar situations receive the compensation they needed, and we may be able to help you too.