Social Security provides benefits to workers with a disability that interferes with their work-related activities. These benefits can be an essential financial lifeline.
The average Social Security Disability insurance benefit for workers with a disability in 2021 was $1,280.42 per month according to June 2021 data from the Social Security Administration. These figures were based on average lifetime earnings and not on household income or the severity of the disability.
You can estimate what you could earn in the estimated benefits section of your Social Security statement. A disabled worker and their family can receive 150 percent to 180 percent of the disabled worker’s benefit.
Eligible family members usually include a spouse, divorced spouse, child with a disability or an adult child disabled before 22. In Jan. 2021, the estimated average Social Security benefits paid to a disabled worker, their spouse and at least one child was $2,224.
SSDI benefits come from payroll deductions that cover retirement, spousal and survivor and other Social Security benefits. To qualify for disability benefits, a worker must have worked a required amount of time in Social Security covered jobs.
Workers usually need 40 credits. Twenty of these credits must be earned in the previous 10 years ending in the year that the worker was disabled.
Supplemental Security Income is another program that pays benefits to individuals with financial needs regardless of their work history. It has different benefits and qualifications than SSDI.
Workers should apply for benefits as soon as they are disabled. There is a mandatory waiting period and benefits are issued after the full sixth month of disability. Processing an application may take three to five months and count as part of the mandatory waiting period after the onset of the disability.
The SSA reviews five factors when determining eligibility. First, whether the applicant is currently working. A worker is not disabled if their earnings averaged over $1,310 per month in 2021.
Next, the worker must have a severe condition that interferes with basic work-related activities. The condition must also be on a SSA list of disabling conditions and last at least one year or result in death.
If the worker cannot perform the work that they performed earlier, SSA will determine whether the applicant can perform other types of work. It will consider factors such as the worker’s age, education, and work experience.
This process may be complicated, and you may unintentionally surrender important rights. Attorneys can help assure that you present the most effective claim possible and represent you in proceedings.