Social Security Disability: What You Need to Know

SSDI, or Social Security Disability Insurance, is a Social Security program that gives you monthly cash payments if you become disabled before reaching retirement age, which is usually between age 65 to 67. For many people who cannot work due to a disability, monthly SSDI payments are a necessary lifeline to stay economically afloat.

Over 8 million individuals and more than 1.5 million of their dependent children currently receive SSDI benefits. To qualify for disability cash payments, you must meet specific requirements set by the Social Security Administration. The conditions depend on your disability status and your working status. 

How to Get Started With Disability Benefits
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If you are suffering from a disability and would like to receive SSDI you should know:

  • How the government will determine your monthly benefits

The amount of SSDI money you will receive depends on how long you have worked and paid social security taxes. To figure this out, the Social Security Administration will use a formula that determines how much money you have made and how many years you have worked during over the course of your life.

Your dependents, including your spouse and children, could also receive SSDI benefits through your claim so you must make sure to include them on your initial application.

  • How to qualify for SSDI

To receive monthly cash assistance due to your disability you will need to meet specific conditions regarding your medical condition and the amount of time that you have worked. 

To decide if you qualify for SSDI benefits, the government will evaluate whether you pass two different work tests. These tests use your age and income history to determine whether you have worked long enough and paid enough in Social Security taxes to receive cash assistance for your disability. 

  • What you need to apply for SSDI

You will need several pieces of identification, a recent tax return or W-2, and information regarding your medical condition in order to complete your SSDI claim. 

You should gather these materials as soon as you become disabled so that you can complete the application for your claim as soon as possible.

  • How to file an appeal if your application is denied

The first time that you apply for SSDI, your claim may be denied. This is common and does not mean that you will never receive disability assistance. You can appeal your claim denial and try again. 

A lot of people who file for SSDI find that it is helpful to hire a lawyer to appeal their claim. Many lawyers collect a percentage of your SSDI benefits as payment for their services instead of charging an up-front fee. This means that you will not have to worry about paying your lawyer until your claim is approved.

With SSDI, you can potentially receive more than $3,000 a month in cash assistance. However, the amount you will earn depends on certain factors, like your disability and your work. Next, learn more about how the amount of disability benefits you can receive will be calculated.

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