More than the 150 million Americans currently receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), coverage that’s paid for using Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) paycheck deductions. At the same time, only one-third of all workers maintain private disability insurance. There are some common reasons that workers apply for SSDI.
In order to qualify to receive disability benefits, a worker must have suffered a sudden onset medical condition such as a heart attack, spinal cord injury, aneurysm or traumatic brain injury. There must be an expectation that it’s going to take them more than a year to recover from it.
If a worker has a chronic health condition such as type 2 diabetes, a stroke, cancer or heart disease that affects their ability to perform their job, then they too may qualify to receive disability benefits.
Many individuals who apply for disability insurance simply desire to continue supporting their family financially while they’re unable to work. Single and married disabled workers qualify to receive an average of $1,234 and $2,130 per month respectively.
When an older worker qualifies to receive disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) enacts a “retirement freeze”. While they’ll continue recording that the worker had $0 earnings during the time that they received SSDI, this won’t factor in to how much in retirement benefits that they qualify for on down the line.
Another common reason that individuals apply to receive disability benefits is because it speeds up their ability to receive government-funded Medicare if they do so. While this health insurance only kicks in 24 months after SSDI benefits payments start, many workers have to wait that long to hear back whether their application is approved. If it takes that long, then the worker will be able to start receiving Medicare right away.
If you’re awarded SSDI, it can also protect your access to long-term disability benefits in the future and reinforce return-to-work protections.
The approval of your application for SSDI isn’t guaranteed. You’re required to have worked for five out of the last 10 years in a FICA-contributing role in order to be eligible in addition to having a medical condition that affects your ability to work.
A Trenton SSDI attorney can help you increase your chances of securing the benefits that you need.