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What to Know About Social Security Disability

Social Security provides many benefits to those that are retired and their families. Nearly 59 million Americans receive Social Security benefits each year, with 11 million of those Americans requiring Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits. Around $11 billion is paid to these claimants each month.

SSDI benefits are especially valuable because they kick in when an unplanned illness or disability prevents a person from working, helping to ensure that every person has financial support when they need it.

FAQ About SSDI Benefits

Even if a person does not need Social Security disability benefits now, there are some things everyone should be aware of so it is clear what to do if the time comes.

How does a person apply for disability benefits?

A person is eligible for disability benefits if they have worked for a minimum length of time. As long as a person's annual income exceeds $4,800, they are eligible for 4 credits each year. Depending on the age a person is seeking to obtain disability benefits, a different amount of credits will be required to obtain benefits. For example, someone over the age of 62 must have 40 credits, which is the equivalent to working for 10 years.

How is a disability defined by Social Security?

Social Security has a specific definition of disability that may differ from what a person's employer deems to be a disability. Nearly two-thirds of all claims are rejected due to the strictness of the Social Security disability definition.

The Social Security administration defines disability as an illness or injury that is either expected to last over one year or result in death, and that which leaves a person unable to do the work they did previously.

How much compensation will a person and their family receive?

The amount of benefits a person will receive largely depends on work history until the point the person became disabled. If over the age of 62 or caring for a child under the age of 16, a spouse is able to receive disability benefits as well. Children under the age of 18 or still enrolled in high school are also able to receive benefits from their parent's disability claim.

How will disability benefits affect retirement benefits?

When a person reaches full retirement age, Social Security retirement benefits kick in. Considering that many private disability providers will stop providing benefits once a person retires and that a disability decreases the time a person was in the workforce, Social Security will continue to pay out the same amount as it did under disability.

Knowing the basics of Social Security benefits can be extremely helpful in the event that a person must access them later. For any help applying for disability benefits, do not hesitate to call the Zendeh Deh Law Firm!