Social Security Disability Insurance: What It Is All About

Social Security Disability Insurance is a special form of insurance in the United States. When you get yourself insured by a Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) policy, your family members will receive monetary benefits from the insurer if you can’t work anymore as a result of a physical handicap or any severe disease which will probably persist for no less than 12 months or lead to passing away within a period of 12 months. However, you or your family members will be getting the SSDI benefits if you have worked for a sufficient period of time and you have been paying FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) taxes. This tax is debited from the paychecks of the employees. Self-employed individuals have to pay both the employer and employee’s contribution of it.

How does Social Security Disability Insurance Work?

Social Security Disability Insurance is a constituent of the social security scheme which finances a number of retirement benefits to a large number of aged citizens in the United States.

SSDI is a federal insurance program launched by the Government of the United States. The responsibility of handling Social Security Disability Insurance lies on the United States Social Security Administration (SSA). Social security disability benefits can either be temporary or permanent and this entirely depends on the nature of handicap the individual is suffering from.

If your disability is authentic as per the Americans With Disabilities Act, then you qualify for this benefit.

The amount of social security disability benefit is not decided by the earnings of the handicapped person in any way.

Once a person receives the disability benefits for a period of two years, he automatically qualifies for Medicare no matter how old he is. If his earning is too small, he might be eligible for Medicaid.

Who can qualify for SSDI?

People who meet the following criteria can get Social Security Disability Insurance for themselves:

  • They are suffering from a bodily or mental illness which stops them from participating in any SGA (substantial gainful activity), and
  • The illness is anticipated to continue for a minimum period of one year or lead to loss of life, and
  • They have not reached 65 years of age, and
  • Typically, 20 social security credits have been gathered by them over the past 10 years before the early stages of the handicap. Usually, 4 credits each part or whole year; one extra credit will be necessary for each year with which the age of the employee goes beyond 42

The Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST) will help you know the list of benefits for which one may qualify and give you additional details regarding how to become eligible and apply.

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Applicants who can substantiate that their disability took place at or prior to the age of 22 can get their job requirement set aside. They may be permitted to accumulate the work credits of their parents. As a result, there is no loss of benefit to the parents.

How does the approval of SSDI take place?

Proper documentation of medical proof is necessary to get the claim for SSDI. The approval takes place after a series of questions is asked in a successive manner:

  • Is the applicant engaging in a substantial gainful activity? If yes, reject the application. If no, proceed to the following step.
  • Is the disability of the applicant serious? If no, turn down the application. If yes, proceed to the following step.
  • Is the disability fulfilling or matching the seriousness of disabilities in the Listing of Disabilities? If yes, approve the application. If no, proceed to the following step.
  • Does the applicant have the capacity to carry out the activities that he/she used to do previously? If yes, turn down the application. If no, proceed to the following step.
  • Does the applicant have the capacity to carry out any job in the financial system? If yes, reject the application. If no, approve the application.

What are the disabilities that are eligible?

The common disabilities that are deemed eligible are as follows:

  • Mental impairment
  • Musculoskeletal conditions like arthritis
  • Nervous system disorders
  • Cardiac ailments
  • Endocrine disorders like diabetes mellitus
  • Lung disorders

Disabilities are assessed by the healthcare professionals of the Social Security Administration corresponding to its guidelines.

How is the social security disability payment calculated?

The benefit receivable every month is different for everyone. The SSA uses a complicated weighted index for computing the payouts for every individual. You can log on to the social security website to determine whether you are currently eligible for disability and the amount you would be getting if you are a disabled individual.

Does receiving benefit from other sources affect SSDI?

If you have been getting benefits from private sources for your permanent disability, it does not hinder SSDI. Nonetheless, short-term disability benefits and workers’ compensation benefits can have an effect on it. However, VA and SSI benefits don’t lower your Social Security Disability Insurance benefit. In contrary, SSDI payouts might lower Social Security Insurance payouts or disqualify you for SSI.

If your application for SSDI has been turned down for any medical reason, you can go for an appeal which can be filed online.

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