Becoming disabled is a life-changing experience that can seriously impact your financial situation and your ability to work. If you’re in this situation, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can help.
This government program pays benefits to over 9 million eligible individuals with a disability. The program can even provide additional support to your family! Children can receive SSDI payments if they have a parent who is unable to work. Continue reading to learn more about how SSDI can help you and your family.
Social Security Disability Insurance, commonly referred to as SSDI, is a vital program under the Social Security Administration (SSA). Its primary aim is to offer financial aid to individuals who are unable to work due to a disability, thus replacing a portion of their lost income.
- Work Credits: To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have accumulated a certain number of work credits through your previous employment. The number of credits required depends on your age when you became disabled.
In 2023, You get 1 credit for every $1,640 you have earned during your lifetime, and you can earn up to 4 credits each year. The exact number of credits needed for eligibility may change over time, so it’s essential to check with the SSA or consult with a disability attorney for the most up-to-date information.
- Medical Eligibility: To be eligible for SSDI, you must have a medical condition that meets the SSA’s definition of a disability. The condition must be expected to last for at least one year or result in death. The SSA maintains a list of impairments that automatically qualify as disabilities, but even if your condition isn’t on the list, you may still be eligible if it prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA).
- Current Employment Status: While you can’t be actively engaged in substantial gainful activity to qualify for SSDI, the SSA does provide a trial work period, during which you can test your ability to work while still receiving benefits. This allows you to determine if you’re capable of returning to work without losing your benefits.
You can retain your eligibility for SSDI as long as you are still considered to be disabled and incapable of performing substantial work. Your case will be reviewed periodically, based on an initial assessment of your medical condition when you apply. If your medical condition is expected to improve, then you will likely be reviewed for continued eligibility within six to 18 months after you begin receiving benefits.
If it is considered possible for your medical condition to improve, then your case will likely not be reviewed for at least three years after you start receiving benefits. If improvement in your medical condition is not expected at all, then your case likely will not be reviewed for at least seven years.
If you begin working while receiving SSDI, which is permitted, then the SSA will review your Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) to determine whether you are able to meet their standards.
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