According to experts and studies, there is a 35% chance that people in their 20s will experience a disabling condition such that they can not work or earn. But even with such high percentages and risks, most Americans do not have long-term disability insurance.

What should you do if you experience an injury or illness that impairs you from working? You can apply for the monthly disability benefit offered by the Social security administration.

Applying for social security disability benefits can be difficult, and you might need help from a Paducah, KY disability lawyer, but this guide will help you understand the basics.

What are social security disability benefits?

Social security disability benefits are put in place by the law to help people financially who are unable to work due to their disability. There are two programs offered by the social security administration, including:

● ·         SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance)
● ·         SSI (Supplemental Security Income)

There are some similarities between the two programs, but some fundamental differences make them unique. SSDI and SSI are for two different types of disabled workers. They differ in the funding amount, funding source, and the criteria for qualifying.


What is SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance)?

Social Security Disability Insurance is a program that supports workers who suffer from disabling disease or injury and cannot work. However, SSDI differs from other types of insurance in that you do not have to pay premiums to the insurance company.

Instead, you directly pay Social security taxes out of your paychecks, and a certain portion of this tax goes to the SSDI. If you have an injury or disease that has disabled you, you can apply to get SSDI benefits. You can take benefit from the social security disability benefits for the time you are disabled until you retire, after which you can shift to retirement benefits.

How much money do you get from SSDI?

If you qualify to receive SSDI, the amount of money you will receive depends upon your work history and the wages you earned in the past. The same approach is also used to calculate how much income you should receive through Social Security retirement benefits.

To calculate retirement benefits, the Social Security Association (SSA) takes into account your average wages over the years you have worked and adds that number into a formula. The answer is the amount of income you receive monthly.

Do you qualify got SSDI?

In order to qualify for SSDI, you need to pass the basic criteria:

1.    ​You must have sufficient number of work credits in the past

Work credits are points you get when you earn and pay social security taxes. In 2019, you earned one work credit for every $1400 you earned in wages or through self-employment income.

According to this, you earn up to four credits every year. So once you have $5300 in taxable income in a year, you cannot earn more credits that same year.

The number of work credits that you need in order to qualify for SSDI depends on how old you were when you were disabled. You can qualify if you had earned 20 or more credits in the ten years before you were disabled and if you have earned 40 or more credits.

However, if you were young when you became disabled, then the work credit requirement for your age will be lesser. If you were below 25 when you became disabled, then you can be eligible for SSDI with only six work credits in hand in the three years prior to you becoming disabled.

2.    ​You should not be involved in any SGA (substantial gainful activity)

SGA or substantial gainful activity is defined as earning a certain amount of income from work. If you earned the income from some other source, it would not count. The SGA level differs every year.

For example, in 2019, if you earned $1190 per month from work, you will not be allowed to receive SDI as the social security administration will deem you as being involved in substantial gainful activity. This restriction is to make sure your disability is really preventing you from working.

3.    ​You need to be disabled

You need to be deemed disabled, which means you should have a serious long-term medical condition that has made you disabled and prevents you from working. The cause of your disability does not matter. However, you should meet the social security administration’s definition of disability.

4.    ​You must be disabled enough to be unable to do any job you are qualified for

In order to qualify for SDI, your disability should prevent you from not only doing the job you were engaged in when you became disabled but also any other job that you are qualified for.

The social security administration will look at all your skills to find out a job you are qualified for and can do despite your disability. As a general rule, the younger you are, the more likely it is for SSA to find a job you can do that works for you despite your disability.

5.    ​Get in touch with a social security disability lawyer

Applying for the SSD benefits can be a difficult task. Your best option for navigating through the social security disability benefits application procedure is to take help from a disability lawyer.The people from Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer firm has the best-experienced lawyers that can help you develop a persuasive cause for disability benefits.

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What happens if I don’t have enough work credits?

If you do not have the number of work credits required to receive SSDI, it is possible that you can qualify based on your parent’s or spouse’s work credits. This includes:

·         Widows and widowers aged between 51-61 who became disabled and qualified for widow’s disability benefits based on the spouse’s work records.

·         If you become disabled before the age of 21, you can be eligible for the SSDI by being classified as an adult child based on your parent’s work record.

If you cannot qualify for the Social Security Disability Insurance on your own work credits and your family member’s work credits, then you will not be able to receive SSDI benefits. However, you can look into the Supplemental Security Income Program, which also offers disability benefits.

In a nutshell

Becoming disabled is a very difficult time of your life, especially on a financial level. However, the Social Security Administration offers different disability benefits programs to help individuals who have become disabled and, as a result, cannot work to earn themselves a living. The SSDI can help you financially, but you need to qualify for it.