Americans who worked long enough to have paid into the Social Security system can get Social Security Disability Insurance benefits if they become disabled to the point that they can no longer work. Benefits are paid monthly if you have a medical condition expected to last at least one year or result in death, according to the Social Security Administration.
The amount of your payment depends on your work and salary history, similar to Social Security. The longer you work and the more you earn, the higher your SSDI payment. In 2023, the average payment is $1,483 a month, per Nolo. Most benefits range from $800 to $1,800 a month. The maximum monthly benefit is just over $3,600, Nolo indicated.
Nearly two-thirds of SSDI recipients receive less than the average, according to DisabilitySecrets, published by Nolo. Only about 10% of SSDI recipients received $2,000 a month or more in 2022.
To find out how much your SSDI benefit might be should you ever need it, you can get an estimate by creating a My Social Security account and plugging in the requested information.
To be eligible for SSDI, you must have been employed for a certain number of years and paid Social Security withholding taxes, though there are exceptions. As the KC Star noted, if a person who has worked and paid Social Security taxes dies, certain members of their family might be eligible, including their spouse, ex-spouse and children.
If you have never worked and don’t qualify for an SSDI exception, you still might be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. These are available to adults and children with a disability or blindness who meet certain income and resource criteria. Unlike SSDI, SSI is not funded by Social Security.
The quickest way to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance is to go online at the SSA’s Disability Benefits webpage. You can also apply by phone at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or by making an appointment at your local Social Security office. You can find a nearby office by typing in your zip code on the SSA’s office locator page located here.
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