Focusing on your health and recovery should be a top priority, especially when recovering from an illness or injury. In times like this, you shouldn’t worry about earning money and paying bills. This is why the state has put in place disability programs to help out those who qualify. One such program is the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
Because Social Security disability benefits are frequently insufficient to cover living expenses, it will be critical for you to collect all other available benefits and even attempt to increase your income by working part-time if you are able. Perhaps one of the most important SSDI benefits is the monthly payment. Before we go into the individual programs you can apply for along with SSDI, let’s talk about these monthly disability payments.
SSDI’s Monthly Payment
The following chart illustrates the amount of money that may be expected each month (as of 2019):
- Monthly payouts total $1,234 on average
- SSDI benefits capped at $2,861
- 12 payments will be given out each year
The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers your average lifetime earnings covered by Social Security to determine the total amount of your SSDI payments.
SSDI benefits extend further than these monthly payments. You may not be aware of this, but there are various other extensions of SSDI that you can collect in order to improve the quality of your life:
COBRA enables former workers and their families to maintain coverage under their employer's health plan, but they have to pay the full premium. If you are eligible for SSDI benefits, you may be eligible for an 11-month COBRA disability extension.
As detailed by the SSA, payments may be given to your:
- divorced spouse
- handicapped child
- adult disabled child (before age 22)
- children under the age of 18
Each dependent is eligible to receive up to 50% of your disability payment. The SSA does, however, cap the total amount you and your family can receive — typically between 150 and 180% of your disability benefit amount.
While SSDI benefits are taxable, the vast majority of beneficiaries do not pay taxes on them. Your family income must be more than a specific threshold, which often implies you must have several sources of income in addition to SSDI.
Adjustment For Cost Of Living
SSDI benefits are increased annually by the Social Security Administration through a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). This guarantees that the value of your dividends remains constant in the face of inflation.
Social Security Retirement Benefits Preservation
Due to the gaps in your career history caused by not working, you may be concerned that your Social Security payments will be reduced once you retire. This will not happen, as the SSA maintains your qualification for Social Security payments through a "disability freeze."
SSDI benefits transfer to Social Security benefits after you reach full retirement age. And for the majority of recipients, the amount remains constant.
Long-Term Disability (LTD) Benefits Preservation
Do you have a long-term disability plan that requires you to apply for SSDI? Are you concerned that your compensation may be reduced? Don’t panic. Your total payout will remain equal to the amount of the LTD payment.
For example, if you receive $1,500 per month from your LTD plan but receive only $1,000 per month from SSDI, the LTD provider will pay you the remaining $500 per month. The reduction in your overall LTD benefit is mitigated by your SSDI benefit.
Many SSDI recipients are unaware that they may be eligible for additional government payments to complement their SSDI income. Below is the list of individual programs you can apply to better the quality of your life while collecting SSDI benefits.
Supplemental Security Income
This is a Social Security disability payment available to those who:
- Have attained the age of 65
- Is handicapped or blind
- Have never worked or accumulated insufficient work credits to be eligible for SSDI
- Have been unemployed for an extended period of time and hence no longer qualify for SSDI
- Have a limited income and assets, as well as handicapped dependents.
Income and asset guidelines apply to eligibility. If an individual receiving SSDI benefits has a monthly SSDI income of less than $733 ($1,100 for couples), he may qualify for and receive SSI. Receiving "concurrent advantages" is what this is referred to.
Income restrictions may vary if an individual is employed and earning money. The SSA’s website provides access to these rules. You may also be eligible for Medicare as an SSDI recipient if you receive both SSDI and SSI.
Medicare is a government-run health care program for those over the age of 65. A person who has received SSDI payments for at least two years is entitled to apply for Medicare, regardless of whether he gets SSI or is not of retirement age under the program's standards. Certain conditions, such as having an end-stage renal illness or Lou Gehrig's disease, may qualify a person under the age of 65 for Medicare.
A knowledgeable Social Security disability attorney can assist an SSDI recipient in applying for Medicare and answering any concerns regarding the program. For additional information about the program, visit the Social Security Administration's website.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Many low-income households, many of which include SSDI beneficiaries, struggle to put food on their table. Individuals who meet this criterion may be eligible for the SNAP, formerly known as the food stamp program.
SNAP is a federally sponsored program managed by Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) agencies. It is governed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The initiative was created to assist low-income families in purchasing nutritious food and stretching their food budget. SNAP benefits are redeemable in supermarkets, grocery stores, co-op food programs, and some farmers' markets.
Other Benefits SSDI Recipients Can Apply For
Individuals who qualify may also be eligible for the following:
- Compensation for disability benefits received from an employer or insurance provider
- Home Energy Aid Program (HEAP), a government program that assists qualifying families with paying for home heating bills, offers financial support for furnace repair or replacement, weatherization, and summer cooling assistance.
- Benefits under workers' compensation
- Disability compensation from the Veterans Administration
- Benefits under the state's temporary disability insurance program
The SSDI provides an important economic lifeline when it comes to individuals who cannot provide their labor or services to make a living. If you’ve just gone through an incapacitating injury or illness and are looking to collect SSDI benefits, we recommend you talk to a Social Security disability attorney.
For more information, you can check your eligibility status for SSDI and interrelated benefits with this Disability Help article.
If you want to learn more about housing benefits from SSDI, check out our article about social security disability housing assistance to know more.