What is Social Security Disability Insurance?

Social Security Disability Insurance is a type of insurance that provides monthly benefits to workers due to an illness or impairment. However, this type of insurance applies to workers who no longer can work because of impairment or illness that lasts at least a year. Social Security Disability Insurance is a part of the Social Security program, which also provides retirement benefits to older individuals. The Social Security Disability Insurance program determines your benefits based on how much your past earnings were. Once your benefits are determined, then the benefits are sent over to you and your family members. If you are ill or face an unfortunate injury and you cannot go to work anymore, then you should put your mind at ease. The Social Security Disability Insurance will help you.

How Does Social Security Disability Insurance Work?

The Social Security Disability Insurance Program will provide benefits to you and your family members, but only if you have “insurance”. By insurance, it means that you worked for a long period of time and paid your Social Security taxes on your earnings. On the other hand, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program offers benefits to individuals and children with disabilities that do not have enough income and resources. Both programs are different, but the medical requirement is the same. If you meet the non-medical eligibility requirements, then you will receive benefits for your medical condition. But, the medical condition should be expected to last one year or result in death.

How Much Is the Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits?

According to the National Academy of Social Insurance, the disability benefits you receive from the Social Security Disability Insurance are defined by a formula. The formula includes the earnings you received before you were disabled. Typically, Social Security Disability Insurance ranges about $800 to $1,800 on a monthly basis. It depends on how much benefits you need and your earnings before you were disabled. In 2021, the maximum benefit is $3,148 every month. However, it jumped to $3,345 in 2022. If you want to find out an estimate of your monthly SSDI benefits, then you can use the Social Security Administration (SSA). You will have to make sure that you qualify for SSDI before you do anything, since the SSDI program can be quite strict.

Who Is Responsible for Paying The Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits?

Typically, workers and employers pay for the Social Security Disability Insurance as part of the Social Security taxes. You normally pay Social Security taxes that are capped to a certain amount each year. The cap is adjusted according to the average wages of workers each year. So, basically, you are responsible for paying your Disability Insurance benefits. Workers and employers fund the SSDI through the Social Security taxes. (Whether you are a boss or an employee, you are helping out a lot of people.)

Are You Eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits?

With the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, the disability eligibility is really strict. In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, you will need to meet the conditions of the Social Security Law. The law states that you must be “unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months. ”Additionally, the impairment(s) need to reach a level of severity that does not allow the potential candidate to perform any work from his previous job.

State agencies are responsible for administering the medical and non-medical determinations for the Social Security Administration. They define whether you meet the qualifications of disability, in accordance with the Social Security Law. Your medical records, work history, age, and education are factors that the state agency takes into consideration to make the determination. You should know that there is a five-month waiting period after you are approved for the SSDI, then you receive the benefits.

How to Apply for Social Security Disability Insurance

There are several ways for you to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance. You can apply online, through the phone, or in-person contact with a Social Security agent. There are documents that you will need to provide throughout the application process. These documents are proof that you are eligible and validate your current situation. The documents you need to provide are the following, according to the Social Security Administration:

  • “Birth certificate or other proof of birth;
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you were not born in the United States;
  • S. military discharge paper(s) if you had military service before 1968;
  • W-2 forms(s) and/or self-employment tax returns for last year;
  • Medical evidence already in your possession. This includes medical records, doctors’ reports, and recent test results; and
  • Award letters, pay stubs, settlement agreements or other proof of any temporary or permanent workers’ compensation-type benefits you received.”

What Are The Most Common Disabilities For Social Security Disability Insurance Recipients?

You do not have to worry, if you have multiple medical conditions. The Social Security Disability Insurance provides assistance to workers based on their primary diagnosis. But, the Program considers your other medical conditions, as well. There are some medical conditions that automatically qualify you for the SSDI. These medical conditions include:

  • Arthritis
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Schizophrenia
  • Mood disorders
  • Autism or Asperger’s syndrome
  • Cancer
  • PTSD
  • Angina
  • Heart diseases
  • Hypertension
  • Epilepsy
  • Parkinson’s diseases
  • Blindness
  • Hearing loss

What Is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

It’s important not to confuse SSI and SSDI. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program the federal government administers for low-income individuals. You can receive monthly benefits, if you are qualified for the Supplemental Security Income. This program aims to provide financial relief to elderly, blind, and disabled individuals. The Social Security Administration runs the program, which is the same as the Social Security Disability Insurance program. However, general tax revenues fund the SSI program and Social Security taxes fund the SSDI program. The Supplemental Security Income criteria for disability is the same as the criteria for disability in the SSDI. But, the eligibility requirements are different. Only individuals who are at a low-income level and do not have enough financial assets to keep them above water can qualify for the SSI program.

Who is Eligible for Supplemental Security Income?

The best thing about the Supplemental Security Income program is that anyone can apply for the benefits. Getting accepted and receiving benefits is another thing. The Supplemental Security Income program offers monthly payments for people who meet the following criteria. Those criteria include the following:

  • Those are at least age 65, or have a disability, or blindness.
  • Individuals who have limited income (wages, pensions, etc.).
  • Those who have limited resources (the things you own).
  • Individuals who are U.S. citizens, nationals of the U.S., or some noncitizens.
  • Those who live in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands.


In conclusion, you should really consider applying for Social Security Disability Insurance. This is a great chance for you to receive financial relief. Social Security Disability Insurance is a federal program that employers and workers fund through Social Security taxes. This type of insurance applies to workers who no longer can work because of impairment or illness that lasts at least a year. You will be able to receive monthly benefits that can help you improve your standard of living. Your earnings before you had to leave your job are a factor to determine how much benefits you will receive. If you do not meet the eligibility requirements for the SSDI, then you can consider the Supplemental Security Income too! This shows that there is more than one way to help you with your current economic situation.

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