Funded by payroll taxes, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal insurance program administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). SSDI is a federal expansion of earlier disability programs created by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA).
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) was created to provide disabled, sick, or injured workers (who are unable to continue to perform substantial and gainful work) with a monthly wage.
Not all sick, injured, or disabled workers will qualify for SSDI benefits. SSDI is only offered to workers who meet the following criteria:
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) may also provide additional benefits, referred to as auxiliary benefits, to the widows, widowers, and certain dependent children of the insured worker.
The amount of auxiliary benefits paid will depend on the amount of taxes paid into the SSA system. Children will only qualify for auxiliary SSDI benefits if they are dependent, under the age of 18, unmarried, and enrolled in school full-time.
Many disabled workers are denied SSDI benefits because they do not have sufficient work credits to be insured for SSDI. Social Security, including SSDI, is financed through a dedicated payroll tax. According to the SSA, "Employers and employees each pay 6.2 percent of wages up to the taxable maximum of $118,500 (in 2015), while the self-employed pay 12.4 percent."
In 2015, workers earn one credit for each $1,220 of earnings, up to the maximum of four credits per year. Although the number of work credits needed to be insured varies by age, most workers will need forty or more work credits to be considered insured. Of those forty work credits, 20 of them must have been earned in the last 10 years ending with the year the worker became disabled. Consider also, work credits cannot be bought or borrowed. All work credits must be earned through each employee's work efforts.
If you have insufficient work credits and you are not insured for SSDI benefits, you will be denied benefits regardless of the severity of your health condition. Talk to the SSA for more information concerning your insured status.
So how much can you expect to receive each month if you qualify for SSDI benefits? The amount will vary for each recipient and is based on the worker's average indexed monthly earnings (AIME) and the amount of Social Security taxes the worker has paid. The SSDI payment range for 2014 was $1,148, but most claimants earn a monthly payout between $300 and $2,642 per month.
For more information about your estimated payment amount you can contact the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 or review your annual Social Security Statement online at www.ssa.gov/mystatement. The SSA will also send each worker a Social Security Statement each year that allows the worker to keep track and verify earnings as well as review the amount of their estimated future benefits.
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