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Understanding how disability benefits work

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2021 | Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) |

If you are suffering from injuries that prevent you from working, you may be wondering how you are going to pay for your bills and other expenses. If you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes, you may qualify for government benefits.

Social Security Disability Insurance is a program that pays monthly benefits for those who meet the eligibility requirements.

General eligibility requirements

According to benefits.gov, workers have a 25% chance of facing a disability of some kind before they retire. SSDI receives money from the federal government to pay benefits to individuals and some family members who qualify. In general, a person may receive these benefits if he or she meets eligibility requirements.

First, an individual must have a permanent disability, not just a short-term or partial one. Second, this disability must prevent the person from being able to work in any capacity, not just in the former position. Third, the person must be younger than retirement age. Fourth, the individual must meet the government’s definition of disability.

Definition of disability

According to the Social Security Administration, permanent disability means that healthcare professionals expect it to last for a minimum of one year or forever. The SSA determines disability considering these factors:

  • The person is not working or is making less than $1,310 a month
  • The condition greatly limits the ability to perform basic activities that relate to work
  • The condition is severe enough or is on the list of disabling conditions
  • The condition prevents the worker from performing any aspect of past work
  • The worker is unable to do any other type of work

To receive disability benefits, you also must have worked recently enough and contributed a certain number of credits to Social Security. If not, you may not receive benefits, even if you meet all the other requirements.