What are some of the larger benefits of SSDI?

SSDI Benefits

The Powerful Benefits of Social Security Disability to Americans

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) stands as a crucial safety net for millions of Americans. It offers indispensable support to individuals with disabilities. SSDI extends its impact to the nation at large, providing financial stability to the families of those unable to work. When navigating the complexities of the system, the value of an experienced disability lawyer cannot be understated. Attorney Patrick Hartwig explores SSDI benefits and how society benefits from a more inclusive welfare framework. 

What Is Social Security Disability Insurance?

Managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA), SSDI is a federal program that offers financial assistance to people unable to work due to disability. They must expect the disability to last at least a year or result in death. Funding for the program comes from payroll taxes. 

A major difference between SSDI and Supplementary Security Income (SSI) is eligibility. Both support Americans with disabilities. Unlike the needs-based SSI, SSDI eligibility is not contingent on financial need. Rather, SSDI is based on work history. Both programs have very strict definitions of disability. Also, they do not offer benefits for partial or short-term disability. 

Who Qualifies to Receive SSDI Benefit Payments?

To be eligible to receive SSDI benefits, applicants must meet both medical and non-medical requirements of the program. First, applicants must prove they are disabled. They can do this by meeting or equaling a listing in the SSA’s Blue Book Listing of Impairments. The impairment must prevent them from substantial gainful activity (SGA).

Another critical factor is work history. The SSA states applicants must have worked long enough to qualify for disability. The Administration uses a system of work credits based on total yearly wages or self-employment income. You can earn up to 4 credits each year and most applicants need 40 work credits to qualify for SSDI. 

Benefits of SSDI to Individuals and Society

As an earned benefit, SSDI provides an important social safety net for 160 million workers nationwide. The program benefits not only the individual receiving SSDI payments but also their families and the country at large. 

Saves Lives

SSDI payments not only help with buying groceries and mounting medical bills. According to a report from the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), SSDI is saving lives. The impact of benefit payments on reducing mortality is especially profound among lower-income recipients. 

Increasing annual SSDI payments by $1,000 for those receiving an average of $8,500 from SSDI reduces their annual mortality rate by 7.3 percent. This is during the first four years of receiving disability benefits. 

Reduces Healthcare Costs

Benjamin Franklin famously said an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. By offering some financial stability to people with disabilities, SSDI ultimately reduces overall health care costs. Beneficiaries are less likely to exacerbate their medical condition from working while disabled. 

A common SSDI misunderstanding is that only bedridden people can receive benefits. This isn’t true. SSDI does not only apply to extreme cases. People with temporary conditions may qualify for SSDI until they can work again. SSDI encourages people to seek early medical treatment.

Offers Relief to Families

Families and caregivers of SSDI recipients can have more breathing room thanks to the monthly payments. The monthly benefits are modest, but they can help to cover some of the costs related to daily living, like rent, utilities, and groceries. Ongoing costs like medication and therapy are more manageable, too. Part of the SSDI payment can be put toward hiring a home health aide.

Bridges the Gap to Retirement

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the typical worker applying for SSDI is over 50 years old. They have severe musculoskeletal, mental, or other impairments that prevent them from working. 

The reality is that disability risk increases with age. The viability to pivot to different careers decreases at the same time. This is part of the reason why approval for older adults applying for SSD benefits is higher than for younger adults. SSDI can help older adults ease into retirement with greater confidence in their finances. 

Improves Public Safety

Without SSDI, someone with an impairment may feel more compelled to keep working. This can put other people potentially at risk of injury, especially if heavy equipment is involved. Contrary to SSDI misinformation, applicants with temporary conditions may qualify for benefits. They can take time off work to get better before returning to the job. 

Stimulates the Larger Economy

The primary reason for SSDI is to help beneficiaries pay for their daily needs. When they spend money on groceries, clothing, and other essentials, they contribute to the greater economy. By reducing the volatility of their income, SSDI can encourage responsible consumption. 

Discuss Your Case With a Skilled Disability Lawyer

The ins and outs of Social Security can be difficult to understand for the uninitiated. It’s invaluable to have experienced help in your corner who can answer any questions you may have. What’s more, skilled disability lawyers like Patrick Hartwig or John Keefe can improve your chances of SSDI approval, too. 

Patrick Hartwig
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Managing Attorney, Keefe Disability Law