How does SSDI work?

Posted by Angelique CooperOct 16, 20190 Comments

If you receive a workplace injury in Alabama that causes you to become disabled, you will be able to get Social Security Disability insurance benefits if you meet the eligibility requirements. The same holds true for a disabling work-related illness.

The National Academy of Social Insurance sets forth the two eligibility requirements. First, your employer and you must both have contributed to the Social Security system. Second, you must have had your disability for at least 12 months before you can apply for SSDI benefits.

Covered injuries and illnesses

You can receive SSDI benefits for a variety of disabling injuries and illnesses including the following:

  • Back injuries and musculoskeletal conditions
  • Mental illnesses
  • Cancer, respiratory disease, diabetes, infectious diseases
  • Nervous system conditions
  • Circulatory system conditions

SSDI amounts paid

The amount of SSDI benefits you will receive each month will depend on the precise nature and severity of your disability, plus your average salary during the years you worked. Last year, people received $1,197 per month on average. Unfortunately, this translates into an annual benefit of only $14,364, leaving you barely above the 2019 poverty level if SSDI represents your only source of income and you live by yourself. A full 37% of SSDI recipients find themselves in this situation. If you live with a spouse and/or children, you will fall below the poverty level. Hopefully, you will have additional sources of income. Statistics show, however, that SSDI benefits amount to over 50% of the income brought in by 82% of SSDI recipients.

While you should not interpret this educational information as legal advice, it can help you understand what SSDI covers and how you can apply for it.