People with disabilities may qualify for certain financial assistance programs through the federal government. Social Security Disability Insurance is one of these types of programs.
What Is Social Security Disability Insurance?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) issues payments each month to individuals who have incurred a severe disability that has left them unable to work for a year or more.
To qualify for SSDI, you must:
- have a disability that meets the strict criteria set by the federal government
- have paid into the Social Security system, and
- have earned a sufficient number of work credits within a certain amount of time. (The required number of work credits will depend on how old you were when your disability began.)
How to Apply for SSDI
You can apply online for Social Security Disability Insurance. To complete the process online, you will first need to set up a my Social Security account. In addition, try to gather detailed information ahead of time on your dependents, job history and recent employers, bank account, medical records, and any U.S. military service.
Your other options are to file a disability claim at your local Social Security office or over the phone. Call 1-800-772-1213 to make an appointment or speak to a representative. (For individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, call 1-800-325-0778.)
Apply as soon as possible after you become disabled, as the application process (and subsequent waiting period) usually lasts several months. Once it has reviewed your claim, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will send you a letter explaining its decision.
What Is the Maximum Monthly Benefit for SSDI?
The maximum SSDI payout per month typically changes each year. In 2023, the maximum monthly benefit amount for SSDI is $3,627. However, not all SSDI recipients are paid the maximum. On average, payments are about $1,483 per month (in 2023).
Several factors can affect your monthly payment, including whether you receive other benefits, such as workers compensation.
Seek Out the Experts
To learn all of the ins and outs of SSDI benefits, be sure to review this PDF issued by the SSA. Most first-time SSDI applicants face rejection, so strongly consider working with a special needs planning attorney. Search for qualified attorneys in your area as you begin the application process. They can also assist you with an appeal if the SSA rejects your initial claim.