It’s no secret that many Americans are struggling to make ends meet. In fact, nearly half of working Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck. Data shows that a 35-44-year-old in the US earns an annual wage of $63,596. Although this is good for a standard of living, it is not good enough if the individual has a disability.
Many employees are disabled. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, over 33 million Americans with disabilities aged 16-64, over 55% are employed. However, they can face several financial challenges despite being employed. This is because of the constant medical expenses and job uncertainty.
Luckily, the Social Security Administration provides a safety net for disabled employees by offering Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). As an essential federal program, SSDI provides crucial support and security to individuals facing disabilities, ensuring they can maintain financial stability and access the necessary resources.
This article presents a concise overview of how SSDI is a vital lifeline, empowering disabled workers to lead more dignified and fulfilling lives.
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Understanding Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
SSDI is a federal program that provides income support to disabled workers. It differs from other disability insurance, such as short-term disability or long-term care. Understanding the differences between these types of coverage will help you determine which one best fits your needs and budget.
The primary difference is that SSDI is a federal program, whereas other short-term disability programs can be funded by the government, employers, or other private organizations. This means you will receive fair benefits from the government alone. According to recent data, around 8.2 million people receive disabled-worker benefits from Social Security.
Another difference is that Social Security Disability Insurance offers benefits until the disability persists or the individual reaches retirement age. However, short-term disability programs, as the name suggests, offer only short-term benefits. Hence, if you have a disability likely to be there for the long term, it is best to go for SSDI.
However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has set eligibility criteria you should pass to get the benefits. According to TruLaw, the SSA has considered various factors when determining the eligibility criteria. This helps ensure that only those who are in genuine need of support receive it. The SSA has also defined what benefits an individual would get based on their disability status.
Here are the six ways in which SSDI provides support to disabled employees.
Financial Support for Disabled Employees
If an individual meets these eligibility requirements, they may be entitled to receive SSDI benefits. The benefits they receive are based on their average lifetime earnings covered by Social Security.
It’s important to note that the application process for SSDI can be complex and lengthy. Many initial applications are denied, and applicants must undergo a reconsideration and appeals process to receive benefits. It’s recommended to seek assistance from an experienced Social Security disability attorney or advocate to help navigate the process.
It’s also worth mentioning that there are other support programs for disabled individuals, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is a needs-based program for low-income individuals who are elderly or disabled. SSI is not based on work credits but on financial need. Eligibility for SSI may entitle an individual to Medicaid health coverage as well.
Income Supplementation and Job Retention
SSDI can help you retain your job. If you’re receiving SSDI and cannot work, staying employed is essential for your financial security and emotional well-being. The government understands this, so they offer a wide range of benefits and services aimed at helping disabled people retain employment.
One such benefit is called a Ticket To Work Program (TTW). It provides funding for vocational rehabilitation services that help workers find new jobs or return to old ones with modified duties or schedules. These can include working from home instead of commuting each day due to physical limitations caused by their disability.
This program supports the career development of workers from 18 years to 64 years. If this sounds worth investigating further, contact an experienced attorney specializing in Social Security Disability Insurance claims today.
Health Insurance Coverage
SSDI provides health insurance coverage to disabled employees. The program includes coverage through Medicare, the federal health insurance program for people 65 or older, and some younger individuals with disabilities. The SSA issues a Medicare card to SSDI beneficiaries with disabilities who meet certain eligibility requirements and want to enroll in Part A or B of Medicare.
Beneficiaries can use their Medicare cards anytime to access the same healthcare benefits as other Medicare recipients. These benefits include:
- Inpatient hospital care
- Outpatient hospital services
- Skilled nursing facility care (long-term)
Long-Term Disability Support
SSDI is essential because it offers long-term disability and can help you stay afloat financially while out of work. It’s also helpful if your employer doesn’t offer short-term disability or other types of coverage.
Many people face short-term disabilities. Per recent statistics, around 5% of working Americans face short-term disability. And the number of people facing long-term disabilities is also high. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 1.3 billion people face significant disability worldwide.
However, the programs created for short-term disability cannot help those with significant disabilities. That’s why SSDI has become essential. Since it offers benefits until the disability persists, it enables disabled individuals to stay at peace instead of facing mental health problems due to financial burdens.
Workplace Accommodations and Inclusivity
The SSDI program provides financial support and security to disabled workers. One of the best ways employers can help their employees with disabilities is by ensuring that the workplace is accessible to everyone.
This includes making any necessary accommodations to ensure that employees can perform their jobs easily, such as providing flexible work schedules or telecommuting options so they don’t have to commute if it isn’t feasible for them due to their disability.
In addition, employers should be aware of how they can create inclusive environments where everyone feels welcome regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. They should also pay attention when discussing sensitive topics like mental health issues to avoid making anyone uncomfortable at work.
Navigating the SSDI Application Process
The SSDI application process can be complex and challenging to navigate. In fact, if you’re considering applying for SSDI benefits, you must work with an experienced disability attorney.
The SSA requires applicants for SSDI benefits to provide extensive medical documentation for their applications to be considered complete and eligible for review by an agency representative. In addition, applicants must fill out paperwork detailing their employment history and any other pertinent information about their health status and daily living requirements.
Once your claim has been submitted, there will be a waiting period before SSA decides whether or not an applicant qualifies under its guidelines. However, some states have quicker turnaround times than others, depending on how many cases they receive each year.
You might also have to wait even after the approval. Once your submission is approved, there can be a waiting period of around 7 months or 204 days. Once this period passes, you can start getting benefits.
If you’re disabled and need help applying for disability benefits, we can help. We’ve helped thousands of people get the support they deserve from the SSA. Our team of experts will work closely with you until your claim is approved or denied by SSA officials. We understand that this process can be overwhelming and confusing sometimes, so let us take care of everything while keeping you informed every step.