Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is the national assistance program meant for those who are disabled, of limited means, and have worked plus paid into Social Security for a certain amount of time. In 2017, it was reported that 8.5% of Alabama residents are receiving SSDI benefits, making it second-highest among all states (West Virginia is at the top).
According to Nolo, the average SSDI payment is currently $1,277 per month and the highest 2021 monthly payment you can receive from SSDI, at full retirement age, is $3,148.
Alabama follows many of the same national standards when it comes to its residents qualifying for SSDI.
Qualifications for SSDI
The first qualification is working in a job where you pay Social Security taxes into the system. Then, all applicants must meet the general description for disability (meaning that your condition is severe enough that it impacts work and the ability to lead a normal course of life). If this disability causes a disruption of more than a year from professional work, applicants can receive payments on a monthly basis and they can continue until regular work can begin again.
In special cases, the Social Security Administration (SSA) can grant a “work incentive,” that provides continued benefits and health care coverage through the back-to-work transition.
If you’re still receiving SSDI benefits when you reach full retirement age, disability benefits automatically convert to retirement benefits, however, the amount remains the same.
What Amount of Work Qualifies for SSDI
Social Security has a system of work credits, which are based on your total yearly wages or self-employment income. The maximum amount of credits that can be earned in a year is 4.
The amount needed for a work credit in 2021 rose to $1,470. This means that eligible applicants need to earn $5,880 in a year to qualify for SSDI for that year.
In most cases, you need 40 credits (20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled) to qualify for SSDI. Certain exceptions apply for younger applicants.
Above all, as Social Security budgets continue to tighten, it’s clear that application approval will become tougher than ever. Whether that’s Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), or another federal benefit program, don’t let an initial denial get in the way of what you may be entitled to. The team at Bevill & Bevill, LLC is a knowledgeable source about this process and is a trusted source for Alabama clients looking for help. Call (205) 221-4646 to learn more and schedule a free consultation.