Almost 30 million people in the U.S. have a disability. While many people who have disabilities are able to work, many Americans with disabilities have severe and long-term disabilities that make them unable to work and put them at a high risk for economic hardship.
Since individuals with disabilities have a harder time working and often suffer economic hardship, the government started the Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income program to help these individuals.
Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security benefits allow individuals with disabilities to continue living independently, as many benefits are used to pay for housing, food, medications and treatments and other daily living expenses.
Individuals with disabilities are able to apply for SSDI benefits. The amount of benefits a person is eligible to receive depends on his or her income before he or she became disabled. Reports show that SSDI benefits usually are half of the disabled worker's previous income. Most SSDI recipients rely on these benefits for most or all of their monthly income so it is very important for disabled individuals to apply for SSDI benefits as soon as possible.
With so many people having disabilities in the U.S., who is eligible to recieve SSDI benefits? The Social Security Administration has a disability standard that SSDI applicants must meet before they are approved to receive benefits.
The disability standard is defined as the inability to earn an incme due to having severe physical or mental impairments that will last at least a year. In addition, disabled individuals must not be able to work in their previous positions or be able to work in another field due to their disability.
Individuals applying for SSDI benefits must also provide medical evidence of their disability by having a doctor or specialist provide documents of the person's disability and inability to work.
While many Americans apply for SSDI benefits every year, only 40 percent of applications are approved every year. Individuals who are applying for SSDI benefits may want to consult a Social Security Disability attorney to discuss the application process and what options may be available if benefits are denied.
Source: Center for American Progress, "The Facts on Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income for Workers with Disabilities," Shawn Fremstad and Rebecca Vallas, May 30, 2013