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Getting hurt on the job can have both immediate and long-term consequences. If you can no longer work due to the severity of an injury or other illness, there is a program offered through the Social Security Administration designed to help. The program is called Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and it provides monthly payments to disabled workers who can no longer work and financially provide for themselves. The SSDI program is funded through the social security fund with payroll taxes from employers and employees.

Requirements to Receive Social Security Benefits

To begin receiving social security disability benefits under SSDI, you must first file a Social Security disability claim with the Social Security Administration. The basic requirements are:

  • You cannot work due to the injury which has led to the need for long-term disability.
  • You have worked and earned enough work credits.
  • Your injury and medical impairment meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of a disability.

According to the Social Security Administration’s definitions, you are considered to have a long-term disability if:

  • You have a recognized impairment.
  • You cannot perform work as you once did prior to the injury which lead to the disability.
  • Your disability significantly impacts your ability to perform basic work such as lifting, walking, sitting, standing, or remembering.
  • You cannot transition to other work because of your medical condition.
  • Your disability is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death.

Exceptions can be made if you are able to work in another capacity, but you cannot earn more than $1,180 (2019) per month in another form of employment. As long as you earn less than this amount, you can work and continue to receive disability payments.

Qualifying for SSDI Benefits

The Social Security Disability Insurance benefits you can receive is based on a formula of work credits, where dollar earnings are converted into work credits. You receive one work credit for every $1,360 that you have earned. You can earn a maximum of four work credits every year. To receive benefits, you must have earned at least 20 credits in the last 10 years if you are over the age of 31. In fairness to younger workers, they are held to a different eligibility standard.

If you qualify for Social Security disability benefits, a spouse and children under 16 years of age may also qualify as dependents and receive disability benefits.

Injured Leg

SSDI Ticket to Work Program

For people who want to return to work after spending time on disability, the Social Security Administration has the Ticket to Work Program. This program provides counseling, training, and job search assistance for people receiving SSDI benefits. The Ticket to Work Program also ensures disability benefits remain in place as a person transitions back into the workplace.

By participating in the Ticket to Work program, you can learn more from certified benefits counselors about the effects of working on your SSDI, including how your Trial Work Period works and what you can expect after you’ve successfully completed the Trial Work Period. If you successfully transition into gainful employment and work your way off of your SSDI benefits, there are work incentives available to assist you with getting your full SSDI benefits back if needed!

For more information, call DisABLEd Workers at 877-291-9806.