What is SSDI?
If you are a California worker who sustained an on-the-job injury or developed a work-related illness that has resulted in your being unable to work, you may be eligible to receive SSDI benefits. The National Academy of Social Insurance explains that there are two criteria that determine whether or not you can receive Social Security disability insurance benefits
The first is that you worked in jobs that were covered by Social Security and you and your employers paid into the Social Security system. The second is that you are now disabled to the extent that not only can you not perform the job you were performing when you were injured or became ill, your disability prevents you from performing any gainful work at all. In addition, you must have been disabled for at least 12 months or you must be expected to die from your disability within a short period of time.
How much you can receive
The amount of your yearly SSDI benefits depends on the average amount you earned annually throughout your career. In June 2017, the average benefits check paid to the 8.8 million SSDI recipients was $1,172, which translates to approximately $14,064 annually. Not surprisingly, upward of 30 percent of disabled workers have incomes at or below 125 percent of the U.S. poverty level. For approximately 82 percent of them, SSDI payments make up over half of their income; for another 37 percent, SSDI payments are their only source of income.
You can receive benefits for a number of physical and mental conditions. In recent years, the types of conditions for which people are receiving SSDI payments and their respective percentages have broken down as follows:
- Musculoskeletal conditions (back injuries, arthritis, etc.) – 32 percent
- Mental impairments – 31 percent
- Nervous system disorders – 9 percent
- Circulatory system disorders – 8 percent
The remaining 19 percent of SSDI payments go to people with cancer, infectious diseases, diabetes, respiratory diseases or debilitating injuries. This information is provided for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.