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SSDI- What will it do for me and should I apply?

Is SSDI the answer for me?

Many disability applicants are desperate for help. They have been out of work for weeks, months or years and wonder if filing for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is the best option for them. Recently on our disability forum we had a user ask, “How will Social Security Disability Insurance help me?”

What does SSDI provide for the disabled?

Given the number of governmental programs it is not surprising that you may be a bit confused about what SSDI will actually provide. Some claimants wonder if it gives them discounted housing, food assistance, medical care or just a monthly cash payment.

So what types of benefits are provided by SSDI? SSDI provides monthly cash payments which are expected to replace the wages of the worker, plus Medicare which is provided 24 months from the date of your disability.

What is SSDI?

SSDI was created to help disabled workers who are unable to work for at least 12 continuous months due to a severe health condition. It is for long-term conditions which are 100% disabling.

If you have been injured due to the negligence of another person or if you have been injured on the job it is important to first seek compensation through a personal injury claim or workers compensation. Both of these compensation options will provide benefits faster than you are likely to get SSDI benefits. Now, if after a work injury or an injury claim you cannot return to work you can discuss the option of also filing for SSDI.

If you are getting workers compensation it may also be possible to get SSDI, assuming you cannot work, but SSDI can offset workers compensation payments so talk to a lawyer BEFORE applying for SSDI if you are currently getting workers compensation benefits.

How are benefits for SSDI calculated?

Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits are based on your average earnings and your payroll tax contribution to Social Security. The more you have paid into Social Security, the more in monthly benefits you may be entitled to. There is not a set amount. If you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance you can review your Statement of Earnings which is sent to you each year by the Social Security Administration for an estimated payment amount. You can also contact the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 for specific information.

What other benefits can I get?

Many disability applicants want to know if they can get anything else in addition to SSDI. What about housing or food stamps?

These benefits are not provided by the SSA. Housing benefits are provided by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) which provides low income individuals with rent, privately owned subsidized housing, public housing through affordable apartments for low-income families, the elderly and persons with disabilities, or the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8).

Food stamps are provided by The SNAP/Food Stamp Program and are administered at the state level. You will have to contact the appropriate agency in your state for more information.

Whether you can get food stamps, welfare or housing assistance in addition to your SSDI payment will depend on whether your SSDI payment is low enough to qualify.
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