Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): Legal Definition

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a government-run disability benefits program. It pays monthly benefits to you if you are disabled prior to retirement. The Social Security Administration (SSA) manages the program, which receives its funding from payroll taxes. In order to receive SSDI benefits, you must qualify in two areas: (1) You must prove you have a disability that meets the program’s requirements; (2) You must have sufficient work history.

How SSDI Works

Though it is run by the government, SSDI is set up similarly to a private insurance program. If you think about how private insurance works, you buy a policy and pay premiums to the company. When an event takes place, you can file a claim and receive benefits. As long as the claim is valid and your policy is active — meaning your premiums are up to date — you can collect the benefits under your policy.

SSDI works the same way. The only difference is that if you are an American worker, participation is not voluntary, nor is paying premiums. Your premiums are the Social Security portion of your taxes. These come out of each paycheck you receive. In order to make a valid claim for benefits, you are required to have paid enough payroll taxes based on your age.

How to Apply for SSDI

You need to fill out a form to apply for SSDI. You will need to supplement your application with medical records. These are essential, as they serve as proof that you qualify for SSDI on a medical basis. Your payroll tax records, which the SSA already has, also determine if you qualify.

The SSA will review your application, evaluate your medical records, and decide if you qualify for benefits. If you do, you will receive a notification and begin receiving a monthly check. If not, you will receive a denial, which you may appeal.

How Much You Can Receive From SSDI

Your SSDI benefit depends on how long you have been working and how much you paid in Social Security taxes during your working years. As of 2018, the maximum monthly SSDI award is $2,788. The average monthly SSDI award is $1,197.

If you have eligible dependents in your household, you could be eligible to receive up to 150 to 180 percent of your base award. Eligible dependents could include your spouse, minor children or disabled children under age 22.

A Social Security disability lawyer can review your situation and help you pursue SSDI benefits.

Get a Free Consultation About Your SSDI Case

If you have questions about SSDI or other Social Security disability benefits, call the Disability Advantage Group, today. Call us today at 865-566-0800 for a free case evaluation.