The maximum Social Security disability benefit for 2019 is $2,861, an increase over the 2018 maximum benefit of $2,788. The estimated average monthly benefit for disabled workers receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) increased from $1,197 in 2018 to $1,234 in 2019.
The increases are a result of the Social Security Administration (SSA) giving a 2.8 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) raise to all Social Security beneficiaries. The SSA bases yearly COLA increases on the Consumer Price Index which is determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
How Can I Qualify for SSDI?
First, you must meet SSA’s definition of “disabled.” The SSA considers you disabled if:
- You cannot do the work that you did before you became disabled
- SSA decides that your medical condition prevents you from doing other work
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death
SSA does not pay benefits for partial disability or short-term disability.
Secondly, you must have worked in jobs that paid Social Security taxes. People who are self-employed and become disabled are also eligible for SSDI benefits if they pay Social Security taxes.
SSA also requires you to have earned a certain amount of “work credits” each year.
What Are Work Credits?
Work credits are accumulated over the years as you work in a job and pay Social Security taxes. You can earn a maximum of four credits each year. The number of work credits you need to receive SSDI benefits depends on your age when you become disabled.
Overall, you need 40 credits to receive SSDI benefits, but younger workers can qualify for benefits with fewer credits. Of the 40 credits, 20 credits must have been earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you became disabled.
What Type of Medical Conditions Qualify for SSDI Benefits?
SSA has an extensive list of physical and mental impairments that would qualify an individual to receive SSDI benefits. The impairment list covers each part of the body.
Each category of impairments contains specific types of illnesses or diseases. For instance, the cardiovascular category includes chronic heart failure, heart transplant, peripheral arterial disease, and other heart-related conditions.
What If My Medical Condition Is Not on SSA’s Impairment List?
You may still qualify for disability benefits even if your medical condition is not on the SSA’s impairment list. There are rules that SSA applies in these types of situations.
Contact The Disability Advantage Group
If you are disabled and can no longer work, we can help you apply for SSDI benefits and guide you through this process.
We may also be able to help you if you applied for SSDI benefits and were denied.
Call us today at 865-566-0800 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.