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Disability Benefits under Social Security - Social security disability insurance PDF Print E-mail
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Disability Benefits under Social Security
Social security disability insurance
Supplemental security income
Importance of medical documentation of your disability
The process of application
What programs are available to an individual with few or no resources during the Social Security waiting period?
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Social Security Disability Insurance

A person qualifies for SSDI if they have worked and paid Social Security payroll taxes for a sufficient period of time prior to becoming disabled. Generally, if a person is over 30 they would have had to have worked 20 quarters (5 years, not necessarily consecutive) over the 10 year period prior to becoming disabled. You should check with your Social Security office to see if you have the necessary number of quarters. If you are lacking one or two quarters, check with the Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association; sometimes there is a way to achieve the necessary number. Our Social Security booklet will give you a full explanation of this category of eligibility.

There are no income or asset requirements for SSDI. You could be getting investment income or other forms of income for which you do not work. Also you can have assets of any amount.

The monthly disability payment will depend on how much average earnings or salary you had when you worked. If you worked part-time you will receive less. The amount may range from a few hundred dollars to over $2000 a month. The average amount is about $1,000-$1200 per month for an average yearly earnings of $20,000-$25,000. Check with your Social Security Office to obtain an estimate of your monthly cash benefits.

Because Social Security Disability payments are often not enough to pay for all living costs, especially housing costs, many disabled persons find it necessary to apply for other forms of assistance, especially housing assistance, if they have no other source of income. These other forms of assistance are discussed in the sections Other Needs and  Disability Resources.  Besides a financial payment, SSDI also provides Medicare medical insurance but there is a waiting period of 2 years from the date of disability. The Social Security medical insurance programs will be discussed in Medical Insurance.

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