Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal disability insurance program that provides monthly cash benefits to disabled workers and their families. In 2014, the Social Security Administration (SSA) provided these benefits to nearly 11 million disabled workers. Most disabled workers receiving SSDI receive an average of about $1,150 a month; for many, it is their main or only income. Obtaining SSDI benefits is a complicated and confusing process. Disabled workers in southern California should apply for SSDI benefits with the help of an experienced Los Angeles SSDI attorney.
Despite its profoundly positive and tangible impact on the lives of millions of disabled U.S. workers, most of us really know very little about how SSDI works. To qualify for benefits, applicants must establish a sufficient and recent work history. The SSA uses a credit system to determine benefit eligibility. In 2014, a worker earned one credit for every $1,220 of wages or self-employment income up to a maximum of four credits per year. An annual income of $4,880 satisfies the credit requirements for one year. Most disability applicants need between 20 and 40 credits (or between five and ten full years of work) to qualify for benefits, with at least 20 credits earned in the ten years immediately before the onset of the disability. The number of total credits required increases by age, with workers age 31 to 42 needing at least 20 credits; those age 43 to 62 need one additional credit for every year of age; and those aged 62 and older need 40 credits. Almost 80 percent of SSDI beneficiaries are age 45 or above.
Confusing? That’s only the beginning of the process. However, if you are disabled and unable to work, and if you qualify for SSDI benefits, an experienced Los Angeles SSDI attorney can explain more details and guide you through the entire process. It can take some time before your first payment arrives, so get started now and make the call to an SSDI attorney right away.