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Frequently Asked Questions

What is SSDI?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), is a program that offers monthly Social Security Disability payments to those under age 65 who have qualifying disabilities along with sufficient work credits. To qualify for benefits from SSDI, you must have held qualifying employment for a certain time period. Qualifying employment is employment that had you pay into the Social Security System.

How Are SSI and SSD Different?

The Supplemental Security Income Program or (SSI) pays monthly benefits to people with low and income resources who are 65 years or older, blind, or disabled. The Social Security Disability Program or (SSD) pays benefits to workers who paid Social Security taxes over a long period of time; moreover, such benefits amount to the worker’s individual earnings. The more work credits the worker has, the more your SSD benefits will amount to. Keep in mind that there is a limit on the amount of money that you can earn when you receive SSI and SSD benefits. But unlike the SSI benefits for low-income earners, the SSDI program does not enact any limit on the number of unearned income you have. SSI will also look at your spouse’s income but SSD does not when determining your SS benefits.

How Do I Apply For SSDI Benefits?

There are three ways one can apply for SSDI benefits:

  1. Apply online.
  2. Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or 1-800-325-0778 (TTY) and the representative will take your application over the phone.
  3. Visit your local Social Security office to apply in person.

After you’ve chosen which way you will apply for SSDI benefits, complete an application form and an Adult Disability Report.

How Much Money Will I Receive While Collecting Social Security in 2019?

In 2019, the annual earnings limit for those under their full retirement age is $17,640. So, in 2019 you can earn up to that amount and receive all your Social Security benefits even if you aren’t at full retirement age. Once you become full retirement age, you won’t be subjected to an annual earnings limit which means you can earn as much as you want without incurring a reduction in your SS benefits. However, your benefits may still be subject to deductions from your income taxes.

What Disabling Conditions Qualify Someone for SSD?

A wide range of impairments in adults 18 and older can be considered severe enough for a person to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. The following are a few of those conditions:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart failure
  • Blood clots
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Hepatitis
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Dialysis
  • Sickle cell disease
  • HIV
  • Lupus
  • Breast cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • PTSD
  • Schizophrenia
  • Cerebral Palsy

View the full list here.

I Received a Letter About "Retirement and Survivors Disability Insurance" - What is That?

The Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance or (RSDI) program refers to retirement, survivors, and disability benefits paid to workers, their dependents, and survivors. For more information visit the following links:

Retirement Benefits
Survivors Benefits
Disability Insurance