Nationwide representative outlines importance of SSDI, hosts Aug. 18 web event on improving personal relationships following life-changing disabilities
Belleville, Illinois — Aug. 1, 2016 — Sixty years ago today, the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program was signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Millions of people with severe, life-changing disabilities continue to access this important program, according to Allsup, the nation’s leading provider of SSDI representation services.
“Today, more than 151 million workers are insured through their FICA payroll taxes for SSDI benefits,” said CEO Jim Allsup, founder of Allsup. “Many workers don’t realize that they are paying for this important insurance and the significant safety net that it provides to them if they experience a work-disrupting disability.”
Since January, more than 1.1 million people have applied for Social Security disability benefits, according to SSA data. “There are a number of important benefits with the Social Security disability program for workers who find themselves out of the workforce for a year or longer, including the assistance you can receive to eventually rejoin the workforce if and when you medically recover,” Mr. Allsup said.
To better understand SSDI benefits, Allsup offers its new dual purpose tool empower by Allsup®. For the first time, people can learn their likelihood of being eligible for Social Security disability in only minutes by taking a Free SSDI Assessment. Those who successfully complete the Assessment can immediately start their online application with Allsup as their representative and learn more about Social Security’s return to work incentives.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees the program, which has stringent requirements for receiving disability insurance benefits. To qualify for SSDI, someone must have paid FICA payroll taxes, typically worked five of the last 10 years, and have medical evidence of a severe physical or mental impairment that is expected to last more than 12 months or is terminal. Individuals must be unable to work and under full retirement age (65-67).
Why Apply For SSDI – Top Six Benefits
The most obvious benefit of receiving SSDI benefits is monthly income, which averages about $1,166 in 2016. More than half of beneficiaries receive monthly benefits in the range of $700 to $1,400. “Along with monthly income, there are some critical benefits that come with Social Security Disability Insurance that many people don’t understand, even 60 years after the program was enacted,” Mr. Allsup added.
Along with monthly income, benefits include:
- Healthcare insurance. No matter one’s age, 24 months after date of entitlement to SSDI benefits, beneficiaries become eligible for Medicare, including hospital benefits (Part A) and medical benefits (Part B), as well as prescription drug coverage, or Part D.
- Cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). Participants may receive an annual increase in their monthly income in years when a federal COLA is enacted.
- Protected retirement benefits. Someone who quits work and doesn’t apply for SSDI will see those years of having zero dollars in earnings calculated into their retirement payment—possibly leading to a lower retirement benefit, unless they apply for SSDI. Protection through the SSDI program is called the retirement “freeze.” This means Social Security freezes those years when collecting SSDI, so they are not counted in the retirement calculation.
- Dependent benefits. Someone receiving SSDI benefits and with dependents under age 18 at home may also receive income, typically the value of half the monthly benefit, in addition to their regular monthly income.
- Return to work incentives. Social Security provides a number of incentives, including protection of SSDI and Medicare benefits for several years, while an individual attempts to go back to work. These incentives include free services offered by organizations known as Employment Networks (ENs). One such EN, Allsup Employment Services is an Allsup subsidiary and provides these services at no cost to SSDI beneficiaries.
Aug. 18 Web Event – Improve Your Relationships
The life-changing impact of a severe disability affects finances as well as relationships. Anyone living with a chronic illness or disability is invited to attend the Allsup True Help® Web Event: Claiming Power to Improve Your Relationships on Thursday, Aug. 18, at 12 p.m. CST. Attend live or on-demand to hear guest presenters from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Colon Cancer Alliance, and Allsup Veterans Disability Appeal Service®.