What Other Benefits Can You Get With SSDI?
Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, offers financial assistance for Americans who cannot work due to a disability. When veterans qualify for SSDI, they can recoup lost income and get access to other valuable benefits. Here is a breakdown of the other benefits you can get with SSDI beyond wage replacement and the eligibility requirements to access them.
- SSDI provides not only wage replacement but also benefits for dependents, tax exemptions, and return-to-work programs.
- Eligibility for additional benefits like Medicare, Medicaid, and VA disability depends on specific criteria including income levels and disability severity.
- Application for SSDI requires documentation of disability, work history, and potentially, eligibility for concurrent benefits like SSI.
Veterans have sacrificed so much to defend our country, including, in some cases, their livelihoods. However, several programs are available to help those who gave so much. When the unexpected happens and you cannot work, you need all the help you can get. Whether you’ve been injured in an accident or are ill, your focus should be on your recovery and not on which bills you can or can’t pay.
Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, benefits are one source of compensation for veterans who can no longer work because of a disability. SSDI can replace part of your income if you can’t work due to a documented disability or illness. If you qualify for SSDI, you could collect up to $3,822 in maximum monthly benefits in 2024. These benefits can be received along with your Veterans Administration benefits.
The monthly disability payment is considered the most important SSDI benefit for many people. However, you shouldn’t overlook several other key benefits you might be eligible for in addition to your SSDI payments.
What Benefits Come With SSDI?
If you become disabled and can’t work, you may be eligible for SSDI benefits offered by the Social Security Administration. These benefits replace a portion of the wages you earned before your disabling condition.
However, living on SSDI alone can be challenging. As a result, you may wonder what other benefits you can get with SSDI. Fortunately, depending on your circumstances, you may be entitled to several SSDI additional benefits.
Benefits for Spouses and Children
If you are receiving SSDI benefits, your dependents may also be eligible to receive benefits if they meet the below requirements:
SSDI benefits paid to dependents aren’t unlimited. Each family member can receive up to 50 percent of your SSDI benefit. The amount depends on your SSDI benefit level and the number of qualifying family members you have.
Tax Exemptions and Deductions
People with disabilities may be eligible for a variety of tax exemptions and deductions, including the following:
Ticket to Work Program
If you can return to work in some capacity, Social Security can help with its Ticket to Work program. This free program is offered to SSDI recipients to help them explore whether returning to work is possible. Individuals participating in the program receive a variety of services, such as vocational rehabilitation, career counseling, and job training. Meanwhile, they continue to collect SSDI benefits. This program is an excellent resource for those switching industries or jobs due to their limitations.
Benefits for Survivors
If you pass away while collecting SSDI benefits, your surviving family members may be eligible for survivor benefits. Eligible individuals would include your surviving spouse, dependent children, or parents if your parents were dependent on you at the time of your death.
What Additional Benefits Can I Apply for With SSDI?
SSDI offers valuable financial assistance to people with disabling conditions that prevent them from working. For veterans collecting SSDI, other benefits programs may also be available that help ease the financial burden of a disability.
Supplemental Security Income
People receiving SSDI may also qualify for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI. SSI is a federal benefits program offered through the SSA for low-income individuals who are disabled, blind, or 65 and older. The 2024 monthly SSI benefit is $943 for an individual and $1,415 for a married couple.
Because SSI is a needs-based program, the income and resource requirements are quite strict, unlike those for SSDI. For example, you can meet the disability or age criteria for SSI benefits but be ineligible due to income and resource limitations.
If you receive both SSDI and SSI payments simultaneously, this is known as “concurrent benefits.” To receive payments from both programs, you would likely have to be approved for a lower SSDI payment, possibly because you did not work in recent years or have received low wages.
VA Disability Benefits
If you’re a disabled veteran suffering from a service-connected condition, you may qualify for VA disability benefits. The monthly amount depends on the severity of your disability and whether you have dependents. SSDI and VA disability do not affect one another, meaning you may be able to receive both benefits. Also, the SSA and VA are different organizations, so the eligibility criteria and standards for evaluating disability claims will differ.
One key difference is that to receive VA disability benefits, you must have a condition caused or exacerbated by your military service. However, the VA does not require that the condition be totally disabling, unlike the criteria for SSDI benefits. For this reason, veterans with a 100 percent disability often receive SSDI benefits as well.
SSDI recipients are automatically enrolled in Medicare after a two-year waiting period. This provides comprehensive health care and hospital coverage. Enrollment includes Medicare Part A, which covers hospitalization, and Part B, which covers doctor’s visits.
Medicaid is a joint federal and state program offering free or low-cost health care coverage for low-income adults, children, older adults, and pregnant individuals. Many people collecting SSI are automatically eligible for Medicaid since both are needs-based programs. In some states, the SSI application is also a Medicaid application.
Workers’ Compensation Payments
If you were injured at work or became ill because of your job, you would typically be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation is a state-mandated, no-fault insurance program. Certain employers are required to cover employees with coverage for medical expenses, lost wage replacement, and other benefits. However, the total amount you collect from SSDI and workers’ comp cannot exceed 80 percent of your average earnings before you become disabled.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is a federal program that helps low-income families and individuals purchase groceries. People who collect either SSDI or SSI may also qualify for SNAP.
Home Energy Assistance Program
The government’s Energy Assistance Program, or HEAP, helps cover energy expenses such as cooling and heating for low-income households. SSDI and SSI recipients may qualify for this benefit based on household size and income level.
What Do You Need To Be Eligible for SSDI?
To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have worked in jobs covered by Social Security and have a medical condition that meets the SSA’s strict definition of disability. In most U.S. occupations, you pay into the Social Security system through payroll taxes and earn “work credits” based on your total annual wages or income from self-employment.
To be eligible for SSDI benefits, you must generally have earned 40 credits, with 20 of those earned in the past 10 years. However, fewer credits may be sufficient for qualification if you are a younger worker.
In addition to having sufficient work credits, you must have a qualifying disability. The SSA publishes its list, called the Blue Book. A veteran would need proof of one of these medical conditions and documentation of its disabling effects.
To qualify as disabling, the condition must:
What Is the Average Monthly Payout for SSDI?
The severity of your disability doesn’t affect the amount of SSDI benefits you receive. The SSA determines your payment based on your lifetime average earnings before you become disabled. According to the SSA, individuals can receive between $100 and $3,822 in monthly SSDI payments. In November 2023, the average disability insurance payment was $1,352.25.
The SSA applies a cost-of-living adjustment to its payments, which will be a 3.2 percent increase in 2024. Even if the amount you qualify for seems low, don’t forget the other benefits you can collect. For veterans collecting SSDI, additional benefits are often available.
How Do I Apply for SSDI?
To apply for SSDI, you must complete the application, provide proof of your identity and income, and document how your disability prevents you from working. Some additional SSDI benefits are automatic, while others require applying for them as you become eligible.
The SSA will ask these five questions to make its determination:
- Are you working? If so, you must earn below a certain monthly limit, which is $1,550 in 2024.
- Is your condition “severe,” meaning that for at least the past year, it has significantly limited your ability to walk, stand, sit, lift, or remember things?
- Is your condition listed on the SSA’s list of qualifying disabling conditions?
- Can you perform your previous job?
- Can you do any other type of work?
If you believe you are eligible for SSDI, you can apply online, in person, or by calling 800-772-1213.
To learn more about how you can get the full benefits you need and deserve through SSDI, contact Veterans Guide today.