If you have a disability that prevents you from working, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
SDI is a program that pays monthly benefits to people who have worked enough and paid Social Security taxes.
But did you know that SSDI is not the only benefit you can get from Social Security?
In this article, we will explain what other benefits you can get with SSDI, how to get a Social Security bonus, and how to find out how much you can receive in disability benefits.
What Other Benefits Can I Get With SSDI?
Depending on your situation, you may be able to get other benefits in addition to SSDI, such as:
Medicare is a health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, disabled, or have certain medical conditions.
If you receive SSDI benefits for 24 months, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance).
You can also choose to enroll in Part D (prescription drug coverage) or a Medicare Advantage plan that offers additional benefits.
Medicare can help you cover some of the costs of your health care needs.
SSI is a program that provides monthly payments to people who have low income and limited resources, and who are 65 or older, blind, or disabled.
SSI is different from SSDI because it is based on financial need, not work history.
Some people who receive SSDI may also qualify for SSI if their SSDI benefit amount is below the SSI federal benefit rate.
SSI can help you pay for basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter.
If you receive SSDI benefits, your spouse and children may also be eligible for benefits based on your record.
Your spouse can get benefits if they are 62 or older, or if they care for your child who is younger than 16 or disabled.
Your children can get benefits if they are unmarried and younger than 18, or if they are 18-19 and still in high school, or if they are 18 or older and disabled before age 22.
The total amount of family benefits cannot exceed 150% to 180% of your SSDI benefit amount.
Other Federal Programs:
You may also be able to qualify for other federal programs that offer assistance to people with disabilities, such as Medicaid, SNAP (food stamps), LIHEAP (energy assistance), HUD (housing assistance), VA (veterans benefits), and more.
These programs have their own eligibility criteria and application processes. You can use the Benefits.gov website to find out what programs you may be eligible for.
How Do I Get the $16,728 Social Security Bonus?
You may have heard about a Social Security bonus of $16,728 that some retirees can get by delaying their benefits until age 70. This bonus is not a lump sum payment, but rather an increase in your monthly benefit amount that adds up over time.
The bonus is based on the delayed retirement credits that you earn for every month that you postpone claiming your benefits after your full retirement age (FRA). Your FRA is the age at which you can get your full Social Security benefit amount. It is 66 or 67 for most people, depending on when you were born.
If you claim your benefits before your FRA, you will experience a reduction in your benefit amount by a certain percentage for each month you choose to claim early.
For instance, if your FRA is 67 and you decide to claim at 62, your benefit amount will undergo a 30% reduction.
Conversely, if you claim your benefits after reaching your FRA, your benefit amount will receive an increase of 8% for each year you choose to delay until reaching age 70. For example, if your FRA is 67 and you opt to claim at 70, your benefit amount will see a 24% increase.
The $16,728 bonus is an example of how much extra money you could get by delaying your benefits from age 66 to age 70.
This assumes that your full retirement benefit amount is $3,345 per month in 2023. If you claim at age 66, you would get $3,345 per month. If you claim at age 70, you would get $4,194 per month. That’s an extra $849 per month, or $10,188 per year.
Over a 20-year period, that adds up to $203,760. Subtracting the $187,032 that you would have received if you claimed at age 66 gives you the $16,728 bonus.
Of course, this bonus is not guaranteed for everyone. It depends on how long you live and how much your benefit amount is.
Delaying your benefits until age 70 only makes sense if you expect to live longer than the average life expectancy and if you have enough savings or income to cover your expenses until then.
Social Security Disability Benefits Pay Chart
The Social Security disability benefits pay chart shows how much you can receive in SSDI benefits based on your average earnings and the year that you became disabled.
The SSA uses a formula that adjusts your earnings for inflation and applies a percentage to determine your primary insurance amount (PIA), which is the base amount of your SSDI benefit.
The PIA is also affected by the age at which you claim your benefits and any cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) that apply.
The SSA publishes a table that shows the PIA for different levels of average earnings and disability onset years.
You can find the table here: Social Security Disability Benefits Pay Chart. For example, if you became disabled in 2023 and your average earnings were $5,000 per month, your PIA would be $2,296.
If you claimed your benefits at your FRA of 67, you would get $2,296 per month. If you claimed your benefits at age 62, you would get $1,608 per month a If you claimed your benefits at age 70, you would get $3,627 per month.
This benefit represents the total amount of benefits that you and your eligible family members can receive. Typically, the maximum family benefit ranges between 150% and 180% of your PIA. For instance, if your PIA amounts to $2,296 and your maximum family benefit reaches 180%, you and your family can receive a total of $4,133 per month.
For example, if you receive other income from workers’ compensation, public disability benefits, or pensions from work not covered by Social Security, these sources may reduce your benefits.
Additionally, taxes, Medicare premiums, overpayments, garnishments, or other factors may also affect your benefits.
To get an estimate of your actual benefit amount, you can use the SSA’s online Benefit Calculator.
Social Security Hardship Payments
If you are in a situation of severe financial hardship and you need immediate assistance from Social Security, you may be able to request a hardship payment.
A hardship payment is an advance payment of part or all of your first installment of SSDI or SSI benefits.
A hardship payment is not an extra benefit, but rather an early payment of the benefit that you are entitled to receive.
To qualify for a hardship payment, you must meet the following criteria:
- You have filed an application for SSDI or SSI benefits and you are likely to be eligible.
- You have not received your first installment of benefits yet or there is a delay in processing your payment.
- You are facing an urgent financial need that cannot be met by other resources.
- You can provide evidence of your hardship situation and your income and expenses.
Some examples of hardship situations include:
- You are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
- You are unable to pay for food, clothing, shelter, utilities, medical care, or other basic needs.
- You are facing eviction, foreclosure, repossession, or utility shut-off.
- You are a victim of domestic violence or natural disaster.
To request a hardship payment, you must contact the SSA as soon as possible and explain your situation.
You may need to fill out a form and provide documents to support your request.
The SSA will review your request and decide whether to approve it or not.
If approved, you will receive a payment as soon as possible, usually within a few days. The amount of the payment will depend on your expected benefit amount and the severity of your hardship.
A hardship payment is not a gift or a loan.
You will make an advance payment, and we will deduct it from your future benefit payments until it is fully repaid.
This means that your regular benefit amount will undergo a reduction until you have recovered the hardship payment.
The SSA will provide you with information about the deduction amount from each payment and the repayment duration.
A hardship payment is not available for everyone. It is only intended for people who are in dire need and have no other options. If you receive a hardship payment and it turns out that you are not eligible for SSDI or SSI benefits, you will have to repay the money to the SSA.
Social Security disability benefits can provide vital financial support to people who have a disability that prevents them from working.
However, SSDI benefits are not the only source of income that disabled people can access. There are others.
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