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What is SSDI and how does it work?

Should you become disabled because a Florida workplace injury or illness rendered you unable to work, you likely can apply for and receive Social Security Disability insurance benefits. However, the National Academy of Social Insurance warns that you must meet a two-pronged eligibility standard.

First, both you and your employer must have paid into the Social Security system. Second, your work-related injury or illness must be severe enough that not only can you no longer perform your job, but any work at all. Even then, in most instances your disability must have continued for at least 12 months in order for you to receive SSDI benefits.

Eligible injuries and conditions

You may not be aware that you can receive SSDI benefits for a wide variety of injuries, illnesses and conditions. Statistically, the percentages of reasons for current SSDI payments break down as follows:

  • People disabled due to back injuries or a musculoskeletal condition - 32%
  • People disabled due to a mental illness or condition - 31%
  • People disabled due to cancer, diabetes, respiratory diseases, injuries or infections - 20%
  • People disabled due to nervous system injuries, illnesses or conditions - 9%
  • People disabled due to circulatory system injuries, illnesses or conditions - 8%

SSDI benefit amounts

The type and severity of your injury, illness or condition, along with your average salary or wage during your work life, will determine the amount of SSDI benefits you can collect. Last year the average monthly SSDI check totaled $1,197, amounting to an annual $14,364 benefit.

Unfortunately, statistics show that as a disabled person receiving SSDI benefits, you likely will live somewhere around the U.S. poverty level. Additional statistics reveal that for 82% of SSDI beneficiaries, SSDI represents more than 50% of their annual income. For 37% of them, SSDI benefits constitute their only income.

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.

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