Types of Benefits Available

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

The money that pays the SSDI benefits comes from payroll taxes paid by employers, employees and the self-employed. This is why you need to work, pay taxes (“on the books”) and earn enough credits before you can receive SSDI benefits. The average SSDI cash benefit is $1,000 – $1,200 per month. This number may be higher if you had a large salary and paid more taxes over many years.

In general, if you qualify for SSDI benefits, you will not start to collect benefits until six months after your disability started. This six- month period of exclusion of benefits includes the month your disability began and the next five-months as a waiting period. The five-month waiting period does not apply in every situation. For instance, it does not apply to children of disabled workers. After being disabled for two years, you become eligible for Medicare, even if you are not a senior. You also may be eligible for Medicaid.

 Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

In general, in 2019, the cash benefit is $771 per month for an individual. If married individuals are both eligible for SSI, the total of SSI payment is limited to $1,157 per month in 2019. This amount is adjusted in January of each year, depending on the U.S. cost of living. New York may add to this amount with a New York State Supplementary Payment (SSP). In 2019, the SSP is $87 per month for an individual. Unlike the SSDI benefits, SSI payments may begin as early as the first full month after you become eligible, but not earlier than the month you first apply for SSI. Therefore, if you think you may be eligible for SSI, it is important that you apply for SSI through the Social Security Administration (SSA) as soon as possible. If you qualify for SSI benefits, the SSA will automatically include the SSP additional cash payments.

Legal Editors: Anselmo Alegria and Wiliam E. Leavitt, February 2018 (updated March 2019)

Changes may occur in this area of law. The information provided is brought to you as a public service with the help and assistance of volunteer legal editors, and is intended to help you better understand the law in general. It is not intended to be legal advice regarding your particular problem or to substitute for the advice of a lawyer.

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