Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal benefits program. Through SSDI, the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides monthly monetary support for those who can no longer work because of long-term or permanent disabilities.
While SSDI can be an essential source of income for many individuals and families, it may only cover some needs. The SSA reports that, in February 2023, the average monthly benefit was $1,686. If you receive SSDI, you may need financial support beyond this. Fortunately, as an SSDI recipient, you or your loved ones may be able to access additional benefits.
When you receive SSDI benefits, your family members can also benefit from your work record.
Family members who could obtain benefits include:
Each of these individuals may be able to receive up to 50 percent of your award. The SSA, however, caps the total amount your family as a whole can receive to between 150 percent and 180 percent of the total award. If your divorced spouse receives benefits through your work record, it will not affect your total family cap.
As an SSDI recipient, you can obtain health insurance coverage through Medicare. After a two-year waiting period, you can enroll in this program. You can receive Part A hospital insurance, Part B medical insurance, and Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.
The SSA deducts Medicare premiums from your monthly benefit. During the two-year waiting period, you may be able to get other health insurance coverage, such as from your employer.
Tax benefits are available when you receive SSDI. If your income is below the threshold, your SSDI payments are generally tax-free. According to the SSA, your SSDI payments are not taxed if your annual income is less than $25,000 (for an individual). For couples, the threshold is an annual income of $32,000.
You may have to pay taxes on your SSDI if you have additional income that increases your total income beyond the SSA’s threshold. For example:
If you are fully insured, survivor benefits are also available to certain family members when you pass away. For example:
If you have limited income and assets, you could also qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in addition to Social Security Disability Insurance. The SSA calls this concurrent eligibility.
SSI provides supplemental income to certain populations with limited means, including older adults and people with disabilities. The majority of SSI recipients qualify because of severe disabilities, including blindness, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Generally, to qualify for SSI, an individual must have, at most, $2,000 in assets ($3,000 for couples).
In 2023, the federal benefit rate is $914 per month for a single person and $1,371 for a couple. Some states supplement this benefit, increasing the amount. Depending on your state, the amount could be higher.
When you have another source of income, the SSA reduces your SSI benefit. Receiving Social Security benefits could lower your SSI award.
The rules governing Social Security Disability Insurance payments and related benefits can be complex. For assistance maximizing your benefits as an SSDI recipient, set up an appointment with Ashley Day.