YOU ASK:

Why would you want Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?

WE ANSWER:

Who doesn't? Social Security Disability Insurance has a lot of benefits for you, not just financially, but also in the provision of healthcare. Why do you want Social Security Disability Insurance? Let us count the ways, shall we?

  • Monthly income. The disability benefit payments are paid on a monthly basis. Depending on how much you earn in "other income", that is, income from other sources such as a job, interest and dividends, you may also have part of these disability benefit payments tax-free.
  • Long term payments. Social Security pays for the duration of the disability, which in some cases last a lifetime. The benefit payments continue even if you reach 65 years old. By that time, though, it will go under a different name - Social Security retirement benefits. Mind you, the payments will last only if your disability is continuous. There are regular checks that the Social Security administration will make. If you are able to find a job that pays more than the monthly threshold (in 2010, it's $1,000 per month), then the benefits will stop.
  • Healthcare and prescription drug coverage. If you have been receiving your Social Security disability for the last 24 months, you will also be eligible for Medicare coverage, including hospitalization benefits and prescription drug coverage. Specifically, what you can have would be Medicare Part A, Part B and Part D.
  • Dependent coverage. If you are eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, your dependents under age 18 may also qualify to receive some Social Security benefits.
  • Return to work incentive/trial work period. Social Security also provides you a chance to fully get back on your feet and on the workplace. Even though there are income limits you have to keep to maintain your disability benefits, these are "lifted" to allow you to test the workplace waters for at least 9 months within a 60-month period.
  • COBRA extension. You get to keep your COBRA benefits for longer, since you get an extension of 11 months.
  • Higher retirement benefits. When computing for your retirement benefits, it would come higher since the Social Security Disability benefits will not be placed into consideration. Your Social Security earnings records will only reflect up until the time you became disabled.
  • Deductible work expense. You can actually earn higher than the specified Social Security income limit since you are able to deduct all work expenses related to your disability. This means that if you buy specialized equipment or hire an occupational therapist you can deduct these to lower your reported income.
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