The Social Security Administration (SSA) has been able to help approximately 70 million people across the United States. Despite the fact that a lot of people do not consider Social Security until they are much older, it is crucial to know about it. This is mainly because each assistance opportunity from the SSA can offer relief to someone that is going through a particular situation.
What Social Security Support is Available?
Many SSA programs look the same, which can make it difficult to get a good understanding. This article will let you know about three different SSA programs, which include:
- Social Security Retirement Benefits
- Social Security Disability Insurance
- Supplemental Security Income
Social Security Retirement Benefits
How much an individual can get, in terms of benefits, depends on several aspects. The amount is based on a person’s largest earnings in the past 35 years. One of the most influential aspects is how old they are. A person can start getting these benefits only when they reach the age of 62.
If you are interested in benefiting from this opportunity, you will have to work and pay Social Security taxes. Once you do that, you will start to make “credits” which go towards the number of benefits you can get. How many credits you will need to be eligible for benefits is based on when you were born. For instance, a person born after the year 1929 will need at least 40 credits. Typically, that would amount to working for about 10 years.
If you do not have enough credits and you are no longer working, you still have a chance! This is because the credits that you get will stay on your Social Security record. So, if you go back to work later on, then you can continue earning credits. Typically, you will need at least 40 credits, if you were born after the year 1929, to get benefits from this opportunity.
The Amount of Benefits You Can Receive
As mentioned above, the amount you will receive is based on a wide range of factors. However, the maximum amount of benefits for the year 2023 is $4,194. A person can maximize the benefit amount if they:
- Have a minimum of 35 years of eligible employment background
- Retire when they are 70 years old
- Earn the highest taxable income
Typically, calculating Social Security earnings is the same for most workers in America. There might be specific regulations, but this depends on the kind of earnings. Some earnings that have specific regulations are:
- Agricultural Work
- Federal Government Work or Military Service
- Nonprofit or Religious Organizations
- Railroad Earnings
- Self-Employment or Household Employment
- State And Local Government Employment Wages
- Employment Outside The United States
The Application Process
There are three ways you can apply: online, on the phone, or face-to-face. You will need to present personal details about yourself, like:
- When and where you were born
- Your social security number
- Your name and your children’s names
- Information about your job and finances
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
SSDI is another assistance program that the SSA offers. This program helps those that are insured, have a qualifying employment background, and have an eligible disability. Qualifying members of the household might also get benefits from the SSDI program. These household members could be:
- Current or Divorced Spouses
- Children with a disability up to the age of 22
If you are interested in benefiting from the SSDI, you need to meet some eligibility requirements. This is due to the fact that the program focuses on helping those who have an eligible disability that stops them from working. Furthermore, because of their medical condition, they will essentially go into early retirement. This is why a person’s employment background is important in defining whether they qualify or not. The two main qualifying aspects are if someone:
- Has been employed in a position that has Social Security coverage
- Is medically diagnosed with a condition that meets the disability definition of the SSA
If someone starts getting benefits from this program, they will get benefits until they turn the full retirement age (FRA). Once they reach the full retirement age, their benefits from the SSDI will turn into the standard Social Security retirement benefits that we mentioned above.
The SSA Definition of “Disability”
The SSA will consider 5 questions when they decide whether a person’s disability is eligible or not. These questions are:
- Is the Person Employed?
- Does the Person Have a Medical Condition That is Considered “Severe”?
- Is the Person’s Medical Condition Mentioned on the SSA’s List of Medical Conditions?
- Does the Person’s Medical Condition Stop Them From Working Their Previous Job?
- Can They Perform in Any Other Kind of Job or Work?
The Amount You Can Receive From The SSDI Program
For 2023, the maximum amount of SSDI benefits a person can get is $3,627. However, it might not be easy to get the maximum amount. As for the average SSDI payment for 2023, it amounts to $1,358. A lot of people believe that the amount of benefits they will receive is based on how severe their disability is. Actually, the program calculates the number of benefits based on an individual’s earnings over a certain timeframe. This amount is also referred to as your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME).
The SSDI Application Process
The specific application process can depend on the state. However, the general application process will resemble the following steps (whether you apply on the phone, online, or face-to-face):
- You should gather all the information and documents required so you can apply, which you can find out through the Adult Disability Checklist.
- When you have collected all of your documents, you will finish your application and submit it to the SSA.
- The SSA will look through your application to ensure that you meet all of the minimum eligibility requirements to obtain benefits. Additionally, they will look through your employment background and any work you are doing now.
- After that, your application will be processed and forwarded to your state’s Disability Determination Service office.
- When the office gets the required information, they will decide whether you will receive benefits or not.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
The final program on this list is the SSI program. Those that can receive benefits from this program should be 65 years of age and need financial support. It is possible for a person to be younger than the age of 65 and qualify. However, this is only in the case that they have an eligible disability and need financial assistance. This may be another program that helps those with a disability, but they are completely independent of the SSDI program. There are some resemblances to the SSDI program since they have the same medical requirements. Actually, people could get SSI and SSDI benefits at the same time!
The Amount You Can Receive From The SSI Program
With SSI benefits, the maximum benefit amount is less than other opportunities on this list. For 2023, the full amount of benefits that someone can receive from this program is:
- $914 per month for a qualifying person
- $458 per month for an essential qualifying individual
- $1,371 per month for a qualifying couple
Applying for SSI Benefits
The application for SSI benefits might look similar to the SSDI application, in the case that you have a disability. However, it will depend on your current situation. For instance, if you are applying for SSI benefits without a disability, then you do not need to be concerned with meeting disability requirements. Also, you should look through the SSI basic eligibility requirements to find out whether you can get benefits or not.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers a lot of programs to help those who are struggling. Each program has its own version of benefits and requirements to qualify. You should also keep in mind that each program differs from one state to another. If you want the most recent and most accurate information, you should contact the nearest Social Security office. They can offer the resources you need to know more about the available assistance opportunities.