Disability Insurance (DI) Facts

Social Security disability payments are modest, but they keep some families financially afloat.

disability facts



89 thoughts on “Disability Insurance (DI) Facts

    • Hi, Mike. Thanks for your feedback! Your thoughts are important to us and we’re pleased when feedback is positive. We try hard to provide the best possible service to our customers and your satisfaction is our reward.

    • Yeah, right. I was an attorney in a large law firm, one year from being nominated partner, when I was stricken with a horrible, incurable disease that ended my career and rendered me unable even to sit upright for more than 3 hours a day- not all at once, either. After waiting nearly two years for a determination, my 401(k) was gone because I wanted to be “honorable” and pay my bills; I lost my house, and was finally forced to file for bankruptcy. Then I was awarded $1698 per month SSDI.

      Considering that the average rent nationwide tops $1000 per month, I find it difficult to believe anyone could save enough on Social Security disability payments to “open a restaurant.” You are either making this up or you do not have all the facts about your neighbors’ situation. The charitable view would be to go with the latter, though I have my doubts whether you were being charitable, or anything else but negative and deliberately inflammatory.

      Oh, and by the way, because my EARNED benefit is so “generous,” I do not qualify for any other government assistance; not food, housing, or medical. I had to go without medical care for two years until I qualified for another EARNED benefit, Medicare – which is NOT an “entitlement” program, as I pay monthly premiums, yearly deductibles, and 20% co-insurance for medical care, in addition of having to buy a separate plan for prescriptions, which has another monthly premium, yearly deductible, and co-pays, all of which I am responsible for, all paid out of my frozen-in-place-till-death amount of SSDI. (The last time there was a COLA I saw a $12 a month increase in my benefit.) No vision or dental coverage comes with Medicare either, so that’s all out of pocket too.

      Reality check here. Try checking out the facts before spewing garbage you “hear” – unless, again, you’re just trolling to hurl out inflammatory garbage you know to be false.

      • Marc. Make sure you are Maximizing your allowable medical deductions and you may be able to bring down your countable income to qualify for Food Stamp, Housing and Medicaid benefits. A knowledgeable elder law attorney may be able to help qualify you or disability rights advocate group.You are obviously bright- there are written regulations you can look up which state what the allowable medical deductions are per benefit category. . But yes, your points are all well taken. Too little in SSDI benefits to adequately live on and too low of income required to qualify for other necessary benefits.
        May God Bless you and help us all. The boomers are retiring with very little savings as well. What is to become of the disabled and elderly in this country? I am praying for your provision.

      • My God Marc,I feel like I just read my story.Everything word for word.I will be homeless on Jan.10th. I went from $63k-/yr to$18k/yr.I have lost my teeth due to my illness. Forget dental work. I actually had 1 idiot quote me a price of $48,000. I went to pick up a prescription that was$895.for 30 pills and I just walked away in tears. I “make” too much money for medical assistance and they take $130. a month for Medicare which covers zip.

    • Doesn’t work that way. If you’re on disability, and able to work at all, there’s a formula by which the benefits you receive are cut based on your earnings. If one is able to earn enough, disability benefits are phased out.

    • That is preposterous! Both my husband and I are disabled and we are SINKING! Losing our home — I became permanently disabled with more than one disability that affects my entire body and it’s not something that will “get better”. It happened in my early 40’s. I HATE that I lost my ability to work with my husband being in the same boat. We hardly have any disability (money that we EARNED), but SSA (and SSDI) is a joke! They don’t care about their disabled workers (and my disability didn’t happen on the job, yet it is STILL something I can do nothing about!). There is NO way your neighbors “made enough money while on disability that they bought a restaurant” — you are a fool to believe such stories. IF they had money to “buy a restaurant” on disability, then you can bet they got their money from somewhere else! or someONE else! Sure as hell didn’t get it from disability!

      • Not to be cruel to you but I have heard and seen many married couples get divorced so they could keep there homes.They did this to get two checks instead of just one and even tho marriage is a piece of paper to many people,what needs to be looked at is keeping your home and other things that you need to keep.Getting divorced will give you double your income.You can look it up to see what your payments will be.I know Soc.Sec. pays one payment for people to stay married which is $250.maybe Im wrong but you can get more getting separate checks.Think whats good for you and your family,Good Luck and Hang in there I know life is tougher than what most people think…

    • sorry to be so blunt , but you have to be a republican fascist , that spreads misinformation for pay or fun. either way , we are so sick of your kind of so called American !

    • Bull crap!
      Ignorant comments like yours piss me off. You oviciously do not know what you are talking about! The amount people receive each month, which, by the way, most people pay into the trust fund, is not huge. I’m grateful for what I get, but it’s not easy. Without SSDI and Medicare, I’d be dead.
      I highly suggest you educate yourself.

  1. What is the process by SSA for determining if someone is truly disabled and should be receiving benefits? I am not heartless, I think people in need deserve them, but what about people scamming an already bankrupt system.

    • Google it. Simply go to the Social Security website, and you can find the details there. Aside from the fact that Social Security is not going bankrupt, one must have medical confirmation — not only of a disability, but of one that is so severe as to make gainful employment impossible. Cases are all periodically reviewed, and one must provide medical confirmation of disability. In short, there is virtually no way to “scam the system.”

    • Believe the amount of scam is worth chucking the whole program. What a self serving and uncaring thought. If it’s bankrupt it’s because the gatekeepers left the gate unlocked and looked the other way. Yes you are heartless and selfish

  2. My husband was shot in the face almost 3 years while working at a pheasant club. Owner did not have workmans comp. Husband is now blind. We applied for SS Disability a little over a year ago, denied 3 times and hired an attorney 4 months ago and still nothing. Hard to make ends meet and even harder to see the abuse of the system when those who are truly disabled cant get a dime.

    • Amen, to that ! Especially good people like yourself and I. Have had 6 surgeries on back and 4 knee replacements, still, on Disability but cannot make ends meet. Oh by the way, am 58 yrs. Old. Have worked since I was 16, still only get 1,048.00 a month.. Thanks!!

    • People who are blind are automatically approved. If he was denied it would have been for non medical reasons, such as work history. Hiring an attorney won’t change anything.

    • What sort of attorney did you hire? Find a good one that specializes in disability cases only. Midwest Disability comes to mind. There are many out there.

    • We are sorry to hear your husband’s application for disability benefits did not go the way you had hoped and we are sorry to hear about his condition. The length of time it takes to get a decision on a disability claim can vary depending on several factors. We attempt to resolve all claims promptly, but there may be delays due to the volume of pending appeals in your area. We hope your husband receives a decision on his case soon.

    • Good blog! I actually love how it87;21#&s easy on my eyes as well as the data are well written. I am wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which really should do the trick! Have a nice day!

  3. I would like to know if there is an anonymous hotline number that we could call to have someone collecting DI who only appears disabled when she needs to be. It is a disgrace to know that this very capable person could be earning a paycheck like the rest of us. And then you have a person who was paralyzed in a car accident to no fault of his own does not qualify.

  4. Wow that is a lot of disabled for a first world country ab 3%. Also its 12 .21 kids to 1 spouse weird something is fishy looks like one worker has way more kids then spouses I smell a fraud.

    • Trust me, government goes to significant lengths to minimize any aid to Americans. It seems that many think a person can go to an SSA office, simply say they are disabled, and get benefits. In reality, it’s a very long, complicated, in-depth process, and all information (medical statements, etc.) is checked. Cases are all periodically reviewed, again requiring doctors’ confirmations of not only the disability, but whether it is so severe as to make gainful employment impossible.

  5. I have an aunt who is legally blind because of genetics and worked her whole life and qualifies for nothing, not welfare, not disability, nothing. Then I worked for a company who employed someone who was I found out was “partially disabled” aka had “bad knees” but was doing those American ninja challenges and training for it. He collected enough money in disability benefits that it was more than I was making working fulltime at that company. sounds fair right? I’m all for helping those truly in need but there needs to be some reform, lots of abuse going on in these systems which makes it hard for those truly in need to get the help they need. the picture tells me the same thing, lots of abuse going on.

    • True there are those scamming the system but someone scamming the system does dot make it harder for someone else to be approved

    • FALSE. it is incredibly difficult to prove disability that qualifies one for SSDI. Again, you do not know all the facts. How do you know this person isn’t collecting disability benefits from a PRIVATE insurance policy he had? You people make me physically ill. Judgmental much?

      • Not true. In Colorado 4 doctors were busted by the state for helping pot smokers get disability SSI by issuing fake disabilities for the purposes of defrauding the government. It starts by getting a quack doctor and $200 to get the paperwork then getting a pot “red card” to get “medical pot”. Then onto the SSA office to file for SSI with same paperwork. Mind you these folks ARE NOT disabled just deadbeat pot smokers who are just moochers on my tax $$$. The bums can work if only they can pass the drug test for employment. Pot smpkers from across the country are coming here for the welfare for pot program that the Dems will not stop. I took the evidence to the SSA office located on 8000 South Park Lane, Littleton, CO. 80120. They told me they know of the situation, but did not have the resources under Obama to investigate all the fraudsters in Colorado. So, this tells me there are many in Colorado smoking pot on welfare that is costing us clean and sober hard working taxpayers $$$ to support these deadbeats smoking pot. Maybe, when Trump takes office will stop this abuse. I will submit my evidence to his people to hunt down and kick theses dead beats off the welfare rolls hence save poor hard working taxpayers from this injustice. This is not some “FAKE NEWS” story. Just Google “Welfare used to buy pot”, “Colorado bust 4 doctors falsifying disabilities for pot smokers”, “Dems block Welfare Reform “Welfare for families in Need Not Weed””. Here is hoping Trump cleans up the welfare rolls esp. in Colorado.

        Lastly, what is sad disabled veterans like myself have to wait years for our earned bennies sometimes die waiting. But, out of state pot smokers come to Colorado can get welfare (SSI) in less than a year. Sad state for veterans.

    • Actual welfare aid ended 20 years ago. There’s only TANF, a short-term, marginally subsidized work program, only for those with children. Those who are blind do qualify for disability benefits. You are clearly misinformed about the man receiving full disability benefits while working and, in fact, not having a legitimate disability. A knee problem would not qualify a person for benefits, as they would still be able to engage in gainful employment, provided with modifications (i.e., a job that enabled him to sit, etc.).

      • Wrong. SSI is still considered welfare. You have SSI for those that are over 65 years of age, and for those deemed totally disabled under age 65. Welfare is still alive and kicking in 2016 as are the fraudsters that is costing us taxpayers dearly esp. in Colorado.

        My hope and prayer is that Trump cleans up the welfare rolls before taking away disability from those that are truly disabled to save the government money.

  6. First I want to say that just because you can not SEE a disability does NOT mean they are not disabled. Stop saying they are a drain on society. Mental illness in this country is pretty high. Fibromyalgia is an invisible illness too….trust me it is very real! As far as the high amount of people being on disabilities you do realize we are the baby boomer generation…..yes there are many of us. So before you place dr without a license you may wanna take into consideration what you truly know about disability. You also do know that you have to be seen by a Dr paid for and working on the behalf of Social Security. Please learn instead of spewing bs. Blessed Be

    • Thank goodness for you. I am constantly bewildered by people who think this an easy process and benefit hugely. My disability was taken away 4 years ago because someone said I was working. I was not, and there was no proof. They just took it. It took me four years of stress, testing and terrible people to get it back even though I am a 100% disabled veteran. Live your own life people. You can destroy someones life that is already difficult enough. I highly doubt people can fool this system. I have numerous doctors behind me, but still had a rough time, terrible tests, accusations, and tears.

      • Yes, rotten, mean-spirited, nosy people with miserable little lives do have a way of destroying everyone around them in order to make themselves feel bigger. Disgusting. I am truly sorry that happened to you. I hope the person or persons who filed that false report that caused you so much grief gets pancreatic cancer and suffers terribly before dying a truly horrible death.

      • You would qualify, but you have to actually apply for it. If you were in the military, I’d suggest speaking with someone at your area VA center, and that person can assist you.

      • Do not feel bad. I did my 20 years in the Army hence retired as an SFC (E-7) in 2006. Took me 3 years just to get my SSDI, and then almost 12 years and still waiting for my 100% status currently 80% VA service disabled. My service connected disabilities include bad feet, bad knees, bad ankles, calf muscle injuries, and back lower back aka sciatica. Still had to fight tooth and nail to get my SSDI until an Admin Law Judge saw my file and apologized that the SSA messed over a veteran hence granted my claim. The VA is a complete joke as well. The motto “Deny, Delay, and Wait to Die” is strong in the VA.

    • wow I agree with you . no one really knows what a person is going through until they walk in their shoes. some disabilities don’t show either. thank u for sharing that too.

      • I have no feet to put in anyone’s shoes. I am not diabetic. The ADA kept my job open for me and the state of MD paid to have a van with a wheelchair ramp and hand controls si i can drive. My health insurance paid for a $30,000 wheelchair to get around. If you know how to work with benefits that are available you can work an not have to apply for SSDI. The problem is no one tells you where to get the help that is available. I fight hard to keep myself mobile and employed. I could not live off of what SSDI would pay me each month. I fight hard every day to get out of bed, get ready for work, find a Handicap parking spot to let down a ramp so i can get out and continue to work. Some times you have to fight yourself and the rest of the world just to stay alive. My disability is just another hurdle I have to overcome. I don’t want any praise for not drawing SSDI, I want people to look in the mirror and stop saying why can’t I get SSDI if there are other options. It upsets me every time a non disabled person parks in a handicap spot with a placard hanging on the rear view mirror. I also know of people that were too sick to work for a period of time, but got used to not working and continue to receive benefits rather than looking for a job. Or they work under the table and get a check each month. As long as I am able I will continue to be an able bodied person. Thanks for letting me vent

    • We don't see the collection very well but when I look at the girl with the white layers it really looks amateurisch and very DIY. Doesn't look very spectacular and special. But I must say the black collection looks more sodiisthcatep. Hopefully I'll change my mind when I'll see your white denim jacket!

  7. I am disabled through the VA
    and been trying for 2 years to get my SSDI….
    Idont know why so hard if the paperwork is showing im 90% disabled through the VA
    and have trouble adapting to civilian life

      • Not exactly, but it’s complicated. You need medical verification that, due to disability, gainful employment isn’t possible. It can take as long as three years (the last I heard) from the day you apply to receipt of benefits, assuming one qualifies. Most people have a need to work not only for a paycheck, but for a sense of purpose and social interaction, and many disabled people do work pt, time.

    • VA and SSA disability program are two very different programs in determining your eligibility. The VA only looks are conditions related to service hence compensates partial disabilities or conditions from 10% up to 100% ratings. SSA only pays folks that are totally 100% disabled who can not work whereas a veteran who is 100% schedule rated can still work unless they are deemed 100% TDIU (Total Disabled Individual Unemployable) .

      I helped a veteran recently who was found 50% VA service disabled for TBI/migraines and was able to get him his SSDI. It is the medical file that determines your eligibility for SSDI and an RFC done by a doctor that SSA uses. If you over 50 it is easier to get SSDI than a younger person age 18-49 thru the use of grid rules. Grid rules only work for physical disabilities not mental ones. Best to use an attorney like I did.

  8. the funny thing ever my son has a pacemaker and has seizures and other mental conditions and they say I make to much retirement from the navy to help me out
    but others are making way more then me and their kids get SSI?????

  9. If the average amount is over 1100 a month, why am I still only getting 800? Makes me angry when it looks like everyone on Disability is making all this money. The reality is, too many are living off a lot less than the “average”

    • If you are receiving SSDI that is based on your income. SSI is not the same thing, and it is fixed maximum amount. Also, do you not know what “average” means? Some get more, some get less. What is the MATTER with people here??? Everybody is so afraid someone is going to get something they don’t have. Tell you what – work 35 years for 65-80 hours a week at an incredibly stressful job that you spent 10 years in college to obtain, then you, too might qualify for a couple hundred bucks more a month. My God, the greed, jealousy, and hatred here is unbelievable!

  10. My husband’s brother gets SS disability for being an alcoholic!! I guess it’s considered an “illness”. Whereas so many others on here truly deserve a disability check and don’t get it. What a sad comentary.

  11. Professionals who have earned in the millions
    and have been taken advantage of by the federal
    government should have all of their company
    payments returned to them. Companies are not
    paid several million dollars o harass a persons family
    for 15 or 20 years. The ssa must be cleaned out
    and pay people enough and not starving them or pay a bus driver to say throw all your clothing on the floor of the bus so that you will die when they could of very easily got them a car 3 years ago.

  12. I am on SS disabilty, (hard of hearing )can’t even pay my rent.
    Just Read abut the Insurance Disability . Did any one knows what’s needed to apply?

    • Social Security Disability is what the article is about. The amount you receive is based on what you’ve earned while working. SSI is for people who have not worked or have not worked enough to non-medically qualify for SSD. You can receive SSD and SSI if you do not have a lot of financial resources. You can call Social Security to see if you may also qualify for SSI. The medical requirements are the same.

  13. Disability is a great program and while the payments won’t get you a house in Beverly Hills they are a lifeline to many folks. When I was young my dad passed away from lung cancer. My mom collected disabled widow’s benefits because she was severely ill. Recently our oldest son (who was laid off from his job this past January) qualified for disability benefits due to his Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma diagnosis. Most young people don’t want to talk about Social Security because they think it will be many years before they can qualify. Statistically one in four young people will become disabled before they reach retirement age. Everyone should open a my Social Security account (www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount) to see how much they would receive in disability benefits if they were to become incapacitated. Hopefully that won’t happen but it is good to know how much one could count on just in case.

    APPEALS and expert assistance is required to get SSDI. You have to be almost dead.
    POVERTY LEVEL income amount, which then falls way behind cost of living. “COLA” criteria flawed.

  15. I have tried and tried to contact (Phone Calls, Regional Office), to get my Amount Received changed to the Correct Amount, and yet NO ONE seems to know what to do, or how to fix this. I was told NOW that my Records were sent to the New Jersey location, that I have to call them.

    I’ve been trying to reach them for the past 2 WEEKS, and NO ONE has yet to call me back, and being on hold is a Joke! When it comes up for you to speak to someone, it states, “All Representatives are Busy at this time, try your call again later.”, and then HANGS up on you! It’s bad enough that you have to wait close to an hour to get through “All the Previous People” waiting, but to be hung up on with a Recorded Message.

    Can SOMEONE with a BRAIN please contact me, and help me get my BENEFIT amount corrected???

    Thank You!

      • Hi Edward, we apologize for the inconveniences you are experiencing and we are sorry to hear that you are having difficulty reaching someone by phone. We are experiencing higher than normal call volume. Unfortunately, but for your security, we do not have access to personal records in this blog. Please continue working with your local office. You should be allowed to speak with the manager to see how we can help to expedite resolution of your situation. If you are unable to visit the local office, please try our toll free number again, at 1-800-772-1213. Our representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. When calling our toll free number, is generally best if you call later in the day or later in the week. Thanks!

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