Disability Insurance (DI) Facts

December 7, 2016 • By

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Last Updated: December 7, 2016

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

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Doug Walker, Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Deputy Commissioner, Office of Communications


  1. Edward L.

    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!

    • Edward L.

      3 Times I went through this, and each time I was told to call the Main Number for Social Security!!! Here I GO AGAIN!

      • Ray F.

        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!

  2. Keith N.

    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.

  3. Andy H.

    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.

  4. Dora G.

    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?

    • isftt

      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.

  5. Mark

    SDI benefites are based on your life time contribution to the program ! Dum assess ! If you made more money during your working life time then you contributed to the program in dollers more so ther fore you receive more dollers per month !

    • jane

      no need call people names omg. geez some people truly don’t understand.

    • Marc P.

      Hear, hear!!! Finally a voice of reason.

  6. Noname

    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.

  7. Susan

    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.

    • AKA

      Try living without a liver for a change.

  8. Sue

    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”

    • John

      You don’t know that the word average means that some make more than 1100.00 and some less?

    • Vicki

      Your check is based on what you earned and therefore what you paid in to the SS system over the years.

    • Marc P.

      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!

  9. Fred

    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?????

    • John

      How would you know what others are making?

    • Marc P.

      You don’t know the difference between SDI and SSDI, obviously.

      • DIANE


    • D.H. F.

      What they receive would be determined by total household income, number of people in household, etc. Go to the SSA website to find the details.

      • Vicky

        That’s a skillful answer to a diffucilt question

  10. Fred

    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

    • John

      With SS you have to be 100% disabled.

      • D.H. F.

        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.

    • Steven B.

      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.

      • Anitra

        Oh Coaisatulntgonr, big style, what an accolade to even be nominated!! But you do deserve it hun, for all your hard work, making it all a little bit clear for those of us affected, xxx

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