Many veterans who suffer from a chronic physical or mental health condition find that they have difficulty maintaining gainful employment. Fortunately, the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program can provide financial support to people with sufficient work credits.
Understanding how the Social Security Administration (SSA) issues SSDI benefits is an essential part of pursuing a claim. For this reason, you should consult with an experienced SSDI attorney from our firm.
SSDI is an insurance program that taxpayers contribute to with every paycheck. A person can earn work credits for every quarter of a year that they work and recollect in case of debilitating injury or illness.
SSDI is issued based on how many credits a worker earned before becoming disabled. The formula for determining these payments is complex, as the SSA will take a veteran’s average indexed monthly earnings and compare that amount to their primary insurance coverage amount.
In 2019, the average monthly SSDI benefit amount was $1,234 per month. The maximum possible payment was $2,861 per month for disabled veterans. Our team can provide more information about the SSA’s process for determining a veteran’s eligibility for SSDI benefits.
A veteran’s spouse and children may also be able to collect benefits from the SSA, regardless of whether they are in good health.
Children may receive up to 50 percent of their parent’s SSDI benefits every month. In most cases, this only applies if the child is under the age of 18. However, the payments may extend to a child’s 19th birthday if they are a full-time student in high school. Finally, SSDI benefits may continue indefinitely if the child becomes disabled before turning 22.
Similarly, a spouse can also receive up to 50 percent of the SSDI recipient’s monthly benefits. Even spouses who are no longer married could claim compensation if they were married to the disabled veteran for at least ten years. Finally, in the case of a veteran’s death while receiving SSDI benefits, the surviving spouse may continue to receive payments if they are 60 years of age or older, or if they are at least 50 years of age and disabled.
It is important to note that there is a maximum amount of monthly SSDI benefits that family members may receive. A family can usually only collect a total of 150 percent of the monthly SSDI benefits that a veteran receives. For example, a spouse and four children cannot all receive 50 percent of the recipient’s benefits. In these situations, the spouse and children will receive proportional reductions so as to not violate the maximum family payment.
Obtaining SSDI benefits following the onset of a disabling condition can be essential to a veteran’s financial security. Additionally, these payments can help support a former servicemember’s spouse and dependent children.
While you may receive up to 80 percent of your pre-disability income, this amount may be offset by other benefits provided through the Department of Veterans Affairs disability compensation program. Consulting with a lawyer from our team can help improve your understanding of SSDI benefits. Contact our firm today to discuss filing a successful claim for compensation.