In recent years, news of widespread lay-offs and companies closing has caused anxiety and fear for many Oregon residents. While the loss of a job is a real and life-changing event, most able-bodied workers will eventually find another job. What many workers fail to give much thought to is what they would do if they were faced with a permanent or temporary disability that rendered them physically unable to work.
Studies indicate that roughly 30 percent of U.S. workers between the ages of 35 and 65 will at some point suffer a debilitating injury that will prevent them from working for at least 90 days. While some employers provide additional disability insurance for a cost, many workers who find themselves suddenly unable to work will need to rely on Social Security Disability benefits.
Most Oregon residents, however, do not know enough about SSDI benefits or have misconceptions about eligibility requirements and the factors that determine the amount paid out.
Government-sponsored SSDI payments are based upon an individual’s Social Security earnings and paid out to eligible individuals under the age of 65. Social Security Supplemental Security Income is paid out to disabled individuals over the age of 65 and does not take an individual’s Social Security earnings into consideration. SSI payments are also less as, due to their age, most that qualify are also receiving payments related to Social Security.
Both SSDI and SSI have strict eligibility requirements and often require applicants to provide documentation related to their disability. Due to the complexity of the application process, many who find themselves suddenly unable to work due to a debilitating accident or injury would be wise to consult a legal professional.
Source: The Record Searchlight, “Know the different kinds of disability,” Lewis Chamberlain, Feb. 25, 2012