What Other Benefits Can I Receive with Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?
If you are no longer able to work because of long-term or permanent disabilities, you might look into applying for SSDI. This federal benefits program provides monthly monetary support for individuals who meet eligibility criteria.
While SSDI can be an essential source of income for individuals and families, it may only cover some needs. The SSA reports that, in February 2023, the average monthly benefit was $1,686, but many recipients find they need financial support beyond this. Fortunately, as an SSDI recipient, you or your loved ones may be able to access additional benefits that are outlined below
When you receive SSDI benefits, some of your family members can also receive benefits based on your work record.
Family members who could obtain benefits include:
- Your spouse;
- A former spouse;
- Your children under the age of 18; and
- Adult children who became disabled before the age of 22.
Each of these individuals may be able to receive up to 50% of your award. The Social Security Administration (SSA), however, caps the total amount your family as a whole can receive between 150% and 180% of the total award. If a divorced spouse receives benefits through your work record, it will not affect your total family cap.
As an SSDI recipient, you can also obtain health insurance coverage through Medicare. After a two-year waiting period, you can enroll in this program and receive:
- Part A hospital insurance
- Part B medical insurance
- Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage
The SSA deducts any Medicare premiums from your monthly benefit.
When you receive SSDI, there may be some tax benefits you can take advantage of. According to the SSA, your SSDI payments are not taxed if your annual income is less than $25,000 (for an individual). For couples, the threshold is an annual income of $32,000.
However, you may have to pay taxes on your SSDI if you have additional income that increases your total income beyond the SSA’s threshold. For example:
- Singles with an income between $25,000 and $34,000 may have to pay federal income tax on up to 50% of their benefits.
- Couples with income between $32,000 and $44,000 may owe taxes on up to 50% of their SSDI payments.
- Individuals earning over $34,000 pay taxes on up to 85% of their SSDI benefits.
- Couples with income that is more than $44,000 may be taxed on up to 85% of their SSDI benefits.
Can I Receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and SSDI?
If you have limited income and assets, you could also qualify for SSI in addition to SSDI. The SSA calls this “concurrent eligibility.”
SSI provides supplemental income to certain populations with limited means, including older adults and people with disabilities. The majority of SSI recipients qualify because of severe disabilities, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Because SSI is a means-tested program, an individual must have, at most, $2,000 in assets ($3,000 for couples).
In 2023, the SSI federal benefit rate is $914 per month for a single person and $1,371 for a couple. Some states supplement this benefit, increasing the amount. Depending on your state, the amount could be higher. Note that receiving other benefits – like SSDI – could lower your SSI award.
Where Can I Receive Additional Guidance or Advice Regarding SSDI?
The rules governing SSDI payments and related benefits can be complex – and not everyone who applies for SSDI will be approved. For assistance maximizing your benefits as an SSDI recipient, you may want to consult with a special needs planning attorney or other benefits expert.