There is great value provided by the Social Security disability insurance program to deserving recipients. For workers whose paycheck deductions have gone toward the disability insurance fund over the course of their careers, it seems only just that they draw from this reserve in their time of disability.
However, readers may question whether federal assistance programs, like SSDI, can adequately sustain a worker during times of accident or disability. The formula by which monthly payments are calculated is complex, but takes into account an individual’s work history.
For example, monthly payments are generally higher for workers that have paid into the system over many years. Although monthly payments can be as low as $300 or as high as $2,200, the Social Security Administration’s fact sheet estimates monthly SSDI payments in 2014 to be $1,148. Over a lifetime, the average disability claimant might receive around $300,000 in SSDI payments.
Readers may also question whether disabled individuals who are no longer able to work can be approved in time to cover their medical expenses and avoid potential financial crisis arising from the lost wages. A disability benefits attorney knows that the application process can take several or many months, depending on whether appeals are involved.
Fortunately, the Social Security Administration also has a separate listing of critical or very serious conditions, called Compassionate Allowances. Workers with a condition on that CAL list receive expedited processing, perhaps in as little as a few days. Severe autoimmune and neurological diseases, as well as many types of cancer, are included on the CAL list. In addition, the Acting Commissioner of the SSA recently issued a press release about the new addition of 25 conditions to the CAL listing, bringing the total up to 225.
Source: Social Security Administration, “Social Security Announces New Compassionate Allowances Conditions,” Jan. 15, 2014