Take Social Security Disability Insurance

About five decades back benefits were sought for involuntary retirement because of disability and on the basis of Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA). Provision was made for disability insurance depending on how long a person paid FICA taxes.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits accrue to a FICA taxpayer on becoming disabled. Alternatively, in the event of death, the person's family members are provided with several benefits. SSDI benefits, besides being payable to the disabled workers, can also be paid to the widow/widower and dependent minor children or even major children provided they are disabled since childhood or otherwise disabled. SSDI benefits are like a substitute for wages. SSDI collects its funds from taxes paid by workers, employees or self employed persons.

To avail Social Security Disability Insurance certain conditions must be fulfilled by the individual. He must be unable to engage in any Substantial Gainful Activity for a year. Substantial Gainful Activity means any important physical or mental activity which is performed for earning one's livelihood. The other condition is that the individual's income must be less than $900 per month. There are separate conditions for the visually impaired. Individuals with HIV/AIDS may also qualify. The number of work credits or duration of tax payment required for availing SSDI depends upon the age of the individual when he became disabled.

An individual gets these benefits five months after the disability first sets in. Since, the benefits are paid one month in arrears, one actually receives the first payment in the seventh month. The previous year's earnings are taken or considered for the purposes of computing or calculating the amount of benefit entitlements.

Periodic examinations are conducted to continue the payment of SSDI. On reaching the retirement age which is normally 65, the person gets automatically enrolled in the Social Security Retirement Program (SSRP) and exits from SSDI entitlements.