How Far Will Your SSDI Benefits Go?
Millions of Americans rely on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits after suffering an injury, illness, or other health condition that is considered a disability, or lasts for at least 12 months. After all, they can no longer work, so they have no other income and no other option for wage replacement.
However, when looking at Social Security disability benefits by state, the benefits are never enough to cover someone’s living expenses. In fact, there are just three states where the average disability benefit is enough to cover half of the cost of living. Wyoming held the top spot on the list, at 51.7%. Nevada was in second place, at 50.8%. Trailing close behind was West Virginia, at 50.2%.
In last place on the list was the District of Columbia, where disability wages cover just 30% of the cost of living. In most states, the benefits cover more than 40%.
New York is #47 on the list. The livable wage is $45,739 a year for one person and the average benefits are $16,885.80. This is just 36.9% of the cost of living. The federal poverty level is $13,590 for one person, so SSDI wages are just 22% above this level. The federal minimum wage is $15,080 per year, so that’s not much better.
So while SSDI does help to some degree, it’s hardly enough. In many areas, the income needed to meet the cost of living is almost three times higher than the average income of the average SSDI recipient. Also, keep in mind that these living wages are for a single individual only. Couples and people with children would need a higher livable wage.
As you can see, living on Social Security Disability benefits alone would be difficult for most people living in the United States. There may be local resources that can help if you need health care, housing, or financial help.
You may wonder about Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. These benefits are even less and there is a strict income requirement. You cannot earn more than $841 of total income from all outside income sources. Only 15 states have annual SSI benefits that are worth at least 30% of the living wage. The highest is South Dakota, at 32.7%. Again, District of Columbia ranks as the lowest, at just 21%. New York is tied for second to last place, at just 22.1%.
Learn More About Social Security Disability Benefits
Even though SSDI checks are far from a livable wage, many people depend on them. It’s their only lifeline to pay for groceries, housing, and other necessities.
A White Plains Social Security Disability lawyer from The Law Office of Michael Lawrence Varon can help you get your benefits as quickly as possible. Schedule a free consultation today. Call (914) 228-1770 or fill out the online form.