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6 Social Security Disability Secrets

You probably have heard of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) before. But unless you are living with a major disability or chronic illness, you might not know much about what SSDI is for or how it works.

For our readers in Charlotte who are not sure if they qualify for SSDI, or are simply curious about this vital federal program, here are six facts, as shared by the Santa Ynez Valley News:

1.SSDI is not charity. As a worker, you pay into the SSDI fund through taxes. Having paid into the fund for years, you are entitled to relief should disability force you to stop working.

2.Disability can happen at any age. Some conditions, like arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome, develop slowly over time. But serious illnesses like cancer and mental illness can strike as early as your 20s or 30s.

3."Disability" is strictly defined. The Social Security Administration, which administers SSDI, requires you to have a condition that keeps you out of work for at least one year or will result in death.

4.You can go back to work. Well, to a point. If you think you might be ready to go back to work, SSA allows you to earn an income and keep receiving benefits for up to nine months. The agency helps recipients find work through its Ticket to Work program.

5.SSDI is not a "jackpot." The average monthly benefits as of the beginning of 2018 is $1,197. The funds are meant to help you pay for food, housing and other basic needs.

It is also important to know that SSA rejects most initial applications. You have the right to appeal, but your best chance of success is to retain an experienced SSDI attorney.

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