If you live in Mississippi and cannot work due to long-term disabilities, the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) disability program is an available income source. This federal program is funded by American taxpayers and offers disability benefits when certain requirements are met. Currently, over 43 million people are receiving Social Security disability and other benefits in Mississippi and across the U.S.
About Social Security in Mississippi
The Atlanta region covers residents in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky. Over nine million people receive $6 billion each month in disability and other Social Security benefits in this region. In all, 250 local field offices and four national telephone centers are available to help current beneficiaries and new applicants in the Atlanta region.
To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must have disabling injuries, illnesses or impairments that prevent you from working for at least a year. Some examples include severe cases of asthma, cystic fibrosis or loss of speech. Eyesight of 20/200 or worse in your better eye or vision that equates to less than 20 degrees in field vision also qualifies. You must also have worked at companies covered by Social Security, with an accumulation of the required number of work credits. These credits are earned for every $1,120 made in a calendar year; a maximum of four can be earned in 12 months.
The SSA pays disability benefits to your family members based on your earnings’ records. Your dependent children, spouse and ex-spouse can each receive benefit payments amounting to 50 percent of your full disability benefit. The amount received by your ex-spouse won’t affect the payments received by your current spouse. However, the total amount paid to your family cannot exceed 80 percent of your total disability benefit. If their benefit amounts surpass family limits, their checks will be reduced proportionately.
The SSA requires that you satisfy waiting periods before receiving disability benefits. Waiting periods last six full months and payments start the following month. For example, if your disability started April 10, your first month of eligibility is October, and your first payment will be on November 1. Benefit amounts vary based on your earnings when you worked. Beneficiaries in the U.S. received average monthly disability checks of $1,063 from the SSA in 2011, according to the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education.