According to data from the Social Security Administration, the average monthly benefit paid to a disabled worker is $1,146. About 8.8 million disabled workers were paid a total of $10.3 billion in Social Security benefits in 2013.
Disability benefits are paid to workers who are unable to perform their job due to a physical or mental ailment that has a minimum expected duration of one year or is a terminal condition, explains AARP.org. Each disability case is evaluated individually to determine eligibility based on a number of factors, including the severity of the condition and the worker's ability to perform his job or another type of work. Compassionate allowances are granted to beneficiaries suffering from specific grave illnesses, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and serious forms of cancer. Spouses and dependents of disabled workers are also eligible for benefits.
To apply for Social Security disability benefits, an injured worker or family member must complete an application and allow access to medical records. The application is reviewed by an SSA representative, and sometimes the applicant may also be subjected to a medical examination by an independent doctor. On average, a Social Security disability claim takes 422 days to resolve, according to The Washington Post.