Social Security Disability
The Social Security Administration has two separate programs for the disabled: SSDI and SSI.
SSI is for children and adults who never paid into the SSDI insurance program. It is a welfare program so in addition to meeting stringent requirements to be considered disabled, you must also meet financial guidelines which include how much in assets you can own (aside from your home but including vehicles). It is currently $2000 for an individual and $3000 for a couple.
There is no unpaid waiting period for SSI, and you are covered under medicaid every month you get SSI.
If a child continues to receive SSI into adulthood and one of their parents is deceased or on SSDI, then the child is eligible for SSDI payments under their parent’s account.
SSDI is calculated based on how many years you worked while paying in, how long you worked, when you last worked and how much you made.
There is a 5 month waiting period between the month you become eligible and when you star getting payments. It feels like 6 though because unlike SSI, SSDI is paid in arrears. If you are to receive payment for May, it will come in June.
There is a lot of talk about how so many people are collecting benefits fraudulently that it is bankrupting the nation. I have not heard this ever from someone who has gone through the process to get benefits.
I read where people think if you have a doctor on your side he will write you a note that magically approves you by the SSA. Pure fantasy. In fact, the only think they care to see from your doc are treatment notes.
Many people spend years trying to get approved – in the meantime they lose homes, cars, even their families.
Once you are approved for SSDI you are scheduled for reviews based on how likely your condition is to improve. There is no asset test and your spouse can earn unlimited money. You are limited to about $1000 a month although I don’t know alot of people who can work at all.
You become eligible for Medicare after 24 months on SSDI. You are not obligated to take it, but there are penalties if you wait and take it later.