My lawyer filed an appeal on my case in Dec. 2002, and it is now almost one
year later and I still haven't received an ALJ date. I was under the
impression that the process to at the most 8 months, in the mean time
what can I do to speed this process up? My lawyer says the only way is
if I were about to be evicted from my home (which won't happen because
my place is in my dad's name and he pays the rent).
There isnít anything you can do. You will just have to
What is meant by non-medical requirement?
In 2003, you must be earning below $800 per month to
apply for both Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental
Security Income disability benefits. For Social Security Disability
Insurance, you must have earned at least 20 quarters of coverage out of
the last 40 quarters. If you are too young to have earned that many
quarters of coverage, the requirement is less. In 2003, you must earn
$890 in a quarter to earn a quarter of coverage. For Supplemental
Security Income, you must have below a certain level of income and
I have not been able to work due to a severe back problem I clean medical
offices for a living, I am in a brace and would like to try and get
disability benefits. How would I do that? I have been working for 31
yrs. Can you tell me how I go about getting the forms?
You can visit the Social Security
Administrationís website at
http://www.ssa.gov to obtain the forms. Or you can look in your
local phone book for the address and phone number of your local Social
Security office. You can either call or visit your local office.
1998, I have been receiving SSDI for a fall from an attic in 1996. My
monthly allowance is less than $500 a month. Since that time, however,
my circumstances have changed. For example, at the time I applied for
SSDI, I was not paying rent but was living in a friend's home.
However, now I must pay rent due and utilities because I am a tenant who is
renting a room in her home. About two years ago, I was diagnosed with
diabetes and hepatitis C. My diabetes supplies are $80 a month,
but since cannot afford to pay this amount, I must be checked by my doctor
when I am scheduled for a routine visit. This means I am unable to
measure my blood sugar level daily as I am supposed to. I am currently
waiting to get a liver biopsy. I want to know if you can review my
case file to see if I can get more SSDI?
The amount of your monthly SSDI benefit is based on the amount you have
paid into Social Security (just like Social Security retirement
benefits). Neither your monthly expenses or worsening health has any
bearing on the size of your benefits. There is nothing you can do about
the size of your monthly benefit.
What is the
difference between Social Security and SSI disability benefits?
Both Social Security Disability
Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability
benefits are programs administered by the Social Security
Administration. You apply for both programs by calling or visiting your
local SSA office. Some people receive benefits through both programs at
the same time.
SSDI is an insurance program. You earn
coverage by paying into Social Security. Generally speaking, you need
to have earned 40 quarters of coverage with at least 20 quarters of
coverage in the last 10 years in order to qualify. Younger workers can
earn coverage with fewer quarters of coverage depending on the personís
age. If you cease paying into Social Security, eventually your coverage
will run out.
SSI is a need-based program. To
qualify for SSI disability benefits, you must have below a certain level
of income and resources. You do not have to pay into Social Security in
order to qualify for SSI disability benefits. Children under the age of
18 can apply for SSI disability benefits.
My dad is 63. He
is currently unable to work because of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
(COPD) and an acute respiratory infection. In addition, he has had Crohnís
disease for 40 years. He has had several feet of small intestines removed
and has chronic diarrhea as well as minimal absorption on nutrients from
food. He worked up until April. Do you think he might be
eligible for SSI and/or Social Security disability? He currently receives
900 per month social security. His medications take up a big portion of
The older one
gets, the easier it becomes it obtain SSDI disability benefits. The
easier rules most benefit people who have done physically demanding
work. SSA will evaluate the COPD with pulmonary function studies.
Please, see the article
Regional Enteritis/Crohnís Disease and Disability Benefits
for more information about how SSA evaluates Crohnís cases. He will
not qualify for SSI disability benefits with $900 per month income; he
has excess income and resources. He might well qualify for SSDI
disability benefits. He certainly
has nothing to lose by applying for SSDI benefits. He needs to call or
visit his local SSA office to apply for SSDI. If he is approved
for disability benefits, his monthly check will be equal to whatever he
would have gotten per month if he had waited until age 65 to retire.
This will mean some extra money, but it wonít make him rich.
I have sent
letters from a total of three of my doctors (covering all the years since my
orig. Social Security Disability Insurance claim) all of which have stated I
am disabled. How come the Social Security Administration still turned me
down????? Especially since I keep trying to work (gainful employment) with
absolutely NO success. I am a single mother and I can barely
work 10 hrs a week. I need to support my daughter. Any advice you can give
me to help speed up the process or to have myself accepted would be greatly
Your doctor does
not make the decision on your claim. SSA decides if you meet its
criteria for disability. Please, see the article
Who Makes the Decisionon Your Disability Case? You can contact
your United States Senator or Representative to help speed up your
claim. See the article
Contacting Your Senator or Representative About Your Disability Claim
for more information. Also, you can call the person who is handling
your case once every week or two to see if there is anything you can do
to help speed up the process. You might be able to help obtain records
from a doctor who has not responded to requests for records, for
example. Also, a phone call helps to make sure your case has not been
forgotten. Just do not call so often that you annoy the person
who is handling your case.
Since my Social
Security disability claim in July of 2001 (which I am claiming for Crohns Disease, ulcers, panic
attacks, and depression), how long is the process? Redetermination
started in Dec. 2001. How much longer do I have? I have heard from other
Crohnís patients who have had less trouble than me. They live in other
states is there a difference ( I live in New Jersey)? What am I doing
Please, see the
How Long Will It Take SSA to Make a Decision on Your Claim?
Sometimes, redeterminations donít take very long if there is no new
evidence that SSA needs to obtain. If you have had additional treatment
since your initial denial, SSA will have to write to the sources for
that evidence. Sometimes something will come up during the
reconsideration that causes SSA to schedule additional examinations
which also adds additional time. The time is very variable from case to
If you end up
appealing your case to the administrative law judge (ALJ), the time
needed is also highly variable. It depends on how heavy of caseloads
ALJís in your state have. It depends on the efficiency of the ALJ is
who is assigned to your case. ALJís again write to your medical sources
to update information on your condition. ALJís also often order
additional examinations which adds a lot of time. The ALJ then has a
hearing that you can attend. All of this takes time. The length of
time is highly variable. In Oklahoma the appeal to the ALJ often takes
over a year.
Also, see the
Depression and Your Social Security or Supplemental Security Income
Disability Claim for information about how SSA evaluates mental
claims. I have added the article Regional
Enteritis Crohn's Disease and Disability Benefits in response to
your question. If you meet the criteria described in this article, then
you will be found disabled. If you donít meet this criteria, you will
not be found disabled due to Crohnís disease. The same applies to
people in other states.
I have tried
three times (the most recent one in July 2001) to obtain Social Security
disability benefits and have been turned down each time (current one is in redetermination stage and I do have a
lawyer). If/when I'm approved will they pay all the way back to my
original claim (which was 1996) since I have proven (in numerous
attempts to work full time) that I was and am still disabled?
You can receive
back benefits for up to a year prior to the date you filed your current
claim. If your current claim was filed in July 2001, you can receive
back benefits for a maximum of one year prior to that date. You might
receive less that 12 months of back pay depending on when SSA decides
your disability began. Also, you would not receive back pay for a time
period prior to the denial on your previous claim.
I have recently
applied for disability benefits. I am in OK. I do have several medical
problems. I feel I have a very good chance of getting it on the first time
around, but have read where it is a very difficult thing to get. I am 56
just about to turn 57. How much will the age factor play into this? Did
At age 50, it
becomes easier to meet the medical requirements for Social Security
and/or Supplemental Security Income disability
benefits. At age 55, it becomes even easier to qualify for disability
benefits, and at age 60 it becomes even easier. Age plays a significant factor after age 50. People who
have done physically demanding work benefit most from the more lenient
rules as they age. This is because SSA believes that as a person becomes
older, the person becomes less capable of adapting to different types of
work. So, for example, a 39-year-old who has done heavy work might be
able to adapt to sedentary work but a 59-year-old who has done only
heavy work would be less able to adapt to less demanding work. A person
who had done only sedentary work in the past would not face the issue of
adapting to less demanding work because sedentary work is the least
physically demanding work; SSA would just look at whether or not such a
person could do sedentary work. In other words, if SSA
believes you can do sedentary work and you have done sedentary work in
the past, SSA will just say you can do your past work; adapting to less
demanding work is not an issue. However, if a 57-year-old
has only done heavy work and SSA thinks he is now only able to do
sedentary work, SSA would not expect him to be able to adapt to
Is there anyone
who specializes in Social Security disability benefits as far as
Yes. You can look on the Internet or in
your local phone book for a list of people who represent disability
claimants. Some representatives are attorneys, paralegals, or former
Social Security employees. I would ask a prospective representative
how many years experience he or she has representing disability claimants.
I think you are better off with somebody who handles only disability claims
as opposed to someone who also does other things such as workerís
compensation, personal injury lawsuits, etc.
I have clinical
depression, panic disorder, hypoglycemia --and many other health problems. I
have been ill for over 7 years now, and not much has changed. During the
onset of my illness, I was 21 and undiagnosed. Later came tests, tests,
tests, and more tests. Medications, and a multitude of visits to E.R.'S and various specialists
didn't help. It was months of devastation that turned into years of
deteriorating health, and complications. DURING ALL of this I applied
for Supplemental Security Income disability benefits 5 times, and was denied 5 times! My mind simply couldn't take
the emotional upheaval, and stress. The horrible health problems took
their effect, along with depression, and hopelessness! At 25, I had
emotional breakdown and dropped everything. Everything stopped-- and I
began a fight for my life, and mind! Things are still the same. I must
live with the illness, and its effects--there is no real cure. I have
been unable to work for over 5 years!! (From what I can remember.
Because of the mental trauma, I have forgotten years! ) I FEEL I AM
DISABLEDóAND HAVE BEEN SINCE SEPT 1995---When I was rushed into the
local E.R. with a 145 beat per MINUTE heartbeat!! (I thought I was
having a heart attack!) I would like to fight for my benefits. I am
wondering if I can HAVE MY CASE RE-EXAMINED, OR WILL I HAVE TO START THE
PROCESS ALL OVER AGAIN?? It's been about 4 years since I
applied----But I quit because I mentally was not able to go through any
more mental trauma--- and believe me the process, for me was traumatic!
Can you help me? EVEN THOUGH I AM LOCATED IN TEXAS??
Yes, you must
start the process all over again. After a decision is made on your
Supplemental Security Income disability case, you have 60 days to appeal the decision. Sometimes SSA will give
a person a little extra time if the person can show unusual
circumstances that prevented him or her from appealing in a timely
manner. For example, if a person is hospitalized or if a personís house
burns down, SSA will usually give him or her a little extra time. You,
however, are a long time past the time of appeal. You will have to file
a new application.
If you think it
would help you feel less stressed out about the process, you can appoint
a trusted friend or family member to represent you in your dealings with
SSA regarding your disability claim. If you do this, SSA would contact
this representative whenever SSA needed more information about your case
rather than contacting you. If you think this would help your anxiety
about the process, just tell the claims representative that you want to
appoint a representative to help you with your case.
If you havenít
done so already, please read the following articles on this site:
Depression and Your Social Security or Supplemental Security Income
How Your Daily Activities Affect Your Disability Case
Letters From Family and Friends About Your Disability Case
I have been told
by my orthopedist that I need both knees and my right hip replaced, my job
as millwright is extremely physically demanding and rough on my joints as
is. Iím 51 years old and recently had to adopt my grandsons. Is there
a case for Social Security disability?
That fact that you have adopted your
grandsons will have no bearing on SSAís decision as to whether or not
you are disabled.
You speak as though you are still
working. You cannot apply for disability benefits until you are earning
less than $780 per month.
If you apply for disability benefits,
SSA will want copies of all of your medical records. SSA will
particularly be interested in x-rays of your knees and right hip and
range of motion in degrees of your knees and hip. SSA would want a
description from a medical source of your ability to walk in terms of
speed and safety. If you require a cane or walker, SSA would also want
to know that. The fact that your orthopedist says you need to have
those joints replaced is not enough information to evaluate the severity
of your condition.
Once SSA has all of the information it
needs, it will decide how your condition limits your ability to work.
Sedentary work requires that the worker lift 10 pounds occasionally and
5 to 10 pounds frequently. Judging from your description of your
medical condition, I think it likely that SSA would think that you are
able to do sedentary work. Light work requires lifting 20 pounds
frequently and 10 pounds occasionally. Depending on what is in your
medical records, SSA might or might not think you are able to do light
work. Medium work requires lifting 50 pounds occasionally and 25 pounds
frequently. SSA might even think you can do medium work.
Again, it all depends on the medical evidence.
The Dictionary of Occupational Titles (D.O.T.)
published by The Department of Labor describes the job of millwright as
heavy work. This is skilled work. I think SSA will likely agree that
you cannot perform your past work as a millwright.
For people age 49 and younger, even if
the person cannot do his or past work, as long as he or she can do at
least sedentary work, the case is a denial. For this age group, the
person has to be unable to do even sedentary work in order to be an
allowance. Fortunately for you, as you become older, it becomes easier
to qualify for disability benefits. This is because SSA believes that
as you grow older, you become less able to adapt to other types of work.
For people age 50 to 54, it becomes
easier to be found disabled. For a person in this age range, if the
person cannot do his or her past work and can only do sedentary work,
then the case is an allowance. If the person is able to do light work,
the case is a denial. If the person is able to do medium work, the
case, of course, is a denial.
For people who are age 55 or older, it
becomes even easier for the person to be found disabled. If the person
in this age group cannot perform his past work and is able to do only
sedentary work, then the case is an allowance. If the person cannot
perform his or her past work, can perform both sedentary and light work,
but is unable to do medium work, then the person is found disabled. If
the person is able to do medium work without other kinds of
restrictions, the case is a denial.
This is a fairly simplified version of
how SSA will evaluate your case. If you have other types of
limitations such as very poor eyesight or decreased use of your hands,
then the situation becomes more complicated. However, as you can
see, because you are 51, it is possible that your case would be an
allowance now. Once you turn age 55, it will become much more
likely that your case would be allowed. It all depends on how
severe your medical condition is. I know this is very complex.
I hope this helps.
disability case (Meniere's Disease) was approved by the
ALJ on 05/23/2002. How soon can I expect a check?
The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) sends the case
back to your local SSA office to start your benefits. How long that
takes depends on the efficiency of your local SSA office and whichever
claims representative happens to be working on your case. I have seen a
few lucky people get their money within a week or two. I have also seen
it take several months. Congratulations on your approval!
is 54 and has polio since she was a year old. She no longer walks but uses a
chair. She is getting weaker with on set of pps. She has worked all
her life and paid into s. s. up until the last 9 years. Those years
she worked for the fire dept. and the last 4 for city hall. Both of
those jobs paid into private retirement funds. Now we are told by Social
that she dose not qualify. I know people who have never worked and get
disability. Perhaps you could enlighten us a bit further. Do we have
any other options of appeal or different areas she may be able to
To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance
(SSDI), a person must have earned at least 40 quarters of coverage, and
at least 20 of those quarters must have been earned in the last ten
years. That means a person must have paid into SSA at least 5 years
total out of the last 10 years. If your wife has not paid into SSA for
the last 9 years, she simply does not meet that requirement. The people
you know who are receiving disability benefits even though they have
never worked are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability
benefits not SSDI. Applications for SSI benefits are also taken through
your local SSA office. SSI is a need-based program. A person must have
below a certain level of income and resources in order to qualify for
SSI. SSA would consider all of your and your wifeís income and assets
to determine if she qualified. If she is receiving private retirement
or private disability insurance benefits, here income and resources will
likely be too high to qualify for SSI. Unless your wife wants to work
another 5 years to bring here coverage for SSDI up to date, there is not
much she can do. Perhaps she has private disability insurance through
her last job.
I just read on
your web page that there are different rules for people over 50 that canít
do past work and have no transferable skills for other work. I was
retired on disability from my job as a professional firefighter 5-1-96 due
to a hearing impairment that made it impossible for me to safely perform my
duties. I turned 50 on 5-18-96,I never applied for SSD because I was told I could do other work and
therefore ineligible. Now on my last annual Social Security letter they said I am
ineligible because I do not have the required credits even though I
worked at this job for 29 years. What are my options if any?
To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
benefits, you need to have earned 40 quarters of coverage with at least
20 quarters of coverage earned in the last ten years. Younger adults
can qualify with fewer credits. If you cease paying into Social
Security, eventually your coverage will run out. Depending on your work
history before you stopped working, your coverage may continue up to
five years after you cease working. The date that your coverage ceases
is called your Date Last Insured (DLI). If your coverage has already
ceased, your DLI will be in the past.
If your DLI is in the past, you may still be able to apply
for disability benefits if the date you stopped working due to your
medical condition is prior to your DLI. SSA would then look at your
medical records to see if it could be shown that you were disabled prior
to DLI. Even if you are disabled now, your claim will still be denied
if it cannot be shown that you were disabled prior to DLI. You can
receive back pay for up to a year prior to the date you filed for
disability benefits depending on when SSA decides that your disability
began. Unless your DLI is very recent, SSA will not arrange any
examinations for you. SSA will look at medical records prior to your
DLI to see if you were disabled prior to DLI. If you have already been
denied disability benefits since your DLI and you have completed the
appeals process, you cannot apply for that time period again.
Your other option when your DLI is in the past is to return
to work and earn more credits to extend your SSDI coverage.
Let me say that to qualify for disability benefits, even
under the more lenient rules for people over the age of 50, hearing loss
must be very severe. With the best possible hearing aids, a person must
be able to understand very little speech.
I have and am collecting on a private disability policy. Can I get Social
Security disability as well?
Yes, you can get
Social Security disability benefits while receiving benefits from a
private disability policy. However, many private disability policies
stipulate that if you receive Social Security disability benefits, the
private policy will subtract the amount you receive from Social Security
from the amount that the private policy pays you each month. For
example, if you are receiving $1,500 each month from a private
disability policy and then are awarded a $700 per month Social Security
disability benefits, then the private policy would reduce its monthly
benefit to $800. Consequently, obtaining Social Security disability
benefits does not result in any extra money for many people with private
disability insurance. Also, many private disability policies require
that anyone receiving disability benefits also apply for Social Security
disability benefits. Some private disability policies will give a
person short term benefits for up to a year but then will only continue
benefits after one year if the person is approved for Social Security
disability benefits. You must check with your insurance carrier to find
out about the specifics of your own policy.
If someone is on disability and if they inherit money (approx. $5,000), does
it need to be reported? If so, what would happen to the monthly income?
For SSDI, it will not make a
difference to your monthly benefit. For SSDI, it does not matter
what your unearned income and resources are. For SSDI, you can
have a million dollars in the bank as long as you are not
working for over $780 per month. For SSI additional income and
resources do count when determining your eligibility for SSI and
when calculating the size of your SSI monthly benefit. The
$5,000 would prevent you from receiving SSI for as long as your
resources are too high. If your income and resources drop back
below the required level within 12 months, your benefits will be
reinstated without your having to file a new application. If
your income and resources remains too high for longer that 12
months, then you would have to file a new application in order
to receive benefits again.
I didn't receive my social security check by direct deposit in march as I
should immediately contact your local Social Security office.
I have COPD recently hospitalized have always worked since 1998.
Took a leave of absence I am 63 should I apply for disability or
retire if I cannot return to work?
should definitely apply for disability benefits. If you retire
before you are age 65, you will get a smaller monthly benefit
than if you waited until you were age 65. If you are approved
for disability benefits, you will get the larger amount that is
equal to the amount of retirement benefits that you would get at
age 65. Over the course of the rest of your life, the extra
money each month will make a big difference. You can go ahead
and apply for retirement benefits at the same time you apply for
the disability benefits. That way, you will be receiving the
retirement benefits while you wait on a decision on your
disability benefits. If you are approved for disability
benefits, then the amount you get will be increased and you
might be eligible for some back benefits.
I am a 60 year old female who smoked for 45
plus/minus years. I was diagnosed with emphysema several years ago. SSA did a test on a machine which was blowing into a tube and
continuing to blow for a few seconds. The results where recorded on a
card place in the top of the machine. Tried 3 times and then took a
break and asked to use inhalers and then 3 more times. Line did not look
like they wanted on any of the tries (no distinct downward line on
initial push it looked like a slanting line to me). I am self employed
and very poor. My work is with animals and is not the easiest work
physically. I have been able to do some of the more difficult stuff by
taking it slow and a little at a time. At least I have the option to do
this and also the work is very rewarding. I now have temporary SSI for 6
months and a Medical benefits card that is good but both can be
continued or removed depending on Social Security decision on
disability. As I see it my only hope is that SS realizes that emphysema
will end in death. My question to you is does the emphysema have to be
REAL BAD before called disability or do I have a chance for a favorable
of the time, when somebody is waiting for a decision on their
SSI disability claim, they do not get temporary benefits.
However, if the disability determination specialist looks at the
medical evidence in the case and feels very strongly that the
case is going to be an allowance, he or she can do what is
called a ďpresumptive disability.Ē With a presumptive
disability, the person gets benefits for up to six months while
SSA gets whatever documentation it needs to complete its case.
SSA is probably waiting on pulmonary function studies performed
the way SSA requires in order to make a decision on the case.
SSA only does a presumptive disability if it is pretty sure that
the case will ultimately be allowed; although they can still
deny the case if the evidence warrants. Therefore, the fact that
you have been given a presumptive disability is a very good
sign. Emphysema does have to be pretty bad in order for somebody
to be found disabled. Pulmonary function studies are the key
piece of evidence that SSA uses to make its decision in cases of
emphysema. SSA has a certain way that it wants pulmonary
function studies performed. Often the pulmonary function studies
that the patient has had in the past do meet SSAís requirements;
therefore, SSA often sends people for pulmonary function studies
done the way they want them done. One thing in your favor is your age.
The older a person gets, the less the person is able to adapt to other
types of work than they have done in the past. At age 50, it becomes
easier for a person to be found disabled. At age 55, it gets even
easier, and at age sixty it gets even easier. Also, after the age of 50,
your past work affects whether or not your case is an allowance. The
more physically demanding past work, the more likely your case will be
I received a call
on the 6th of this month Dec. that I was approved on my SSI disability
benefits. The call came from our local office here and I was wondering if
you can tell me how long now will it be before I hear on when I should be
getting my back pay and how far back they go.
The time it takes varies depending on what SSA office is handling your
claim and how busy they are. The earliest a person can receive back
payments for on SSI is the first day of the month the person filed for
disability benefits. Therefore, if you filed for benefits on August 12,
then the longest you could receive back pay is starting August 1.
However, if SSA decides that your disability didnít begin until some
time after August 1, then your back pay will begin whenever SSA decides
your disability started.
began having seizures after the birth of my only child 16 years ago--complex
partial I'm sure you know the type. Because of the damage to the brain
and how often, I applied and was granted SSI back in 1990. Four years
later in 1994 when I decided to get married again, my SSI was terminated
stating that my husband made to much money, for me to continue to receive
help. In 1999, I underwent brain surgery. Is there anywhere to go for
help for someone like me? I received Medicaid and I am thankful so why can't
I receive help financially?
SSI is a need-based program. You must have below a certain level of
income and resources to qualify. If your economic circumstances change,
you can contact your local SSA office to see if you meet the income and
prostate cancer that has metastasized to the bones. It is very painful but
the chemo has helped but I cannot walk very far or lift anything over 6
pounds. My health insurance is over $2500 per month and they informed me it
will be increased 40% every six months. My only hope is to get on Medicare
before I run out of assets. What is the rational reason for having a
person be disabled for 2 years before getting help with insurance? Is
there a requirement that I have limited assets to get disability coverage?
They asked some silly questions about assets but nothing about the
liabilities that offset the assets. I thought Medicaid was for people with
no assets but Medicare is for everyone that paid into it.
Prostate cancer that has
metastasized to the bone is considered disabling. The Social Security
Administration administers two different disability programs. The first
is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). To get SSDI, you must
have paid into Social Security at least 20 of the last 40 quarters. It
does not matter how much you have in resources. You can have a million
dollars in the bank and still receive SSDI benefits. Starting from the
time you became disabled, there is a 2-year waiting period before you
become eligible for Medicare. (The exception is that people who are
found disabled due to kidney failure become eligible for Medicare
immediately.) The other disability program is Supplemental Security
Income (SSI). SSI is a need-based program. A person must have below a
certain level of income and resources to qualify for SSI. Once you are
receiving SSI disability benefits, you immediately become eligible for
Medicaid. You were questioned about your income and resources to see if
you qualify for SSI. If a personís SSDI monthly benefit is very small,
he or she may also be eligible for SSI benefits. Your monthly SSDI
benefit may well be too large for you to qualify for SSI benefits even
after all of your other assets run out. Unfortunately, you cannot turn
down your SSDI benefits in order to qualify for SSI to get Medicaid. I
have said this before on this website and I am sure that I will say it
again: If I could change one thing about the SSDI program, it would be
to eliminate the 2-year waiting period. Of course, the reason for the
waiting period is money. Just think how much money SSA is saving
on you by making you wait 2 years for Medicare.
am applying for my Social Security and was told I would receive $303.00
a month. I have been told since that was all I could receive that there
was a possibility I could receive a partial payment from SSI.
The Social Security Administration administers two different disability
programs. The first is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). To
get SSDI, you must have paid into Social Security at least 20 of the
last 40 quarters. It does not matter how much you have in resources.
You can have a million dollars in the bank and still receive SSDI
benefits. Starting from the time you became disabled, there is a 2-year
waiting period before you become eligible for Medicare. (The exception
is that people who are found disabled due to kidney failure become
eligible for Medicare immediately.) The other disability program is
Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is a need-based program. A
person must have below a certain level of income and resources to
qualify for SSI. Once you are receiving SSI disability benefits, you
immediately become eligible for Medicaid. If a personís SSDI monthly
benefit is very small, he or she may also be eligible for SSI benefits.