If you have cancer, you should apply for SSDI benefits. SSDI benefits are helpful since they help mitigate financial burdens that accompany not being able to work and having high medical bills. Overall, SSDI can help alleviate some financial troubles while you are battling cancer.
During 2020, healthcare experts expect nearly two million Americans to receive a cancer diagnosis.
As one of the most common causes of death, cancer not only weakens the body considerably, it also often requires several doses of radiation or chemotherapy.
Both treatments leave cancer patients physically unable to complete the most basic tasks.
Just as important, cancer requires a large infusion of cash to treat, and if a patient has no health insurance or is underinsured, paying the costs of treating the debilitating disease can have a devastating financial impact for years to come.
Fortunately, a federal program called Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides cancer patients with the financial relief they need to focus on getting better.
An Overview of SSDI
Managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA), SSDI represents a safety net program that is funded by payroll taxes to help workers that no longer can work because of a debilitating physical injury.
The injury must keep a worker from earning income for at least one year or if a worker receives a terminal diagnosis for an illness such as cancer.
Eligibility for SSDI benefits depends on two factors.
First, you have to work an SSA specified amount of time at a job that Social Security covers.
Second, the medical condition must meet the definition of a disability as defined by the SSA.
The SSA publishes a manual called the Blue Book that describes the medical conditions that qualify workers for disability benefits.
If you qualify for SSDI benefits, you are not capable of working any type of job.
SSDI benefits increase automatically for cost-of-living adjustments that typically change annually.
One or more family survivors might become eligible to receive your Social Security benefits in retirement or after you die.
SSDI benefits pay out only for a total disability, not for a partial or short-term disability.
What is Medicare Coverage?
Many Americans mistakenly believe that if they qualify for SSDI benefits, then they are not eligible for Medicare services.
Every American that qualifies for SSDI is eligible for Medicare.
The catch is you have to wait 24 months to receive Medicare services.
During the 24-month qualifying period, the beneficiary of SSDI has the option to take out health insurance offered by a former employer.
Medicare represents a health insurance program for Americans that are at least 65 years old.
Some Americans under the age of 65 might qualify for Medicare if they suffer from permanent kidney failure that requires dialysis or a transplant.
Medicare consists of several parts, which change at times because of new legislation passed by the United States Congress.
Back to Work Incentives
Americans that qualify for SSDI are encouraged to return to work by participating in the Ticket to Work program.
As a free and voluntary federal program, Ticket to Work help Social Security recipients find a good job that makes them financially independent.
The program has two primary goals: Help Americans return to work and relieve the financial pressure the SSA faces for funding SSDI. Another work incentive program called Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS) has the same two primary objectives.
Work with a State Licensed Attorney
Navigating the SSDI and Medicare application processes can be difficult for many Americans.
Just understanding what is in the Blue Book is enough to cause consternation.
A Social Security lawyer can help you navigate the maze of digital paperwork. Take a free case evaluation to determine if you qualify for SSDI and Medicare benefits.