It is a medical condition that negatively impacts the careers of professionals that stand on their feet for most of the day. However, degenerative disc disease can also have an adverse effect on the performance of a professional that sits next to a computer.
Natural changes in the structure of the spine contributes to the development of degenerative disc disease, and it can take years of intense physical therapy to make the debilitating pain go away. The result of the disease is often the loss of a job because it becomes too painful to complete basic tasks.
How do you take care of the family finances while you are shut down by degenerative disc disease? You turn to a federally managed program called Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
How to Receive Financial Help
If you suffer from degenerative disc disease, and the mental and physical side effects prevent you from holding down a job, the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides financial help through the SSDI program. Funded by payroll taxes, SSDI helps disabled Americans pay for medical bills, as well as support their families by receiving money to take care of daily living expenses. To qualify for SSDI benefits, you have to meet two criteria established by the SSA.
First, you have to be out of work one year before becoming eligible for SSDI benefits. The job you held must also be listed by the SSA as a job that qualifies you for benefits. Second, all applicants must meet the standards written into the SSA Blue Book.
The Blue Book lists every eligible medical condition and the symptoms associated with eligible medical conditions. It is the second criterion that gives SSDI applicants the most trouble. An experienced Social Security lawyer can help you submit the evidence required to get your SSDI application approved by the SSA.
What Happens to Medicare Coverage?
A growing number of Americans work well into their senior years. This means becoming eligible for Medicare health insurance coverage at age 65, while you continue to work a full time job. If the SSA approves you to receive SSDI benefits and you turn 65 years old, you have to wait two years to enroll in Medicare. The reasoning behind this is SSDI takes care of most, if not all of your health care costs while recovering from a disability. During the two year waiting period, federal law permits SSDI recipients to acquire health insurance coverage by enrolling in a plan managed by a former employer.
The Transition Back to Work
The SSA strives to get SSDI recipients back to work as quickly as possible. Although you have a total disability that qualifies you for SSDI benefits, a dedication to rehabilitation and the advancement of modern medicine might get you back to work within a couple of years. To help disabled American workers return to work, the SSA offers a program called Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS).
The work transition program assists disabled American workers by suggesting ways to set aside income and other financial resources to pay for job searches. In addition to PASS, the SSA also runs a back to work program called Ticket to Work.
An SSDI application is full of potential potholes that can lead to a denial of your claim. Schedule a free case evaluation today with a state licensed Social Security lawyer to determine the strength of your SSDI application.