Becoming disabled is more than just a physical problem. Unable to work due to declining health, individuals with disabilities often face financial hardships as well. While a disabled person might immediately file for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, there is a minimum five-month wait period. Due to the vast number of disability applicants, approvals can take up to three years in some cases. Unfortunately, the financial responsibilities of life do not stop during difficult times.
Before Applying for SSD - SSD vs. Other Programs
Social Security benefits over 60 million Americans today, a large portion of those receiving Social Security disability insurance (SSDI). Those enrolled in SSDI receive monthly benefits to ensure that they are financially stable despite their disability. However, as beneficial as SSDI is, the logistics of its benefits can sometimes be confusing.
A common concern among SSDI applicants is whether or not they'll be able to keep their current insurance, and whether or not their current insurance will affect their disability application.
When you’re unable to work, disability benefits are just one type of financial assistance for which you may qualify. Support through other local, state, and federal programs can also help you and your family survive without your income from employment. Many disability applicants additionally receive benefits from a private retirement fund or the Veteran’s Administration (VA).
Disability Rate Increases
If you suffer from a disability or medical condition that leaves you unable to work, you may qualify for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). These benefits can help you pay for any medical bills and everyday living expenses.
To receive disability benefits through the SSA, you must fill out an application to be sure you qualify to receive benefits. Over the past few years, the acceptance rates for disability benefits have risen, and there are many reasons that may contribute to this rise.
Will disability benefits affect my pension?
Although disability benefits will not generally affect your pension, your pension may affect the amount of monthly disability payments you receive. How a pension changes Social Security Disability (SSD) depends on the type of disability benefits you receive and the kind of pension you have.
Disability Benefit Programs
The Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) disability benefits come in two forms:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
What is the Difference between Medicare and Medicaid?
Disabled individuals have access to two different types of medical insurance. One of the types of insurance is referred to as Medicare and the other is referred to as Medicaid. While both of these programs offer medical coverage, there are significant differences in the way the programs work and how a person becomes eligible to receive these benefits.
Can I Receive both SSI and SSDI at the Same Time?
In some circumstances, you can receive both Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits at the same time. This is commonly referred to as “concurrent benefits”. To receive concurrent benefits, you must be approved for SSDI, but receive low monthly payments through the program.
A low monthly SSDI benefit is caused by several factors:
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is meant for disabled people who are “insured,” which means that you have worked long enough and have paid Social Security taxes. To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, the Social Security Administration states that you must have earned 40 work credits, 20 of which must have been earned in the last five years. However, younger workers can qualify with fewer credits. Usually, if you are working full-time, you can earn up to four credits per year.
If you are receiving Social Security Disability and reach full retirement age, the full amount of your benefits will be transferred from SSDI to Social Security Retirement.
If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income and are over the age of 62, you may be able to receive Social Security Retirement benefits in addition to your SSI if you have worked and paid into Social Security long enough to be eligible.
If you are receiving SSI and are approaching retirement age, it is always a good idea to contact a qualified Social Security lawyer to review your options.
Social Security Benefits such as SSDI can be reduced if you become eligible for other benefits programs such as workers' compensation, or even certain federal, state, and local government aid programs. However, the total combined payments after such a reduction should never be less than the original amount of the SSDI payment, so a person's net payments should remain the same.