Health Coverage For People With Disabilities
If you have a disability, you have three options for health coverage through the government.
Medicaid provides free or low-cost medical benefits to people with disabilities. Learn about eligibility and how to apply.
Medicare provides medical health insurance to people under 65 with certain disabilities and any age with end-stage renal disease . Learn about eligibility, how to apply and coverage.
Affordable Care Act Marketplace offers options to people who have a disability, dont qualify for disability benefits, and need health coverage. Learn about the .
Personalizing The Fight To Protect Supplemental Security Income
SSI provides a basic standard of living for millions of people with disabilities and their families across the United States. Monthly SSI benefits help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities put food on the table and a roof over their heads and in most states, SSI ensures access to Medicaid. SSI also plays a vital role in helping families raise children with significant disabilities in the family home.
Unfortunately, some in Congress are talking about cutting SSI. Let your members of Congress know why SSI is vital to you and what would happen if your SSI was cut.
Tips For Navigating Social Security
- Nailing down a sturdy financial plan with a financial advisor can help you feel prepared for anything life throws your way. SmartAssets free advisor matching tool can pair you with up to three qualified advisors in your area. Just answer some questions about your financial situation and goals, and the tool will connect you with an expert who can help set you on the right financial path.
- If youre applying for Social Security disability benefits, youll need to fill out form SSA-827. This provides your consent for the SSA and Disability Determination Services to view your medical records.
- Dealing with a disability, either temporary or permanent, is hard enough without considering the financial impact. Having an emergency fund in place for unpredictable things like this can be a huge relief.
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You Have Been Convicted Of A Crime
Certain conditions related to conviction of a crime or imprisonment will prevent you from receiving Social Security disability insurance benefits. They are as follows.
- You are in prison after being convicted of a felony, unless you are in a court-approved rehabilitation program that is likely to result in your getting a job when you get released, and your release is expected to occur within a reasonable amount of time.
- You were injured while committing a felony and were convicted of the crime. The impairmentor the worsening of an existing impairmentthat you suffered during the commission of a felony cannot be used as a basis for applying for disability benefits.
- You were injured while in prison. The impairmentor the worsening of an existing impairmentthat you suffered while you were in prison cannot be used to obtain benefits. But you can generally receive benefits after being released from prison.
However, it’s worthwhile to apply for SSDI benefits even if one of the above situations apply to you, because even if you can’t get cash benefits, you may be granted a period of benefit-free disability that will “freeze” your earnings record, keeping your eventual disability, retirement, or dependents benefits from decreasing.
Note these situations do not prevent you from receiving SSI disability benefits, although being incarcerated does keep you from collecting SSI benefits.
How Monthly Payment Is Established When Collecting Concurrent Benefits
Lets say an individuals unearned income must be less than $741 per month to qualify for SSI. After applying for SSDI, the SSA approves the claim and determines the individual is entitled to receive $900 each month in SSDI payments. Since that amount is higher than the maximum income limit of $741 to qualify for SSI, SSI wouldnt be available.
However if the disability payment is $600, the individual would be entitled to both SSDI and SSI since its less than $741, but only up to the maximum SSI payment. In New York, the maximum payment for a person living alone is $808, which includes the federal and state payment.
Another advantage with concurrent benefits is that the individual might be entitled to Medicare. Those who only qualify for SSI generally cannot get Medicare coverage. But if the person is collecting concurrent benefits, then it may be available. Keep in mind there is a two-year waiting period from the date of eligibility for SSDI.
But those who receive SSI are automatically entitled to Medicaid . Its important to note that with regard to Medicare and Medicaid, coverage for either isnt necessarily guaranteed. Its important to consult with Social Security to learn more about eligibility.
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What Is The Difference Between Supplemental Security Income And Social Security Disability Income Benefits
The SSI and SSDI disability programs offer benefits for disabled or blind people. However, the financial eligibility requirements are different. The main difference between Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income is the fact that SSDI is available to workers who have accumulated a sufficient number of work credits. SSI disability benefits are only available to low-income individuals who have either never worked or who havent earned enough work credits to qualify for SSDI.
SSI and SSDI are two completely different governmental programs. However, they are both managed under the Social Security Administration umbrella. Medical eligibility for disability is determined in the same manner for both programs. You can learn more @ The Social Security Administration website @
Can You Be Eligible For Ssi And Ssdi
Yes, you can eligible for both programs at once. If your income and assets are low enough and you have the necessary work history, you could potentially qualify for benefits from both programs. Theres even a name for applying for both SSI and SSDI at the same time: The Social Security Administration calls it making a concurrent claim.
There is one tricky thing about receiving both benefits. Any money you receive from SSDI will count toward the income limit for SSI. So, if you receive too much from SSDI, that may disqualify you from SSI benefits.
We Can Help You Contact Us Today
To make an appointment at one of our Tennessee law offices Knoxville or Nashville call 865-566-0125 or fill out this contact form. All initial telephone consultations are free and payment is contingency based, meaning no fees until you recover benefits.
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Future Of Social Security
An increase in eligible participants combined with an increase in life expectancy is straining the Social Security program. Because of the financial burden this created, Social Security was amended in 1983, changing the age people can collect full Social Security benefits.
As a result of the 1983 amendments, the retirement age will increase between 2003 and 2026 from age 65 to age 67 with an 11-year gap at which the retirement age will remain at 66, depending on the year of birth.
Economic analysts predict that the Social Security system eventually will pay out more in benefits than it receives in payroll taxes. Analysts have long warned of this shortfall, and they predict the program could be in jeopardy as of 2035.
It is anticipated a reduction in benefits of about 13% or an immediate increase in payroll tax rate from 12.4 to 14.4%, or a little of both, will be needed to allow full payment of scheduled payments for the next 75 years.
As the challenges to meet the needs of millions of retirees continue, policymakers and politicians continue to argue about revamping or privatizing the program. The recent economic downturn has affected jobs and savings programs, further weakening the program. With so many people dependent upon Social Security for retirement benefits, its vital to understand the system and its limitations, as well as to make changes before time runs out.
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When Could An Attorney Become Necessary
There can be an assortment of complicated issues that arise when applying for either SSDI or SSI. When seeking both, the possibility that the difficulties increase becomes higher. Talk with an attorney especially if benefits were unfairly denied. Call Markhoff & Mittman at 866-205-2415 and be sure to order your copy of the Disability Guys Guide to Navigating through the Social Security Disability Maze.
What Is Supplemental Security Income
SSI provides minimal basic cash assistance to disabled individuals with little recent work experience. To qualify for SSI, you must have a very limited income and less than $2,000 in assets .
Technical requirements for SSI. Unlike the SSDI program, you don’t need to have a certain amount of work history for SSI. If you meet the income and asset limits, you financially qualify for the program. Of course, you must also prove that you medically qualify by proving that you’re disabled.
How much does SSI pay? The amount of SSI that an eligible person will receive is dependent on the amount of regular, monthly income they have and where they live. The maximum federal SSI payment is $841 in 2022 .
When does SSI start? SSI benefits will begin on the first of the month after the month in which you submit your application.
What other benefits are available? Disabled people who are eligible under the income requirements for SSI are also able to receive Medicaid in the state they live in. Most people who qualify for SSI also qualify for food stamps. SSI is paid out of general funds of the U.S. Treasury, much like other safety net programs.
Who gets SSI? SSI applicants are somewhat more likely to be female, as fewer women are eligible for SSDI benefits . Women generally have fewer qualifying years of work .
Learn more about the SSI program and SSI benefits.
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Supplemental Security Income Overview
WHAT IS SSI?
SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income. Social Security administers this program. We pay monthly benefits to people with limited income and resources who are disabled, blind, or age 65 or older. Blind or disabled children may also get SSI.
HOW IS SSI DIFFERENT FROM SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS?
Many people who are eligible for SSI may also be entitled to Social Security benefits. In fact, the application for SSI is also an application for Social Security benefits. However, SSI and Social Security are different in many ways.
HOW IS SSI LIKE SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS?
Both programs pay monthly benefits.
The medical standards for disability are generally the same in both programs for individuals age 18 or older. For children from birth to the attainment of age 18 there is a separate definition of disability under SSI. The medical standard is based on the severity of your disability financial need is not considered at this step in the eligibility process.
SSA administers both programs.
Filing For Early Retirement Benefits
For most people, it does not make sense to file for early retirement benefits at age 62 if you are already receiving SSDI because of a disability. Your disability payments equal your full retirement amount, and those who opt for early retirement receive reduced benefits.
Imagine that, at age 60, you suffer a back injury leading to a disability. You are approved for SSDI benefits, and you begin drawing an amount equal to your full retirement amount. When you reach age 62, nothing changes you continue to draw your full SSDI amount.
Once you reach your full retirement age, the SSA swaps you from SSDI to traditional retirement benefits. However, this occurs automatically, so you will not see a break in your benefits and do not need to do anything to ensure this happens.
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How Social Security Disability Gets Funded
Similar to unemployment insurance, Social Security disability is a government-run insurance program funded by taxes. If you look at your pay stub, you will probably see that you pay three different taxes at the federal level: federal income tax, Social Security tax, and Medicare tax. As you might suspect, your Social Security tax contributions help fund the disability program.
The amount you can receive in Social Security disability depends on how many years you have worked and how much you paid in Social Security taxes during those years.
What Is The Difference Between Ssdi And Ssi
SSDI and SSI are both federal benefits that are available to people who are disabled and cannot work, and both rely on the same federal standard of disability.
SSDI stands for Social Security Disability Insurance, and it functions like an insurance plan for workers. It falls under Title II of the Social Security Act. These benefits are available to individuals who have paid Social Security taxes over a sufficiently long period, and the benefits amount is based on the workers earnings record. These benefits are available regardless of the persons income or assets.
SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income and is a federal welfare program for the elderly, blind, and disabled. It falls under Title XVI of the Social Security Act. Unlike SSDI, these benefits are paid out of general revenues, not the Social Security trust fund. The benefit amount for SSI is set by Congress, and states may add a supplemental amount. Unlike SSDI, SSI is needs-based. To be eligible for SSI, an individual must meet the income and assets requirements of the program.
It is possible for an individual to receive both SSDI and SSI benefits if the SSDI benefits are low enough that the person is still eligible for SSI.
Please Note: Some questions from readers have also been answered, but we have closed comments for now as our time to answer questions is limited. Any answers are for informational purposes only they do not constitute legal advice and do not establish an attorney-client relationship.
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Your Disability Won’t Last Long Enough Or Isn’t Severe Enough
To qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits, the Social Security Administration must believe that your impairment is severe enough to last at least 12 months or result in your death. The only exception to this duration requirement is for blind SSI applicants.
Many claimslike those based on bone fractures resulting from acute trauma, such as automobile or motorcycle accidentsare denied because they are not likely to cause disability for 12 months. Almost all bone fractures heal in less than a year. However, if you have severe bone fractures that aren’t healed after six months, the SSA is then likely to think your impairment will last a year. Each case is evaluated on an individual basis.
In addition, your medical condition must cause you severe limitations to qualify for SSDI or SSI. Most claims are denied simply because the applicant’s impairment was not severe enough .
The Best Age To Start Collecting
There are two schools of thought about whether to start collecting Social Security at 62 or wait.
The first is that everyone should start getting their money out of the system as soon as possible.
This theory is based on two things:
In other words, getting some benefits now is better than the promise of more benefits later.
The second theory states that you should wait until full retirement age in order to collect larger monthly sums. If you live long enough, this option will be more profitable.
Lets take a closer look at your total payout potential based on the age at which you begin collecting benefits. Assume your full benefit amount would be $1,000 per month, or $12,000 each year, and your full retirement age is 67. Heres the total amount you could receive from the Social Security program.
Starting benefits at age 62 would mean more money overall if you dont live past age 79. However, if you live to 79 or older, youd receive more money during your lifetime if you began earning benefits at age 67.
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You Refuse To Cooperate
Your medical records are vital to granting your disability. If you refuse to release those records to the SSA, your claim will likely be denied. Similarly, the SSA may need additional information about your impairments, either because your treating doctor’s medical records are incomplete or because you have no regular treating doctor. In these instances, the SSA will request that you be examined by an SSA doctor, during something called a consultative examination , at government expense. In some cases, the SSA will require you to attend more than one CE. If you refuse to attend or request that the SSA make a determination based on the medical records already in your file, you may be denied disability because of inadequate medical information or failure to attend the CE.
If you can’t make it to a scheduled CE because of the time or location, talk to your claim examiner so the DDS can schedule a CE at a time or place that is convenient for you. If you repeatedly fail to show up for a CE, your claim will most likely be denied.