It takes an understanding of the basics of Social Security to submit an application to the SSA. Most people understand that Disability Insurance, or SSDI (sometimes called Title II) are for individuals who have worked in the past but are unable to do so anymore, or at least for an extended period of time. They also know that monthly checks will come from Social Security (if approved), as well as a back benefits check. However, many people don’t know that there’s a lot more than financial assistance when it comes to Disability Insurance.
First of all, when you compare SSDI to another Social Security program called SSI, or Supplemental Security Income, there is a lot more freedom. SSI requires that the entire household not exceed a specified income limit, or the SSI benefits will be cut off. There are also restrictions on assets. Social Security Disability Insurance, however, doesn’t even look at income or assets, but rather work credits. Work credits are just a way to determine if you have worked enough to pay adequate income taxes into the system. Of course, both programs require that you are found disabled. And many people are eligible for both programs concurrently.
In addition to the freedom from specific income limits, there are four great benefits that come with receiving SSDI.
1) Medicare. Medical benefits are a fantastic bonus, especially since they are usually sorely needed by those who are found disabled. Regardless of age, once you have been receiving Disability Insurance for two years, you are eligible for both hospital and medical benefits. And those who are eligible for Medicare are now also eligible for prescription coverage.
2) Dependent Benefits. When an individual receives Disability benefits and has children under 18, the children may be eligible for benefits as well.
3) COBRA extension. Disability recipients receiving COBRA can extend their coverage from 18 to 29 months.
4) Retirement Benefits. Receiving Social Security disability “freezes” Social Security earnings records during your period of disability. Because those years will not be counted when computing future benefits, your Social Security retirement benefits will be higher.
Wherever you are in the Social Security Disability process, best of luck.