Social Security Disability

Independent Living

There is no waiting period for Medicaid once it is determined that the applicant’s income is below the established limit.

Social Security Disability is a Federal-funded program, managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA), to provide income and services for those with specified differences. (See the section titled “Benefits for People with Disabilities” on the SSA website, There are two different programs for those who meet the criteria of disability as defined by SSA:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for those who have worked and their dependents;

  • Supplementary Security Income (SSI) for those with limited assets and incomes.

SSDI provides monthly payments to workers who have paid the Social Security tax on their earnings and are younger than 66 when they have acquired a disability.. Usually, it is necessary to have worked for approximately 10 years to build up enough credit to be eligible. Often, payments are made to dependent children or young adults if their parents have paid into Social Security. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents or be able to show that they are lawfully living in the U..S. A major benefit of receiving SSDI is that once approved for SSDI, the recipient will receive Medicare, the government health care provider that provides comprehensive medical and drug coverage at a reasonable cost. Medicare is automatically offered two years after the date of entitlement for disability benefits. In addition, once awarded SSDI or SSI, there is automatic eligibility for vocational services offered by our federal government in each state. Note: In the past decade, it is not uncommon for the initial application for SSDI to be denied by SSA and then an appeal has to be made. There are specialized attorneys who process appeals; the federal guidelines stipulate that no money has to be paid to the attorney up front; rather they will take a specified percentage of the award if the appeal is successful.

The SSA also offers SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and Medicaid for those with limited income. There is no waiting period for Medicaid once it is determined that the applicant’s income is below the established limit. Eligibility and application information is provided in the section entitled “Supplemental Security Income Home Page -- 2018 Edition” on the website.

Not only do the Social Security Administration rules make it possible to obtain vocational rehabilitation but it also allows for people to try out their ability to work without losing their rights for cash benefits and Medicare or Medicaid. The idea is to provide “work incentives.”

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