Finances are often an issue for survivors of spinal cord injuries. Social Security Disability Insurance is a program funded by the Federal government that is available to spinal cord injury survivors, while Medicare can assist in the rehabilitation process. The Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program (BSCIP) can provide a variety of services such as case management, acute care, rehabilitation, transitional living services, adaptive equipment, home modifications, and vehicle modifications.
Social Security Disability Insurance
If you have worked long enough and paid social security taxes, you may be eligible for this program. You can earn up to four credits per year, and the amount of credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends upon the age at which you became disabled. While you generally need 40 credits, younger workers can qualify with fewer credits.
In order to qualify you must:
- Have worked in a long enough to earn work credits
- Have a condition that meets Social Security’s definition of disability
- Must have a disability that’s expected to last at least one year or result in death
Cash benefits are usually continued until you are able to work again on a regular basis, while a “work incentive”? program provides continued benefits and health care coverage necessary to help you transition back to work.
Medicare is the nation’s largest health insurance program, and is run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. Among other populations, Medicare provides benefits to some people with disabilities under the age of 65, including those with spinal cord injuries.
Medicare comprises Hospital Insurance and Medical Insurance. Hospital Insurance pays for hospital services, nursing facility services, home health services, and hospice care, while Medical Insurance pays for outpatient services, medical equipment and supplies, and other health services.
Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program
The Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program (BSCIP) offers a primary service of case management to spinal cord injury survivors and their families, in addition to:
- acute care services
- rehabilitation services
- personal care assistance
- adult companion services
- lifeskills training
- assistive technology
- medical supplies
- community support coordination