Many peopled do not realize that Social Security has two benefit programs available for people disabled by a spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, or other problems. People who have paid enough into the Social Security program may receive Social Security Disability Insurance if they become disabled. People who have not paid enough into the Social Security fund may still qualify for some benefits if their monthly income is low; eligibility for the Supplemental Security Income program (SSI) is based on financial need and disabled people, as well as people over age sixty-five may qualify for a monthly SSI benefit check if their income falls below a certain standard.
Social Security Disability Insurance
The amount of Social Disability Insurance you are entitled to depends on the length of time that you have worked and paid Social Security taxes and the amount you have paid into the fund. Disabled people who under age sixty-five do not immediately receive Medicare upon qualifying for Social Security Disability Insurance; those under sixty-five must be on SSDI for two years before they can receive Medicare.
If you qualify for SSDI your spouse and underage children may also be eligible to receive a monthly check that is a percentage of the benefits due to you. In some instances, divorced spouses are also eligible. The amount paid to your eligible family members will not reduce the amount of benefits you receive.
The eligibility requirements for Supplemental Security Income vary by state. Some states add an additional amount over and above the monthly benefit paid by the Federal government to SSI checks; others do not. In some states, people eligible for SSI are also eligible for Medicaid. Medicaid pays for the medical costs of those who have no private insurance or Medicare. It also serves as a supplemental insurance for low income people who do have Medicare.
Applying for Social Security Benefits
If you have become disabled you should apply for Social Security disability benefits as soon as possible. Some cases are processed within in a few months, but frequently it takes over a year for your case to be decided. Sometimes people who are legally entitled to SSDI are refused on the first attempt; if this happens to you, seek legal advice. An experienced disability lawyer can help you get the disability benefits you deserve.
You can begin applying for Social Security benefits by setting up a telephone interview. Call 1-800-772-1213 for information and to set up a telephone interview.
More information on Social Security disability benefits can be found at these official Social Security pages:
Benefits for People with Disabilities https://www.ssa.gov/disability/
Disability Planner http://ssa.gov/dibplan/index.htm
If you are disabled you can also qualify for tax benefits. See this link for more information:
The disabled and their families are also entitled to housing assistance through HUD. See this link for more information: