The older we get, the more we start to think about our jobs, retirement, and what might happen if we were to get injured or otherwise become unable to work. Luckily, there are programs in place that can help if such an unfortunate situation were to occur, and one of these safety nets is Social Security disability insurance (SSDI).
If you are on the verge of retiring or you have recently become disabled, and you are suddenly plunged into the world of SSDI, the government wants you to know that you are protected and are not alone.
We know that insurance can be a confusing topic, and the many terms and benefits associated with SSDI may confound some workers out there. Worry not! Read on for some of the finer points of Social Security disability insurance.
What’s Covered and What’s Not
In a nutshell, SSDI pays out benefits should you become injured, disabled, and unable to work before you reach the retirement age. There are several perks to this program if you qualify. One of the requirements is that you have worked a minimum number of years and have been paying Social Security taxes at your jobs. If you meet the requirements, you will get financial assistance for yourself and potentially some members of your family, and you will be eligible for Medicare.
Medicare is a great program with various benefits including covering hospital stays, doctor’s visits, and even money management services. However, it does not cover all medical needs. For this reason, it is important to go for all necessary screenings and checkups so that you aren’t left in the lurch when under Medicare coverage. For instance, Medicare does not cover the cost of hearing screenings or hearing aids, which can cost as much as $3,000 per ear. If you are having any issues with your hearing, get it checked out so you won’t have a huge bill under Medicare.
Routine vision and dental care are also not covered by Medicare. If untreated, dental issues could escalate quickly, resulting in advanced tooth decay or gum disease. This could cause permanent harm to your body and your wallet, so make it a point to see the dentist to take care of your fillings, dentures, and teeth cleanings.
As we get older, our vision can begin to suffer, and unless you get additional insurance, routine vision exams are also not covered. In addition to vision exams, there are tools that you can use to help improve your ability to see as you age. Using magnifiers or reading glasses can help you to view television and computer screens better and will make life a little more vivid.
The importance of visiting the doctor regularly is essential regardless of age, but if you are looking at the possibility of SSDI, then these initial screenings are even more crucial.
Benefits for Your Family
If you are disabled and no longer able to work, the effects can be far-reaching. Not only will you be hurt financially, but if you care for your family, they could be in danger as well. Luckily, there are benefits of SSDI that could help your family to stay afloat. These benefits could help spouses of workers with disabilities and children whose parents have disabilities.
If you are the spouse of a disabled individual, then you could qualify for additional monthly benefits, provided that you have been married for at least a year and the disabled person is over the age of 62. If your spouse is living, you can generally get 50 percent of the benefit, and in the unfortunate circumstance that your spouse passes away, you may get 100 percent of the benefit. Keep in mind that these earnings will be taxed.
If you become disabled and have a child to care for, then SSDI can help there as well. Children that qualify must be under the age of 18 and can be biological children, stepchildren, or adoptive children. These benefits can continue until the age of 19 if the child attends college. In such a situation where a child and their parent is disabled, they may both be eligible for benefits.
How to File for Social Security Disability
When it comes time to file for social security disability benefits, you will have to complete paperwork that gives an all-around picture of your work and life. You will begin by compiling general information about your spouses, children, marriages, and divorces. This information provides the security administration with what they need to understand who you care for and who can assist in caring for you.
You will also need comprehensive information about your disability, including the source of the initial injury and information about treatments and prescriptions. You may potentially need a witness to verify your disability. If you have any previous workers’ compensation claims, then have that information on hand as well. Use all of the data you have gathered to complete an application either online or at your local Social Security office.
Once your info is submitted, wait for a result. Keep in mind that there is always the possibility that you might be denied for multiple reasons: a lack of medical evidence, your income, or a failure to follow treatment, for example. If you are declined, you can appeal, ideally with the assistance of an attorney who is familiar with the process.
After so many years of going to your job each and every day, it can be scary to think about what happens if you are no longer able to work. Luckily, SSDI is a helpful safety net that can help you and your loved ones live out the rest of your life without worry