applicants without a sufficient work history for ssdi are eligible to apply for the lower benefits of ssi.">

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Social Security Disability Insurance

Posted on:2/21/2012
After six months, if the disability is severe, the worker is eligible to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This social insurance program covers only workers who have worked roughly five of the last ten years and who appear to be totally disabled.

The principle underlying SSDI is to permit disabled workers to take their standard old-age Social Security retirement pension at whatever age they are when they become disabled, instead of waiting until age sixty-five.


Applicants without a sufficient work history for SSDI are eligible to apply for the lower benefits of SSI. Applicants with a long work history but low wages can receive benefits from both SSDI and SSI. After a two-year waiting period, SSDI recipients receive medical insurance under Medicare, the same insurance program that covers recipients of old-age Social Security. SSI recipients receive health insurance under Medicaid, the means tested insurance program that primarily covers people on welfare.


The process of applying for SSDI has several problems. Staying off the job for six months and appearing sick enough to win SSDI benefits depreciates work skills, while the gap between the end of workers' compensation and the start of SSDI can lead many workers to poverty importantly, people may not be able to pay for rehabilitation services until they have Medicare or Medicaid, but in many cases early interventions will be the most cost-effective means of returning to work.


The application process often works much like a lottery. On average, about half of all denials are appealed, and administrative law judges reverse almost half of the Social Security Administration's denials of SSDI benefits.


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How Does Social Security Define Disability? Disability Determination Disability Application Process
Disability Denial and Reconsideration Appealing the disability Denial Decision Medicare and Medicaid
What is Social Security Disability? SSDI SSI
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