What Other Benefits Can I Get With SSDI?
When an injury, illness, or other types of permanent medical condition causes you to become disabled, the loss of a steady income can be devastating. The Social Security Disability Insurance program available through the Social Security Administration provides monthly cash payments to disabled workers who qualify for them.
Unless you get representation and advice from a Social Security disability lawyer at MJ Ellis Disability Law, you may be missing out on the other benefits from SSDI that you may also be eligible to receive. The knowledge and guidance of an SSDI lawyer may help you to qualify for all or some of the other SSDI benefits that could make your life easier.
Eligibility for Medicare
Generally, you do not become eligible for Medicare coverage before receiving SSDI payments for 24 months. However, you may qualify sooner for Medicare if you have any of the following medical conditions:
- Permanent kidney failure requiring either dialysis.
- Permanent kidney failure requiring a transplant.
- Lou Gehrig’s disease, which is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS.
If you qualify for Medicare and cannot afford to pay the premium for it, you may be eligible for financial assistance from your state government.
There are two parts to Medicare coverage. Part A or Medicare Hospital Insurance does require payment of a premium. Part B or Medicare Supplementary Medical Insurance, which is optional, has a monthly premium. It is the Part B premium your state welfare or Medicaid agency may pay provided you qualify for assistance.
Supplemental Security Income benefits
Social Security has another program offering benefits to disabled or blind individuals in addition to the SSDI program. Supplemental Security Income or SSI is a Social Security disability program based on financial need. As such, your countable monthly income may not exceed the Federal Benefit Rate of $794 for an individual or $1,191 for a couple. The total value of the assets you own may not exceed $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple.
The amount of your monthly SSDI payment may not exceed the SSI federal benefit rates for individuals or couples to qualify for what is known as “concurrent” benefits, which means that you qualify for both SSDI and SSI benefits. If you qualify for current benefits, you receive Medicaid coverage as an SSI benefit. After 24 months of receiving SSDI payments, you would also be eligible for Medicare coverage with Medicaid being the secondary payer of your medical claims and Medicare acting as the primary payer of your medical claims.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
The SNAP program, which was formerly known as food stamps, helps families with low incomes to buy food. SNAP is a federal program administered through state agencies.
Applicants for SNAP benefits generally must meet both gross and net income limits to qualify for benefits. The income that you have before taxes and other deductions is the gross income. To arrive at your net income, a person may deduct the following from gross income:
- Housing costs
- Payments toward child support
- Dependent care payments
- Child-care payments
If you receive SSD payments, you may deduct your monthly out-of-pocket medical expenses that exceed $35 per month. You cannot deduct medical expenses paid by health insurance or by another person who does not live within your household.
As an SSD beneficiary, Social Security does not require that you meet both the gross income and net income tests to receive SNAP benefits. If you receive disability payments, you only need to meet the net income test. If you and everyone else living in your household receive SSI benefits, then you automatically meet the income requirements for SNAP eligibility.
Other eligibility requirements for SNAP may apply, including limits on the value of assets you own. An SSD lawyer at MJ Ellis Disability Law can review all of the eligibility guidelines with you to determine whether you qualify for the SNAP program.
Working while disabled and receiving SSDI
You may have a desire to test whether your medical condition allows you to engage in work activities without jeopardizing your SSDI eligibility. Social Security has special rules that let you work during a trial work period with any reduction in your SSDI payments.
Any month that you work and earn more than $940 in 2021 is a trial work month. The trial work period is nine months, but they do not have to be consecutive. You have 60 months to use them.
You receive your full SSDI benefits during the trial work period regardless of what you earn working at a job or through self-employment. Upon completion of the trial work period, you may be eligible to continue working under a 36-month extended period of eligibility and continue receiving SSDI as long as your monthly earnings do not exceed $1,310, which is a substantial gainful activity level in 2021.
Learn more about your SSD benefits
A consultation with an SSD lawyer at MJ Ellis Disability Law lets you learn more about Social Security disability benefits. Get answers to questions you have about SSI, SSDI, and other benefit programs along with skilled representation by contacting us today to schedule an appointment.