|Applying for disability benefits
You can apply for disability benefits as soon as you become disabled. Generally, applications may be made by telephone or mail, as well as in person.
|Disabled widow and widower benefits
When a worker entitled to Social Security Benefits dies, the surviving spouse, age 60 or older, may qualify for survivor benefits. A surviving spouse, age 50 or older, may qualify only if disabled.
|How is disability defined?
The word disability has different meanings in different areas of the law. Under government programs such as Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income, being disabled and therefore entitled to benefits is defined as: 'Having a medically proven physical or mental impairment.
Many older citizens, aware of the limitations of Medicare, have opted for private insurance coverage known as Long-Term Care Insurance or LTCI (L-T-C-I).
People often confuse Medicaid with Medicare. Although funded by the federal government, Medicaid is a separate program run by the various states to help needy individuals.
|Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
The Social Security Administration has a program that makes monthly payments to people in financial need who are disabled, blind, or sixty-five or older.
|What if my disability claim is denied?
If a social security claim is denied, an administrative judge will usually issue a decision within thirty days following the hearing. An unfavorable decision must be appealed within sixty days of receipt.