Disability (Social Security Disability Income) and Medicare

December 29, 2010 at 11:13 pm Leave a comment

The definition of “disability” is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a major life activity includes walking, talking, breathing, eating, caring for oneself, activities of daily living, and working. Therefore, cancer is defined as a disability under the ADA, but final determination is on a case by case basis. Individuals with cancer who have substantial limitation in one of these major life activities prior to age 65 should apply for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). At Ronnie Lippin Cancer Information and Research Line, I get many calls from individuals diagnosed with cancer who are no longer able to work and did not know they could be eligible to receive federal government financial assistance. A financial need is not required in order to be eligible. However, part of the individual’s salary must have been paid into the federal disability system from past employment. If eligibility criteria are met and the individual is approved for SSDI, a monthly check is sent from the Social Security Administration. The first SSDI check is sent five months after the approval date. After an individual has received 24 monthly SSDI checks they are then eligible for Medicare. This means after 29 months from the date of approval for SSDI, Medicare is provided to the disabled person. Many people believe that 29 months is too long a waiting period and this issue was addressed in the healthcare reform legislation.

To find out more information about SSDI and Medicare go to the website http://www.ssa.gov. Other resources that provide useful information on this subject are the National Association of Disability Representatives, 800-747-611, National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives, 800-431-2804, and ALSUP Disability Evaluation Office, 800-279-4357 for a SSDI representative and Medicare Advisor Representative. If you have further concerns or questions regarding SSDI and Medicare, please contact the social worker at Ronnie Lippin Cancer Information and Resource Line at 800-RLC-2120 or online http://www.lacancerinfo.org.

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Entry filed under: RLC Info & Resource Line.

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