Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) is a federal program that provides benefits to workers who are unable to work for a year or longer because of a serious disability. When you worked, you probably paid FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) taxes. These taxes fund SSDI, Medicare, retirement, and survivor benefit programs. If you paid FICA taxes for five of the past ten years and become disabled before reaching retirement, you are eligible to apply for SSDI.

SSDI provides a regular monthly payment. The amount you are paid will depend on how many years you worked and how much you earned during that time. However, regular income is not the only reason to apply for SSDI after a stroke:

  • Your insurance carrier may require you to apply: If you have long-term disability insurance, your insurer may require you to apply for SSDI before you are granted your benefits.
  • You can extend your COBRA benefits: SSDI recipients may extend their insurance coverage through COBRA for an additional 11 months.
  • You will receive Medicare benefits: You will be eligible for Medicare Part A (hospital benefits), Part B (medical benefits), and Part D (prescription drug benefits) after 24 months of receiving SSDI. You can also enroll in a variety of Medicare Advantage plans.
  • You can protect your retirement benefits: Your Social Security retirement income is based on your average earnings in the years before retirement. If you stop earning, the average drops. However, if you receive SSDI, your Social Security earnings records are frozen. Your retirement benefits are calculated based on your earnings before your disability, and your retirement benefit will not decrease.
  • Your dependents may receive benefits. If you receive SSDI, your minor children or other dependents under the age of 18 may be eligible for benefits.
  • You may qualify for work incentives: The Social Security Administration offers work incentives for SSDI recipients who are able to work part time (earn less than $1040 per month).

Do you have questions about SSDI? Contact our Bellevue disability benefit lawyers for a free case evaluation. Call Cuddigan Law at 402-933-5405

Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska