Question: How much work history do I need to qualify?
Answer: "You must have worked long enough and recently enough under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits. Social Security work credits are based on your total yearly wages or self-employment income. You can earn up to four credits each year. The amount needed for a credit changes from year to year. In 2014, for example, you earn one credit for each $1,200 of wages or self-employment income.
When you've earned $4,480, you've earned your four credits for the year. The number of work credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age when you become disabled. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.
Question: What type of impairments, injuries, illnesses, etc. qualify for
Answer: Working with your doctor, a decsion will be made as to whether or not you should apply for disability. This is the "Listing of Impairments" per the government.
Question: What about childhood disabilities are they different?
Answer: They can be different and once again your doctor will help decide if you should persue disability. This is the Listing of "Childhood Impairments" per the government.
Question: I qualified for SSDI, so when do my payments start?
Answer: If your application is approved, your first Social Security benefit will be paid for the sixth full month after the date we find that your disability began. For example, if your disability began on June 15, 2011, your first benefit would be paid for the month of December 2011, the sixth full month of disability.
Question: How much money will I receive?
Answer: The amount of your monthly disability benefit is based on your lifetime average earnings covered by Social Security. http://www.ssa.gov/dibplan/dapproval2.htm
Question: Will I receive medicare coverage if I'm disabled?
Answer: You'll be automatically enrolled in Medicare after a 2 years of being on disability benefits. Sad but true, you have to wait 2 years to get health coverage after going on disability. There are a couple of exceptions but not many. http://www.ssa.gov/dibplan/dapproval4.htm
Low cost or free clinics/hospitals: http://www.pparx.org/en/free_clinic_finder
Question: What happens if I'm denied?
Answer: There are four levels of appeal. If you are not satisfied with the decision at one level, you may appeal to the next. (PDF) http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10058.html#when
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