Benefits for Adults

Benefits for Adults

(1) SSI (Supplemental Security Income)

These benefits are for adults who do not have much money of their own and whose disabilities are so severe that they cannot work. There are two basic requirement for this program:

Limited Income and Assets - Participants are permitted to have only a limited amount of their own income and only a limited amount of money or other assets. The Social Security Administration considers primarily the income of the applicant, not of his or her parents. Thus a son or daughter with a disability who could not obtain SSI when he or she was under 18 (because his or her parents had too much income or assets) may become eligible for SSI on reaching the age of 18. If an adult son or daughter is receiving financial help from his or her parents, or still living at home, that may affect whether he or she is eligible or how large a benefit is received.

Beneficiary Is Too Disabled to Work Full Time - This program is generally for individuals who are so disabled that they cannot work full time. You must be unable to work full time at any job, not merely unable to do your last job. However, some individuals who work full time in a special job for persons with disabilities are eligible. An individual who can work part time despite that disability will generally remain eligible for SSI (or SSDI or DAC) so long as he or she earns less than $800 per month. Persons receiving these benefits will be eligible for Medicaid.

(2) Disabled Former Workers (Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI)

This program is also for individuals whose disability renders them unable to work, but it is not limited to people who do not have much money. There are two requirements for these benefits.

First, participants in this program must be so disabled that they cannot work; the standard the Social Security Administration uses is the same as for SSI.

Second, to be eligible individuals must have worked for a substantial period of time and paid into the Social Security system. In general, they must either have worked for a total of ten years or have worked for at least 5 of the 10 years before their disability became so severe that they could not work. (A somewhat different standard applies to younger workers). Eligibility for this program is not restricted to persons who have limited assets and does not exclude people who have significant income from some source other than a job (e.g. interest on a savings account).

Persons receiving benefits under this program will be eligible for Medicaid if their income and assets are limited; otherwise they will be eligible for Medicare after a waiting period of 24 to 29 months.

(3) Disabled Sons and Daughters of Certain Workers (Disabled Adult Children or DAC)

These benefits are for adults with disabilities whose parents (or sometimes other people related to them) worked for a substantial period of time. These benefits are not limited to people who don't have much money. There are four requirements for the program.

First, participants in this program must be have disabilities so serious that they cannot work full time; the standard the Social Security Administration uses is the same as for SSI.

Second, this program is limited to the disabled sons and daughters of a father or mother who (a) worked long enough to qualify for social security benefits (usually 10 years) and (b) is now either deceased, retired, blind, or disabled. In some instances eligibility may be based on a stepparent or grandparent, if the applicant was at one time their dependent.

Third, before the applicant reached the age of 22, his or her disability must have become so severe that he or she could not work full time.

Fourth, the applicant must not be married, unless the person to whom he or she is married is also receiving some form of Social Security benefit.

Persons receiving benefits under this program will be eligible for Medicaid if their income and assets are limited. Otherwise they will be eligible for Medicare, which will usually begin only after a waiting period of 24 to 29 months.

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