Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Social Security Insurance (SSI) for Young-Onset Alzheimer’s
Both SSI and SSDI are disability programs that offer cash benefits for disabled individuals and are administered by the Social Security Administration, but the financial eligibility requirements are different. The medical eligibility is determined in the same manner for both programs.
The main difference between Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is the fact that SSDI is available to workers who have accumulated a sufficient number of work credits, while SSI disability benefits are available to low-income individuals who have either never worked or who haven’t earned enough work credits to qualify for SSDI.
What is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) ?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides a monthly dollar benefit for people who have worked for at least 10 years and have paid Social Security taxes. During a qualification process, you must prove that due to an irreversible medical condition, you can no longer work. SSDI is a federal insurance program managed by the Social Security Administration and funded by payroll taxes.
Who is eligible for SSDI?
An person with Young-Onset (also known as Early-Onset) Alzheimer’s is considered disabled, and therefore eligible, if they cannot perform at the same working capacity as they did before the illness; and if Social Security decides that they cannot adjust to other work because of their medical condition.
What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
Supplemental Security Income is a program that is strictly need-based, according to income and assets, and is funded by general fund taxes. SSI is called a “means-tested program,” meaning it has nothing to do with work history, but strictly with financial need. To meet the SSI income requirements, you must have less than $2,000 in assets (or $3,000 for a couple) and a very limited income.
Disabled people who are eligible under the income requirements for SSI are also able to receive Medicaid in the state they reside in. Most people who qualify for SSI will also qualify for food stamps, and the amount an eligible person will receive is dependent on where they live and the amount of regular, monthly income they have. SSI benefits will begin on the first of the month when you first submit your application.
Can You Qualify for Both SSDI and SSI Disability Benefits?
In certain circumstances, you can collect SSI and SSDI at the same time (called “concurrent benefits”). Some people who qualify for SSI receive a small amount of Social Security disability benefits, if they worked, but receive only a low monthly payment.
Expedited Processing for Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease
To help ease the situation for those who are clearly disabled, Compassionate Allowances allow these serious cases to receive automatic approval, and to begin receiving disability benefits as soon as possible, without the normal waiting period.
Qualification is based on objective medical information that can be quickly obtained, as well as the Social Security Administration’s list of qualifying medical conditions.
The Social Security Administration specifies the Early Onset (Young Onset) Alzheiemer’s qualifies for the Compassionate Allowance: The desease is defined as:
Early Onset (Young-Onset) Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the diagnosis of AD for a person younger than age 65 years. AD is a degenerative, irreversible brain disease that usually affects older people and causes dementia, characterized by the gradual loss of previously-attained cognitive abilities, including memory, language, judgment, and ability to function. Physiological changes in the brain include the rampant growth of two abnormal structures, amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, which interrupt normal brain activity. The onset of AD is subtle; memory impairment is frequently its earliest manifestation, quickly followed by learning and language impairments. Because people with early-onset AD are often in the work force, it is not uncommon for the disease to first manifest as a decline or loss in their ability to perform work related activities. Depression is also a common early symptom.
How do I apply for Social Security Disability Benefits with Young-Onset Alzheimer’s?
• In person at your local SSA office (strongly recommended): Applicants should call 800.772.1213 to schedule an appointment. Do not walk in for service without an appointment.
• By telephone:Call SSA’s toll-free telephone number, 800.772.1213. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can call SSA at TTY 800.325.0778.
• Online: socialsecurity.gov/applyfordisability
In your application it is crucial that you state you have Early-onset/Younger onset Alzheimer’s Disease and are unable to work. Do not just say Alzheimer’s Disease. Additionally, do not delay in applying for your benefits as the process is lengthy.
What happens if I’m turned down?
If you are turned down for receiving benefits, you may appeal to try to reverse that decision. Most people in this situation hire a disability representative to help them with their appeal.
There are two types of paid SSDI representatives: companies with specialists experienced in handling SSDI applications and appeals; and law firms that specialize in disability-related cases.
The appeals process for denied benefits take 90 days to well over a year to get a hearing, depending on caseloads.
How long does it take to get Social Security Disability Insurance?
There is a five-month waiting period from the time the disability began to the beginning of benefit payments. This waiting period ensures that benefits are only paid to those with long-term disabilities. Social Security disability benefits will be paid beginning with the sixth full month after your disability began.
This is only an estimate; in practice, the process can take up to eight months to complete. You are not entitled to benefits during the waiting period.
What will I need to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance?
We suggest that you have the following information at hand. It will make completing the application much easier.
• Your date and place of birth and Social Security number
• The name, Social Security number and date of birth or age of your current spouse and any former spouse. You should also know the dates and places of marriage and dates of divorce or death (if appropriate)
• Names and dates of birth of your minor children
• Your bank or other financial institution’s Routing Transit Number [more info] and the account number, if you want the benefits electronically deposited
• Name, address and phone number of someone we can contact who knows about your medical conditions and can help with your application
• Detailed information about your medical illnesses, injuries or conditions:
• Names, addresses, phone numbers, patient ID numbers and dates of treatment for all doctors, hospitals and clinics;
• Names of medicines you are taking and who prescribed them; and
• Names and dates of medical tests you have had and who sent you for them.
• The amount of money earned last year and this year
• The name and address of your employer(s) for this year and last year
• A copy of your Social Security Statement
• The beginning and ending dates of any active U.S. military service you had before 1968
• A list of the jobs (up to 5) that you had in the 15 years before you became unable to work and the dates you worked at those jobs
• Information about any workers’ compensation, black lung, and/or similar benefits you filed, or intend to file for.