Nearing the End of Life

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Health care coverage

Money and income

Disability

One benefit that may be available to you is long-term disability. You must look at your employer’s description of disability to see if you meet the criteria. A human resources expert at your work-place can discuss this with you and/or your partner and advise you about the best way to qualify for benefits. If your employer pays for your plan, your disability may not be quite as much as the usual 60% to 70% of your wages. Payments are also lower when you also are getting disability income from Social Security or another program.

Some people buy their own disability insurance plans. In this case, the rules are different. Once you’ve met the plan’s definition of disability, you will be paid a specific amount per month from the company.

Social Security Disability Insurance

If you’ve been working for many years, money has probably been taken out of your paycheck for Social Security. If you’re self-employed, the self-employment tax you pay covers your Social Security contribution. In either case, you might qualify for disability benefits. But you must meet Social Security’s definition of disability, which is quite strict. If you’re turned down, it’s best to appeal the decision. Many cases that are turned down at first are approved after an appeal.

Don’t count on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for your immediate needs. Even if your claim is approved, you won’t get benefits until the sixth full month of disability. The approval process takes a long time and it may be too long in your case.

To find out how much you could get from SSDI you must fill out Social Security Form 7004. Call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 to order this form or print it from www.socialsecurity.gov/.

Supplemental Security Income

If you did not work much or your income was very low before you became unable to work, you may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). To get SSI, your income and assets must fall below a certain level. These levels and the amount you could get from SSI vary from state to state. And the amount usually changes a little each year.


Last Medical Review: 01/14/2014
Last Revised: 02/06/2014