As you learn more about Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you and your patients will find there are a number of other powerful and important financial and healthcare benefits that will be available to them upon successfully being awarded.
The benefits of SSDI are many:
- Regular Monthly Income:
SSDI is a regular monthly payment and provides annual cost-of-living increases. A portion of these disability benefits may be tax free.
- Medical Benefits:
Regardless of their age, 24 months after the date of entitlement to SSDI benefits, your patients are eligible for Medicare, including Part A (hospital benefits) and Part B (medical benefits). This provides a significant benefit through provision of medical insurance coverage from typically a self pay or uninsured status. A variety of Medicare Advantage plans are also available to them.
- Prescription Drug Coverage:
Once they are entitled to Medicare, they also are eligible for Medicare Part D, the prescription drug plan.
- Cost-of-living adjustment (COLA):
Your patients can benefit from an annual increase in their monthly benefit known as the cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA. This increase is designed to help protect their benefits against inflation.
- COBRA Extension:
If your patients receive SSDI benefits, the length of their COBRA benefits could be extended an additional 11 months.
- Long-Term Disability (LTD) Benefits:
If they have private long-term disability insurance, their provider often will require them to seek SSDI. Complying with this requirement could help protect their ability to receive LTD income.
- Protected Retirement Benefits:
When they reach retirement age, SSDI ends and recipients transition to Social Security retirement benefits. Social Security disability entitlement “freezes” Social Security earnings records during the period of disability. Because the years in which SSDI benefits are collected are not counted when computing future benefits, their Social Security retirement benefits may be higher than if their earnings were averaged over a greater number of years.
- Dependent Benefits:
If your patients receive SSDI benefits and they have a dependent under age 18, he or she also may be eligible for benefits.
- Return-to-Work Incentives:
Social Security will provide your patients with opportunities to return to work while still paying them disability benefits. This provides peace of mind and hope to those individuals who may not be permanently disabled.