Friday, January 06, 2006

Disability Questions

OK folks, I'm looking for answers here, and I have a feeling there's some experts out there. So if you could leave comments after this post, it would be MUCH appreciated.

I have written frequently about my son Kyle, both in this blog, and in the blog we started several years ago, Bipolar Support. Kyle is 21, and I want to get him started on Social Security disability. He refuses to go along with it, for several reasons. So, I'm addressing his concerns.

First, if (when) he's approved, what if he decides to try to work again? I am assuming he loses his disability at that point. If he only lasts a few months at his job(which is normal), does he have to completely go through the application process again? What if his job does NOT offer medical benefits? Can he keep medicare or medicaid while working that job?

Is medical and presciption (medicare or medicaid) an integral part of Social Security Disability? If he qualifies for one, does he automatically get the other?

Next, I assume his benefits are for an amount of money that depends on how much he's contributed for the last "X" period of time. Let's say $400 a month. What if he can hold a job for a long enough time that his benefits amount could potentially rise. When he stops working after that, assuming we don't have to reapply per the question above, does the increase become automatic?

He was looking forward to a job interview today that his girlfriend lined up for him. But when we checked in on him this morning, he was gone. He was presumably partying last night. It's his normal behavior. When he's nervous about something he copes by getting so wiped out the night before he can't make his obligation the next day. So I have my doubts that he'll be able to secure a job unless we fill out the application for him, and trick him into the interview. Then he'd perform well in the interview, he always does. It's the stress leading up to that he can't handle.

Any input on the SS process would be MUCH appreciated.

Cross posted to Living With A Purple Dog and Bipolar Support.


Nilla said...

I get SSD so I will tell you everything that I know.

SSD is total and complete. In order to even get it you have to demonstrate that you cannot work AT ALL. If you get benefits and you work, you lose them.

Yes, it's on how much you have contributed. He should have a statement (every three months) that tells him how much he would get if completely disabled.

Medicare Part A (hospital only) is included. If you want Part B (doctors) you pay $78 a month. I have no idea about the Prescriptions because I use VA.

The SS guys want to know that you are "Trying To Get Better" and will monitor how you go to Psychiatrists and Psychologists. I've never been harassed by them and it's been a couple of years.

If you go to jail or are arrested, you're toast. In the initial evaluation, a Bi-Polar individual is sent to a psychologist. If you just can't make yourself "show up" to work because you'd rather drink and/or not take your medication, you're not going to pass.

The Queen said...


The rules have changed slightly regarding working while on SSDI. I got a letter recently about the ticket to work program and that if I chose to held a job that it would not affect my benefits. You can find out about it here:

Also, he can apply for benefits online at and they will do his interview over the phone.

I hope this helps some:)


Nilla said...

There is a difference between SSD and SSDI.

The Queen said...

No there is a difference between SSI and SSDI. SSDI is Social Security Disabilty Income and is based on your ability to work. SSI is just Social Security Income and is based on both financial need and your ability to work. SSD and SSDI are the same thing:)

The Queen said...

Sorry SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income. I mis typed:)


Jon said...

Thanks Nilla and Queen. This is great information.

Now if I just knew where my son is. He disappeared and NOBODY knows where he is. His girlfriend, his friends, nobody knows. In the middle of a Heartland winter that's a little scary...

jane said...

I get SSA (I think). Since I worked 25 years b4 I was perm. disabled, my amount is according to what I paid in.

I think SSDI is around $700 a month, maybe more depending on teh state you live in.
Some states will give Medicaid, others won't. After 2 years you qualify for Medicare. (this is my understanding)

If your son hasn't worked, it will actually be a lesser waiting period for benefits (I think 5 mos) than if he had worked.
I read the same thing Queen did about going back to work.

I hope you find him soon & safe.

Jon said...

Thanks to you also, Jane.

Nilla said...

Check the Social Security Website. I wouldn't call them, because they aren't really nice when answering questions.

I know my amount is based on how much I worked, like whatever Jane is talking about. At the moment it's almost nine hundreed. I also get $155 for each on of my kids, to help me take care of them. Of course, I have to document where that cash goes (like, for their stuff, food, and I have to get them a savings bond every month).

My friend's son in Virginia gets SSI for her son. He's autistic. That's why I am so positive that SSD and SSDI, plus SSI are all different things. I think it's WHY you are getting the money. The bottom line is that SS is paying out money because you can't work much or hardly at all. The only thing you can do is read their website and figure it out. I THINK it's but I'm sure you could Google it :)

ariadneK, Ph.D. said...

I don't know much about it, but I found this interesting link (which has further links to more details) from the Mental Health Association of Westchester about some specifics on SSD and when Medicare can begin (sometimes not until 2 years after disability starts).

My friend Danny (the link is to his blog entitled "Get Me Off This Thing!") who has bipolar disorder and is currently on SSD; you might want to look through recent archives to get some of his story. In any case, it would be useful to contact him if you feel comfortable doing so; tell him that I sent him your way.

Take care,