If you are caring for a patient that has a disability, Social Security may give assistance in covering for living and medical expenses. You may extend your services to your patient by talking him or her through the application procedure. To know what to expect throughout the process, it helps to identify certain points involving disability benefits and rules. Qualifications for Social Security Disability By definition, the Social Security Administration (SSA) says that a disability is a condition that prevents an individual from performing gainful activity. Any attempt to perform such activities may cause physical or mental impairment to the person. The disability should have also persisted for a period of not less than 12 months, according to sources.
The Application Process An assessor from the SSA will initially check your patient’s application, and determine the severity of the disability. SSA will also look into his background to see if he has been previously employed prior to the disability. Some of the questions they ask may be about the duration of the disability, if there is a possibility of recovery and if the patient can resume work after. Giving Support as a Medical Practitioner The doctor’s and the hospital’s role is also vital in the application procedure, as it is through professional diagnoses and recommendations that a patient may be deemed as disabled. It is best to regularly have meetings with your patient, hear about their concerns and be clear about the goals you want to achieve together in terms of Social Security benefits. Types of Benefits Once approved by the SSA, there may be a specific waiting period of a few months before the first cash benefits are doled out to the disabled individual. Aside from the stipend, beneficiaries may also receive medical coverage under state programs, following a 2-year period after approval. For a patient who is already receiving benefits, social security disability for children will also be granted. Included in this criteria are minors below the age of 16, as well as disabled adult children aged 18 and above. According to sources, it should be noted that disability benefits for children may be terminated once they reach the age of 18 or get married. If you and your patient need further assistance with applying for social security disability benefits, feel free to consult with the specialists. These SSA-certified experts can talk you through the process, making sure your paperwork is complete and correct. Sources: How to Get Your Doctor to Help With Your Social Security Disability Case, nolo.com Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, 2014, ssa.gov