If you have a job, talk with your doctor before you assume that you can’t work or need to reduce your hours because your income will be affected. You may have a short- or long-term disability plan through your employer. Or, you may have an individual policy that will pay you something while you’re off work. Check with your human resources department or your insurance agent.
There are other resources to help you through. You may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits if you can’t work and your doctor completes the required information to complete your claim.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
To get SSDI, you must have a disability that is expected to last for at least 12 months. People with kidney failure can and do work, but Social Security is aware that some people on dialysis have problems that make it hard to work. SSDI pays a percentage of your salary, but you need to have enough work credits to qualify. You can talk to Social Security to find out if you qualify. With SSDI, if you feel well enough to return to work, there are work incentive programs to help you get back to your career.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
In some cases, when one spouse needs to take disability, the other may need to go back to work or find another job that pays more money. If you have very low income and few assets, you may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). As with SSDI, you need to have a disability that is expected to last at least 12 months, but you don’t need any work credits to qualify; even children may be able to get SSI. You apply for SSI with Social Security. There is no waiting period.
To learn more about Social Security Disability benefits go online to www.socialsecurity.gov, or call 1-800-772-1213.