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On the heels of the global pandemic, we are now facing an economic struggle with inflation of everyday items. Many people who are suffering a disability are wondering just how many benefits they may be eligible for. If the applicant in the greater Memphis Metro area, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana has a Heermans disability lawyer in Memphis, they are in the best position to receive numerous benefits. 

Most of the 61 million disabled people in the United States are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. The greatest number of those suffer from a mobility issue, and second is a cognitive condition. In general, these benefits are available if the applicant has sufficient work credits and has a severe medical condition that significantly hinders at least one work-related function, like walking, sitting/standing, concentrating, or remembering.

In many cases, SSDI benefits are just the beginning. SSDI benefits usually open the door for other benefits programs as well. In some other cases, the disability programs are completely separate from SSDI. The combination of government benefits programs often helps families live much better lifestyles than they would have had with just SSDI alone. At the Heermans Social Security Disability Law Firm, our disability lawyers understand that if you are just filling out paperwork and hoping for the best, this is most likely not going to give you the results you deserve. Therefore, we provide as much assistance as we can, starting with this article that points out just some of the available programs.

Medical Care

After a brief waiting period, which is usually three to five months, SSDI beneficiaries are eligible for Medicare Part A and B. 

Part A is hospital coverage. Individuals with sufficient work credits, usually forty (40), are eligible for premium-free Part A. Effective January 1, 2023, a $1600 deductible per benefit period may apply. Most people need to have worked at least part-time for ten years to acquire forty credits. The benefit period rules are complex, but in most cases, a benefit period is either two or three months.

Part B is medical insurance. As of January 1, 2023, most Part B recipients will pay a $165 monthly premium. Deductibles and coinsurance payments can also apply.

SSDI recipients will usually automatically receive their Medicare cards once the waiting period expires. At times there can be a glitch in the rolling out of benefits if you applied for disability on your own without the help of a  Social Security Disability lawyer. If so, then a disability attorney would provide legal assistance and representation on your behalf to kickstart this process. Disabled individuals who don’t qualify for SSDI may purchase Part A and Part B insurance, regardless of their age. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services defines “disability” in much more general terms than the SSA.

Furthermore, disabled individuals who work may be able to keep their Medicare benefits for up to nine years, under the Trial Work Period (TWP) and Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE) programs.

ABLE Accounts

People with significant disabilities, a general term which usually includes even mild disabilities, are often eligible to open tax-free Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) savings accounts. Account owners can use the tax-free funds to pay for qualified disability expenses, such as healthcare, education, and housing.

Usually, people who were disabled before age 26 may open ABLE accounts in any state. The laws vary in different jurisdictions. Click here for a comparison chart. Generally, the account owner and certain other people, mosty family members, may each contribute up to $16,000 per year to an ABLE account. These funds can be used later as the account holder needs them to support their life and living expenses. 

We mentioned disability housing above. Various federal and state programs help disabled people find affordable housing, develop independent living skills, and/or modify their living spaces to accommodate their disabilities. Wheelchair mobility and access is usually an important point here. This also includes wheel ramps, handrails, and indoor home safety features. Additionally, the Americans with Disabilities Act generally prohibits disability discrimination in housing, employment, and many other areas.

The ADA also provides for service animals. Legally, people may take service and emotional support animals with them when they travel or otherwise leave home. These individuals may need to provide documentation. Requirements can change annually so it is a good idea to do your own research or be advised by a local service animal organization. 

Caregiver Support

Our Heermans Social Security Disability attorneys usually focus on disabled individuals. Other services are also available for caregivers. Frequently, these individuals face as many challenges and stresses as disabled individuals. Generally, caregivers work full time on top of their care responsibilities. That’s tough. Some available programs include:

  • Alzheimer’s Caregiving: The National Institute on Aging has many fine programs in this area. Usually, these initiatives focus on coping with a loved one’s emotional and behavioral changes.
  • Female Caregivers: Statistically most caregivers are women. In many ways, especially financially, women may not be on equal footing with men. Additionally, women are biologically more vulnerable to caregiver stress. The Department of Health and Human Services has some helpful tips for female caregivers.
  • Financial Management: Frequently, a caregiver also becomes a trustee. Support is available from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and some other government agencies.

On a related note, financial assistance, such as Veterans Administration aid and attendance benefits, may be available as well. Often, these programs pay caregivers several hundred dollars a month. This can be helpful, to at least help reduce caregiver financial stress.

VA Disability

SSDI and VA disability are separate programs that address separate needs. Therefore, if you are a veteran – eligible individuals may receive both kinds of benefits.

Note that Social Security Insurance, a need-based program, is different. VA disability benefits could reduce SSI benefits in these cases.

Generally, veterans must have a service-related disability to qualify for benefits. In some cases, such as many Agent Orange illnesses and, according to the new Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act, some burn pit-related illnesses, a service-related presumption applies. In most other cases, the veteran must establish this connection. Evidence on this point includes service records, medical records, and buddy statements.

Unlike SSDI, the Veterans Administration uses a disability rating system. Usually, the rating is between 10 and 100 percent. A Compensation and Pension (C&P) doctor usually determines the medical extent of a disability. A vocational expert or lay witness often establishes the effects of that disability in everyday life. This is done to establish that the disability also has vocational, educational, and affect other aspects of life for the applicant.

Since SSDI is all or nothing, almost all applicants only claim one SSDI condition. However, because of the rating system, veterans often claim multiple disabilities. For example, if an IED exploded near Sam while he was in Iraq, he might have both a physical disability, like a bad leg, and an emotional disability, like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“VA Math” usually applies in these situations. Two plus two isn’t always four. If Sam has a 50 percent knee disability and a 50 percent PTSD disability, he is only 80 percent disabled. 50 percent of 100 percent (for one disability) is 50 percent. Then, 50 percent of 50 percent (for the other disability) is 25 percent, for a total of 75 percent. The VA rounds this figure up to 80 percent.

These are just some of the SSDI and Government Benefits that are available for qualifying disabled individuals when you work with a Heermans disability attorney. You can find out more by filling out the FREE disability evaluation form. Our lawyers will review your information and contact you to discuss your personal situation. If you have applied for disability benefits and were denied – call us ASAP – to see if we can reopen your claim. Call or text 24/7 at (901) 244-0057.  More value added FREE information can be found in our online article library.


Please be advised that all content, including Blog articles, on the website heermansdisability.com and  Heermans Social Security Disability Law Firm is for INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED OR SUBSTITUTED FOR LEGAL ADVICE. THE INFORMATION INCLUDED IN OR AVAILABLE THROUGH THE SITE MAY INCLUDE INACCURACIES OR TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS. No guarantees are made and the use of the website, content, and any information provided is at your own risk. If you are seeking legal advice, you are strongly encouraged to consult with a competent attorney in your jurisdiction who can provide you with legal advice on your particular matter where individual state, county or city laws may apply.  For more information about other assistance programs for diable individuals, contact the Heermans Social Security Disability Law Firm.