The physical and emotional suffering imparted by terminal illness cannot be denied, but often, terminal conditions also prompt their fair share of financial duress. Social Security Disability benefits can play a key role in handling this financial burden — but many people who qualify struggle to understand their eligibility or get started with the application process. Below, we clarify the role terminal illness plays in qualifying for Social Security Disability.
Not only could you still qualify for SSDI after receiving a terminal diagnosis, the process may be expedited to ensure that you receive benefits as quickly as possible. The Social Security Administration's Terminal Illness Program (TERI) is responsible for handling terminal cases in a prompt, yet sensitive manner. Typically, the SSA is alerted as soon as a claimant or other individual alleges a terminal condition — or once the patient is placed in hospice care.
This list isn't exhaustive; any terminal illness can qualify for the TERI program once hospice care begins.
Beyond processing, terminal cases are handled much like any other SSDI claim. For example, the condition must prevent the sufferer from engaging in 'substantial gainful activity,' or any work that nets a monthly income of over $1,220. This is typically the case for terminal illnesses, which, in most cases, severely restrict patients' ability to work. Those who are able to continue working, however, may enjoy the distraction and routine provided by their jobs — and as long as their income remains below the aforementioned threshold, they should have no trouble maintaining eligibility.
If you or a loved one passes away, leaving dependent family members behind, those dependents can also receive social security benefits. Eligible family members include:
Your survivors are generally eligible for up to 75% of your monthly social security disability payments. Benefits continue until your children become adults or if your surviving spouse elects to receive benefits under their account.
As you deal with the physical and emotional burdens of terminal illness, the last thing you need is to stress over Social Security Disability benefits. We're happy to handle these concerns so you can focus on your health and other important matters. Get in touch today to learn more about our SSDI services. Contact Underwood Law Office in McKinney, TX at (972) 535-6377.