Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Insurance, Benefits Programs & HIV


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Hi, I am a rehabilitation counselor and specialize in the area of disabilities and resources. There are a couple of things you need to know 1) SSDI is for persons who have contributed sufficiently to the SSA to be "vested", 2) SSI is for persons who are not vested, comes from a different pool of money and for every dollar you earn it counts off in a formulaic manner from your benefit, the highest of which is around $640, BUT you get Medicaid. IF you are working you can not be considered SSDI eligible, but it is very very doubtful you even qualify. so here is what I would suggest:

1) go to the SSA website and order a benefits analysis and find out if you are even eligible for SSDI. It is in your best interest to work as long as you can and pay in so you will be vested for when you are no longer able to work.

2) stay in school as long as possible. one option I have seen be very effective for persons in your situation is that you can take out low rate student loans, stay in school and frankly, they get forgiven when you decease, also you can file for deferrment for financial or disability reasons once you are out of school. So this may be an option.

3) Go to your local vocational rehabilitation office and make application for assistance with services to get a job, keep a job, stay in school, etc. Depending on the state and area, they can be quite generous with resources to assist you, especially if you are in a minority category, even to funding school, paying for meds, etc.

i hope this helps a bit for direction. Also, even if your doctor signs off, the standard for SSDI is that you are unable to perform ANY work, period. Thanks, Z


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