Social security disability, or SSDI, is a federal program that provides monthly benefits to individuals who are unable to work due to a documented disability or medical condition. The benefits are intended to replace a portion of the lost income. In 2022, the average monthly SSD benefit amount is $1,358, or $2,358 for a disabled worker who is married with at least one child.

If your income was your family’s sole or primary source of support, you may worry whether those benefits will be sufficient to cover your monthly expenses. Depending on the circumstances, you may be eligible to receive other benefits to supplement what you receive from social security disability.


Can I get Medicare and social security disability?

Medicare is a federally administered health insurance program that typically provides medical coverage for individuals aged 65 and older. But Medicare isn’t available only to the elderly. Social security disability beneficiaries who are younger than 65 are also eligible for Medicare, although the coverage rules are slightly different.

If you are under 65 and receive SSD benefits, Medicare coverage begins two years and five months after the SSA determined you were eligible for disability benefits. Medicare eligibility begins two years after you were awarded disability benefits. However, the SSA also imposes a five-month waiting period between the disability determination date and the date you receive your first benefits check. Thus, the overall wait for Medicare coverage is two years, five months. So, if you become eligible to receive SSD benefits on March 1, 2022, your Medicare coverage would begin on September 1, 2024.

There are two exceptions to this waiting period. If you are undergoing dialysis for end-stage renal disease, Medicare coverage begins the third month after dialysis began. If you have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Medicare coverage begins immediately.

In practice, however, most beneficiaries will not have to wait a full two years and five months for Medicare coverage to begin. Most SSD applications are approved at an administrative appeal. In Chicago, the average wait time for an administrative hearing is 14.5 months. Once approved, the date you became eligible to receive benefits is not the date of the decision, but rather a date in the past, thus “shortening” the timeframe for Medicare coverage to begin.


Can I get SSI and social security disability?

Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is a monthly benefits program for individuals who are blind, disabled, or aged 65 and older. Unlike SSDI, SSI also requires that applicants be low-income and has income and resource limits to determine eligibility. Exceed either of those limits and your application will be denied, even if you meet all other eligibility criteria. In 2022, an SSI applicant cannot earn more than $841 per month ($1,261 for married couples) or have more than $2,000 ($3,000 for couples) in countable resources. The SSA has a complete list of what it considers countable and non-countable resources.

If your monthly SSD benefits are less than the SSI income limit, you may be eligible to receive both SSI and SSD benefits. However, you are not allowed to receive more than the maximum SSI benefit, which in 2022 is $841.

For example, if you were awarded $800 per month in disability benefits and met all the other criteria, you would also be eligible to receive SSI. But because the combine SSD and SSI payments cannot exceed the monthly SSI benefit, your SSI benefits would be $41 per month.

If you qualify for SSI you may also qualify for Medicaid, the federal insurance program for low-income and disabled individuals. If you qualify, it can help bridge the gap until Medicare coverage begins. Eligibility criteria are similar to the SSI program. Because every state has its own Medicaid program, make sure to check your state’s requirements.


Can I get SNAP and social security disability?

SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps) is a federal program that provides benefits to low-income families to help purchase food. The federal program is run by the states, so eligibility may vary.

Like SSI, you may be eligible to receive SNAP benefits if your income and resources fall below certain limits. The income limits vary depending on the number of people in the household. As an example, a family of four in Illinois with at least one household member who is disabled will be eligible to receive SNAP if their monthly gross income is less than $4,417. The Illinois Department of Human Services website has the complete income table.

In addition to the income limits, disabled households must have less than $3,500 in resources to be eligible.


Can I get workers’ compensation and social security disability?

Employees injured at work may be eligible for workers’ compensation. The amount of a workers’ compensation award depends on the severity of the injury and how long it will keep the employee from returning to work.

Some people will be eligible to receive both SSD benefits and workers’ compensation, although it may mean a temporary loss of disability benefits. The combined amount of workers’ compensation and disability benefits cannot exceed 80% of your average monthly income pre-disability. If these combined payments exceed 80%, your workers’ compensation benefits will be offset by the disability benefits payment.

Here is how it works. Say you received a $60,000 workers’ compensation award. Before the accident, you earned $2,000 a month. The workers’ compensation award would essentially cover 30 months’ income. You then apply for SSD benefits and are awarded $1,400 per month. Together, those payments exceed 80% of your average monthly earnings. As a result, the SSA will offset your disability benefits against the workers’ compensation award. That would make you “ineligible” to receive disability benefits for 30 months.

This offset can be avoided if your workers’ compensation attorney includes “spread language” in the settlement agreement. This means that the workers’ compensation award is spread out over your lifetime, rather than being paid as one lump sum.


The social security disability attorneys at The Good Law Group can help you navigate all phases of the disability claims process and improve the chance of being awarded the benefits you deserve. Visit our website or call us at 800-419-7606 to schedule a free initial consultation.