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If You Have a Disability, SSI or SSDI May Pay You Cash Benefits

Date: 12/15/20

The U.S. government has special programs to help people who can’t work because of an injury, disability or severe medical condition. These programs are called Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI).

SSI can provide up to $771 per month in cash to help people pay for basic needs like food, rent and bills. You do not have to have a work history to qualify for SSI. If you have worked 10 years or more, you may qualify for SSDI and get higher benefits. Some adults may qualify for both SSI and SSDI at the same time.

Many medical conditions or disabilities can prevent a person from being able to work. They may be physical or behavioral. Examples of these conditions are:

  • End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cancer that is life-threatening and cannot be removed by surgery
  • Heart conditions that qualify someone to be placed on the transplant waiting list
  • Severe mental health disorders, like schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s or bipolar disorders
  • An illness that is untreatable and expected to result in death (also known as a terminal condition, life-limiting illness or end-stage disease)
  • An illness that was being treated but is now considered a terminal condition

To qualify for SSI or SSDI, your condition must be severe and impact your ability to work. This means it must prevent you from doing basic activities, such as lifting, standing, walking, sitting or remembering.

The Social Security Administration keeps a list of conditions that may qualify someone for SSI or SSDI benefits. These are called Compassionate Allowances conditions or CAL conditions. If you have one of these conditions, you may be eligible to receive cash benefits right away. For other conditions not on the CAL list, it may take three to five months to determine eligibility.

You can also go to the Social Security Administration’s website and fill out their SSA BEST Questionnaire online. It’s secure and can help give you an idea of the benefits you may be eligible to receive.

Change Healthcare can help you apply for SSI or SSDI benefits.

Applying for SSI or SSDI can be hard and take a long time. That’s why Louisiana Healthcare Connections has partnered with Change Healthcare. They can help you find out if you may be eligible for SSI or SSDI benefits. If you are a member, they will help you apply for free. Your Medicaid benefits will not change if you start to receive SSI or SSDI.

Call Change Healthcare toll-free 1-866-612-3728 (TTY: 1-888-987-2325), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to find out if you qualify. Ask to speak with an SSI Advocate.