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The Basics of Disability Benefits

03/06/2023 4:28 PM | Anonymous

Parkinson's Disease doesn't just affect the elderly, and that means disability benefits aren't exclusive to them, either. Even with YOPD, it's important to get to know the basics of Social Security Disability Insurance.

Disability benefits were created to provide financial support to those who are unable to work or who are losing wages due to non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. If you qualify for benefits, the US government provides a percentage of your income as a method of financial assistance.

Although most tend to associate disability benefits with the elderly, you may still qualify and take advantage of the program if you have Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease (YOPD). The amount of money you receive varies depending on the severity of your particular case. 

How Qualification Works

The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides a list of conditions that qualify a person for disability benefits, called the Blue Book. Based on section 11.06 of the Blue Book, if you’re unable to work for 12 months or longer due to YOPD, you may be considered disabled and qualify for the program.

If you meet the SSA’s Blue Book criteria, then additional steps are taken to confirm your need for the program’s support. 

What Criteria Need to Be Met to Qualify?

You may qualify for disability benefits if you still experience the following despite taking your prescribed treatment for three consecutive months: 

  • Disorganization of motor function in two extremities
  • Extreme difficulty standing up from a seated position 
  • Extreme difficulty balancing while standing or walking
  • Extreme limitations in using the upper extremities

Or if you have marked limitations and/or difficulty with: 

  • Comprehending and applying information
  • Social interactions 
  • Concentration 
  • Adapting to new situations

How to File a Claim for Disability Benefits?

1. Make a list of how your symptoms have consistently impeded your ability to work.

2. Gather and organize information about your treatment providers and any other notes that relate to your diagnosis.

3. Talk to your doctors and coordinate with them to certify your qualification through their reports and claim forms.

4. Fill out the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claim online or schedule an appointment to do so in person.

5. Proactively gather and submit your medical records to the SSA to ensure that nothing is overlooked, and make sure to save copies and proof of what you sent in case you need to back up your claim.

It can take anywhere from three to five months to receive a response to your claim submission, so don’t delay taking the steps above if you believe you qualify. 

Bottom Line

These are just the basics for understanding and getting started with disability benefits. The process can be overwhelming and confusing at times, so it’s important to remember that you don’t have to navigate it alone. Engage with your support system when you need to, whether that means friends, family members, a care partner, or our YOPN community. 

How to Qualify for Disability with Parkinson's in 2023

APDA Social Security Disability Insurance



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