The Clock is Ticking and People Don't Know
Did you know that your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits have an expiration date? The real world difference between SSI and SSDI is the amount of your monthly check. Depending on how consistently you've worked on the books and th amount of money you made your check could be anwhere from $800 to as much as $3,000. The national average is around $1,100. However while SSI has no expiration date (though you must be nearly destitute to qualify) SSDI does. The formula for when your insurance expires is somewhat detailed. To give you an estimate though, say you worked full-time most of your adult life. Your benefits will expire about four years later. If you want to know you current expiration date call Social Security or, if the offices reopen, go to your nearest office. Here is the problem. People stop working. They may get unemployment, workers compensation or a settlment from a personal injury suit. They may just live off the salaries of the other adults in their home. They might work time at a job that is much less taxing on them or they can only work part-time for other medical reasons. Maybe they see Social Security as a stigma. Maybe they just "don't need the money" at a certain point in time. So say you go and apply immediately four years after you stopped working. You can only be paid up to 12 months back from the date you applied. So you lost potenitally 3 years worth of benefits. There are so many scenarios here. The point is to be fully informed on the issue. Waiting could very much be to your deteriment. On a related note sometimes people will tell me that their Workers Compensation Attorney or Person Injury Attorney told them to wait and not apply. That's outside the scope of this blog. If any attorney tells you this make him explain it to you in detail. If you don't understand it speak to another attorney.