If an illness leaves you unable to work for longer than a year, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. However, the law currently states that there is a five-month waiting period that must pass after an approval before benefits can be paid. So what happens if a disabled person is terminally ill and not expected to live beyond the five-month waiting period?
Under the current laws, there is still the same waiting period, regardless of the severity of an illness. The Social Security Disability lawyers at Ponce Law explain this may soon change though.
Several lawmakers have proposed a bill that would allow terminally ill Social Security Disability recipients to begin receiving payments immediately. According to cleveland.com, the proposed changes would allow those deemed to live six months or less by two independent certified physicians to immediately receive their Social Security Disability payments. They would only receive 50 percent of their total benefits the first month, followed by 75 percent of the total the second month. Then, beginning in the third month, the recipient would receive their full amount of benefits.
If a terminally ill recipient were to live longer than a year, their benefits in the second year would be reduced to what they received within the first five months of receiving payments. Those who live longer than the second year they get benefits would end up receiving 95 percent of their total payments.
Terminally ill patients should focus on living life to the fullest without having to worry about their finances. The legal staff at Ponce Law is hopeful lawmakers will approve the proposed changes to the laws regulating Social Security Disability benefits.