When a person becomes disabled, he or she likely encounters new challenges. For instance, covering medical costs may be quite difficult. However, as one man's story shows, a disability does not necessarily prevent a person from working and earning an income. His story also demonstrates how Supplemental Security Income can benefit those with disabilities who can work.
One man who was paralyzed during a wrestling match in high school has achieved many accomplishments despite his severe injury. He graduated from high school and college and also earned his master's degree. In addition, he has worked full-time since he was 23. This man points out that people often think that a working person is not eligible to receive SSI benefits.
However, he points out that eligibility for SSI benefits depends on a number of things and is actually quite complex. When this man was first injured in his teens, he was initially on his parents' insurance. After a few years, however, their insurers would not cover any more medical costs as he had reached a cap on insurance coverage. He explains that, at that point, Medicaid was the obvious choice for covering his medical costs.
He is still on Medicaid, which supplements his employer's insurance plan. Medicaid covers the costs of long-term care stemming from his injury. This man's experiences with Medicaid and SSI demonstrate that it can be a supplemental source of financial help when costs resulting from a disability may be overwhelming.
While each person with a disability has a unique experience, anyone with a disability looking into applying for SSI benefits would likely benefit from researching available options in detail. This paralyzed man, for instance, has received disability help for years but had to specifically look for some pieces of information about SSI benefits and Medicaid to fully understand how it can help him and others in similar situations. It may be overwhelming to try and understand all of the details of disability claims, but doing so by oneself, or with the help of a legal professional, could be very helpful.
Source: Huffington Post, "Debunking 'The Disability Trap'," Joe Entwisle, Nov. 5, 2012