August 17, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- When someone is diagnosed with a terminal illness, the furthest thing from his or her mind should be dealing with government programs such as Social Security disability. In such situations, however, receiving disability payments can help ease the financial burden placed on the terminally ill individual and his or her family.
Recently, three senators proposed legislation that would reduce the stress felt by many families when a loved one diagnosed with a terminal illness attempts to receive Social Security disability
The legislation was initiated, in part, due to one man's push to help terminally ill patients in such situations. The Wyoming man lost his wife to cancer in January 2012, only 11 weeks after she was diagnosed with the disease. Consequently, she never received Social Security disability payments, although she was eligible for them.
Under current law, individuals who apply for Social Security must wait five months before the benefit payments begin. The five-month waiting period was originally enacted to reduce Social Security fraud, but stands in the way of people who have only a short time during which they are eligible for the benefits.
Details of the proposed legislation
The proposed legislation is referred to as the Expedited Disability Insurance Payments for Terminally Ill Individuals Act of 2013
. It would eliminate the five-month waiting period for those diagnosed as terminally ill.
Under the provisions of the bill, terminally ill individuals would receive 50 percent of their monthly Social Security disability benefits during the first month and 75 percent during the second month. From the third month through end of the first year, they would receive 100 percent of their monthly SSD benefits
If the individual beats his or her diagnosis and benefits continue into the second year, a pro rata share of the benefits paid during the first five months would be taken from the regular monthly benefit amount.
For an individual to be considered terminally ill, the law dictates that his or her life expectancy based on a medical diagnosis must be six months or less. The proposed legislation also has safeguards in place to prevent fraud, requiring those who wish to use this exception to obtain the certification of two doctors from different practices.
If you or a loved one may be eligible for Social Security disability payments, it is wise to obtain assistance from a legal professional. Seek the advice of a skilled SSD attorney to ensure your rights are protected.
Article provided by Richard A. Sly Attorney at Law
Visit us at www.richardsly.com