Stewart On Social Security


"To all who are in the acute phase of their survivor's recovery I offer Stewart's Practical Rule for Social Security: Apply on day one. It takes a lot of work to start it; and if you're lucky enough not to need it, it is effortless to stop it."

I applied for what we call SSDI (not SSI) after my wife's injury in 1991. SSI is means-tested and supplements low income. SSDI is like retirement and is based on income. Most long-term disability plans require you to apply. Karen had been employed for some time and had LTD; we learned the importance of that coverage after her first TBI in 1980. The criterion for permanance is that the disability has lasted longer than six months and can reasonably be expected to last beyond 12 months; yes, you can cease to be permanently disabled if you get better after that first six months.

We applied within a few weeks of the accident, and the state agency did its evaluation about four months post-injury. They found Karen disabled without any fuss, and we got a letter from Social Security that said she would receive benefits beginning six months after the accident.

Stewart C. O'Dell

Further help can be found from HDI Publishers who publish a helpful brochure entitled Social Security Benefits for Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury.

Copies of this pamphlet can be ordered by calling 1-800-321-7037.

Below is the link for the United States Government Page on Social Security. For new users; clicking below will exit this site, to return, hit back.

Government Social Security Link

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Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

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