Challenges of SSI Disability Benefits

Equity Voices SenseMaker Project Story or Micro-Narrative | View Story Interpretations (Summarizing All Stories)

For those individuals seeking SSI-Disability Benefits, individuals who can afford to hire an attorney to advocate and complete forms, and work within the system are two times more likely to be approved for benefits on the first “go around” that those who don’t and definitely increase the approval rating when reapplying after initial denial. However, those who are really in need of guidance, often have lower incomes (if any) and cannot afford or have the ability or access to easily obtain legal counsel. Once approved for benefits, the waiting period for health care access and services through Medicare does not begin until 2 years after approval — a time when many need it most. “People who will become eligible for SSDI benefits are significantly more likely to be uninsured than other workers—an average of 22 percent over the three years prior to SSDI entry, compared with 16 percent in the general population” with the likelihood “living in a family whose income is below the federal poverty level being twice as high among people receiving SSDI benefits as among those who have not yet become disabled” The cost of coverage through COBRA is “cost-prohibitive” for many of these individuals.

Many individuals and families absolutely give up even trying to obtain these benefits even though they are entitled to receive the funds and critical health care services.

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About This Story

  • When did this story occur? 5-10 years ago
  • Date submitted: 2021-02-03 12:00
  • Gender: Female

How This Person Interpreted Their Story or Micro-Narrative

Note: Responses which fell closer to the middle (between two or three options) are shown as two dashes.
  • My story shows we need to: Do things differently
  • In my story, the important players are: --
  • Actions in my story are driven by: Those with official authority
  • In my story, people acted: because they had to do what they had to do
  • My story shows we need to focus on: --
  • In my story, people are: Treated differently, some are worth more than others
  • My story shows: People aren't heard
  • The experiences that shape my feelings on equity come from: --

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