Social Security Disability Benefits

  • Most people when they think of Social Security think retirement benefits. But Social Security also contains benefits for total disability.
  • However, Social Security won’t consider you disabled if you can do just about any gainful occupation or if you can work part time.
  • That is why people disabled with Parkinson’s often have difficulty collecting the first time they apply.
  • You’re eligible for benefits after five months of disability if your total disability has lasted, or is expected to last, at least 12 months.
  • Every year, Social Security by law sends you a statement of your current benefits if you were to retire or become disabled now. 
  • For more information or to find out the amount of benefits you have coming if you can't find your statement, go to  or call toll-free at 800-772-1213 and request a paper copy of your Social Security statement that will tell you the monthly amount of benefits payable for disability, retirement, and to your survivors at death. 
  • For a good general information book on Social Security disability benefits, look for publication 05-10029.
  • Once you're on Social Security disability benefits for two years, you automatically then become eligible for Medicare as well as eligible for the best Medicare supplement you can find, regardless of your age. 

Content for this section provided by Jack Hungelmann, who has had PD since 1996.


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