Social Security Disability Benefits

Social Security provides more than just retirement benefits; it also offers 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 with Parkinson’s often have difficulty collecting the first time they apply.

Here are some items you should know about social security disability benefits:

  • Social Security pays benefits to people who can’t work because they have a medical condition that’s expected to last at least one year or result in death.
  • Generally, there is a five-month waiting period to receive disability payments once approved. Social Security pays your first benefit the sixth full month after the date it finds your disability began.
  • Every year, Social Security mails a Social Security Statement to people age 60 and older with estimates of future retirement and disability benefits.
  • Everyone ages 18 and older can view their Social Security Statement online with a free and secure my Social Security account from the Social Security Administration. Visit to learn more about the online Statement and to sign up.
  • After you receive Social Security disability benefits for 24 months, you will be eligible for Medicare.
  • Learn more about Social Security Disability Insurance at

Additional Resources

  • my Social Security: A free and secure account that provides personalized tools, whether you receive benefits or not. Use your account to request a replacement Social Security card, check the status of an application, estimate future benefits or manage the benefits you already receive.
  • The Faces and Facts of Disability: Stories about individuals on Social Security, facts about Social Security benefits and resources for people living with disabilities.   
  • Social Security Matters: The official Social Security Blog, a resource for staying up to date on Social Security tools, online services and program benefits.
  • Social Security Disability Programs: A webpage with information on the two disability programs, how to apply and what to do if your application is denied.

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