Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)

Current SSDI Eligibility Rules
To be eligible for SSDI benefits, a person living with Parkinson's must:

  • Have worked and paid enough Social Security taxes (FICA).
  • Have a severe disability that is caused by disease or injury severe enough to prevent them from working at any job.
  • Have a severe disability that is expected to result in death or has lasted, or is expected to last, for a continuous period of at least 12 months.

SSA estimates that the initial benefits application will take 90-120 days, but in reality filings can take up to eight months to complete. The appeals process for denied filings can likewise take from 90 days to well over a year to get a hearing, depending on caseloads.
 
If you qualify for SSDI benefits, you also become entitled to Medicare, but not until two years after starting SSDI benefits. To learn more about Medicare coverage for people living with disabilities, please visit the Social Security Medicare information page. If you will lose healthcare coverage and cannot wait for Medicare coverage to begin after the two-year waiting period, talk to an SSA representative about other types of publicly financed healthcare coverage.
 
How to Apply
You can apply for SSDI benefits online, in-person, or on the phone. To learn more about the application process, visit the SSA website.