Applying for and obtaining Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) can be a frustrating and confusing process. The alternative method is called the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and was created to close a loophole that enabled worker’s who earned benefits in covered and non-covered employment from being labeled a low-earning worker and receiving a disproportionately large Social Security benefit.
However, sometimes doctors’ notes make reference to secondary medical conditions for which the claimant is not seeking benefits, such as depression, or insomnia, etc., fairly common complaints for those who are under the stress of dealing with chronic pain or fatigue, or for anyone who must consider leaving the workforce for that matter.
If the Administrative Law Judge determines that the addiction(s), in and of itself, or themselves, are not the reason for the disability claimant’s ongoing impairments, and these ongoing impairments are sufficient and severe enough to warrant a finding of disabled, the addiction will not adversely affect the disability claimant’s claim for benefits.
SSI is another federal financial assistance program, established by Title 16 of the Social Security Act, which provides monthly payments to individuals who have either never worked or have insufficient credits on their earnings record to qualify for SSDI.
A smart strategy for widows could be to take survivor benefits and allow their own benefit to grow until age 70 and switch to it. These calculations get very complicated depending on when the spouse died, the age of the widow, and when the deceased spouse began taking benefits.