Sunday, May 22, 2016

Pending Bill Could Benefit SSDI Applicants with ALS

Earlier this month an important bill was introduced in Congress that could eliminate the five-month waiting period for SSDI benefits for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”

The bill—the ALS Disability Insurance Access Act—was introduced with bipartisan support from democrats Seth Moulton, a senator from Rhode Island, and representatives Seth Moulton, a democratic member of the House of Representatives from Massachusetts, and Peter King, a republican member of the House of Representatives from New York.

Since 2000, applicants with ALS who are eligible for SSDI may immediately qualify for Medicare because Congress waived the 24-month waiting period for Medicare for people with ALS. However, under current law, those with ALS must still wait five months before they can receive both SSDI and Medicare, regardless of how quickly an SSDI application was approved and irrespective of the severity of the applicant’s disability.

This pending bill would eliminate the five-month waiting period for SSDI benefits for applicants with ALS, which can be a critical for delay for those with ALS. Given the rapid rate with which the crippling neurodegenerative disease can onset, it is reported that nearly 50 percent of people with ALS die within sixteen months of being diagnosed with the disease. This bill would enable the Social Security Administration to administer benefits quickly to persons with ALS more efficiently when the benefits are needed most.

Applications and appeals for SSI or SSDI can be complex and time-consuming. Having a professional assist you with your application or appeal can help. Contact Attorney Stephanie Merritt Driscoll at 949-359-1370 or online for a free consultation.

Stephanie Merritt Driscoll is an attorney in Southern California who focuses her practice as a Social Security Disability representative.

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