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Amputee denied disability for want of work history

As this blog has mentioned on several occasions, Newark, New Jersey, residents need to be aware that simply demonstrating to the satisfaction of the Social Security Administration that they have a disability does not mean that these residents will get a dime of benefits. For example, depending on whether a person applies for SSI benefits or SSDI benefits, a person may have to show that he or she has paid enough in to the system in order to draw disability.

A family in another state found out this lesson that hard way after the woman, a housewife with five kids, saw her disability application get denied. In her case, the fact she was disabled was pretty clear; during her severe and life-threatening bout with sepsis, doctors had to amputate both of the woman's arms, her leg, and the foot of the remaining leg.

However, although the woman had worked 9 years of her life, she had spent at least 10 years at home raising children. Under the current law, a person cannot get SSDI benefits if she has not paid in to the system by working over the last decade. While it is not clear whether she was eligible for SSI, a disabled person has to meet rather strict income and asset requirements in order to draw SSI benefits, even though such benefits are not contingent on whether a person has been working.

The woman and her husband are both disappointed with the decision to deny benefits; the husband noted that in order to replace his wife's role in the home, he had to hire several people.

While this case illustrates that there are other requirements even disabled people have to meet in order to draw benefits, it also serves as important reminder that SSI benefits should at least be explored as a possible mention when a person does not have a recent work history.

Source: WNYT, "Stay-at-home mom denied disability benefits," Sept. 2, 2016

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