Disability

People with ALS Can Get Social Security Disability Benefits Sooner

June 17, 2021 • By

Last Updated: June 17, 2021

People with ALS Can Get Social Security Disability Benefits SoonerMay was Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Awareness Month. ALS is a progressive disease with no known cure. It advances rapidly and attacks the nerve cells responsible for controlling voluntary muscles. On average, 1,000 people with ALS apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits every year.

The ALS Disability Insurance Access Act of 2019 eliminates the required five-month SSDI waiting period for ALS applicants approved for benefits on or after July 23, 2020. The new law, however, does not affect our disability application or determination process.

This past month, we made the ALS claims processing even faster. Our system now automatically eliminates the five-month waiting period for ALS disability insurance claims. Previously, we had to prepare manual awards and send them to our Processing Centers for action—which took much more time. Now, we can help people with this debilitating disease in just a matter of days.

To give a real life example, a claimant with ALS recently submitted to us an online disability application. Using an electronic health exchange, we were able to collect sufficient medical evidence for the claimant and processed the claim in just two days. To learn more about how this process works, please visit our Disability Benefits Approval page.

Do you need to file for disability benefits? If so, we encourage you to apply online. You can check the status of your disability application online with your personal my Social Security account. Please share this information with your family and friends—and post it on social media.


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Mike Korbey, Deputy Commissioner for Communications

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    • Jemma S.

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    Don’t forget to try doxycycline to treat possible Lyme disease in ALS and MS idiopathic neurodegenerative disorders.

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  4. Alex

    The ALS initiative for people who access the social security benefit is very interesting.

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  7. Shiela C.

    Can my husband who has ALS, is now having to retire because he can no longer perform his duties, still receive SSI disability?

    Reply
    • Shirlyn H.

      I am on my husband SSI claim, but I have some disability sciatic nerve lupus asthma and glaucoma. Does this qualify me for disability

      Reply
      • Vonda

        Hi Shirlyn. We pay disability benefits through two programs: the Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have worked long enough and recently enough in jobs covered by Social Security (usually within the last 10 years). The (SSI) program is a needs based program that gives cash assistance to disabled individuals with limited income and resources. We pay disability benefits to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or to end in death. If you think you may be eligible to receive disability benefits and would like to apply, you can use our online application.

        If you are unable or would rather not apply online, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

        Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Sheila. We pay disability benefits through two programs: the Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have worked long enough and recently enough in jobs covered by Social Security (usually within the last 10 years). The (SSI) program is a needs based program that gives cash assistance to disabled individuals with limited income and resources. We pay disability benefits to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or to end in death. If you think you may be eligible to receive disability benefits and would like to apply, you can use our online application.

      If your husband is unable or would rather not apply online, he can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or he can contact his local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
  8. Russ 2.

    Get 2 different answers when I ask this question. If a person is receiving Social Security, and months after starting SS Benefits, the person has a major stroke and is permanently disabled for the rest of his life – can that person’s caretaker then apply to change the SS Benefits to “Disabled” and start receiving different (and possibly higher) monetary benefits?

    Reply
    • Stanley F.

      One cannot collect full social security retirement benefits and social security disability insurance benefits at the same. Once a person that is getting social security disability insurance reaches full social security retirement age the benefit is automatically changed from disability insurance to retirement. A person who has reached full SS retirement age cannot get disability insurance.

      Stanley F. Denman

      Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Russ, thanks for using our blog. It depends on how old the person is. When a person has reached their full retirement age and is receiving Social Security retirement, they are no longer eligible for disability benefits. If the person is under his full retirement age, they absolutely can apply for disability benefits.

      If they have any questions or want to apply, they can call us at 1-800-772-1213 or contact their local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
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  10. Frank A.

    If I am currently receiving assistance from the VA for my ALS condition, does help from social security still apply?

    Reply
    • Ralph M.

      You can get assistance from VA and SS. I do. I get SS Disability as well as a VA Pension. Apply NOW!

      Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Frank. First of all, thank you so much for your service! If you are receiving benefits from the VA, you have to complete a separate application for Social Security disability. You may apply for disability benefits at any time while in military status or after discharge, whether you are still hospitalized, in a rehabilitation program, or undergoing out-patient treatment in a military or civilian medical facility. To apply for Social Security disability, you can use our online application.

      If you are unable or would rather not apply online, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply

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