Q: My husband recently had his leg amputated as a result of his diabetes. He applied for disability benefits based on his diabetes a few years ago and was denied because he could still work. Now that his condition has worsened, can he get disability benefits?
A: He should certainly apply for Social Security disability benefits, if his condition prevents him from working. We will need to make a new disability determination.
Your husband is eligible for disability benefits, if he has a severe medical condition that is expected to prevent him from working for at least 12 months, or to end in death.
To learn more, visit Social Security's Web site at www.socialsecurity.gov, or call us toll-free at 1-800-772-1213. Our Kingsport number is 247-9820.
Q: I have been getting Social Security benefits for several years. I'm still not able to work and am wondering if there is a time limit on disability benefits?
A: No, there is no time limit on receiving Social Security or Supplemental Security Income disability benefits.
Your benefits will continue as long as you have a disabling condition that has not improved and that makes you unable to work.
From time to time, your case will be reviewed to make sure you still have a disability severe enough to qualify for benefits.
To learn more, visit Social Security's Web site at www.socialsecurity.gov, or call us toll-free at 1-800-772-1213.
Q: I get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Do I need to report the financial help I receive from my children?
A: Yes. Any money or in-kind support you receive (such as free lodgings and food) must be reported to Social Security. It may or may not affect your SSI, depending on the circumstances.
For more information about SSI and Social Security, visit Social Security's Web site at www.socialsecurity.gov, or stop by our office at 2401 S. Wilcox Drive in Kingsport.
Q: I got a letter in the mail that said my Supplemental Security Income (SSI) case is being reviewed. What does that mean?
A: Periodically, Social Security must review your SSI case to make sure you are still eligible and you are receiving the correct amount
Five years ago the Ticket to Work program was launched to help people with disabilities go to work. Since then, more than 150,000 people who get Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits have used their Tickets to obtain free vocational rehabilitation, job training and other support services.
The Ticket to Work program is voluntary. Social Security and SSI beneficiaries who receive a Ticket are not required to work, but may choose to use their Tickets to attempt to go to work. A disability beneficiary can use the Ticket with either a private sector employment network or a state vocational rehabilitation agency.
Together the beneficiary and service provider design an individual employment plan outlining the services to be provided that will help the beneficiary reach his or her job goals.
The Ticket to Work program removes many barriers that had previously faced people with disabilities receiving benefits. Social Security disability beneficiaries are eligible for Medicare, and most Social Security disability beneficiaries now are protected by Medicare for up to eight years and six months after they go to work.
Medicare coverage continues even if an individual no longer receives a monetary benefit from Social Security.
John Vogt is the Social Security district manager in Kingsport. Send questions to Vogt at Social Security, 2401 S. Wilcox Drive, Kingsport, Tenn., 37660.