In addition to traditional retirement benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) also provides benefits to qualifying individuals with disabilities. If you are under age 65 and cannot work due to a Parkinson’s-related disability, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). If you are over age 65 with a Parkinson’s-related disability with income below certain thresholds, you may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSA is currently working to update disability rules for people with Parkinson’s and other neurological disorders.
SSDI is a program managed by SSA that provides cash benefits to qualifying individuals who are unable to work because of disease or disability, but are eligible to retire. If you live with Parkinson’s disease, are below 65 years of age, and are unable to work due to your Parkinson’s disease and/or other condition, you might be entitled to SSDI benefits.
SSI is a program administered by SSA that provides stipends to low-income individuals who are 65 and older, blind, or disabled. If your income falls below the designated threshold and you have been determined to have a Parkinson’s-related disability, you may be eligible for SSI.
On February 25, 2014, SSA announced proposed revisions to the regulations used to evaluate whether people with Parkinson’s and other neurological disorders qualify for SSDI or SSI, marking the first broad-scale overhaul of the criteria since 1985. These proposed changes include a substantially updated section for Parkinsonian syndrome, adding a broader definition and new ways to determine disability.
PAN has learned that some people with Parkinson’s may have trouble receiving SSDI or SSI benefits due to inadequate documentation of symptoms in their medical record. PAN has developed the Parkinson’s Disease Work-Related Disability Assessment Form to assist with this issue.