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Homemaker - Can I get Social Security Disability Benefits?

Housewives and Social Security Disability

A  homemaker works for years supporting their families, providing food and clothing needs, washing dishes, and taking care of the kids. Everyone who has dedicated themselves to this noble profession understands that it is a full-time job that requires the skill and dedication of any other job. But can a homemaker, who is no longer able to work, get Social Security Disability Insurance?

It will depend on whether or not the homemaker ever worked and paid employment taxes into the Social Security Administration system.

Qualifying for Social Security Disability Insurance(SSDI)

Homemakers who have not worked and paid employment taxes will not qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). SSDI is only for employees who have sufficient work credits and who become disabled with a severe health condition which does not allow them to work for at least 12 continuous months.

According to the Social Security Administration, in 2012, you earn one credit for each $1,130 of wages or self-employment income. When you’ve earned $4,520, you’ve earned your four credits for the year. The amount of work credits you will need to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance will vary based on your age when you became disabled, but most claimants will need 40 work credits to qualify.

So, unless a homemaker has worked part-time and has been generating income and paying employment taxes, they will never have the necessary work credits for SSDI benefits.

What are my other disability options as a homemaker?

Although you may not qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, the Social Security Administration does provide additional wage replacement benefits through their Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. This program, however, is only offered to claimants who have VERY limited income and resources.

For instance, you might be disabled with a condition which is expected to last for at least 12 continuous months and you cannot perform any type of work but if your family’s resource level is too high or if your husband makes too much money, you may not qualify for the Supplemental Security Income program.

The fairness of the SSI and SSDI system is always in question. This can be especially true for homemakers who dedicate themselves to their family their entire lives, become disabled and find that they have very limited disability benefit options. This issue can become even more serious for housewives who work for years to support their family and have a spouse abandon or leave with very little financial support, several kids, no job and the inability to find work.

Hiring a disability lawyer

If you are a disabled housewife it may be time to talk to a disability lawyer. If you do not meet the nonmedical requirements outlined above for either SSI or SSDI there may be little a lawyer can do for you, but it never hurts to have them review your case and see what your options may be.

If you have been a homemaker for years and have become disabled and your husband has divorced you, it is time to talk to a good divorce lawyer and make sure your child support or spousal support payments are sufficient to meet your future financial needs.
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