Can a person who is homeless and disabled get Social Security disability benefits?

Disabled Homeless Man in a WheelchairYes, people without a permanent address may still qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Individuals with disabilities must meet Social Security disability eligibility criteria and may work with an experienced Social Security disability lawyer to make sure their rights and benefits are protected.

Social Security Eligibility

An applicant is eligible for Social Security disability benefits if:

  • The applicant worked long enough to qualify for Social Security disability insurance
  • The applicant is disabled according to the Social Security Administration’s disability definition

Disability is defined as a condition:

  • That is expected to last for at least 12 months or cause death
  • Limits your ability to work enough to engage in what the Social Security Administration calls “substantial gainful employment”

The Social Security Administration will consider the following things to determine if a medical condition limits an applicant’s ability to work:

  • Whether the Blue Book Listing of Impairments includes the applicant’s condition
  • The severity of the applicant’s condition
  • If the applicant currently works or has recently worked
  • Whether the applicant is physically able to continue doing the work they used to do
  • If there are any other jobs that the applicant can do given their disability

Complete, current, and accurate medical records are essential for strong Social Security disability applications. Unfortunately, many people who experience homelessness do not have health insurance and may not have recent medical records. Free medical clinics or medical providers that accept payment on a sliding scale may be critical to both the applicant’s healthcare needs and Social Security disability application.

Special Considerations for People Who are Homeless

While the Social Security eligibility criteria are the same for people with permanent addresses and people with housing insecurity, there are a few things you should keep in mind when you apply for Social Security disability benefits.

First, let the Social Security Administration know that the applicant is homeless. The Disability Determination Services (DDS) has examiners experienced in issues facing homeless applicants. These DDS examiners can review the application.

Next, you will need to identify a place for the Social Security Administration to send monthly disability payments. Without a stable home address, you may choose to have payments made by direct deposit if you have a bank account, sent to a P.O. Box, or sent to a trusted friend or relative’s home. Applicants who move between different shelters and homes should keep the Social Security Administration updated on their location so that they can be found easily.

Contact a Social Security Disability Lawyer for a Free Consultation

People experiencing homelessness have the same right to Social Security disability benefits as people with permanent residences, and disability benefits may be especially useful to help with living expenses and other costs. Additionally, Social Security disability recipients may be eligible for Medicare coverage after a qualifying period. Medicare may be as important as monthly payments and allow people with disabilities to get much-needed medical care.

Unfortunately, the majority of initial Social Security disability applications are denied on technicalities. Our experienced Boston-area Social Security disability lawyers make sure that each application we submit is thoroughly completed and has strong medical evidence to help prevent any unnecessary denials or delays.

You do not need any up-front money to hire us. We offer free consultations to Social Security disability applicants throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. If you hire us and the Social Security Administration refuses to find you eligible for benefits, you won’t owe us any money. If your claim is successful, then you still won’t have to worry about hourly legal fees. Instead, we are paid a percentage of your Social Security disability back benefits.

We invite you to learn more about how our Social Security disability law firm can help any applicant through the disability eligibility process. Call us or start a live chat with us at your convenience to find out more about how we may be able to help you.

 

John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer