What is a "disability"?
A disability is an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as: caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking ,seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing ,learning, and working. To qualify as disabled under the law you must have a medical impairment that meets or medically equals one of the described impairments in Social
Security’s Listing of Impairments
(see: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/disability/listings10.html ).
Why Do I Need to Apply for a Disability?
If you are disabled and under the age of 65, and if you have not worked (and therefore cannot get Social Security disability or SSI benefits) for 5 years or more, than your only option in Nevada is to get on Medicaid. You need to apply for Medicaid by filing a Medicare application form (called SSA-545-BK) at your local State Welfare Department. This form is available on the web, but not from Social Security. If you are applying for disability benefits from Social Security you still need to file an application with Nevada Medicaid in order to qualify for Medicaid
(see: http://www.medicaid4nevada.com/ ).
When Do I Need to Apply for a Disability?
You have at least three months from the date of onset of your disability (or in some cases 6 months). In order to get on Medicaid you will need to file within 5 years or less from the date that you became disabled, and no later than 13 months after you became disabled.
To apply for Social Security Disability benefits, you can file up to 5 months before your disability begins or up to 12 months after your disability starts (the later date is available if you are filing due to a cancer diagnosis). The application must be filed no later than 60 days from the date of onset of your disability. You should apply as soon as you can, but if it is after the 60 days your claim will not be denied.
If I Have Applied for Disability Will Social Security Pay Me Back Benefits?
Social Security keeps records of your earnings from every quarter of the past 24 quarters. If you get benefits and then are found to no longer be disabled, Social Security can try to make you repay overpayments that were made for a period of up to 12 months.