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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Does a diagnosis of AE qualify me for Social Security? How do I apply?

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Frequently Asked Questions 


Does a diagnosis of AE qualify me for Social Security? How do I apply?



You are considered disabled if you have a diagnosis of autoimmune encephalitis and have had neuropsychological testing that reflects your disability. You must be out of work or expect to be out of work for 1 year. Your medical condition must be severe enough limit your ability to work. Social Security has a list of conditions/impairment so severe that they find you automatically disabled as defined by law.

 An individual who is considered disabled should apply for social security disability as soon as they are deemed disabled. Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) has a 5-month waiting period from the time of disability. Payments will not begin until the beginning of the 6th month. The waiting period begins the first full month after Social Security decides your disability began. So, for example, if an individual has seizures and is admitted into the ICU and is diagnosed with autoimmune encephalitis, they may not apply until they have been discharged from the hospital in February.  If Social Security determines that the person’s disability started when the seizures began and that was in December, even if they applied 2 months after they had seizures and began treatment, they would not wait 5 months from when they applied, but the waiting period would begin 5 months from the time they had seizures. So, if that occurred in December, and the individual applied for Social Security Disability in February, they would begin receiving Social Security disability benefits 5 months after December, which would be in May. The benefits are paid from the first full month after you filed for disability.


 Applying for SSI:


Social security has a program for individuals who have a disability and meet medical criteria to qualify for the benefits. This program is financed with Social Security taxes paid by workers, employers, and self-employed persons.

  • The worker will get Medicare coverage automatically after receiving disability benefits for two years.
  • To be eligible for a Social Security benefit, the worker must earn sufficient credits based on taxable work to be “insured” for Social Security purposes.
  • Disability benefits are payable to:
    • blind or disabled workers
    • their children
    • widow(er)s
    • adults disabled since childhood
  • The amount of the monthly disability benefit is based on the Social Security earnings record of the insured worker.
  • In most states, beneficiaries also qualify for Medicaid


You can apply for Disability benefits online, or if you are unable to complete the application online, you can apply by calling our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Representatives can make an appointment for you to apply.



Disability Determination Process

Apply on-line for Disability Benefits

The Basics About Social Security Disability Benefits


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