Disability Benefits

Overview of Disability Insurance
U.K. Disability Programs
U.K. Utility Benefits
U.S. Disability Programs

Overview of Disability Benefits

Scleroderma (SD) affects everyone differently. Not everyone is disabled by it. Neither does a diagnosis of scleroderma automatically entitle anyone to disability benefits.

Disability insurance can be obtained through private policies, employment, or the government. It is possible to be eligible for short or long term disability through an employer, but still not qualify for government-run disability. If you are disabled, or worried that you might be in the near future, consult a disability lawyer to learn your legal rights, before quitting your job. Often, people will quit their jobs prematurely or without their doctor's agreement or without letting the employer know that their health is at stake. All of these things can damage or even preclude a finding of disability.

United Kingdom Disability Programs

GOV.UK. Apply for disability in the United Kingdom online. This section also includes information on disability employment, education, housing, travel, and parenting. GOV.UK.

NHS Direct: 0845 4647. For health advice and reassurance, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. NHS.

United Kingdom Utility Benefits

Home Heat Helpline. Free phone 0800 33 66 99. If you're struggling to pay your fuel bill or worried how you're going to stay warm, the Home Heat Helpline will make it easier for you to find the answers. They will even negotiate with your utility supplier for you if you can't pay your bills and aren't up to negotiating yourself. HomeHeatHelpline. Loft insulation grants and cavity wall insulation grants available here. Every home in Britain can claim free funding towards installing loft and/or cavity wall insulation, slashing an annual energy bill by up to 40%. InsulationGrantsInfo.

United States Disability Programs

Medicare Toll-Free Hotline (US) is 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). Medicare.

Social Security Administration. SSA.

Social Security Disability Planner. To decide whether you are disabled, we use a step-by-step process involving five questions. They are: 1. Are you working? If you are working in 2009 and your earnings average more than $980 a month, you generally cannot be considered disabled.. If you are not working, we go to Step 2. Social Security Administration.

Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Immune System Disorders; Final rule. Social Security Administration. March 18, 2008.

National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives. Established in 1979, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives is an association of over 3,300 attorneys and paralegals who represent Social Security and Supplemental Security Income claimants. NOSSCR Online.

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