What Stay-At-Home Moms Must Know About Social Security

 What Stay-At-Home Moms Must Know About Social Security

 

I stayed at home for many reasons after the birth of our only child. Before I became pregnant, I had a dream job for a newlywed elementary school teacher, especially https://sslcnow.com  an older one. Teaching at a supplemental home school program gave me a chance to explore my new suburban Atlanta home and spend more time with my groom. I could finally rest a little after working from the time I was fourteen until I married in my thirties!

We wanted children, but decided to wait a year to start a family. That decision came back to haunt us when I learned I had medical issues, including advanced endometriosis, that could make conception difficult if not impossible. But I became pregnant against the odds. Our little miracle girl was born in March of 1990.

Together, my husband and I planned my return to teaching after our child, or children, started school. But the unexpected happened and all our plans went out the window. Our sweet girl lost most of her hearing after her fifteen month *MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccination, and the rest after a *DPT (Diphtheria, Pertussis, and Tetanus) booster shot a few years later.

My husband and I decided that he would be the breadwinner while I stayed home to care for our child. He would “work,” and I would help teach her speech and language skills with the guidance of the remarkable teachers and specialists at the John Tracy Clinic in Los Angeles and the Moog Center for Deaf Education in St. Louis.

What does any of this have to do with Social Security or SSDI, Social Security Disability Insurance? In the years after our child’s birth, I became ill with multiple health issues and endured several major surgeries. When the time came for her to enroll in a mainstream school, I was physically unable to work. I tried working part-time jobs, but could not meet my responsibilities adequately. Working just one day could put me in bed for days or weeks. So, at the advice of many, I looked into applying for Social Security disability.

That’s when I was shocked to learn what every stay-at-home parent must know. If you have not worked long enough in the ten years preceding the onset of your symptoms, you are not entitled to SSDI, no matter the degree of your illness or injury. You must have earned twenty of your Social Security work credits in the previous ten years to be entitled to disability payments. That number increases after age forty-two.

You may qualify for SSI, Supplemental Security Income. However, denial rates are very high and the application process can be a nightmare. Without a good lawyer, you are unlikely to win any benefits, even on appeal.

We did make out wills, naming legal guardians, and take out a term life insurance policy on my husband after our child’s birth. (In hindsight, we should have purchased coverage for both of us. It’s extremely expensive for a single parent, father or mother, to care for and raise a child until adulthood.) But there was more that we could have done.

 

 

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