If he doesn't have disability coverage from work, then there is no reason not to apply for SS disability, which pays at a rate equal to his full retirement (age 66) rate. I developed a significant heart issue 2.5 years ago. It took me two months to get approved for SS disability, and I didn't need an attorney. It all depends on what your health problem is, whether it's specifically mentioned in the disability regs, and what your docs have to say, but don't assume he won't get it. Also, even if it takes two years to get it, if he gets it, they will pay you retroactive to a date 6 months after the onset of the disability, which means you could get a large check for back benefits. Of course, if you have to go to a hearing (which is usually true in cases that take a long time), you probably will need an attorney, but the fees are narrowly limited by the SSD laws. I didn't need a hearing, and I didn't even have a telephone interview, but that's because my heart issue was so bad that it fit within one of the designated disability categories. They did look at my medical records, though. Oh, and when he reaches his full retirement age, the disability benefits will automatically change over to regular SS benefits at the same amount. Also, if he takes retirement benefits from work, I don't know whether that would affect his chances for SS disability, but it might, so you should ask about that. Good luck.
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