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Social Security Glossary

Alleged Onset Date
“Alleged Onset Date” or “AOD” refers to the date on which the Social Security Disability claimant indicates he or she became disabled.

Disability
The Social Security Administration defines the term “disability” as the inability to perform any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical and/or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death, or which has lasted, or can be expected to last, for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.

FICA Tax
“Federal Insurance Contributions Act” or “FICA” refers to employment taxes.  In most circumstances you must have paid FICA taxes to be eligible for disability benefits.  FICA taxes fund the Social Security and Medicare programs.

Medicare
You likely think of Medicare as the federal health insurance program for people 65 years of age or older.  However, two years after Social Security Disability is awarded, younger people with disabilities are eligible for Medicare.  In addition, people with End-Stage Renal Disease, permanent kidney failure with dialysis or a transplant are also eligible for Medicare.

Deceased Wage Earner
While the definition of the term, “deceased wage earner,” is mostly obvious, it’s included here to emphasize that the surviving family members or the person's estate may be eligible for back benefits and monthly survivor benefits after a person dies.  The deceased person must have contributed to the Social Security system (i.e. paid FICA taxes).

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