I can only speak for me here in Ohio (not sure if it is different in different states) I was told by the SS attorney that handled my own case that I couldn’t apply until it was determined that my disabilities kept me from working at all. That eventually happened with me.
Often you have to be unemployed for awhile I am not sure how long exactly (it might be up to 12 months) -but once you apply you normally get rejected the first time and I was told by the same attorney that that is standard procedure because there is such a huge backlog it weeds out who is serious about the application process and who isn’t.
I am just reporting what I was told. Sounds bad I know. Once I got the first rejection letter I handed the case to the SS Attorney who came highly recommended for his success and he won my case within 4 months. The attorneys do not get paid unless they win and then only around 25% of any back or retro pay that is owed to you and that is all. All the rest of the back pay if any and all future payments are yours from there on.
Just needing special assistance to work is not enough to qualify because it is solely based on the person’s ability to work at all and not what is needed to make him or her able to do the job.
If working is too stressful or too taxing to your husband’s overall health or makes him more ill or more disabled in the long run he might be better off to not work for a time to focus totally on his health and well being. After disability income is secured you can then return to work on a part time basis and still keep your benefits and SS has info on how to do that.
I had 17K of student loans in default and after I was on SS security disability I applied for a discharge and I got it but then they put you on a 3 year probation and if you go back to work within that 3 years you can be held accountable then to repay your debt. So basically to get the discharge completed you can’t return to work in any capacity for 3 years. They send you a letter. It has been 10 years for me and my debt has been long since discharged and I needed the time away from working to get my health in a more manageable place. I am feeling better now and have considered the idea of returning to work on a part time basis. There is just a little fear within me of somehow losing all of the wellness I feel I have achieved over the years, it has been very hard work and I don’t want to ever backslide.
Plus I still care for my adult sz son as well who is doing better himself but I feel it is mostly because I am always here with him. Time will tell -I haven’t decided what I will do yet. Good luck to you and your husband.
My best advice is to talk to an experienced Social Security disability attorney in your area as they will discuss your case for free with you and give you sound advice and answer your questions.
PS> I believe that the discharge is for gov’t loans but then that was the only loans I had so I honestly don’t know about private loans.