Types of Benefits

What kinds of benefits are there?

There are several kinds of disability benefits for which a person may be eligible. Depending on the facts, you may be entitled to one or more of these benefits. Medical listings are the same for all categories; the non-medical requirements are different for each category.

A. Disability Insurance Benefits (SSID) Eligibility 

You are only eligible for these benefits if you have paid a certain amount of Social Security tax over a period of time (enough to have disability insurance coverage in force). In other words, in order to be eligible for these benefits you must have worked and paid Social Security tax for approximately five out of the last ten years before you became totally disabled. There is a different rule for people whose disability began before age 30 (because they have had less time to work). Everyone must prove that he or she became disabled while disability insurance coverage was in force or they are not entitled to benefits, regardless of how serious the medical condition is now. If your SSDI claim is approved, the monthly payment you will receive is set by your earnings (and Social Security tax payments) during your working career.

B. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Eligibility

SSI can be paid whether or not a person has paid enough Social Security tax to get disability insurance benefits. You must be disabled under the same rules as for disability insurance, be blind, or be over 65. You must also have very little income or property because this benefit is based on financial need. Social Security looks at all other income and property in the household you live in, not just your own, and also the value of any support (example: free room and board) you may get from others, to determine whether you are financially eligible for SSI. Social Security does this in addition to deciding if you are disabled. Also, some children 18 or younger with a severe disability can get a monthly benefit if their family income is low enough.

C. Disabled Widow/Widower Benefits (DWB) Eligibility

This is a special disability benefit for certain widows and widowers, based on the Social Security tax paid by his or her deceased spouse. In order to qualify, you must be between the ages of 50 and 60 and have been married for at least 10 years to the person who was covered under Social Security at the time of his or her death. Also, you must prove that your condition was disabling enough to meet these rules within seven years of your spouse's death, with some exceptions for those already receiving other kinds of Social Security Benefits. If you are awarded Disabled Widow/Widower Benefits, your monthly rate is determined by your spouse's income and Social Security tax payments. However, a surviving spouse's pension can usually be paid at the age of 60, regardless of any disability.

D. Disabled Adult Child Benefits (DAC) Eligibility

In order to be eligible, you must be a child of a person already receiving Disability Insurance Benefits or Retirement Benefits, or who died while covered by Social Security. You must be at least 19 years old, and you must prove your total disability began before the month you turned age 22, and is continuing. The monthly benefit rate is different in each particular case and is based on a percentage of your parent's rate.  

Social Security Disability v. Workers Compensation

Many people believe the only option available after sustaining a work place accident is workers compensation, this is not correct. If you are unable to work due to an injury on the job you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits in addition to workers compensation. Let Helping Hand help you figure this out.

You have the right to disability representation to help you win

It takes a lot of work to put together a well-prepared claim for disability benefits. You certainly have the option to apply on your own. However, considering the high rate of disability claims that SSA denies at the initial and reconsideration levels, we recommend that you hire an expert. Helping Hand’s experience, knowledge and advocacy efforts have successfully helped our claimants win the disability benefits they are entitled to receive.
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