The Social Security Administration classifies 5 major types of benefits you can receive based on your level of disability. Factors that contribute to which type of benefit you’ll be eligible for depend on your current income level, your marital status and exactly when your disability started. You should work closely with a Social Security disability lawyer to determine how you should file your claim.
Disability Insurance Benefits: These benefits are paid to an individual on his or her earnings. That individual must be disabled as defined by Social Security law and insured. The be insured, the person must have worked recently and pair Social Security taxes. Most people must have worked 5 out of the last 10 years, but younger workers can qualify with less work.
Disabled Widow’s and Widower’s Benefits: These benefits are paid to individuals who (1) were married to a worker who was insured for Social Security disability benefits; (2) are between the age of 50 and 60; (3) are disabled as defined by Social Security law; and (4) became disabled before their spouse’s death or within 7 years thereafter.
Disabled Adult Child Benefits: These benefits are paid to children of individuals who are deceased or receiving disability or retirement benefits. The child must have become disabled before reaching the age of 22.
Supplemental Security Income Benefits (SSI): These benefits are paid to individuals who are disabled as defined by Social Security law and are poor. The individual must have income and assets below a certain level. SSI benefits are not based on earnings and a person can qualify regardless of whether he or she has ever worked. Some workers with limited resources receive both disability insurance benefits and SSI.
SSI Children’s Disability Benefits: These benefits are paid to children under the age of 18 who are disabled. Disability is defined differently for children’s SSI benefits than it is for other Social Security Disability benefits. The parents must have limited income and assets.