As advocates for people with disabilities, we at NOSSCR want to help you understand what there is to know about Social Security disability benefits. 

The federal government has several programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities. Of these disability assistance programs, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income(SSI) are the largest.  

  • Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are "insured," meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes.
  • Supplemental Security Income pays benefits based on financial need.
 

Social Security Disability Insurance

Supplemental Security Income

Eligibility

A disabled or blind individual must have paid Social Security taxes to be come insured for benefits. Benefits may also be available to certain members of that individual’s family. 

A disabled or blind adult or child must meet all of the following categories: 

  • Have limited income
  • Have limited resources
  • Be a U.S. citizen or national, or in one of certain categories of aliens; and 
  • Live in the United States or Northern Mariana Islands 

Payment 

The monthly disability benefit amount is based on the Social Security earnings record of the insured worker.

The monthly payment is based on need and varies up to the maximum federal benefit rate. Some states add money to federal SSI payments.

Medical Coverage 

The worker will get Medicare coverage automatically after receiving disability benefits for two years. 

In most states, beneficiaries are automatically eligible for Medicaid. 

Complete Explanation 

Social Security disability

Supplemental Security Income

Our helpful information pages will guide you through what you need to know about Social Security disability benefits. Read a general overview About SSDI and About SSI, or learn more about Social Security disability benefits, eligibility, the application process, what you can do if you’ve been denied, and what to expect at a Social Security disability hearing

To get a sense of what it's like to rely on Social Security disability benefits, read testimonials from real beneficiaries.

print Print Page share Share bookmark Bookmark