Disability Benefits: Protection against the Unexpected

August 29, 2016 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: August 29, 2016

young man in a wheelchair writing a letterDisability is unpredictable and can happen to any person, at any age. Millions of Americans live with disabilities that are the result of a sudden traumatic event or onset of a serious medical condition.

Social Security disability benefits protect you against the unexpected. When you know about the services we provide, you’ll make better decisions when life throws you a curve.

Our disability program provides financial support to disabled individuals and their families in times of need. If you think you have a qualifying disability, don’t wait, apply right away.

Social Security pays disability benefits to people with a severe medical condition expected to last at least one year or result in death. This condition must prevent you from performing substantial work. Social Security does not give benefits to people with partial disability or short-term disability, like veteran’s benefits and workers’ compensation do. You must also meet the earnings requirement for disability benefits.

When you apply for disability, we will need medical and other information from you. We can help you get this information together. You can also have a representative help you gather and submit this information. This representative may be an attorney or other qualified person.

You can get more information about applying for our disability programs at our website. If you click on “Apply for Benefits,” you can then follow a link to get a Disability Starter Kit. This kit will help you get ready for your disability interview or online application.

Once you have your information together, you can apply for disability benefits online. Knowing this information can help you make the best decision for you and your family, if life throws the unexpected at you.

Tags: , ,

See Comments

About the Author

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications



    My cousin has brain lesions which have caused cognitive issues along with severe vision loss so she is disabled. She was married when all of this came about and her husband could not deal so he divorced her and gave her a small settlement. She did not have an extensive work history because of her children and only taught at a university for a short while before the first attack. Her husband owned his own business but refused to help provide for her. She draws a very small check less than 700.00 a month. I assume from her own SS. Is she eligible to draw from her ex-husbands benefits . she is now 54

    • Ray F.

      Hi Charlene. Your cousin may be eligible to receive benefits on her ex-husband’s record when he becomes entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits. Here are the other eligibility requirements to receive benefits as a divorced spouse:
      • You are unmarried;
      • You were married to your ex-spouse for at least 10 years;
      • The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouse’s work.
      Please visit our Retirement Planner: If You Are Divorced, then check out our publication, “What Every Woman Should Know” for more important information.

  2. Diane

    If someone is reported as being able to work while receiving SSDI and they go in front of the court and it is found that they in fact cannot work, what happens? I know someone who this happened to and their benefits stopped for 2 months. Will they get those 2 months paid back to them.

  3. Karen C.

    An addendum to my previous comment. I had a severe accident in
    1996 in which I broke my ankles severely. I still have the hardware in
    Both ankles. In December 2015 I saw Dr. Williams@ UCLA she recommended surgery. At the time I was just recovering from a Seixure
    I had the day before. Details can be obtained by Dr. Litiana Cohen.
    I feel surgery especially in my right ankle would be extremely beneficial
    As that ankle is my most severely damaged and painful.
    Thank you.

  4. Karen C.

    I applied for Social Security Disability last April . 1 was 66. I was told I was too old to apply for SS disability. I have been working on and off
    As a working disabled for the last many years. My bi- lateral ankle injuries
    Have gotten so bad the last few years very difficult to work. I have been
    On State Disability for the last year ending this past June. Now only income Social Security. Still very difficult to walk and much pain each day.
    Difficult to maintain household chores.

  5. Patricia C.

    My husband was diagnosed with early onset dementia. He is 57. He paid into SS since he was 15 until he started his own business about 18 years ago. We were told by a SSDI lawyer that if he had not paid in within the last 10 years he would not be qualified to receive SSDI. Is this true? According to the SS Site he has disability money available to him.

  6. Fermina P.

    Hi, i’m 60 years old and i’m on disability , when i turn 62 my check will be less than now

  7. Linda S.

    When a spouse on SSDI passes and is under 50 years of age, is his wife who is also 50 entitled to any benefit if she herself is not disabled?

  8. Andrea M.

    I have been charged medicare premium since january this year and dshs has paid my pemium since febuary. Social security is collecting it twice i have called the 18007721213 once in april and once again in Aug no changes no refunds to me. I have called dshs several times to be clear thast they are paying it for me. What more can i do? I really need that $120. To live.

    • Kenny O.

      Hello Andrea. We regret to hear of this problem. If the state has stopped paying for your Medicare B premiums, it will be deducted directly from your monthly benefits. You will need to work with your state, county or local medical assistance office directly to have them resume the payments. If this is not the case, then, we suggest working with your local Social Security office for coordination between the two agencies. In addition, anyone who has Medicare can get Medicare prescription drug coverage. There is Extra Help available to help pay for the costs, such as monthly premiums, deductibles and co-payments. You can apply for the Extra Help online at Extra Help With Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs. Hope this helps.

  9. winniefridah M.

    most of people living with disability in this world have challenges in their daily living life, because their families don’t recognize them to be important in the communities, these people if they are not mentally disturbed, if well supported cared for, can be good people for the production of the economy development in the world. In southern region of the world this is very common most of them are neglected by their own parents and die because their relatives thinks they are shameful people to live in the society.
    Very few families have taken care of their beloved one living with disabilities. In southern region Zambia people feel it is a taboo to have such people in the family and these people are not exposed to the society from the age of 1 day to years. Disability can come at any time one doesn’t expect, some can be born well and finishes school well later one is involved in an accident.

    • Melia

      that Mussina confounded everybody with his decision. Th271#8a&t;s probably true, unless you actually read anything about it before today: The beat writers were saying he would retire, the Yankees were saying he would retire, and even Moose was saying near the end of the year that he would probably retire. If this announcement confounds you, you’re lost. But such is the state of the afternoon show on WFAN, where facts shall not be allowed to stand in the way of the host.

  10. retiree

    Iknow plenty of people who were disabled since childhood& married a nondisabled person & didnt lose their benfits. So stop spreading lies about that. Children earn benifits thru their parents earnings. You cant get ssdi unless you have paid into the system.

Comments are closed.