Disability, SSI

There’s Plenty You Should Know About Social Security Disability Benefits!

January 19, 2017 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: March 17, 2021

woman in wheelchair in library Life is unpredictable. When something interrupts your plans, it’s good to know there’s a way to supplement your income, in case of an unexpected life event.

Social Security has a strict definition of disability based on your inability to work and provide for yourself and your family. Disability benefits are available only to people with impairments so severe that they prevent any kind of significant, profitable work. Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or for short-term disability.

We pay disability via two programs: the Social Security Disability Insurance program, for people who have worked and paid Social Security taxes long enough to be eligible, and the Supplemental Security Income program, which pays benefits based on financial need.

When you apply for either program, we will collect medical and other information from you. Our disability examiners will make a decision about whether or not you can do work that you did before, adjust to other work because of your medical condition, and if your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or is likely to result in death.

Certain factors may speed or delay the decision in your case, like the nature of your disability and how quickly we can get your medical records. We may also need to send you for an additional medical examination at no cost to you.

If you would like to apply for disability benefits, you can use our online application. It has several advantages, including immediately starting the process, no waiting to get an appointment, and no trip to a Social Security Office. It’s easy, convenient, and secure.

You can find out everything there is to know about disability benefits online.


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About the Author

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications


  1. Shandah C.

    0 my husband receives SSDI since 2002 I’ve been trying to get my disability since 2008 is now an appeal a stimulus check came on his direct Express card with my dick what do I need to do to get my sandwich tech

    • Shandah C.

      I’m sorry to get my stimulus check running apply for anything

  2. Nancy

    Please help me tell me what to do please anyone????

    • Kristen A.

      Hire an attorney….at this point who cares if you have to give them a percentage of your back pay. Try Citizens Disability

  3. Nancy

    Hello i have been trying to get my disability for years now thru the fight i have lost my husband mother and my only sister I have no family left but my kids and grandbaby. i have crohns diease seizures manic depression short term memory loss aniexty hep c pinched sciatic nerve migrants headaches i take medicine for all but none of my conditions are under controlled i know many people who get checks for just the mental problems i have they draw a check and see no doctors or take medicine i see my doctors faithfully and take my medicines faithfully… The last seizure i had i busted my head opening another seziure i had i was going to my mothers house after i got out of the hospital was half way there before i remembered she died 4 months earlier its horrible not every seizure i have the memory loss of losing my husband mom and sister but just one every few months is horrible going thru the pain of losing them again could u imagine keep losing your love ones over and over i loss my husband who took care of me now i am homeless sleeping on couches when i get lucky my kids are trying to make it they work and go to school i dont want to burden them to take carr of me when they are trying to keep afloat their ownselve what do i do i wish god would just call me home i am useless and cant even support myself…

    • Nancy

      Please help me tell me what to do please anyone????

  4. Paula M.

    I have been on social security disability insurance for almost 6 years and I have never been notified that I am able to receive medicare what do I need to do to get that started how much does it cost and is there something for poor people some kind of help to pay for it. ? I was told at my local office but I wouldn’t be eligible for Medicare until I turn 62 and just found out like 6 months ago when my mother died from one of her nurses that I could drive two years went on the website and saying that they were supposed to have sent me a letter or something but I never received anything and I’ve been at the same address.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Paula. Thank you for your question. Medicare is our country’s health insurance program for people age 65 or older. Certain people younger than age 65 can qualify for Medicare, too, including those with disabilities and those who have permanent kidney failure. To learn more, visit here. For specific questions, please contact your local Social Security office. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this helps.

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  6. MDS F.

    There are some interesting points in time in this article. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article, thanks and I want more! Added to my Feed as well. https://www.mdsfulfillment.com/

  7. AB

    My husband received 10 years of SSDI back pay this year. The SSA-1099 we received only breaks down the most recent 3 years of back pay and then has a * with the rest of the back pay and an annotation that it is back pay. Without knowing how much goes into each year though our tax person cannot break it out for past taxes and will have to put the majority of it on this years taxes which will be incredibly bad for us. We tried calling to ask for a break down for each year and were told nothing like that exists, but that just doesn’t seem right or possible. Can someone please tell me who to contact or what it is called to get a break down of each year of the back pay for such a long back pay term?

  8. AJ R.

    How much can I make if I’m disabled

  9. Tayuna A.

    Why if you on disability you have to wait 2 years for medicare and not recieve any type of financial help if you can no longer work. Why do u have to purchase your own insurance when your only limit to a certain amount of disable benfits a month

  10. Virginia S.

    I went thru your process of almost 2 years. My claim was disallowed. The letter I received from your judge has numerous mistakes. Now to file with the Appeals Council due to the errors, I again must wait up to another year for it to end up back with the same judge. This seems wrong to me when the judge made errors in reading the information collected. It seems we should be able to have this reviewed sooner by a different individual. This is just my opinion. Thank You

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