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


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  3. Billie l.

    I am now 80 years old and for the last 14 years have not been able to work and have been on Social Security
    my physical situation is I’m completely deaf in one ear and with a hearing aid can hear a little bit and the other ear I had a spinal operation two years ago and I walk very slow melting I can only walk about a hundred meters and must rest before I can walk further
    Due to my age no one will get me a job
    can I get disability based on my age of 80
    Thank you

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  5. Denise R.

    My husband was denied ssi, yesterday. He has many things wrong mass in right lung Dr scared to biyscie might kill him. Left lung eat up with emphysema. Can only have lung capacity of 48 percent in hole body. Has a herniated hernia. Cramping thur body for lack of oxygen. On oxygen. Taking breathing treatments 4 times a day on z pk all kinds of medicines. Sent to one of your Drs had to have 4 treatments to get up the air to 48 percent. Last ask for our Drs records Nov. 2018, nothing since. But denied letter came. He is a plumber , who didn’t pass 10th grade who was in support classes. He can’t go in attics. Tote pipes,tubs,showers, waterheater.And dig ditches any longer. You think this is right

  6. Marilyn W.

    Good morning Jim Borland Im marilyn Wood has been on social security and disability check october 11 , 1990 and Im felt thats the government is not paying me my social security check and my disability check right Im has been own Jobs 58 years ago and been out of work years ago of my illnesses and every month the government is not paying me enough money of my earning of my retimement money every month Im gets my first check $96 dollar and the second check $600 and $95 dollar Jim Borland and Im be January 4, 1955 Im was born and the new year my birthday Im be 65 year old January 4, 2020 and with in your heart and mind Jim Im pray to God too touch your heart and mind too do rights by the poor peoples and the middle class peoples because we all wants whats rights is our from the years ago when we were working from years ago in Jesus name amen and amen

  7. Daphne G.

    Thanks for explaining that medical and other information will need to be collected from us, regardless of the program applied for. I want to help my mother in law apply for social security disability soon because she can’t have a job due to a permanent injury. I’m glad I read your article because you helped me know what to expect from hiring a lawyer and applying for it. https://www.rg3law.com/practice-areas/social-security

  8. Reanna c.

    This is a great spot to try and learn . I became disabled lost my biz home cars. Now me and my 4 children are waiting for lump sum backpay to buy a car rent a home and try and pay off the debt .I mean I have to have electricity correct? It’s so bad .the process after being approved is even high stress.. who are my drs how can I pay for these medications and we don’t get food stamps so it’s all just a waiting game. But reading is giving me some hope and insight. All of this is terrifying .thanks for the information

  9. Kaily J.

    Thank you for letting us know about all these SS Disability benefits.


  10. DMC5

    When I initially commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. There has to be a way you can remove me from that service? Thanks a lot!


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