Including Social Security Disability, there are several kinds of benefits for which a person can be eligible. The medical rules are the same for all categories, you must be just as disabled to qualify for one as for another. The non-medical requirements are different for each category.
Disability Insurance Benefits:
You are only eligible for these benefits if you have paid a certain amount of Social Security tax over a period of time, enough to have disability insurance coverage in force. In general, you must have paid at least a certain amount of Social Security tax in at least twenty quarters during the forty calendar quarters before your disability began.
There is a different, easier rule for people whose disability began before age 30. Everyone must prove the disability began while disability insurance coverage was in force or they are not entitled to benefits, no matter how serious the medical condition is now.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI):
SSI can be paid whether or not a person has paid in enough Social Security tax to get disability insurance benefits. You must be disabled under the same rules as for disability insurance, or be blind, or be over 65. You must also have very little income or property, because this benefit is based on financial need. Also, some children 18 or younger with a severe disability can get a monthly benefit if their family income is low enough.
Disability Widow/Widower Benefits (DWB):
This is a special disability benefit for certain widows and widowers, based on the Social Security tax paid by his or her deceased spouse. In order to qualify, you must be between ages of 50 and 60, and have been married for at least 10 years to the person who was covered under Social Security at the time of his or her death. Also, you must have proof that your disability was severe enough to meet these rules within seven years of your spouse's death, with some exceptions for those already receiving other kinds of Social Security benefits.
Disabled Adult Child Benefits (DAC):
In order to be eligible, you must be a child of a person already in "pay status", must be at least 19 years old, and prove your total disability began before the month you turned age 22.
If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI, personal injury, EEOICPA, long or short-term disability, VA disability, Railroad Retirement Board disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation. We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611 or through our website. Our office handles claims throughout Tennessee.