What are Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD or SSDI) is a payroll tax-funded benefit insurance program of the US government.  It is managed by the Social Security Administration and is payable to individuals who are disabled and have paid enough Social Security taxes into the system to be “insured”.

When you stop working, your eligibility for these benefits will eventually stop.  Generally, you have to work at least 5 of the last 10 years, immediately prior to becoming disabled.  However, there are some important exceptions, based on particular circumstances.  As long as you can prove you became disabled prior to your insurance stopping or “lapsing”, Social Security will look at your claim to determine whether you meet the disability criteria.

When you are awarded Disability Insurance Benefits, your benefits begin the 6th full month after the date you are found disabled.  People who receive Disability Insurance Benefits can also receive child’s benefits for their children.  Eligibility for Medicare begins 29 months from the date you are found disabled.  (This is not the date of the ruling in your favor, but is the date that you deemed to first have became disabled.)

Retroactive benefits can begin as early as one year prior to the date that you filed your Application for Benefits.