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Types of Social Security Disability Benefits

A quick look at the different types of benefits you may be eligible for

DIB: Disability Insured Benefits – these are the benefits you earn by paying FICA taxes. Generally, if you have worked and paid FICA taxes 5 out of the last 10 years, you have earned your quarters of coverage. If your young, you need less quarters of coverage due to your expected shorter working period. There is no income means test and your assets are irrelevant for this program.

SSI: This is a poverty based program. Before you even reach a question of medical eligibility, you must pass a means test. This means if you have assets or other income coming into the home, you are less likely to be eligible for this program. Benefits for disabled children fall under the SSI category and their parents; incomes and assets go through a deeming process to determine eligibility.

Disabled Adult Child – this allows a child of a person who is deceased, or receiving either retirement or disability benefits, to also receive benefits off that parent’s earning records. The child must be, unmarried, over 18 and their disability must have been present prior to age 22.

Disabled Widow – this allows a disabled widow to claim benefits on their deceased spouse record as early as age 50.

Even if you are receiving one type of benefit, you may also be eligible for another type. For example, you can receive both DIB and SSI benefits (known as a concurrent application). But, in some instances, you may be eligible for DIB benefits off your own earnings record (or SSI benefits), but would receive a higher benefit collecting as a disabled adult child or disabled widow.