Services

03. Social Security Disability Insurance

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

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Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are "insured," meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes.

The law defines disability as the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months. 

 

A medically determinable physical or mental impairment is an impairment that results from anatomical, physiological, or psychological abnormalities that can be shown by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques. 

Who can get Social Security disability benefits?

Social Security pays benefits to people who can’t work because they have a medical condition that’s expected to last at least one year or result in death. Federal law follows this very strict definition of disability. While some programs give money to people with partial disability or short-term disability, Social Security does not. Certain family members of disabled workers can also receive money from Social Security.

Can my family get benefits?

Certain members of your family may qualify for benefits based on your work. They include; 

  • your spouse, if he or she is age 62 or older;

  • your spouse at any age, if he or she is caring for a child of yours who is younger than age 16 or disabled;

  • your unmarried child, including an adopted child, or, in some cases, a stepchild or grandchild (the child must be younger than age 18, or, younger than 19 if still in high school); and

  • your unmarried child, age 18 or older, if he or she has a disability that started before age 22. 

How are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits calculated?

SSDI benefits are calculated according to how much you’ve earned from work over your lifetime. After you start receiving benefits, you will generally get a small increase in your benefits amount each January to account for changes in the cost of living.

Does SSDI come with health coverage?

You will automatically qualify for Medicare after you get SSDI benefits for 24 months. Medicare coverage continues as long as you’re getting SSDI benefits, and for up to 93 months after your SSDI Trial Work Period ends.