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Who can get Disability Welfare Benefits?

Social Security is a social welfare program concerned in protecting the retired, old, needy, or disabled people; in addition, protects against socially recognized conditions, including poverty, old age, disability, unemployment and others.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) pays disability benefits through two programs: /1/ The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and /2/ the Supplemental Security Income program (SSI). These two are the largest of several Federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities.

What are the terms and conditions included within the context of disability welfare benefits under these Social Security programs?

The Social Security Disability Insurance program

This is a program which aims to provide wage replacement income to individuals who have paid sufficient amount of taxes within specific periods of time to the SSA’s funds.

SSDI is funded with Social Security taxes paid by workers, employers, and self-employed individuals. SSDI is not exclusive to a primary wage earner. They also cover beneficiaries of the earner. So generally, who are the people that can be eligible for SSDI benefits?

Eligibility Requirement for SSDI

In order to be eligible, the SSA’s definition of disability must be met. (“To be considered medically disabled according to Social Security rules, an individual must be unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity due to 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.”)

Beneficiaries of Eligible Earners in Accordance with SSA’s Requirements

  • Your spouse, if he or she is 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 under age 18 or under age 19 if in elementary or secondary school full time; and

  • Your unmarried child, age 18 or older, if he or she has a disability that started before age 22. (The child’s disability also must meet the definition of disability for adults.)

  • In some situations, a divorced spouse may qualify for benefits based on your earnings if he or she was married to you for at least 10 years, is not currently married and is at least age 62. The money paid to a divorced spouse does not reduce your benefit or any benefits due to your current spouse or children.

Supplemental Security Income Program

This Social Security program is funded by general tax revenues, not Social Security taxes. It pays benefits based on financial need. It is designed to help aged, blind, and disabled people who have little or no income; and it provides monthly payments to meet basic needs.

Who is eligible?

  • People 65 years and older

  • Blind or disabled people of any age

  • Children who are suffering from a medical condition, including behavioral and learning disorders

Eligibility Standards According to SSA:

  • A person should have “limited income and resources”

  • A person should be a US citizen or national, or in one of certain categories of aliens who are not subject to deportation or removal

  • A person should be a resident of one of the 50 states including the Northern Mariana Islands

  • A person should not be absent from a county for a full calendar month or more than 30 consecutive days

  • A person should agree to apply for any other cash benefits for whom he or she may be entitled

  • A person should meet certain other requirements

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