SSD and SSI claims are based upon disability.  Can you work?

If you are no longer able to work on a regular basis, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, or both.  “Disability” means the “inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months or result in death.  In other words, you may qualify if:

  • You are unable to work
  • You have a physical or mental disability (which can be proven with medical evidence)
  • Your disability will last or is expected to last at least 12 months or may result in death

There are many different kinds of Social Security benefits available. Many types do not require the use of a lawyer since some benefits are predicated upon requirements that are readily proven such as death, divorce, income, marriage, adoption, age, or time worked, to name a few factors.

If you feel you may be entitled to some type of Social Security benefit, even if you have no idea what type of benefit it might be, you should pay a visit to your local Social Security Administration office.  They can be very helpful in advising you as to the type of benefits you may be entitled to and it will cost you nothing to find out.

When the type of benefit requires you to prove disability, such as SSD or SSI, however, you should consult a disability lawyer as soon as possible.  You can call Social Security Professionals for a Free Consultation at any time.  (248) 549-3485.

For Disability Insurance Benefits, Disabled Widow or Widower Benefits and Disabled Adult Child benefits, it does not matter whether the disabled individual is rich or poor.  Benefits are paid based upon a Social Security earnings record.  Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are another matter.


Supplemental Security Income Benefits (SSI) benefits are paid to people who are both 1. disabled, and 2. poor.  It does not matter for SSI whether an individual has worked in the past or not.  There are limitations as to how much income or assets you can have and still receive SSI.  Income or assets such as money in accounts or even free room and board can reduce or even disqualify you from receiving SSI benefits.


Social Security Disability Benefits (SSD) are paid to disabled people who have some documented work history.  Generally, there are at least five major types of Social Security disability benefits.  Disability Insurance Benefits is the most important type of Social Security Disability benefit.  It is paid to individuals who have worked in recent years (typically five out of the last 10 years) and who have been disabled for at least 12 consecutive months.  SSD benefits can be paid back to 12 months prior to the application.  Social Security will not pay SSD for the first 5-6 months of disability but you may be able to receive SSI for that period if you are poor and therefore you should usually apply for both SSD and SSI.  You should call Social Security Professionals for a Free Consultation and help with your disability application or appeal.  (248) 549-3485


Disabled Widow and Widower Benefits are paid to individuals who are at least 50 and are disabled and the disability began before or within 7 years of the spouse’s death. The deceased husband or wife must have worked enough under Social Security to be insured.

If you are a widow or widower of a person who worked long enough, you can receive full benefits at full retirement age for survivor or reduced benefits beginning at age 60 even if you are not disabled.

If you are a widow or widower, you can receive survivor benefits at any age if you take care of the worker’s child who is under age 16 or is disabled and receives benefits on the worker’s record.


Disabled Adult Child Benefits are for children of persons who are deceased or who are drawing Social Security disability or retirement benefits.  The child must have become disabled before age 22.


SSI child disability benefits are SSI benefits payable to children up to the age of 18 who are disabled and whose parents or guardians are poor.  SSI benefits are payable from the date of the application forward.

The way in which disability is determined is a bit different for children.  It is a tougher disability standard and, additionally, the parent’s income is a factor.  Typically, it is much more difficult to prove a Child SSI claim and, consequently, many disability firms simply refuse to accept these cases.  Social Security Professionals accepts Child SSI cases and you can call us for a free consultation to discuss your child’s SSI claim. (248) 549-3485.


If your spouse is eligible for retirement benefits on his or her own record, Social Security will always pay that amount first.  But, if the spouse benefit that is payable on your record is a higher amount, he or she will get a combination of benefits that equals that higher amount.  It doesn’t matter if your spouse starts getting benefits before, after, or at the same time you do.  Social Security will check both records to make sure that your spouse gets the higher amount whenever he or she becomes entitled to it.  If your spouse will also receive a pension based on work not covered by Social Security, such as government or foreign work, his or her Social Security benefit on your record may be affected. If you are receiving benefits and you feel you may be entitled to higher benefits off of somebody else’ record, check with your local Social Security office.


If you are divorced, even if you have remarried, your ex-spouse may qualify for benefits on your record.  If your ex-spouse will also receive a pension based on work not covered by Social Security, such as government or foreign work, his or her Social Security benefit on your record may be affected.  To qualify on your record, your ex-spouse must: Have been married to you for at least 10 years; be at least 62 years old; be unmarried; and not be eligible for an equal or higher benefit on his or her own Social Security record, or on someone else’s Social Security record.  The amount of benefits payable to your divorced spouse has no effect on the amount of benefits you or your current spouse may receive.


If you are a divorced spouse of a worker who dies, you could receive benefits just as if you are a widow or widower provided the marriage lasted 10 years of more.


If you are under 18 and you are unmarried and the child of a worker who dies, you can receive survivor benefits.  This also applies to 19 year olds who are still in elementary or secondary school.


If you are a parent of a worker who dies and you are at least 62, you may receive survivor benefits.  You must be receiving at least half of your support from your child and you must not be eligible to receive a retirement benefit that is higher than the benefit allowable on your child’s record.  Further, you must not have married after your child’s death.

Go to the Social Security Administration website for a discussion of available benefits.