Social Security Disability Programs: An Introduction

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The Social Security Administration’s Disability Benefits Programs

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a number of programs affording benefits to individuals with disabilities. Among these are:

  • Social Security Disability (SSD, SSDI, formally known as disability insurance benefits or DIB) provides benefits for a disabled individual based upon your employment earnings record.

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) affords benefits to a disabled individual without sufficient earnings history to qualify for SSD and is based in part on your financial need.

  • Disabled Widow/Widower Benefits (DWB) provides benefits based upon the earnings record of your deceased spouse or deceased former spouse if you are disabled and 50 years of age or older.

  • Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB) allows benefits to an individual who can show disability before reaching 22 years of age and is based upon the earnings record of the individual’s deceased, disabled or retired parent.

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