Hope for Disabilities

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Below is information about the two major programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you have questions about SSI or SSDI benefits call 1-808-228-9023 .

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Benefits

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Benefits are the most important type of Social Security benefits. They may be awarded to individuals who have worked full time in recent years (five out of the last ten years in most cases) and who are now disabled.

Disabled widow's and widower's SSDI benefits are paid to individuals who are at least fifty and become disabled within seven years after the death of their husband or wife. The late husband or wife must have worked enough under Social Security to be insured.

Child SSDI benefits are available to the child of a qualified disabled adult on the parent's Social Security record. The child must be under eighteen or between eighteen and nineteen and a full-time student in grade twelve or less.

Under SSDI, benefits are available for adults disabled since childhood. These are paid to a child eighteen or older who became disabled before age twenty-two. If the parent is alive the parent must be entitled to retirement or disability benefits. If deceased the parent must have worked long enough under Social Security for survivor's benefits to be paid on the record.

Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI)

Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI) benefits are paid to individuals who are poor and who are disabled. An individual does not have to have worked in the past to collect SSI. SSI child disability benefits are a variety of SSI benefits paid to children under the age of eighteen who are disabled.

Child disability benefits under SSI provide financial support to children age seventeen or younger who are disabled. Social Security uses different rules for determining disability in a child's claim than in an adult's claim. To be found disabled, the child must have a physical or mental condition which causes marked and severe functional limitations. Child disability benefits under SSI are based on family income.

More Social Security Disability Facts:

  • Disability may be a familiar enough concept to many people, but rarely do we think of the possibility of becoming disabled ourselves until we become ill or experience an accident. Surprisingly though, the chances of becoming disabled are probably far greater than you imagine. Studies show that someone who has worked twenty years has a 30% chance of becoming disabled before reaching retirement age.

  • Each year, you should receive a benefits estimate from the Social Security Administration which summarizes the years you have worked, how much money you have paid into the system, and your estimated monthly disability benefit.

  • If you are a widow, widower, or divorced and have not remarried, you may qualify for disability benefits under your spouse's Social Security account. When the spouse is deceased, you must make a claim within 7 years of the spouse's death.

  • You may qualify for a percentage of your parent's benefits if you are currently a disabled adult child at least 19 years of age and can prove your disability began before your 22nd birthday (and your disability continues). Note: You must still be disabled.

  • If you are granted Social Security Disability benefits, you will be entitled to receive Medicare benefits two years from your disability onset date. If you are impoverished and unable to obtain medical treatment during any interim period, you may qualify for Medicaid benefits until your Medicare becomes effective.

  • Benefits normally continue until you are able to work again on a regular basis.