Types of Social Security Disability Benefits

In terms of Social Security Disability, there are two main classes of disability programs available.

Disability Insurance Benefits(DIB)

This arises under Title II of the Social Security Act, and is what most people think of when they think of Disability Benefits. This is the program a worker pays into every time they receive a paycheck, where federal taxes have been withheld. The easiest way to think about this is that the payment of federal taxes earns “work credits.” After a sufficient amount of work credits have been earned, if a worker, due to health issues, can no longer work they can then apply for Social Security Disability. The monthly benefit is based upon the average earnings of the disabled worker, as adjusted by the Social Security Administration.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

This program arises under Title XVI of the Social Security Act. It is for those whose disability arises after their work credits have expired and/or have not paid enough federal taxes to qualify them for DIB. To be eligible for this program, an injured worker cannot have more than approximately $2,000 “to their name” or $3,000 if married. “To their name” is not a legal term, but is being used here to mean the combined value of all non-excludable assets (bank accounts, trusts, stocks, raw land, a second home, a second vehicle, etc.) SSI benefits merely approximates living expenses; provides no more than $750 a month for an eligible individual, $1,125 for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse, and $376 for an essential person; it is also reduced by any additional income or assistance received monthly by the disabled worker.

Child Cases

In certain cases, children who have serious and significant health issues can also apply for disability benefits and potentially qualify for SSI. If you believe your child is disabled, please contact Thomas & Thomas for details.


Along with SSI, Medicaid comes as part of the disability package. Medicaid coverage beings at the time disability is approved.


Along with DIB, Medicare comes as part of the disability package. Medicare coverage, however, begins 30 months after the date the disabled worker was found disabled.

John Smith was found disabled on June 1, 2015. John’s Medicare coverage will commence on January 1, 2018.