Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (SSDI) is a program for disabled individuals who have worked in recent years.

SSDI is also known as a Title II claim, or as Social Security Disability (SSDI), Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance (RSDI), or  Retirement, Survivors, Disability, and Health Insurance (RSDHI). These benefits are available for the insured worker, and, in many cases, the worker’s dependents or survivors.


To be eligible to receive SSDI benefits, it does not matter if an individual is rich or poor. If a claimant is found disabled, the amount of benefits he will receive is based on how much he has “paid in” to the system, depending on how much he has worked and earned in the past. Benefits cannot begin until five months have passed after the person becomes disabled. Back benefits will not be paid more than one year prior to the date of the claim.

Disability Insured Status

To qualify for this type of benefit, the disabled individual must have disability insured status, or enough quarters of coverage (QCs) based on his or her earnings under Social Security. This generally means he or she must have earned income for five out of the last 10 years in most cases. If the disability occurs before the age of 31, the requirements are different, but there must be at least six quarters of coverage. At least six but not more than 40 QCs are required to be fully insured.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

SSI Disability (Supplemental Security Income) is a Title XVI claim. Benefits are paid to individuals who are aged, blind, disabled, and who have limited income and resources meeting Social Security’s eligibility requirements. It does not matter whether or not an individual has ever worked in the past.

If a claimant is found disabled, back benefits can be paid beginning with the month after the date of the claim. A claimant who is approved for SSI benefits is also eligible for Medicaid coverage as of the date of his SSI application, and possibly for retroactive Medicaid for a limited time before the date of the SSI claim.

Disabled Widow’s and Widower’s Benefits (DIWW)

Disabled Widow’s and Widower’s Benefits (DIWW) are paid to individuals who meet specific eligibility requirements for this Title II claim. A widow, widower or surviving divorced Spouse must be between the ages of 50-60 and must have become disabled no later than seven years after the death of the spouse. The deceased husband or wife must have worked enough under Social Security to be insured. Claimants who are found disabled may only be paid up to six months prior to the date of the claim, and have a two year waiting period before they are eligible for Medicare benefits.

Disabled Adult Child (DIWC or DAC)

The child must have become disabled before the age of 22, and he or she must draw benefits on the Social Security account of his father or mother. The parent must be deceased or drawing Social Security disability or retirement benefits. If deceased, the parent must have worked enough to have been fully or currently insured as of the date of death. Claimants who are found disabled have a two year waiting period before they are eligible for Medicare benefits.

Most disabled adult child claims are based on developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy or mental retardation, which have their onset in childhood and which are likely to be substantiated by medical records, or from a debilitating injury that occurs prior to the age of 22. Disabled Adult Child (DIWC or DAC) benefits is a type of Title II claim.

Qualifying for Medicare

After a claimant has received SSDI benefits for two years, they will qualify for Medicare. For more information on Medicare eligibility, please ask our office, or visit

Medical Facts and Social Security

Any “medically determinable impairment” which makes it impossible for you to work for at least 12 months can qualify for disability benefits. Tracy Tyson Miller has successfully represented people with many different medical problems including:

  • Anxiety Disorder
  • Parkinsons Disease
  • ALS
  • PTSD
  • Chronic Heart Failure
  • Diabetes
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Bi-Polar Disorder
  • Asthma
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • COPD

While this is not a complete listing of all the diseases that qualify for SSDI or SSI, it does provide you with some examples.

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