Are Social Security And Social Security Disability The Same Things?

Social Security provides many types of monthly Social Security benefits, and disability benefits are included, so the term Social Security is like an umbrella term for various benefit programs that are administered by the Social Security Administration.

Social Security provides:

1. Retirement benefits to individuals who are sixty-two years of age or older,

2. Widow or widower benefits to individuals who are age sixty or older,

3. Mother or father-in-care benefits to parents with children-in-care (both survivor and living spouse with children-in-care),

4. Disabled widow or widower benefits at the age of fifty, so long as they were not remarried prior to fifty and they meet the prescribed period rules (generally, they must have become disabled within seven years of their spouse's death or prior to any survivor mother or father-in-care benefits termination month),

5. Adult disabled child benefits (disability benefits based upon a parent's record, provided the parent is receiving Social Security Disability, or retirement benefits, or they are deceased and the child meets the marriage and earnings requirements in order to be entitled to this type of benefit,

6. Children's benefits if the parent is receiving benefits (these benefits terminate when a child turns eighteen if they are not in high school, or at 19 if the child is still in high school).

All of these benefits are considered to be Social Security benefits.

In addition to the above mentioned Social Security benefits, Social Security administers two disability programs: Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income disability, or SSI.

Social Security Disability is based upon an individual's history of work activity, which provides insured status. If an individual is insured for Social Security Disability and they are found medically disabled, then they are entitled to receive a monthly benefit based upon the earnings they have made prior to becoming disabled. There is no set monthly Social Security Disability monthly amount, and if a disabled individual earnings were high enough there may be dependent benefits available for their children and spouse, or spouses.

Supplemental Security Income disability (SSI) is a need based disability program that does not require that an individual be insured in order to receive benefits, or to have even worked. SSI disability is a program that requires that an individual meet certain income and resource (assets) limits in addition to being found medically disabled. Under the SSI program, if the individual meets all the income and resource requirements, and is also found to be medically disabled, then they are entitled to receive a monthly disability benefit. Each year Social Security determines a maximum monthly SSI disability benefit amount.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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