Frequently Asked Questions

Common Social Security Disability Questions

SSI or SSD;a little about the two programs. SSI, or Supplemental Security Income, or Title XVI, (all the same program) is a needs based program. It is for low-income people with few assets. Usually people who have little or no work history qualify for this. The advantage of this program is that you do not have the five month wait period you have with SSD and you usually qualify for Medicaid. If you worked, but had low earnings you may be eligible for both SSI and SSD.

SSD, Social Security Disability, or Title II, is based on what you paid into your FICA tax. You will need to have worked and paid taxes for 20 of the past 40 quarters – like working part time for the past ten years or full time for five of past 10 years. You will be eligible for Medicare after you have been collecting disability benefits for twenty four months. There is a monthly fee for this insurance and some people opt not to take it if, for instance, they are already fully insured on their spouse’s insurance. Another thing, people do not realize that they can have unearned income and stay on SSD even if you get an inheritance, win the lottery, collect private insurance. There are others ways to receive SSD benefits such as Widow’s benefits or Disabled Adult Child. Which brings me to mention when you are eligible for SSD, your dependent children may also receive benefits.

*Some sources of benefits will affect your benefits and some other benefits may be effected by SSD. Worker’s compensation, certain VA benefits, and some Long Term Disability are examples of this. SSD is effected by Workers’ Compensation may affect the amount of your monthly Social Security check, but Long Term Disability may be effected by your Social Security.


This information is in no way to be construed as legal advice. Seeking professional services for your Social Security claim from a qualified representative or lawyer experienced in these matters is highly recommended. Navigating through the Social Security process can be very complex and has many variables, caveats, exclusions, contingencies, etc. Attempts at loosely outlining the “basics”, as I have here, fosters too many exceptions to be accepted as concrete information and your actual situation may not meet all the criteria to match this conclusion. While, every attempt has been made to provide accurate information rendered in this site, Mary Perry, Accredited Disability Representative, is not responsible for any errors or omission, or for outcomes resulting from this information. No part of this Web Site should be copied without the express permission of Mary Perry, Accredited Disability Representation.

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