Seven Types of Social Security Disability Benefits in Virginia

Portner & Shure Law Firm Serving Maryland, Virginia & Washington D.C.

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1) Disability Insurance Benefits: These are benefits payable to individuals who are disabled to work and are insured, generally meaning, those who have worked and paid FICA taxes for 5 out of the last 10 years. In order to be considered disabled, one must be unable to perform substantial, gainful activity. This means that the person is not able to work and make money.

2) Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits for Adults: These benefits are not based on work, like the Disability Insurance Benefits. Instead, these benefits are available to those individuals who have no more than $2,000 in assets and married couples with no more than $3,000 in assets. These restrictions are known as means tests. If you work while receiving SSI benefits, there will be a dollar reduction from your benefits. SSI requires that the beneficiary satisfy the same standard of inability to perform substantial gainful activity due to a condition that can be expected to result in death or has lasted or expected to last for a continuous period of more than 12 months.

3) Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits For Children: If a child has a severe disabling condition, he may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income. The same means test for Supplemental Security Income Benefits for adults, as discussed in Number 2, applies to children and their families. When a child reaches the age of 18, he may be able to continue to receive benefits through the SSI adult program or he may be eligible for Disabled Adult Child Benefits.

4) Disabled Adult Children's Benefits: Children with disabilities that developed before the age of 22 may be eligible for Disabled Adult Children's Benefits if the parents of the beneficiary become deceased or disabled or reach retirement age and voluntarily retire.

5) Disabled Widow or Widower Benefits: These benefits are available to individuals who are at least fifty years of age and have become disabled within 7 years after their spouse has died or within seven years after the claimant last drew benefits based on either mother's or father's earning record from Social Security.

6) Divorced Survivor's Benefits: Divorced spouses may be eligible for both regular retirement benefits and widow's or widower's disability retirement benefits under the decedent's earning record even if the disabled widow or widower's benefits are being paid to the current widow or widower. In order to be eligible, the former spouse must have been married for at least 10 years before the finalization of the divorce.

7) Dependent Parents Age 62 and Older: If there is a working child with dependent parents 62 and older, the dependent parents may be eligible for disability benefits based on the death of that child. They must show that they are not eligible for a higher benefit and also show that they were dependent on the child, meaning, they are more than 50% dependent on the deceased working child.