Social Security Disability benefits pay money to disabled individuals if the individual meets other qualifications. Overall, Social Security has five major benefits, each with different requirements. The first four types of Social Security Disability benefits described are based on an individual's Social Security earnings record and work history, and not the wealth or poverty of the individual. The first type of Social Security Disability benefit is Social Security Disability Insurance, commonly referred to as "SSDI." In most cases SSDI is available to individuals who become disabled but have worked five out of the last 10 years. If you are under 31 years of age, however, the rules are a little different because you have not been working for very long. The next two types are Disabled Widow's and Widower's Benefits. Like SSDI, to qualify for Disabled Widow's and Widower's Benefits an individual must work an appropriate amount of time under Social Security. Further, to qualify individuals must also be at least 50 years of age and become disabled within a certain amount of time after the death of their husband or wife. Fourth, Disabled Adult Child Benefits are available to children who become disabled before age 22, if the child's parents are deceased or drawing Social Security disability or retirement benefits. Again, SSDI, Disabled Widow's or Widower's Benefits and Disabled Adult Child Benefits are based on the Social Security earnings record and not the individual's wealth.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI), however, is different than the above-mentioned benefit types. Importantly, SSI requires that the claimant be poor and does not take into account an individual's work history or earnings record. SSI is available for disabled children and adults, though SSI is determined differently for both groups.