Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits
Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (also called "SSD" or "Title II benefits") are paid to workers who are insured and disabled. Generally, being insured means that you have enough quarters of coverage. For example, a person who has worked five out of the last ten years would probably be insured for SSD benefits. Even if you have not worked yourself, you might be entitled to SSD based on the earnings record of a family member. For example, a person who is disabled before age 22 might be able to qualify for benefits based on the earnings of a deceased, disabled, or retired parent. SSD benefits are funded by payroll taxes and are administered by the United States government, and managed by the Social Security Administration. SSD benefits are only issued after a lengthy determination process, and most people who ultimately obtain benefits do so after being denied these benefits initially. SSD benefits are paid up to 12 months prior to the application date, but no earlier than five full months after your disability began. Therefore, if you do not file an application for SSD benefits within 17 months of becoming disabled, you will lose your right to retroactive benefits for each month you delay filing.
Supplemental Security Income Benefits
Supplemental Security Income (also called "SSI" or "Title XVI benefits"), is a welfare, or needs-based program administered by the Social Security Administration for people who meet the income and resource requirements, in addition to medical disability or age. The definition of disability for SSI purposes is the same as it is for SSD purposes. SSI benefits are not paid retroactively, so if you think you qualify, you should apply as soon as possible.