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About Social Security Disability / Supplemental Security Income

Let our law firm help you understand and fight for your social security disability benefits.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD or DIB)

You have already paid for these benefits with your FICA or Self Employment taxes during your working years. Your exact benefit is calculated based on your reported earnings, so it may differ from your neighbor’s benefit.

Once SSA decides that you qualify, you can be paid benefits retroactively starting as much as one full year before the month that you applied, depending on when your inability to work began.

These benefits are part of the Social Security Disability Act Title II (commonly called “Title 2”) which includes other benefits related to one’s earnings.

Medicare does come with these benefits, but it doesn’t begin until 24 months after your first Disability Insurance Benefit month.


Supplemental Security Income Benefits (SSI)

SSI is a welfare benefit for disabled persons who have not earned enough to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits in an amount larger than the maximum SSI benefit. In other words, if your disability benefits are less than the maximum, you may qualify for SSI.

If you have worked only a little, or at low-wage jobs, then SSI will supplement your Disability Insurance Benefit, however the total amount you receive cannot be more than the maximum SSI amount. If you haven’t worked enough to qualify for any DIB, then SSI is the only benefit for which you are eligible.

SSI benefits can start no earlier than the month after the month in which you apply.

But remember that household income and assets (called “resources”) can reduce or eliminate SSI benefits. Disabled children in low-income households can receive SSI, as well as disabled adults. This benefit is part of the Social Security Disability Act Title XVI, called “Title 16.”


Disability Insurance Benefits are often referred to in different ways: SSD, SSDI, SSDIB, DIB, or just “Social Security.” We—and the Social Security Administration—prefer to use “DIB.” Why?

  • It’s more precise, as there are other Title II benefits related to disability, and
  • “DIB” is less likely to be confused with the many other abbreviations that begin with “SS.”

(Have a question? Let us help you understand Social Security terminology.)