Program Description

Social Security's Disability Insurance Benefits are federally funded and administered by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). Social Security pays disability benefits to you and certain members of your family if you have worked long enough and have a medical condition that prevents you from working for at least 12 months or is expected to end in death. Studies show that a 20-year-old worker has a 1-in-4 chance of becoming disabled before reaching full retirement age.

Program Requirements

To be eligible for disability benefits, you must:

  • Be unable to work because you have a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in death.
  • Not have a partial or short-term disability.
  • Meet SSA’s  definition of a disability.
  • Be younger than your full retirement age.

If you qualify for disability benefits, certain members of your family may be eligible to receive benefits based on your work record.

To find out if you may be eligible for Social Security's benefit programs, check out SSA's Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool.

To find out more about how Social Security decides if you are disabled, visit SSA's Publications Page, select "Disability" under “Topics,” and review Social Security Publication Number 05-10029.

Contact Information

Visit SSA's Publications Page for detailed information about SSA programs and policies.

Benefit Categories
Disability Assistance Social Security
Insurance Social Security