SSDI, also called Disability Insurance benefits (SSD or DIB) or TITLE II benefits, is funded by the FICA tax, which is the payroll tax paid by employees and employers. To meet the first requirement of being “fully insured” for SSDI, you will need to have 40 quarters of coverage, i.e. worked for 10 years. Additionally, to meet the other requirement of “currently insured,” you need to have a disability that began during the period you earned 20 quarters of coverage over your last 40 calendar quarters of employment. You will receive a quarter of coverage, as long as you earn a specific dollar amount for the work you performed during a calendar quarter (three month period). This amount increases each year. In most cases, this means that you must have worked five years out of the last 10 years to qualify. If you are under 31 years of age, you do not need to work as many years to qualify.
If you begin receiving SSDI (DIB or Title II), other family members might also be eligible for auxiliary benefits.
- Your dependent child, stepchild, grandchild or step-grandchild
- If they are unmarried AND under age 18 years old OR
- Between 18 and 19 years old AND a full-time student in grade 12 or less.
- Your spouse at any age, who is caring for your child, if the child under 16 years old or disabled.
- Your spouse at 62 years old or older unless he/she collects a higher social security benefit on his/her own record.
- Your ex-spouse if he or she cares for a child under 16 years old or disabled.
- Your ex-spouse if:
- He or she is at least 62 years old
- Was married to you for at least ten years.
- Has not remarried unless the marriage ended by death, divorce or annulment
- The ex-spouse is not eligible for an equal or higher benefit on his/her own work record or on someone else’s record.