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Types of Social Security Benefits

Updated: Oct 19, 2021


Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (SSDIB) are monthly cash and medical benefits (Medicare) for disabled adults who have sufficient quarters of earnings over the last ten years. You must have worked and paid federal income tax during in five of the last ten years to qualify for SSDIB. The amount received is determined by your taxable earnings. The medical qualifications for SSDIB and SSI are the same.


Supplemental Security Income is a monthly cash payment and more limited medical benefits (Medicaid). The monthly amount received is currently $794 for an individual, and $1,191 for a couple. The amount changes with annual cost of living increases (latest increase 1.3 percent). The monthly amount is also reduced by subtracting "countable income" by the individual and their spouse. Countable income is anything received in a month that you can use to meet your needs for food in shelter, including cash or in kind.

Children's Benefits

Children are entitled to SSI payments if they have a physical or mental condition that very seriously limits their activities that least at least one year or results in death.

Widow and survivor benefits:

Certain family members of the deceased disabled person may be eligible to receive monthly benefits if they are:

  • A widow or widower age 60 or older (age 50 or older if disabled).

  • A surviving divorced spouse, under certain circumstances.

  • A widow or widower at any age who is caring for the deceased’s child who is under age 16 or disabled and receiving child’s benefits.

  • An unmarried child of the deceased who is younger than 18 (19 if a student) or

  • Age 18 or older with a disability that began before age 22.

  • Under certain circumstances a stepchild, grandchild, step grandchild, or adopted child may be eligible.

  • Parents, age 62 or older, who were dependent on the deceased for at least half of their support.

Death Benefits

Social Security pays a one-time lump-sum death payment of $255 to the surviving spouse if they lived together or were receiving benefits on their spouse's record. If there is no surviving spouse, the payment is made to a child who is eligible for benefits on their parent's record.

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