Social Security Benefits Programs for AdultsSocial Security considers anyone 18 or older as an adult. Benefit programs for adults are available span from age 18 to full retirement, and include the Disability Insurance Benefits and Supplemental Security Income benefit programs.
Social Security Disability Insurance BenefitsThe Social Security Disability benefits program essentially began in 1956. The purpose of the legislation was to avoid financial catastrophe for those who were “totally” disabled. The benefits program has evolved over the years, but the important legal standard for today is that you need to prove that you will be unable to work full-time for a year or more due to medical problems. Social Security as an “all-or-nothing” proposition. It does not find partial disability or assign percentages as seen in VA or Workers’ Compensation benefits. Read more about Social Security Disability here.
Legal Terms to Know
Quarters of Coverage
Disability insurance, like other kinds of insurance, requires you to be covered. Normally, we make premium payments to continue insurance coverage, such as car or life insurance. In the case of Social Security Disability Insurance, you “payments” automatically come out of your paychecks from work. Your earnings from work allow up to four “quarters of coverage” per year. Based on your age, Social Security will define how many quarters of coverage you need to be “insured” for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. If you are insured, you still need to apply to be considered for these benefits.
Primary Insurance Amount, “PIA”
If you are insured and prove you are unable to work under the Social Security Disability standards, you will receive monthly payments based on your earnings history. This is also called your “primary insurance amount,” or PIA. You can find out your PIA from Social Security.
Substantial Gainful Activity, “SGA”
Disability Benefits pay you because you are unable to work. A frequent question our DisabilityLawyer.com lawyers answer is, “Does my work now keep me from applying?” It may. The most important consideration is whether you have been working the last three calendar months or so at “substantial gainful activity,” or SGA. Working now may preclude your application or impact your active claim when you work over three months in a row and earn more than a certain gross amount each month. This monthly earnings threshold can change each year. Here is a link to the SGA levels for each year. SGA levels are higher for those who are blind. If you would like to apply for Social Security Disability complete our Free Disability Evaluation.