The disability benefit program that provides benefits to the most Americans is also the most misunderstood: Social Security. There are a number of myths and misconceptions about Social Security that result in many HD families, and Americans in general, missing out on important benefits. Here are 5 important facts to better understand Social Security benefits: 

1. There are four Social Security benefit programs:  

  • Social Security Disability, Retirement, and Death Benefits 
  • Supplemental Security Income  
  • Adult Child Disability Benefits
  • Disabled Widow Benefits 

2. Social Security is not a guaranteed benefit, being an American citizen is not enough to qualify for any type of Social Security benefit. To be eligible for the Social Security Disability, Retirement, and Death Benefit program, you have to work and pay the appropriate taxes on your work earnings. To be eligible for Supplemental Security Income, you have to meet the strict financial criteria. 

3. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits expire if you stop working or stop paying into Social Security. Many HD individuals lose access to their SSDI benefit because they wait too long to apply and they don’t have the necessary medical evidence for the application.  

4. The Social Security Disability, Retirement, and Death Benefit is just one benefit, meaning you cannot get disability and retirement. If you are approved for disability, your disability will automatically switch to retirement once you reach retirement age. 

5. Retirement age is not 65, it is 67 for anyone born after 1960. Please see the full retirement age chart BY CLICKING HERE. 

You can find more information about Social Security facts and myths BY CLICKING HERE.