Key information about Social Security disability benefits

When people in Kentucky earn income from a job, they pay Social Security taxes. According to FindLaw, if people become disabled, the money that they paid into this system makes them eligible for benefits based on the contributions they made. The more taxes a person paid into the system, the higher the amount of benefits he or she will qualify to receive.

If a disability is not permanent, it may not qualify someone to receive SSDI benefits. A person must have a health condition, either mental or physical, that lasts or will last for at least a full and continuous year, or until he or she dies. The benefits do not start until after the five-month period during which the Social Security Administration verifies the long-term nature of the disability. The process may be expedited if the health issue is on the compassionate allowance list.

Not only do disabled workers receive the benefits, their children and spouse may also be eligible for benefits based on the workers' contributions to SSDI. A disabled person who has received SSDI benefits for two years automatically receives Medicare coverage.

A person who does not qualify for SSDI benefits may still qualify for federal assistance through the Supplemental Security Income program. A disabled adult who does not make more than the amount of income designated by the SSI threshold may be eligible because the program is based on financial need rather than tax contributions. According to the SSA, a person may be eligible for both SSDI and SSI benefits.

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