Social Security Disability Insurance


Social Security pays benefits to people who cant work because they have a medical condition(s) thats expected to last at least one year or result in death. Certain members of the individual's family may be eligible for benefits based on the individual's work history.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Social Security Administration
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
C - Direct Payments For Specified Use; D - Direct Payments With Unrestricted Use
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
Social Security Act of 1935, Title II, as amended; Public Laws 96-265; 97-123, and 97-35. 42 U.S.C. 401; 42 U.S.C. 402; 42 U.S.C. 416; 42 U.S.C. 420-425, Public Law 96-265, II U.S.C.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
A disabled worker is entitled to Social Security disability benefits if he or she has worked for a sufficient period of time under Social Security to be insured, has not attained "full-benefit retirement age", has filed an application, and is under a disability as defined in the Social Security law. The law defines disability as the inability to do any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months. The insured status requirements depend upon the age of the applicant and the date they became disabled. Coverage credits under the social security systems of certain foreign countries with which the U.S. has reciprocal agreements may be taken into account to meet the requirements. Certain family members of disabled workers may also be entitled to benefits. : (1) Unmarried children under age 18, or under age 19 for full-time students in elementary or secondary school; (2) unmarried adult offspring at any age if continuously disabled since before age 22; (3) wife or husband at any age if child in his or her care is receiving benefits on worker's Social Security record and is under age 16 or disabled; (4) spouse age 62 or over; and (5) divorced wives or husbands age 62 or over who were married to the worker for at least 10 years. (Benefits are also payable to auxiliaries, including certain disabled widow(er)s, disabled surviving divorced spouses, children under age 19 who are full-time students in an elementary or secondary school, and disabled children of the worker, after the worker dies. See 96.004 "Social Security-Survivors' Insurance".) A person at and above full-benefit retirement age (FRA) will not have Social Security benefits reduced because of earnings. In the calendar year in which a beneficiary reaches FRA, benefits are reduced $1 for every $3 of earnings above the limit allowed by law, $56,520 in 2023, but this reduction is applied only to months prior to attainment of FRA. Further, no benefit can be paid to an alien in the United States unless he or she is lawfully present in the United States. In addition, an alien cannot qualify for benefits if he or she never had a work-authorized Social Security Number (SSN) (effective for benefit applications based on SSNs issued after 2003).
Beneficiary Eligibility
Qualified disabled workers under full retirement age (FRA). Under the definition of disability in the Social Security Law, disability benefits are provided to a person who is unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months, or to result in death. Disabled widow(er)s' benefits are covered under survivors insurance. Felony-related impairments and confinement-related impairments cannot be considered in determining whether an individual is under a disability if the individual has been convicted of a felony which was committed after October 19, 1980. Eligibility cannot be based on drug addiction or alcoholism.
Proof of disability and possibly proof of age, education, past work, and other considerations. If applying for benefits for family members, additional proofs of age, relationship to disabled worker, or full-time school attendance may be required.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. You can apply conveniently and securely online at our Disability Benefits webpage at o Our webpage tells you how to prepare for filing an application and explains the SSDI application process. If you cannot apply online, you can call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or your local Social Security office.
Award Procedure
After review of the application is completed, the applicant (or representative payee) will be notified by mail.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
An individual should apply for disability benefits when he or she believes the entitlement requirements may be met. Retroactivity of benefit payments is limited to 1 year before filing. Processing an application for disability benefits can take on average three to six months. We may be able to process your application faster if you help us by getting any information we need. For more information, please read Disability Benefits (Publication No. 05-10029).
Telephone or visit any Social Security Office. The appeal process ranges from a reconsideration through hearings and appeals levels to a review by the Federal courts.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Not applicable.
How may assistance be used?
Monthly cash benefits are paid to entitled disabled persons and to entitled auxiliary beneficiaries throughout the period of disability generally after a 5-month waiting period. Costs of vocational rehabilitation also are paid for certain beneficiaries. There are no restrictions on the use of benefits received by beneficiaries, although the right to future benefits is not transferable or assignable. In general, State agencies make initial disability determinations for the Federal Government. The Federal Government gives the States funds, in advance or by way of reimbursement, for necessary costs in making disability determinations under 20 CFR 404.1503.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not applicable.
Regarding reports: Any change in address or other requirement (such as improvement of disabling condition or work activity) must be reported to the local Social Security Office when it occurs. Continuing Disability Reviews: Persons are contacted periodically to see if they continue to qualify for benefits.
Not applicable.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Not applicable Not applicable
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Consult Appendix IV of the Catalog.
Headquarters Office
See website for local SSA office.
Baltimore , MD 21235 US
Phone: 1-800-772-1213
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Direct Payments with Unrestricted Use) FY 22$142,275,593,353.00; FY 23 est $147,634,000,000.00; FY 24 est $153,578,000,000.00; FY 18 Estimate Not Available FY 17 Estimate Not Available FY 16 Estimate Not Available -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
As of December 31, 2022, the average benefit paid to a disabled worker alone was $1,463.53, and the average amount payable to a disabled worker with a spouse who has a child in care and at least one child was $2,610.87. This takes into account stipulations set forth in Public Law 96-265 and Public Law 97-35. Under Public Law 97-123, the minimum amount is no longer applicable for workers who either become disabled or first met the insured status requirements after December 1981, and a lesser amount can be paid, depending on the worker's average earnings.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Not applicable.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.