Disability payments are remitted to disabled individuals once they complete the Social Security Administration's disability insurance claims process and are deemed medically eligible for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration explains. Disabled individuals are found to be eligible for either Social Security disability insurance or the Supplemental Security Income program.
Social Security disability benefits are paid to people with qualifying disabilities and certain members of their families, according to the SSA. To be eligible, individuals must have contributed to Social Security through payroll taxes for the required length of time, which averages 40 quarters of work. The number of work quarters varies by the age of the applicant.
Not all disabled people are eligible for Social Security disability benefits. Applicants must meet strict medical qualification standards, which requires them to be unable to perform any type of gainful employment, states the SSA. Benefits are usually paid until the recipient is able to work again. When recipients reach retirement age, their disability benefits convert to retirement benefits, with no additional qualifying necessary, and the payment amounts do not change.
Social Security's Supplemental Security Income program pays benefits to individuals with qualified disabilities based on financial need rather than the number of quarters worked in Social Security covered jobs, indicates the SSA. Benefits are meant to pay for basic necessities such as shelter, food and clothing.