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Disability Benefits
Disability benefits are payable at any age to people who have earned enough Social Security credits and who have a severe physical or mental impairment that is expected to prevent them from doing "substantial" work for a year or more or who have a condition that is expected to result in death. The disability program includes incentives to smooth the transition back into the workforce, including continuation of benefits and health care coverage while a person attempts to work.
Social Security Benefits for People Affected by the Terrorist Attacks
Social Security is more than a retirement program; it is America's family protection plan. Social Security provides valuable disability and survivors protection for workers and their families.
Survivors Benefits
When a worker dies, certain members or his or her family may be eligible for benefits if the worker earned enough Social Security credits while they were working. The younger a person is, the fewer credits are needed to be eligible for survivors benefits. However, nobody needs more than 40 credits (10 years of work) to be eligible for any Social Security benefits. The family members include: a widow(er) age 60 or older, 50 or older if disabled or any age if caring for a child under age 16; children if they are unmarried and under age 18, under 19 but still in school or 18 or older but disabled; and parents if the worker was their primary means of support. A special one-time payment of $255 may be made to a worker's spouse or minor children. If the worker was divorced, their ex-spouse could be eligible for a widow or widower's benefit.
To Obtain More Information or File a Claim
To contact the Social Security Administration, call (800) 772-1213 (TTY (866) 545-7316) 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. on business days; automated phone service is available 24 hours a day.
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