There are at least five major types of Social Security disability benefits. Disability insurance benefits is the most important type of Social Security disability benefits. It goes to individuals
who have worked in recent years (five out of the last 10 years in most cases) who are now disabled.

Disabled widow’s and widower’s benefits are paid to individuals who are at least 50 and become disabled within a certain amount of time after the death of their husband or wife. The late husband or wife must have worked enough under Social Security to be insured. Disabled adult child benefits go to the children of persons who are deceased or who are drawing Social Security disability or retirement benefits. The child must have become disabled before age 22.

For disability insurance benefits, disabled widow’s or widower’s benefits, and disabled adult child benefits, it does not matter whether the disabled individual is rich or poor. Benefits are
paid based upon a Social Security earnings record.

Supplemental Security Income benefits, however, are paid to individuals who are poor and who are disabled. It does not matter for SSI whether an individual has worked in the past or not. SSI child’s disability benefits are a variety of SSI benefits paid to children under the age of 18 who are disabled. The way in which disability is determined is a bit different for children.