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Social Security Disability Insurance Program

Benefit overview

The Social Security Disability Insurance program pays benefits to a person who can’t work because they have a medical condition that’s expected to last at least one year or result in death. Federal law requires this strict definition of disability. The person must also be “insured.” This means that they must have worked long enough — and recently enough — and paid Social Security taxes on their earnings. While some programs give money to people with a partial disability or short-term disability, Social Security does not.

Military families with a family member with special needs or a family member with a military-connected disability may receive supplemental income through SSDI if they qualify.

Once a person has been approved for SSDI, they may receive the following benefits:

  • Increased Income: Regular monthly income to help with care and expenses
  • Vocational rehabilitation: Assistance provided to help persons with physical or mental disabilities prepare for, gain or retain employment
  • Medicare coverage: To supplement or replace current insurance coverage
Learn More About SSDI

Visit the Social Security’s Benefits for People with Disabilities webpage to learn more about SSDI eligibility requirements or apply for benefits.


Investigate associated benefits and resources

Get help navigating the network of available services and support, including SSDI, using the Long-Term and Financial Planning checklist in the EFMP & Me tool.

Contact your installation’s Military Family Support Center or a Military OneSource special needs consultant if you have questions or concerns about SSDI, insurance or any of the following:

Long-Term and Financial Planning and more!

Office of Special Needs EFMP podcast series

Don’t miss this two-part program containing a wealth of information about legal and long-term financial planning for your family member with special needs. And be sure to review additional podcasts on a range of EFMP topics.


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