There are two sets of Social Security programs available for those who are disabled from working. Each of these programs pays monthly cash benefits.
One program is under Title XVI of the Social Security Act, known as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which requires you to have income and assets below a low threshold.
The other program is under Title II of the Social Security Act, known as Social Security, which usually requires a person to have worked and paid social security payroll taxes approximately five years out of the ten years preceding your inability to work. This is an insurance program that works like any other in that a person pays premiums to become insured for a particular insurable event. In this case, the premiums are the social security taxes paid on earnings from work, and the insurable event is becoming unable to work while you are still of working age, due to one or more physical or mental impairments.
When you obtain Social Security benefits on your own earnings record, that is, on premiums you paid in the form of social security taxes, your benefits are called Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB). When you obtain benefits on a parent’s earnings record, by proving you have been disabled continuously since before age 22, your benefits are called Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefits. When you obtain benefits on a deceased spouse or deceased former spouse’s earnings record, and you are between ages 50 and 60, your benefits are called Disabled Widow’s or Widower’s Benefits (DWB).
Like other insurance, if you stop paying premiums (social security taxes), eventually your disability insurance from Social Security will lapse. If your insurance lapses, the only way to obtain DIB is to prove your disability began on or before the date last insured (DLI).