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Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB)

The Social Security Administration has two disability programs; 1) Disability Insurance Benefits or DIB, also referred to as Title 2 benefits, and 2) Supplemental Security Income or SSI.

DIB is a program that pays benefits to an individual based on their prior work history. Work history is categorized into quarters of coverage (QC), commonly referred to as “Work Credits,” or just “credits.” You can earn a maximum of four quarters in each calendar year. For you to be currently insured you must have 20 quarters within the past 10 years. A simple way to understand the rule is if you worked 5 out of the last 10 years you are eligible for DIB. It is important to recognize that work credits expire after a 10 year period and you must be “fully insured.”

For younger disabled individuals the criteria is different. Please click on the links provided below to learn more.

Special Insured Status for Disability Before Age 31

Special Insured Status Requirements for Subsequent Periods of Disability - Over 31

DIB example

An individual that worked from December 2000 to December 2005, earning $50,000 per year has earned 20 “work credits” and an insured status through December 2010.  Therefore, as long as the individual proves to the SSA that they are disabled prior to December 2010 they will qualify for DIB benefits.


Tips & Tricks

Call the Social Security Administration line at 1-800-772-1213.  After you successfully confirm that you are the claimant – ask the SSA representative what is your, “Date Last Insured”. The Date Last Insured is the actual date SSA determines that your work credits expire.


Alleged Onset Date

The Alleged Onset Date (AOD) is the date that you are claiming as the start of your disability. The AOD must be earlier in time than your Date Last Insured or you will not be eligible for DIB.