Overview of RSDI Benefits

Published: 16th August 2009
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The Social Security RSDI (Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance) benefits are the largest federal benefits program that provides income-maintenance for those who are eligible.

It was initially formed to cover benefits for those who are qualified to retire and for those who lost family members; disability benefits were added later on.

To qualify for RSDI benefits, one must be fully insured according to the criteria for eligibility by the Social Security Administration.

To be fully insured, a person should be able to garner credits through monthly contributions from his/her income as a worker. The number of credits required is based on the age and the kind of benefit the claimant is applying for.

Right now, the RSDI covers about 96% of all occupations in the United States through laws that requires workers to pay for their social security taxes such as the Federal Insurance Contributions Act and Self-Employment Contributions Act.

Here is an overview of each benefit under the RSDI program:


Also known as old-age insurance, retirement benefits are payments given to qualified claimants who reached the age of 62 or older.

To be eligible, the claimant must be:

• Fully-insured under the Social Security System

• Reached at least the age of 62 by the first month

• Either applied for the benefits or Disability benefits are converted during Full Retirement age.

A person may retire as early as the age of 62 or up to the full retirement age which is dependent on the year of birth.


This is a type of benefit that is given to certain eligible family members of a person who passed away that has worked and paid social security taxes.

A person should have worked for about ten years for his/her family to be eligible for the benefits. Social Security Survivors benefits can be paid to:

• Widow/widower - Full benefits at full retirement age or reduced rate as early as sixty years old.

• Disabled widow/widower - As early as age 50.

• A widow/widower at any age if he/she is taking care of the deceased's child who is under sixteen years old or disabled.

• Children aged 18 or up to 19 if they are attending high school.

• Under some circumstance, stepchildren, adopted children and grandchildren can claim the benefits.

• Children of the deceased who were disabled before the age of 22.

• Dependent parents who are 62 and older.

Disability Insurance

This benefit is given to people who are not able to work because of a disability. It is designed to provide compensation until the said person's condition improves, and is intended to guarantee compensation even if the condition does not improve.

To be eligible for Social Security disability, the claimant should meet the following qualifications:

• Has a physical or mental condition that prevents the claimant from engaging in "substantial gainful activity".

• The disabling condition is expected to last at least 12 months.

• Under the age of 65.

• Generally, have worked 5 out of the last 10 years, as of the start of condition.

Although not required, claimants can also seek the help of RSDI attorneys to help them prepare a winning claim. An experienced and credible lawyer can help the claimant through guidance in the process and if necessary, legal representation.

Our social security law attorneys are experienced in handling claims for RSDI benefits. For consultation, visit our website and call our toll free number.

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