Disability benefits: help when you're ill or injured

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During your working years, you may suffer a serious illness or injury that prevents you from earning a living, potentially putting yourself and your family at financial risk. But if you’re insured under Social Security, you may be able to get disability benefits if you have worked long enough in recent years, your disability is expected to last at least a year or result in death, and you meet other requirements.

More women than ever are now insured for Social Security disability benefits. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), in 1970, only 41% of women were insured; today, approximately 74% of women are insured.** In general, to be insured for disability benefits, you must have earned at least 20 work credits during the last 40 calendar quarters (10 years). If you qualify for benefits, certain family members (such as your dependent children) may also be able to collect benefits based on your work record.

Because eligibility requirements are strict, Social Security is not a substitute for other types of disability insurance, but it can provide basic income protection for working women and their family members.

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