Several of Social Security’s Confusing Acronyms Explained

When you first file a claim for Social Security disability benefits, you may have questions about all of the terms and acronyms. At Levine Benjamin, our attorneys first have to make sure you understand the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) unique language.

The SSA uses a number of acronyms that can be easily and mistakenly interchanged. To help clear up the confusion, we’ve listed several of Social Security’s most common acronyms and their meanings in the context of your claim for Social Security Disability benefits:

  • DIB (Disability Insurance Benefits): This type of disability program is for you if you have achieved “insured status.” Insured status means you have worked and paid into Social Security long enough to draw disability. To obtain insured status, you must have worked (and paid FICA taxes on these earnings) any combination of five years within the last 10. Everyone’s DIB monthly rate is different because it is based upon the amount of FICA you paid in over the years. Medicare insurance is also awarded; however, there is a 24-month waiting period for the insurance to begin. DIB is not a need-based program. Therefore other sources of income paid to the individual or family is allowed.
  • SSI (Supplemental Security Income): This type of disability program is for you if you have not worked enough to have earned insured status. However, unlike DIB, SSI is a needs-based program. To qualify for SSI, you must have resources of less than $2,000. Resources can also be “deemed” from person to another. For instance, a parent’s assets can disqualify a child from SSI and spouse’s assets can disqualify the other spouse from eligibility. Medicaid insurance is automatically awarded with SSI with no waiting period.
  • SSA: The abbreviation for Social Security Administration.
  • AOD (alleged onset date): This is the date where your disability began. It is usually the last day of work and triggers the beginning of payment. An AOD may be changed during the course of disability claim based upon evidence contained in the file.
  • DLI (date last insured): This is the date your work credits expire for eligibility for DIB benefits. Typically, insured status only lasts for five years after you stop working. This date, called the date last insured, marks the end of DIB eligibility. That means that any award of disability must use an alleged onset date (AOD) before the date last insured (DLI).

We hope this information helps clear up confusion regarding the acronyms used in most discussions of Social Security Disability. If you still have questions about all the confusing terms and acronyms, give our attorneys a call today.