Topic Categories:

Social Security Disability Definitions

Social Security Disability and SSI Overview

The Requirements for Disability

Social Security Disability and SSI Applications

Tips and Advice for Disability Claims

How long does Disability take?

Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial

Disability Denials and Filing Appeals

Social Security Mental Disability Benefits

Disability Benefits offered through Social Security

Benefits through SSI disability

Disability Benefits for Children

Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify

Social Security Disability and Working

Winning your Disability Benefits

Social Security Back Pay and the disability award notice

Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney

Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions

What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?

Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence

Filing for Disability Benefits

Eligibility for Disability Benefits

SSDRC authored by

Ask a question, get an answer

Will I Qualify For SSI and How Do I Get Approved?

How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits

Individuals who are filing for disability through the SSI program have to meet income and resource limits as well as be found medically disabled in order to qualify for disability benefits. SSI is a need-based disability program and, as such, it is bound by income and resource limits just as any other need-based program.

The resource limits can change yearly but they have remained the same for many years. Currently, the resource limit for a person is $2000.00 and for a couple it is $3000.00. Resource limits exclude an individualís or coupleís highest valued vehicle and their home. Any other land, vehicles, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, etc. count toward the resource limit.

Additionally, SSI disability applicants must meet income limits that vary depending upon family composition. If a disability applicant is over either limit, their SSI disability claim will be denied at the initial disability interview.

If an individual meets the income and resource limits at their initial disability interview, their disability claim will be sent to a state disability-processing agency for a medical decision. The medical decision process is the same for both Social Security disability and SSI. Once the claim is at the state disability agency, a disability examiner gathers medical records from the sources the disability applicant provided at their interview. If an individual does not have any current medical treatment, or they have no medical treatment notes, they will have to attend consultative medical or mental examinations with a physician who is paid by Social Security.

Once the information is received from the individualís medical sources or their consultative examination reports, the disability examiner will evaluate the medical evidence along with questionnaires completed by both the applicant and their third party contact-person (a friend or family member who knows about their conditions and how it limits the their daily activity) in order to determine what the disability applicant's residual functional capacity (what an individual is able to do in spite of their limitations) is.

Once the disability examiner determines an individualís residual functional capacity, they can further determine if the applicant is able to perform any of their past work or if they would be capable of other work considering their limitations.

So how does an individual get approved for SSI? They have to meet or equal a Social Security impairment listing or they have to go through the disability decision described above. And if an individual is medically approved for SSI there is still one last hurdle to jump. SSI disability applicants who are approved medically for disability must go to an end-of-the-line review with a claims representative prior to receiving SSI disability.

The end of the line review is used to make sure an individual still meets the income and resource limits along with other non-medical requirements and disability criteria needed to be eligible for SSI. Regrettably, some SSI applicants who are found medically disabled are denied because they do not meet the income and resource limits

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions

Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The Disability Decision Process and What gets taken into Consideration | Getting Denied for Disability Benefits | Questions about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | Social Security Disability Hearings | Social Security Medical Examinations | Social Security SSI Doctors | Social Security Disability Representation | Social Security Disability SSI Reviews