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
Social Security Disability and SSI Denials
Social Security Disability and SSI 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 Disability Back Pay Benefits
Social Security Disability SSI Awards and Award Notices
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 Tim Moore
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Will I Qualify For SSI and How Do I Get Approved?
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 and in these subsections:
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria