Overview of Disability
Disability Back Pay
Requirements for Disability
Applications for disability
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after a Denial
Mental Disability Benefits
Denials for Disability
Appeals for denied claims
Disability Benefits from SSA
Child Disability Benefits
Qualifications and How to Qualify
Working and Disability
Disability Awards and Notices
Disability Lawyers, Hiring Attorneys
Social Security List of Conditions
What Social Security considers disabling
Medical Evidence and Disability
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSD SSI Definitions
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
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To be eligible you must meet SSA's disability qualifications
In order to be eligible to receive social security disability (SSD) benefits, you must meet the qualifications for one of the disability programs offered by the federal social security administration: 1) SSD, also referred to as social security disability insurance (SSDI), or 2) supplemental security income (SSI).
What is qualifying for disability based on?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
How does Social Security determine if I am disabled or not?
Both SSD and SSI programs are governed by the social security administration, and both are meant to offer financial assistance to those who are disabled. However, past work history and earnings, as well as the value of your current assets, will determine if you are qualified to apply for benefits under either program.
The social security disability insurance program is provided for by title 2 of the Social Security Act. It functions very much like any insurance program, in that you must have contributed a certain amount to the fund through past paycheck deductions (in this case, social security taxes) in order to receive benefits. Also, as with other insurance funds, your SSDI coverage will lapse if you do not continue to contribute.
However, the social security administration does not measure work in hours, but in something called work credits. Under title 2, anyone who works earns one work credit for every one thousand dollars they earn in three consecutive months, for a maximum of four work credits per year, although this number may be periodically recalculated due to reflect inflation.
Most claimants filing for SSD will be required to have earned 20 work credits in the 10 years prior to filing the application, and earned a total of 40 work credits (work credits are calculated differently for some segments of the population, such as veterans and those who are blind). To sum it up, if you have never worked or have not earned enough work credits in the past 10 years, you are not eligible for SSD.
The supplemental security income program, or SSI, is provided for by title 16 of the Social Security Act. SSI does not have any work credit requirement, but in order to qualify for this disability program you must demonstrate that you do not currently earn too much.
How much is too much? Social security sets a dollar amount that a disabled person is allowed to earn and still be eligible for benefits. Anyone receiving more than this amount each month is said to be engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA), and is not eligible for either disability program, SSD or SSI.
Like work credits, SGA may be recalculated to reflect inflation, and those who are legally blind are allowed to a higher SGA. Unlike SSDI claimants, those applying for SSI benefits must meet the additional requirement of demonstrating that the value of their total assets, excluding one car, does not exceed $2,000.
Those claimants who meet the financial qualifications for either social security program may file a disability application, after which they must begin to gather evidence to demonstrate to the disability examiner assigned to the case that they meet the medical qualifications as well.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How long does it take to get a disability approval letter?
Disability requirements and how to file in North Carolina
Will I be approved for disability on my appeal?
How long can you receive SSI or Social Security disability benefits?
Disability requirements, eligibility, criteria
How do you Apply for SSI?
Determining Social Security Disability and SSI eligibility
What Forms Do You Use to File For Social Security Disability?
How a Social Security Disability or SSI award is made
What medical conditions do they Award Disability Benefits for?
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 provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits
What Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
Disability for a mental condition
Tips for Filing for disability
Financial Help Filing For Disability
Checklist for filing for disability, SSI or SSD
Qualifying for disability benefits, how to qualify for SSD or SSI
Filing a disability application: the steps
Disability award notice, how long it takes to get benefits
How to Apply for Disability - Where do I go?
What makes you eligible to get disability?
How to check my disability claim status?
Can a disability attorney speed up a disability case?
SSI disability Award Letter
How long to get approved for disability?
How to apply for disability benefits
How long does disability back pay take?
What are qualifications for getting disability?
What medical conditions can you file disability for?
Disability Lawyer help questions
Social Security Attorneys, Disability Representatives