SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
How Likely are You to Win Your Disability Case?
If I Am Determined Disabled, How Far Back Will Social Security Pay Benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Tips for filing a disability claim
What is the Purpose of the Social Security Disability SSI Medical Exam, or CE?
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of benefits
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
Can You Get Approved For Social Security Disability If You Do Not Take Medication Or Go To a Doctor?
Filing an Application for Disability Benefits
How Long Does It Take To Get Disability Benefits?
Qualifying: What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability?
What is the difference between Social Security disability and SSI?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
The criteria that allows you to file for Social Security Disability
Social Security disability is a disability insurance program based upon an insured status earned through an person’s work activity. Payroll deductions are basically the Social Security disability insurance program’s premiums.
The earnings that the IRS reports each year determines how many quarters of coverage a person can earn for the year. The maximum amount of quarters a person can earn per year is four and the amount of quarters of coverage, or social security work credits, required for insured status depends upon the age the person became disabled.
The minimum amount of quarters of coverage required to fully insure a person is six and the maximum amount of quarters of required to be “fully insured” for disability is forty.
Social Security disability has a second requirement for disability insured status. Not only does a disability applicant have to be fully insured for disability, they must be “currently insured” as well. Generally, current disability insured status requires a disability applicant to have worked at least twenty of the forty possible work quarters prior to the month they became disabled. However, there are special rules in place for people younger than age thirty-one.
To reiterate, to be eligible for Social Security disability, the disability applicant must be both fully insured and currently insured.
The criteria that allows you to file for SSI Disability
SSI or Supplemental Security Income disability, on the other hand, is a disability program intended to help individuals who are not insured for Social Security disability. Individuals who have not worked, who have worked very little (possibly entitling them to a small Social Security disability benefit amount that is under the SSI maximum benefit amount), who have worked in the past but are no longer currently insured for Social Security disability, and children. SSI disability is based upon need not insured status.
SSI disability beneficiaries must meet income and resource limits at the time of their disability application, when their disability claim is approved, and periodically as long as they are entitled to SSI disability benefits. SSI disability is a needs based disability program and like other needs based programs, SSI beneficiaries must meet the financial requirements of the program to remain eligible to receive disability benefits. Whereas, Social Security disability beneficiaries are not subject to any kind of resource and income limits.
More differences between Social Security Disability and SSI
The SSI disability program has no required waiting period; SSI disability beneficiaries are potentially eligible to begin their disability benefits with the month they filed for disability. While Social Security disability requires a five month waiting period beginning with the first full month after the date the beneficiary became unable to perform substantial work activity because of their disabling condition (unless their substantial gainful work activity began the first day of the month).
Social Security disability may pay a disabled worker’s dependents monthly benefits based upon the disabled individual’s record, provided there is any remaining money on the record after the disabled worker is paid their disability benefit. Social Security disability has a family maximum payable on a disabled worker’s record.
The amount payable to dependents is the difference between the disabled worker’s disability benefits and the family maximum. If there is no difference, there is no money to pay dependents. SSI disability allows no possibility of benefits for dependents. SSI disability benefits are payable to the disabled individual only.
Social Security Disability, SSI, and Health Insurance
Another important difference between SSI disability and Social Security disability is eligibility for health insurance. In most states, SSI disability beneficiaries are eligible to begin receiving Medicaid insurance when they become entitled to disability benefits. While Social Security disability beneficiaries, whose monthly disability benefits preclude SSI disability eligibility, will have to wait two years from the month they are eligible to receive their monthly disability benefits to receive Medicare coverage.
There are a few Social Security disability beneficiaries who are able to receive Medicaid benefits as well as Medicare insurance benefits. Generally, these disability beneficiaries have monthly benefits that allow them to be entitled to both SSI and Social Security disability simultaneously or they have Social Security disability benefits that are low enough to receive Medicaid even though they are too high for SSI disability entitlement.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Social Security Disability Questions page