SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Social Security Disability and SSI Questions and Answers
What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
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
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
More questions about SSD and SSI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
Can You Qualify for Disability if you did not work much?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
Yes, you may qualify for disability benefits if you have not worked much. Of course, if you have not worked at all, or have worked very little, or have not been employed for quite some time, you may not be insured for Social Security disability. If this is the case, you may qualify for title 16 Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is a need-based program that requires no insured status, as it is based strictly upon need.
Social Security actually has two disability programs, Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income. Social Security disability, also known as title II DIB (disability insurance benefits) depends on your insured status. Insured status is acquired through your earnings each year. What do I mean by this? Your insured status, i.e. eligibility to receive social security retirement or social security disability, is acquired through quarters of coverage, which are based upon your earnings each year.
SSI disability benefits provide coverage for minor-age children and adults who have lost their insured status for social security disability. It also provides supplemental income for those who are eligible to receive social security disability, but would only receive a small monthly benefit check.
Although SSI does not require that you be insured, it does require certain income and resource levels. In other words, to qualify for disability under the SSI program, you cannot be working and earning more than what is considered a substantial gainful income. You also cannot have more than two thousand dollars in assets.
Individuals who qualify for social security disability do not have an asset limitation. However, to be eligible for SSD (and SSI), you cannot be working and earning a substantial and gainful income.
To qualify for disability benefits in either program, you must satisfy the social security administration definition of disability which states that your condition must be severe, have lasted (or be projected to last) a full year, and must prevent you from being able to work and earn a substantial and gainful income.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Social Security Disability Questions page