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
How does Social Security determine the amount of money you receive on disability?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
What you receive on SSI Disability
If you file for disability and are approved to receive disability benefits under the SSI program, then the amount you may receive is predetermined. This is because the eligibility for SSI benefits is not based on anything that you might have paid into the system. SSI is an entitlement program that is based on need. The amount, therefore, is the same for all benefit recipients. For the year 2011, the monthly SSI full amount (the maximum that an SSI disability beneficiary may receive on a monthly basis) is $674. This is for an individual. The monthly benefit amount for an SSI eligible person who is married (an ineligible spouse) is $1,011.
As was stated, the monthly SSI disability benefit amount is predetermined. However, it may be reduced by any countable income that the SSI recipient may have, or any spousal income that may be earned by the recipient's "ineligible spouse" (a spouse who does not receive SSI). If the recipient has a spouse who is also eligible to receive SSI, then the total benefit amount payable would be further reduced by dividing it between the two spouses.
Note: An SSI disability recipient's monthly benefit may also be reduced if it is determined that they are living with someone and are not paying their fair share of expenses.
What you receive on SSD, or Social Security Disability
Social Security Disability is quite different from SSI with regard to how monthly benefit amounts are determined. What a person may receive on SSD is based on their earnings record. To be eligible in the first place, a person must have attained insured status by earning enough work credits. A work credit is equivalent to a calendar quarter in which a person had at least X amount in earnings: this amount is subject to change but in 2011 you would receive one credit for each $1,120 of earnings.
Insured status will allow a person to file a claim for SSD. Individuals who do not have insured status may still file a disability claim, but instead of filing under SSD it would be under the SSI program.
Additionally, individuals who have attained insured status for SSD but have not worked for a long time can lose their insured status. In fact, when social security disability claims are taken at social security field offices and are then transferred to a disability examiner, the examiner is informed of the DLI, or date last insured. This is the date up until which the claimant is covered for SSD benefits--meaning that to be approved for disability, the medical evidence would need to establish that the claimant had a disabling condition that satisfied the social security administration definition of disability prior to the expiration of the DLI, or date last insured.
Does the person who files for disability need to know what their DLI is, or even if they have become insured for SSD? Not really. The only thing that a claimant needs to be concerned with is initiating the application for disability (by contacting a social security office and arranging for a disability application interview). The social security office CR (claims representative) will determine which program the claimant is eligible to apply under (it may be both) and can also inform the claimant of their insured status as well as what their benefit amount might be.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Social Security Disability Questions page
Topics and Questions
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials