How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

If Am Medically Disabled, Can Social Security Still Turn Me Down for Disability for Some Reason?

The answer to this question is maybe yes, maybe no. It really depends upon which disability program an individual is eligible for. Social Security manages two disability programs: Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income disability (SSI).

Social Security Disability is a disability program that depends upon insured status. Insured status is earned through an individual’s past work activity. If an individual has been found medically disabled through the Social Security Disability medical evaluation process, they generally cannot be turned down for any reason.

Perhaps the only reason that an individual who has been found medically disabled can be turned down is if they have returned to substantial work activity while Social Security was making their disability determination. In this situation, their disability approval would be reopened to a denial due to having earnings above the SGA limit.

SGA or substantial gainful activity is just a monthly earnings amount--or a monthly amount of hours worked if the individual is self employed--that Social Security has determined to be self-supporting. Naturally, work activity is carefully considered.

Part of the definition of disability for Social Security purposes is an inability to perform SGA for twelve continuous months or the expectation of an inability to perform SGA for twelve continuous months due to a medically determinable physical or mental impairment. Even if an individual is found medically disabled, they are not considered disabled by Social Security unless they are unable to perform SGA as well.

Supplemental Security Income disability is based upon need rather than insured status. Therefore, this need-based disability program, like many other social need programs, has limits upon income and resources. If an individual is medically disabled, but they have too many resources, or too much income, they will be denied for the SSI disability benefits.

Unfortunately, there are SSI applicants who are found medically disabled, only to be denied disability benefits at an "end line interview" because their income or resources have increased while the disability determination was being made.

To summarize, work activity is the only thing that can affect the eligibility of an individual for both Social Security Disability and SSI disability applicants who have gone through the disability evaluation process and been approved for disability. SSI beneficiaries can be turned down for disability benefits--even if they have been approved--if they do not meet the SSI program income and resource limits.

And the income does not have to just come from work activity. By contrast, only work activity income affects a Social Security Disability beneficiary’s eligibility once they have been medically approved for disability benefits.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

How much can a spouse and child draw from husband’s or wife’s SSDI?
Do I have to report earnings to Social Security if I collect disability?
Can a person with a felony collect Social Security Disability?
If Am Medically Disabled, Can Social Security Still Turn Me Down for Disability for Some Reason?
How will Social Security find you disabled?
When is a Person Considered Fully Disabled by Social Security?
Being Determined Medically Disabled for Social Security Disability
How Does Social Security Decide If You Are Disabled Or Not?
What makes you disabled for SSD, Social Security Disability Benefits, OR SSI?
How Disabled Must You be to get Social Security Disability Approved?
How Disabled Do You Have To Be To Collect Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I apply for disability and my doctor says I am disabled, is there a waiting period to receive benefits?
How do I file for my children and spouse if I get SSDI?
Getting a Disability Lawyer in Connecticut
If you apply for disability in Connecticut

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

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?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.