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

Denied disability because of work credits

Topic: What do work credits have to do with being disabled and being denied disability?

Question: I have been turned down twice and both of the letters say -"not enough work credits". They further say that "because of lack of work credits we do not need to review your application any further". What do credits have to do with my medical condition?

This is an area in which many individuals are unaware of how the SSA (Social Security Administration) disability programs work. Social Security Disability insurance, or SSDI, also referred to as SSD, is a program for which you must be eligible for in one ways than one. To get SSD disability, you have to be disabled in the way that Social Security considers a person disabled (the condition must be severe, it must last a year, and you must so limited that you cannot work any job while making more than the disability earnings limit.

But...you also have to have worked and paid payroll taxes to be insured for Social Security Disability. If you did not pay enough over the years to be insured, your disability claim is denied on that basis regardless of what your medical conditions are. This type of situation potentially affects people who never worked (maybe they stayed home with the kids) and people who once worked a long time ago, and even people who live in states and work in retirement systems that do not pay into Social Security. Many teachers in a number of states fall into this last category.

If you do not qualify for SSD, though, there is a need based SSI disability program that does not depend on an insured status, but you must meet strict income and resource limits to qualify for this program. SSI provides a relatively small monthly benefit amount, but it, depending on the state, usually comes with medicaid for a health insurance benefit. However, SSI is need-based, meaning they count your assets.

Also, if you are married, they count your spouse's income (or a portion of it in a process called deeming). If you want to file for SSI, of course, these are the kinds of questions for a disability lawyer, or someone at a Social Security office can help address them.

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Related pages:

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Denied disability because of work credits

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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

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Who is eligible for SSI disability?

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

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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.