Can you win disability without enough credits?

Can you win disability without enough credits?

Even if you do not have enough work credits to be insured for Social Security Disability benefits, you may still be able to win disability benefits. Social Security offers a need based disability program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which may allow some disability applicants to be approved for disability benefits. The SSI disability program has very strict income and resource requirements that must be met prior to your becoming eligible for disability benefits.

If you file an application for SSI it could be denied without ever being sent for a medical disability determination or your SSI claim could be denied for income and resource limits after being medically approved for disability benefits. In fact, you will have periodic reviews with the expressed purpose of evaluating your income, resources, and living arrangement the entire time you receive SSI disability benefits.

The medical disability application and determination process is the same for both SSI and SSDI applicants. Moreover, some disability applicants are eligible for both programs and those cases are sent for a concurrent decision. All individuals who are concurrently entitled to both programs and those who are only entitled to SSI are subject to an end line interview known as a PERC to once again evaluate whether they meet income and resource limits prior to being paid disability benefits.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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