Social Security Disability Resource Center

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Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
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Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions

Do You Have To Qualify For SSI Financially?

Social Security uses the same medical determination process to medically qualify you for Social Security disability and SSI disability. While the same medical determination qualification process exists for both programs, SSI disability applicants must also meet income and resource requirements to qualify for disability benefits.

Social Security reviews income and resources (resources is term that Social Security uses for "assets") at the time of your initial disability application, and again if you are medically approved for disability benefits.

In this sense, you do have to qualify for SSI financially even when you already medically qualify for disability. SSI is a need based disability program and like most other social help programs there are financial requirements.


The SSI disability program resource limit is $2000.00 for an individual and $3000.00 for a couple. SSI resource limits have been the same for many years, however they are subject to change should Social Security determine to do so.

Social Security allows an individual or couple to exclude one vehicle (usually the highest valued) and the home and land they live on. All other resources (i.e. land, stocks, bonds, houses, 401K account, or any other resource that can be easily converted to cash) are counted against the resource limit.


The SSI income limit is somewhat more subjective in that the limit amount is subject to other variables such as household composition when work earnings are involved. In this kind of situation, we are speaking of work income provided by a spouse rather than the disability beneficiary.

Social Security allows more income to be earned through work if the family is larger. The income limit amount of a family of six is more than the income amount limit of a family of four.

While Social Security allows for more income to be earned by a non-disabled spouse, the disability applicant is still bound by SGA rules. If an SSI applicant has earnings over the SGA limit, their disability claim is denied.

There are types of income other than work that could cause an applicant not to financially qualify for SSI disability benefits. Income derived from workman’s compensation, short term or long term disability, trust funds, retirement, or unemployment benefits counts dollar for dollar against the SSI monthly disability benefit amount, if the applicant receives more than the SSI monthly disability amount their disability claim is denied.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

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    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

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    Related pages:

    How Far Back Can SSI Back Pay Be Paid?
    Social Security Disability for insomnia or sleep disorders
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    SSI Benefits - who is Eligible and How do I apply for them?
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    Getting a Disability Lawyer in Nevada

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

    Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
    How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
    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?
    How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
    How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
    Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
    Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria