What are the non-medical requirements and criteria for Social Security Disability?

Non-medical requirements and criteria for SSD and SSI

The Social Security Disability process involves both medical and non-medical requirements. The non-medical requirements are different for SSD and SSI disability eligibility. SSI has more non-medical requirements than SSD because it is need based, whereas SSD is earned through your work activity prior to becoming disabled.

So what are some of the non-medical requirements for SSD and SSI?

If you are filing for SSD, there are only a couple of non-medical requirements that could affect your eligibility.

1. SSD requires that you not be performing SGA (which means working and earning above the earnings limit for work activity). If you are working and earning over the SGA limit, your disability claim will be denied without a medical decision. If you are approved and found to have performed SGA in the waiting period, or in the first twelve months of entitlement, your medical approval could be reversed to a denial.

2. The second non-medical requirement is that you have worked enough to be insured for disability. You earn your insured status through the Social Security payroll taxes you paid while working. Most disability applicants lose insured status after they have been out of work for a few years. This is why it is important to file your disability claim as soon as you become unable to perform SGA.

If you are filing for SSI disability, there are a few non-medical requirements could affect your eligibility.

1. Like SSD, SSI requires that you not be performing SGA to file or remain eligible.

2. You are required to meet income and resource limits.

3. The program requires an evaluation of your living arrangements to determine your monthly benefit amount. There is a maximum SSI monthly benefit amount and lesser monthly benefit amounts depend on your living arrangement. For example, if you are not paying your fair share of the household bills or receiving financial help from friends and/or family, you most likely will not receive the maximum SSI disability monthly benefit amount.

In conclusion, non-medical requirements are important to both SSD and SSI disability and they can negatively affect a beneficiary's eligibility and ongoing 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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