Overview of Disability
Disability Back Pay
Disability Advice Tips
How long do cases take?
How to win Disability
SSD Mistakes to avoid
Disability for Mental
What if you get denied?
How to file Appeals
Disability through SSA
SSI Disability Benefits
Disability for Children
How do I qualify for it?
Working and Disability
Disability Award Notice
Disability Lawyer Q&A
Disability Conditions List
What is a disability?
Your Medical Evidence
Filing for your Disability
SSD SSI Definitions
SSDRC authored by
SSDRC Disability Blog
Can I Get SSDI Disability If I have Not Worked Before?
The Social Security Administration has two disability programs to help disabled individuals. Social Security disability, or SSDI, is based upon insured status that is achieved through work activity, whereas Supplemental Security Income disability (SSI) is based upon need. If you have not worked, or you have not worked for a long time, you may be eligible to receive SSI disability benefits, assuming you meet the disability criteria.
That is, of course, if you meet the income and resource limits needed to qualify for SSI disability and you are found medically disabled. Yes, SSI has income and resource limits like most other Social assistance programs.
Other than non-disability factors, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability have the same medical determination process. All disability claims begin with an application in which the disability applicant provides information about their conditions, medical sources, medication, education, and work history. Once the disability interview is completed, the disability case is sent to a state agency for a medical determination.
If an individual is approved for SSI disability benefits, their disability claim will be sent back to the local Social Security office for an end line review. These interviews are used to review the applicant's income and resources, as well as to establish the applicant’s living arrangements. If the applicant meets the SSI income and resource limits, they are eligible for SSI disability benefits.
However, the amount of their SSI disability benefits will be determined by their living arrangements. SSI beneficiaries must pay their share of the household bills, in the home in which they reside, in order to receive the full SSI benefit amount. If they fail to pay what the social security administration considers their share of the household bills, their SSI benefits will be reduced.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
How Can I Get Social Security Disability If I Have Not Worked For A Long Time?
Can an adult who has been to college but hasn't worked for a long time get Disability Benefits?
Am I Eligible to get Benefits (SSDI, Medicare) if I worked overseas and get a disability pension from another country?
Can You Qualify for Disability if you did not work much?
Do people with 20/200 corrected vision or worse automatically get disability?
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI
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