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.

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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