How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Applying for Disability - Rules and Requirements when you Apply

What are the requirements to apply for disability? There are two ways of addressing this question. One is to examine the process that the social security administration uses to determine eligibility when you apply for SSDI (Social Security Disability insurance) or SSI (supplemental security income) benefits.

By that we mean A) the processing of applying, B) appealing in the event of a denial, C) the criteria that is used, and D) the aspects of a person's medical treatment history and work history that are examined most closely.

The following pages discuss the processing of qualifying for disability benefits and include information on how to prepare for filing a claim, in terms of gathering the needed information:
The second way of addressing this question is, of course, to discuss the issue of insured status and whether or not a person will be eligible to apply for disability benefits under the rules of the SSDI or SSI programs, or under the guidelines of both programs if their claim is concurrent (meaning that they meet the basic eligibility requirements for both programs).

The rules for applying for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability or SSI program are not as complicated or detailed as some might think.

Generally, you may file for Social Security Disability if---

1. You are insured for Social Security benefits (through your work activity over the years).

2. And if you have been unable to engage in work activity that is substantially gainful for the past twelve months (or you expect that your medical condition or conditions will prevent you from working for at least twelve months).

Regarding Insured Status for Social Security Disability

How do you become insured? This is done by earning work credits as a result of your work activity. How will you know if you are insured? When you contact the social security administration to file your disability claim, you may learn whether you are eligible to have a claim filed in the title II Social Security Disability program, or the title 16 SSI program, which is not based on insured status.

If your claim is for title II benefits, you will have a DLI, or date last insured which is, essentially, a date until which you are covered by the Social Security Disability, or SSD, program.

If your DLI is for a date in the past (for example, 1-6-2011), this will mean that, in order to receive disability benefits under SSD, your medical records will need to establish that you became disabled before this date.

If your DLI, or date last insured, is for a future date (for example, 5-8-2030), then your medical records will only need to establish that you are disabled, according to social security administration standards, as of now.

What if you do not have insured status for SSD?

If you are not insured for SSD, then you may have your claim filed in the title 16 program, as long as you do not have assets that disqualify you (note: for SSD, there is no limit on assets). The SSI disability program is different from Social Security Disability in that it is based on need rather than insured status. Consequently, the rules that concern SSI do not involve how much an individual has paid into the system.

There are non-medical rules and requirements concerning resources and income. For example, you cannot have more than two thousand dollars in countable assets if you are applying for disability under the SSI program.

Additionally, to receive benefits you cannot have earned income in excess of the limit for the given (this is known as SGA) and this rule applies to both Social Security Disability and SSI).

However, the actual process for determining whether or not a person is disabled, and, therefore, the disability approval criteria, is the same in both programs.

Additional Information at:

How Does Social Security Decide If You Are Disabled Or Not?

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

Who qualifies for disability? - Qualifying is based on evidence of functional limitations
The Social Security Disability Approval Process and the Criteria for Decisions
How does Social Security Disability decide that you cannot work?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
Medical Disability Requirements for SSD and SSI
The non-medical Disability Requirements for SSD and SSI
Do you get SSI back benefits from the time you were disabled?
When does Social Security pay the first disability benefit check?
How a Social Security Disability or SSI award is made
Getting a Disability Lawyer in California
Will I qualify for disability Benefits in California?
How long does it take to get disability in California?

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

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

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?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.