Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

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

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

Are SSI Disability Claims Handled Differently Than Social Security Disability Claims?

SSI disability and Social Security disability are handled differently with regard to non-disability eligibility requirements. For example, SSI disability is a need-based disability program that requires a person to meet income and resource limits.

Social Security claims representatives evaluate income and resources during the disability interview. If the disability claimant meets the SSI income and resource limits, their disability claim is sent to a state disability agency (DDS, or disability determination services) for a medical disability determination.

If their claim is then approved for disability based on a review of their medical records and work history (which would take into account the duties of their past jobs and their work skills in order to determine if they can still employ those skills in some type of work activity), they will have what is known as an "end line interview". The end line interview is performed to make sure the claimant still meets the income and resource limits for the SSI program.

SSD, or Social Security disability, applicants, on the other hand, are not subject to the same conditions. They must, however, be insured to be eligible for disability benefits. Insured status is earned through work activity prior to the onset of disability -- i.e. when an individual became unable to perform gainful employment (SGA, or substantial gainful activity) because of their disabling condition.

If the applicant has performed enough work activity to be insured for Social Security disability, their claim will be sent for a disability medical determination.

The medical determination process is the same for both SSI and Social Security disability claims. Disability applicants for both programs must file an application for disability either by phone or in person at their local Social Security office (currently the online disability application process is only available for SSD, or Social Security disability, applications, NOT FOR SSI CLAIMS).

During the disability application interview, disability applicants provide information about their medical sources, medication, testing, and work history. Once the disability interview is completed and all necessary forms are signed, the disability claim is sent to the state disability claim processing agency (DDS) for a medical decision. This is where it is assigned to a disability examiner.

The examiner will request medical information provided by the applicant during their disability interview. If the disability examiner determines there is no medical information to gather (meaning a person has not been treated for a condition at all by a qualified medical provider) or there is no current medical information (meaning medical records that are no older than ninety days), the examiner may schedule a CE, or consultative examination.

Note: A CE is a social security medical exam that is performed by a doctor in private practice--this doctor can even be the claimant's own doctor if that doctor agrees to do the CE.

Social Security must have current medical information to make their disability determination. When current information cannot be obtained from the claimant's medical records, consultative examinations are used to provide a current status of an individualís mental or physical impairment. Once the medical records and/or the consultative examination report are in-file, the examiner can make a disability determination (i.e. a decision).

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

If I am waiting for a Disability Hearing, how often should I see my doctor?
Can you get disability for Chronic fatigue and Fibromyalgia?
SSDI Request for Reconsideration
Social Security Award Letter and being due a substantial back pay amount
What are the requirements and criteria for social security disability?
If your disability claim is approved or denied
Social Security Award letter for SSD, SSI
How Much Income Can you Earn If you draw Social Security Disability?
Tips for SSD and SSI disability hearings
What to do if you get a letter about your disability claim or appeal?
How many disability applications are approved?

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