Social Security Disability Resource Center

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Are SSD and SSI disability cases decided differently or the same way in terms of Eligibility?

SSD and SSI are two separate programs. And there are a number of facts about each program that make them distinctly different.

SSD, or social security disability eligibility, is for indviduals who have attained an insured status. This means they have become eligible for SSD benefits--assuming that they are found to be medically eligible after a review of their records--as a result of having earned enough credits through their work activity.

SSI eligibility (supplemental security income disability), on the other hand, is for individuals who are not insured for social security disability benefits. This includes children, indivduals who have never worked, individuals who have worked but not enough to become insured for SSD, and individuals who were once insured for SSD, but because they have not worked for quite some time have lost their insured status for SSD.

Other differences:

With SSI, a person may receive access to medicaid. However, eligibility for medicaid is subject to resource limitations (what you have in assets), similar to the resource limitations for the SSI program.

With SSD, a person does not receive medicaid, but receives medicare coverage after a 24 month waiting period.

Note: the fact that there is a 24 month waiting period does not automatically mean that every person who is approved for SSD will actually have to wait 2 years for medicare benefits to kick in. There are a number of factors involved in "the wait", such as when the claimant's onset is determined, i.e. when their disability is thought to have begun as well as how long it has taken social security to reach a decision on a claim. Very often, by the time a person finally receives SSD benefits, their two year medicare waiting period will already be over.

Having said all of this, though, it can be stated that both social security disability and SSI disability claims are decided in exactly the same way.

What do we mean by this? Simply that both types of claims are processed by disability examiners (at the agency responsible for making disability claim decisions for SSA, that agency being DDS, or disability determination services) using the same set of rules and procedures. There is no difference in case processing, or in how disability decisions area made. An SSD case is no more likely, or less likely, to be approved than an SSI case, or vice-versa. They are determined in the same way, using the same procedures.

The only real differences between the two programs (SSD eligibility versus SSI eligibility) are the following:

A) How a person attains non-medical eligibility. For SSD, it is through having worked and attained insured status. For SSI, insured status is not an issue, but having too much in assets is. The asset - resource limit for SSI is $2000 per person, and $3000 for a couple (which would be one individual receiving SSI and a spouse who is not receiving SSI).

B) The types of medical coverage that comes with the monthly disability benefit. For SSD, this is medicare and for SSI it is medicaid.

C) How assets are viewed. For SSD, since it is a benefit that has been earned as a result of work activity, there is no limit on what a person can have in assets. An individual could have hundreds of thousands of dollars in property and investments and it would not affect their eligibility for SSD in the least. For SSI, a single person cannot have more than $2000 in assets and if they are married, the asset limit is $3000.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Medical exams for disability claims

    Applying for Disability in various states

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    FAQ on Disability Claim Representation

    Disability hearings before Judges

    Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    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

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Related pages:

    When does social security consider you eligible for disability benefits?
    Who is eligible for SSI Disability?
    Disability Criteria - Eligibility For Social Security and SSI Disability
    Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?
    Social Security Disability and SSI Mental Claims and Criteria
    Can you apply for disability on the basis of multiple health problems?
    What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?
    Inability to Work and Eligibility for Social Security Disability and SSI Benefits
    What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?
    If You Are Currently Working Are You Eligible To Receive Social Security Disability Benefits?
    Will Being A Veteran Affect Your Eligibility And Chances For Social Security Disability?
    Are SSD and SSI disability cases decided the same way in terms of Eligibility?
    Is the Medical Criteria to Get Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits hard?
    Criteria for how Social Security Disability is Awarded
    Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
    Should you get a disability lawyer before you get denied in California?
    Social Security Disability Back Pay in California
    Social Security Disability For Mental Illness in California

    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