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

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.

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:

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.

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.