Is qualifying for SSI different than SSD?

The application and medical decision process are essentially the same for both Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability (SSD). Both programs require that you have a disability interview in person or by telephone.

During the interview you will be asked to provide your medical, work, and educational information. Once your claim is ready it will be sent to the same state disability agency for a medical determination.

What is different about qualifying for SSI disability? Well SSI is a need based program which requires that you provide information about your income and resources. If your income and resources are below limits that have been established for the SSI program, your claim will be forwarded to the disability agency for a medical determination.

However, if you do not qualify due to excess income or resources your claim will not be sent for a medical determination and your claim will be denied.

Additionally, if you do receive a medical allowance for SSI benefits, you still may be denied on the basis of income or resources once the claim is received back in the Social Security office.

How does this happen? All SSI allowances have to have an interview with a claims representative once their claim is returned to their local Social Security office to review all income and resources before the beneficiary can receive any benefits.

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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