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

Insured Status is What Makes SSDI and SSI Different From Each Other

Social Security disability is based upon your earnings record and on your insured status. How do you obtain insured status so that you can potentially receive social security disability benefits? Depending on your earnings for any given year, you may earn up four quarters of coverage. Social Security uses the total quarters of coverage you have earned to establish whether or not you are insured for Social Security disability.

Social Security requires more quarters of coverage to establish insured status for older individuals than younger individuals (this makes sense because, otherwise, a person who becomes disabled in their early twenties could never hope to receive disability benefits even if they have a condition that keeps them from working the rest of their adult life). However, for anyone, at least six quarters of coverage are required for insured status.

SSI, on the other hand, does not require a person to have insured status. This is because this program is based on need. But since it is a need-based program it has requirements for assets and income. Translation: even if you are disabled and meet the social security administration definition of disability, your assets and countable income could still make you ineligible to receive SSI disability benefits.

Additionally, SSI is the only program available to children under the age of 18.

Although each Social Security disability program has its own rules and regulations, the process of establishing entitlement to disability is the same. You must file a disability application with the Social Security Administration, and during this disability interview you must provide Social Security with information about your medical history and work history.

It goes without saying that it is very important to have medical records to establish the severity of your medical and/or mental conditions.

Generally, Social Security has a twelve-month period of review for medical histories. Newer medical records are important because the social security administration must have current records before a claim can be approved (the reasoning is that disability cannot be granted unless it is clearcut that the person is disabled as of the time that their disability application is approved). Older medical records, however, are equally important because they will establish just how long a person has had their disability and this will have an immediate impact on how much back pay they may receive.

Individuals with established medical histories have a better chance of receiving a medical allowance from Social Security, therefore it is important to provide Social Security with as much medical information as you are able to provide during your disability interview and provide SSA with any new medical treatment sources that you go to during the time your disability claim is being processed.

Additional information at:

Qualifying for disability is based on the information derived from a claimant's medical records

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

Related pages:

Can I Get Disability If I Was Paid Under the Table?
What Determines If You Are Covered for SSDI (Social Security Disability) Benefits - The DLI Issue
Insured Status is What Makes SSDI and SSI Different From Each Other
What Is The Difference between SSD and SSI?
The Difference Between Social Security Disability and SSI Really Involves Work Activity
Am I Eligible to get Benefits (SSDI, Medicare) if I worked overseas and get a disability pension from another country?
Can You Get Disability Benefits If You Were Self-Employed and had Self-employment Earnings?
Check Amount on Social Security Disability Award Letter

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