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

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

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:

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
Applying for Disability in Michigan
Getting a Disability Lawyer in Michigan
Will I qualify for disability Benefits in Michigan

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.