Supplemental Security Income - SSI Disability

Many claimants who file for disability have no idea what kind of disability benefits they might be qualified to receive from the Social Security Administration. Social Security actually has two disability programs, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability.

The medical qualifications for both Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income are the same. To qualify for either disability program, you have to have been unable to work at a substantial level for a period of one year, or it must be expected that you will be unable to work for a year due to your medical and/or mental condition.

Both Social Security Disability and SSI disability require an interview with a Social Security claims representative in order that you may provide your medical information (regarding your treatment, diagnosed conditions, and doctors), work history (types of jobs that you have performed), and educational back ground.

Once all of this information is gathered, a disability claim is sent to a special agency that makes the medical decision for disability cases that are filed with the social security administration. State disability agencies generally take thirty to ninety days to process your SSI and/or SSDI claim at the initial application level.

Now you may be wondering what the difference is between Social Security Disability and SSI, otherwise known as Supplemental Security Income. The real difference between Social Security Disability and SSI has to do with the non-medical requirements, the ones that have nothing to do with your medical condition.

Social Security Disability is based upon insured status, and insured status is acquired through work activity that has resulted in your earnings being reported to the Internal Revenue Service.

If you have not earned enough quarters of work coverage, you may not qualify for Social Security Disability. But, you may still qualify for SSI disability if your income and resources are low enough to meet the income and resource limits established by the federal government each year.

Both Social Security Disability and SSI disability pay a monthly disability benefit if you are approved by either a disability examiner at the state agency or by a judge at a disability hearing. In the case of Social Security Disability, the benefit amount will be based on what was paid into the system over the years. With SSI, the amount is determined by the federal government and is usually increased for cost of living each year.

Additional information:

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability?

How much time does it take to get an SSI Decision?

How Far Back Can SSI Back Pay Be Paid?

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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These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

How to get Disability in North Carolina
Application for SSD disability
Filing for disability - where to go
How to qualify for disability
Qualifying for disability
Winning disability benefits, how to win
Winning disability for a mental condition
Social Security Disability Back pay, SSD, SSI
Disability Criteria and requirements
If you apply for disability in Utah
Getting a Disability Lawyer in Utah