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

What makes you entitled to receive disability benefits under SSI or SSD?

Entitlement for disability benefits from SSA (social security administration) is a little different from whether or not a person medically qualifies to receive disability benefits.

In the case of Social Security Disability, entitlement begins with whether or not a person has paid into the system over the course of their working years sufficiently enough to become insured for title II (the actual program for Social Security Disability benefits).

If a person is insured for Social Security Disability coverage as a result of their work activity and the fica taxes they have paid into the system, then they may receive Social Security Disability benefits as long as the following applies:

A) They meet the definition of disability used by SSA (which essentially means that their condition must be severe enough that it makes it impossible for them to work and earn a substantial and gainful income for at least one full year).

B) They must not be engaged, at the time they are filing for disability benefits, in work activity that earns them what SSA considers to be a substantial and gainful income. SSA refers to this as SGA, or substantial gainful activity and it is the basically the earnings limit that a person must be under in order to receive disability benefits.

If a person who is filing a claim for disability is working and earning this amount or more, they cannot receive disability benefits even if their medical records show that they are otherwise medically disabled.

Being entitled for SSI disability benefits is identical to Social Security Disability in the sense that A) a claimant must meet the definition of disability and B) they cannot be working and earning more than the allowed limit.

It is very different in this one regard, however. SSI is not based on whether or not a person worked enough to become insured to receive disability benefits. In fact, the entire purpose of SSI (supplemental security income) is to provide benefits to individuals who have never worked, or have not worked enough to become insured for Social Security Disability, or who were once insured for SSD benefits but have lost their coverage because they have not worked in a long time.

As was stated, if a person files for SSI and is found disabled, they must not be working and earning more than the SGA limit. This is the same as for Social Security Disability.

However, SSI has another requirement which SSD does not have. With SSI, there is a limit on the amount of assets that a person can have. Assets are a consideration because SSI is a need-based program. Countable assets for SSI include money in bank accounts, real property other than one's primary residence, and vehicles other than one's primary car. To receive SSI, a person must not have more than two thousand dollars in countable assets.

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:

Filing for Social Security Disability with Post Polio
How long does SSDI and SSI disability take to get?
Eligible for disability back pay benefits
Permanently disabled to collect Social Security Disability
Winning SSDI and SSI disability, How to
Cases that win disability benefits
Will I qualify for disability Benefits in New Jersey?
Getting a Disability Lawyer in New Jersey

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.