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

Do you file for Social Security Disability or SSI?

The best way to answer this question is to say that when you go to a social security office to file for disability, it will be simply that. You will be interviewed for a disability application and the program that the claim is taken in (Social Security Disability or SSI disability) will be determined by the social security office.

How does social security determine which disability program you are eligible to receive benefits in? When you initially contact SSA, your social security number will be used to ascertain whether or not you have insured status for title II benefits. Title II benefits are Social Security Disability benefits and you become eligible for them via having earned sufficient work credits, which are earned through work activity.

The number of work credits a person needs to be insured for title II benefits may vary depending on their age. Younger individuals will need fewer credits which makes sense; otherwise, a disabled twenty-two year old who has not been in the labor market long would never be able to qualify for disability benefits under title II.

A person can contact SSA regarding their work credits and insured status; however, this is really unnecessary since the disability program you are eligible to have a claim taken in will be determined for you when you contact SSA.

Individuals who do not have insured status for title II, or Social Security Disability, can potentially have a disability application taken in SSI. SSI disability is designed to provide benefits who are too young to have earned enough work credits for SSD (such as children), individuals who have never worked (perhaps because they were a stay-at-home spouse or parent or caretaker), and individuals who were previously insured for title II benefits but, because they have not worked in a long time (possibly due to being out of the workforce for an extended period due to a disabling condition) have now lost their insured status and coverage for title II.

Can you file for both Social Security Disability and SSI?

Yes, and it happens routinely all the time. Though, when it does many claimants may not necessarily realize that they are having their claim taken in both programs.

Claims taken in both programs are known as concurrent claims and they are taken when a person is insured for title II Social Security Disability benefits, but would only receive a fairly small monthly disability benefit. In those cases, the social security administration may allow the claimant to file for SSI concurrently.

The reasoning for this is that it may significantly increase the monthly benefit amount received by the claimant, assuming they are approved. In such cases, however, the total benefit they would receive each month would not exceed whatever is currently the maximum monthly SSI benefit.

Note: SSI is a program based on need and, specifically, this means that you cannot have more than two thousand dollars in countable assets (three thousand if you are married). Therefore, a concurrent claim cannot be taken when your total countable assets exceed the allowable limit.

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?

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

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
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and requirements
If you apply for disability in Massachusetts
Will I qualify for disability Benefits in Massachusetts?
Getting a Disability Lawyer in Massachusetts

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.