Is the Disability Approval Criteria the Same in California as in Different States?

I recently came across another forum that had a portion of itself devoted to a discussion of Social Security Disability and SSI disability issues (either I'm getting better at finding them or more people are simply creating more forums).

Here's one of the questions that I found in the forum: Is the approval criteria for Social Security Disability different or the same in different states?

Answer: SSD and SSI are federal entitlement programs. One is based on an individual's insured status, meaning that you are eligible to receive Social Security Disability if you have earned enough work credits in recent years. The other program, SSI, is designed to provide disability benefits to individuals who, for whatever reason, have not become insured for SSD, or have lost their insured status for SSD. Both programs, since they are federal, have uniform standards, meaning that the requirements for disability benefit eligibility are the same no matter where you file a claim.

This particular question doesn't come up that often, and why it does at all I haven't a clue. But, on a similar note, I sometimes see the question "If I move, will I have to reapply for disability benefits?". This, of course, reminds of my caseworker days. In need-based programs, of course, things are different. With food stamps and medicaid (I was a caseworker in both programs, in addition to later becoming a disability examiner), moving simply from one county to another meant that a person would have to have their case transferred and, potentially, would have to reapply (this was many years ago and perhaps the system has changed in that time).

However, the answer for the "moving" question is the same. Since Social Security Disability and SSI are federal programs, moving will have no bearing on an individual's eligibility to receive benefits.

Moving before you get approved for disability, though, is a different thing. If you move while your disability claim is being processed in California at the initial claim or reconsideration level, you will need to contact the social security office where you applied and, most likely, your claim will be transferred to the social security office nearest to your new residence.

Additionally, the case will be transferred to the state disability processing agency (known in most states as DDS, or the division of disability determination, or the bureau of disability determination) in your new state of residence.

Additionally, if you have submitted a request for a disability hearing and have moved you will need to inform social security so your hearing request can be transferred to the hearing office that has jurisdiction for where you now live.

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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