Applying for SSI disability in Florida

SSI stands for supplemental security income and disability benefits through SSI are mandated through title 16 of the social security act. SSI disability is, in most respects no different from Social Security Disability benefits.

Related pages:

1. Filing for SSI
2. What if your SSI disability is denied?
3. How Far Back Can SSI Back Pay Be Paid?
4. What are the Assets that count for SSI Disability?
5. Can you get temporary SSI?

How are the two programs the same? With both SSI and SSD, you file an application with the social security administration in Florida and your case goes off to a state agency that has the responsibility of determining whether or not you are disabled according to SSA guidelines. In most states, this agency is known as DDS, or disability determination services (in some states, it is known as the bureau of disability determination or the disability determination division).

For both SSI and Social Security Disability, the disability criteria for decisions is exactly the same. There are no differences whatsoever. And in either case, if a claimant is denied, they may utilize the same appeal system.

Now, how are the two federal disability programs different?

Here's how. SSI is a need based program available to disabled children and to adults (who either do not qualify for SSD or qualify for SSD but would only receive a small monthly SSD benefit amount). As a need based program, SSI takes into account certain factors that Social Security Disability does not. For instance, SSI considers the assets you may have. Currently, to meet the non medical qualifications for SSI, an applicant cannot have more than two thousand dollars in countable assets.

With Social Security Disability, there is no asset provision for eligibility.

Another distinguishing difference between SSI and Social Security Disability is the counting of family income. With Social Security Disability, the income of a spouse is irrelevant. However, with SSI the income of a spouse may be deemed (in other words, counted partially) and this may affect one's eligibility to receive SSI benefits. Likewise, a child who is disabled may or may not be able to receive SSI based on the income level of his or her parents.

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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