Will I Be Evaluated For Both SSDI and SSI in Florida?

When you apply for disability in Florida with the Social Security Administration, you may be able to apply for Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income disability, or both programs. Social Security claims representatives evaluate each disability applicant for whichever program they are eligible for at the time of their initial disability interview, and in many cases this can mean both programs.

However, the medical determination process is the same for both Social Security Disability and SSI. Once the Social Security claims representative gets your medical information and work history information from you at the time of application, they forward the information to a state agency responsible for processing each Social Security Disability determination.

Non Medical Factors

The non-medical criteria is different for SSDI and SSI. For those who are unaware, the non-medical disability criteria is what the claims representative evaluates prior to sending your disability claim to the state agency where it will be assigned to a disability examiner.

For instance, the Social Security Disability program requires that you have earned enough quarters of coverage to be entitled. Social Security uses an individual's age to determine the amount of quarters they will need to be fully insured (insured for retirement) and the amount of quarters needed to be insured for disability (Note: an individual's age determines how many quarters they need to have worked within the last forty quarters, or ten years, to be insured for disability). Disability applicants have to be both fully insured and insured for disability to be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.

SSD waiting period and SSI asset limit

On the other hand, the SSI disability program is a need based disability program that does not require an individual to be insured. But it does require that an individual meet certain income and resource limitations to be eligible to receive benefits in this program. Many disability applicants meet the SSI income and resource limits even if they are eligible for Social Security Disability. That is because Social Security Disability has a five-month waiting period for which they never pay benefits to individuals who have been approved for disability. So, some applicants can receive SSI for the five months that they were not eligible for Social Security Disability.

Additionally, some disability applicants have monthly Social Security Disability check amounts that are low enough to be under the SSI income limits. If these individuals meet the resource limits for SSI as well (for SSI, this means not having more than two thousand dollars in countable assets), they may be entitled to receive both Social Security Disability and SSI simultaneously.

In summation, there is no need for you to worry about which disability program you qualify for. That is because when you initiate your claim the Social Security claims representative at the social security office will evaluate you for both programs.

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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