Is SSI the same as Social Security Disability in Texas?
Yes and no. SSI stands for supplemental security income and SSD stands for Social Security Disability (though social security is sometimes referred to as SSDI, which stands for Social Security Disability insurance). These are both separate disability programs that are administered by SSA (the social security administration) and when an applicant for disability benefits goes to a local social security office, their eligibility to apply in either program will be determined.
A person in Texas who has worked and earned a sufficient number of work credits will have an application taken for SSD disability benefits. A person who has not earned a sufficient number of work credits, or who has never worked (such as a minor child) will have an application taken for SSI benefits. In some cases, though, an individual who has worked enough to qualify for SSD--but whose benefit would be very low--may qualify to have separate disability applications taken in both the SSI and SSD programs.
Common questions about filing for disability in Texas
What are the differences between Social Security Disability and SSI? SSD benefit amounts will vary and will depend on how much a person paid into the system. With SSI, a person may receive the full SSI amount, or a reduced amount. The reduced amount may be due to a shared household situation or work earnings.
SSI comes packaged with medicaid, whereas SSD comes with medicare coverage (which kicks in after a 24 month waiting period). SSI is subject to limitations on how much a person can have in assets. SSD does not have this limitation at all. Both programs are subject to the substantial gainful employment earnings limit if a person attempts to engage in paid employment while on disability.
Regardless of whether or not an applicant has an application taken in the SSD (Social Security Disability) or SSI (supplemental security income) program, or in both programs (this is known as a concurrent case), the evaluation process that is used to determine eligibility for disability benefits is still the same.
What is the process? It basically goes like this: a person seeking benefits will contact their local social security office and request that an application for disability be taken. Sometime following this, an interview will be conducted and an application will be taken that includes information on the claimant's various disabling conditions and their various sources of medical treatment (doctors, hospitals, etc).
Sometime after the application has been completed, it will be forwarded to an agency that specializes solely in rendering medical determinations on ssd and ssi disability claims, which, in most states, is referred to as DDS, or disability determination services.
It is at this particular agency that a disability applicant's medical records will be gathered and evaluated, and, eventually, a decision on an SSI or SSD disability claim will be made.
Unfortunately, whether an applicant's claim is for Social Security Disability or SSI disability, the process will, in most cases, take a number of months. How long will it take exactly? There is no way to know, but on average an initial claim will take at least three to four month, though the time to process a case can easily exceed 6 months or longer.
And, of course, if the initial is denied and turned, as is the case with most SSD and SSI applications, the applicant will be faced with the prospect of having to follow the SSA appeal process, making the need to hire a social security lawyer even more of a necessity.
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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