How To Qualify For Ssi Disability


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When Social Security Dependents Benefits May Stop

How to Quickly Qualify for Social Security Disability by Meeting a Listing

If youre receiving dependents benefits based on someone elses earnings record, additional changes can cause your benefits to stop, such as getting married , turning a certain age, or changing your living arrangements. For example, if your parent receives SSDI and youre receiving benefits based on their record, your benefits will generally end if you turn 18 or get married.

Note that if you collect SSDI benefits based on your own work history and earnings record, getting married will not affect your benefits .

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Does A Medical Condition Have To Match The Listing

No, an applicant filing for Social Security disability benefits doesn’t necessarily have to satisfy the exact listing requirements for a particular illness or condition to be awarded disability benefits based on the condition. You can get disability benefits if Social Security considers aspects of your condition to equal the criteria in a listing. This is called “equaling a disability listing.”

Types Of Disability Policies

There are two types of disability policies.

  • Short-term policies may pay for up to two years. Most last for a few months to a year.

  • Long-term policies may pay benefits for a few years or until the disability ends.

Employers who offer coverage may provide short-term coverage, long-term coverage, or both.

If you plan to buy your own policy, shop around and ask:

  • How long do benefits last?

  • How much money will the policy pay?

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Iv: What Financing Issues Does Ssdi Face

SSDI costs have leveled off, but the program faces a long-run funding gap. SSDI costs have stabilized as the baby boomers move from their peak disability-prone years to their peak retirement years. But SSDIs costs will still exceed its revenues. Over the next 75 years, its shortfall is projected to be about 6 percent of the programs costs or income.

SSDI has financial challenges but doesnt face bankruptcy. The payroll taxes that workers contribute out of every paycheck fund most of SSDIs costs. In addition, SSDI has built up trust fund reserves, which Social Securitys trustees estimate will last until 2065. At that point, tax revenues will be enough to pay for 92 percent of benefits even if policymakers do nothing to strengthen Social Securitys financing .

Though the SSDI trust fund has enough funding for more than three decades, policymakers must address overall Social Security financing before then.Overall, Social Security can pay full benefits for 16 more years, the trustees annual report shows, but then faces a significant, though manageable, funding shortfall. Policymakers should address Social Securitys long-term shortfall primarily by increasing Social Securitys tax revenues. Social Security will necessarily require an increasing share of our nations resources as the population ages, and polls show a widespread willingness to pay more to strengthen the program.

Health Resources For People With Disabilities

How to Qualify for Temporary Presumptive Disability Checks

Federal, state, and local government agencies and programs can help with your health needs if you have a disability.

Visit USA.govs Government Benefits page to learn more about government programs and services that can help you and your family.

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Changes In Living Situation

If you enter or leave an institution such as a nursing home or halfway house, this will affect your eligibility. If you move in with friends or relatives and they pay for your room and board, your SSI payment will be lowered. Finally, if you leave the U.S. for 30 days or more, your SSI benefits will stop.

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What We Mean By Disability

The definition of disability under Social Security is different than other programs. Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or for short-term disability.

We consider you to have a qualifying disability under Social Security rules if all the following are true:

  • You cannot do work and engage in substantial gainful activity because of your medical condition.
  • You cannot do work you did previously or adjust to other work because of your medical condition.
  • Your condition has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

This is a strict definition of disability. Social Security program rules assume that working families have access to other resources to provide support during periods of short-term disabilities, including workers’ compensation, insurance, savings, and investments.

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Other Ways You Can Apply

Apply With Your Local Office

You can do most of your business with Social Security online. If you cannot use these online services, your local Social Security office can help you apply. You can find the phone number for your local office by using our Office Locator and looking under Social Security Office Information. The toll-free Office number is your local office.

Apply By Phone

If You Do Not Live in the U.S. Or One of Its Territories

Contact the if you live outside the U.S. or a U.S. territory and wish to apply for retirement benefits.

Mailing Your Documents

If you mail any documents to us, you must include the Social Security number so that we can match them with the correct application. Do not write anything on the original documents. Please write the Social Security number on a separate sheet of paper and include it in the mailing envelope along with the documents.

Health Coverage For People With Disabilities

How to Apply for Social Security Disability

If you have a disability, you have three options for health coverage through the government.

  • Medicaid provides free or low-cost medical benefits to people with disabilities. Learn about eligibility and how to apply.

  • Medicare provides medical health insurance to people under 65 with certain disabilities and any age with end-stage renal disease . Learn about eligibility, how to apply and coverage.

  • Affordable Care Act Marketplace offers options to people who have a disability, dont qualify for disability benefits, and need health coverage. Learn about the .

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Qualifying For Ssi And Ssdi

The Social Security Administration operates two disability programs including Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance . Each of these programs has its own criteria that an applicant must meet in order to qualify.

To qualify for SSDI benefits, an applicant must have earned enough work credits through prior work history. As of 2014, for every $1,200 earned, a worker earns one work credits and can earn a total of four work credits each year. The number of credits needed to qualify for SSDI benefits will vary depending on your age.

Unlike SSDI benefits, an applicant does not need any work history or work credits to qualify for SSI benefits. Instead, SSI is a needs-based program. Benefit eligibility is based on household income and assets. As of 2014, an individual cannot have a household income of more than $721 per month as an individual or $1,082 per month as a couple or household assets exceeding $2,000 as an individual or $3,000 for a couple in order to qualify for SSI benefits.

For both SSDI and SSI benefits, an individual must meet the medical criteria set forth by the SSA to qualify.

For more information on the disability programs visit:

Medical Assessment As Needed

Some impairments are so severe that they already meet the requirements of the Listings, and further processing and assessment is not needed. Others require the disability evaluation specialist to assess the limitations of the impairment, vocational experience, age, and education to determine if the person is eligible for disability. The case also may be reviewed by a medical or psychological consultant, who is a licensed doctor contracted by our agency.

If necessary, the disability evaluation specialist then contacts relevant medical sources for documentation of the impairments. It also may be necessary to schedule consultative exams for claimants. These exams help determine what functional limitations may result from an individual’s impairment they are not for providing further medical treatment.

When sufficient medical evidence has been gathered, the disability evaluation specialist will use the “Listing of Impairments” as a guide to determine if the individual qualifies for disability benefits.

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Being Incarcerated Or Institutionalized While On Ssdi

If youre confined to a prison or other penal institution after being convicted of a crime, your disability benefits will stop for the period of time youre incarcerated. Your SSDI benefits will be suspended after 30 days of incarceration and will be reinstated the month following your release.

In addition, sometimes a felony conviction will lead to a cessation of benefits even without incarceration. But being convicted of a misdemeanor wont affect your SSDI benefits unless youre sent to jail for a month or more. For more information, see our article on disability benefits, felony convictions, and jail.

Apply Online For Disability Benefits

What Qualifies For Social Security Disability Insurance

Social Security offers an online disability application you can complete at your convenience. Apply from the comfort of your home or any location at a time most convenient for you. You do not need to drive to your local Social Security office or wait for an appointment with a Social Security representative.

You can use the online application to apply for disability benefits if you:

  • Are age 18 or older
  • Are not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record
  • Are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death: and
  • Have not been denied disability benefits in the last 60 days. If your application was recently denied for medical reasons, the Internet Appeal is a starting point to request a review of the medical determination we made.

We suggest that you have the following information at hand. It will make completing the application much easier.

Information About You

Information About Your Medical Condition

Information About Your Work

We may ask you to provide documents to show that you are eligible, such as:


We accept photocopies of W-2 forms, self-employment tax returns or medical documents, but we must see the original of most other documents, such as your birth certificate.

Mailing Your Documents

After we receive your online application, we will:

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What Is The Full Retirement Age

Full Retirement Age , or the normal retirement age, refers to the age at which you can retire and receive full retirement benefits from Social Security. There is no one Full Retirement Age in the United States and it entirely depends on the year of your birth. The Full Retirement Age is 66 for anyone born between 1943 and 1954. It rises gradually for those born in 1955 and in later years to 67 for those born in 1960 and afterwards.

Ssi Income And Resource Limits

The amount of money you can make and still be eligible for SSI depends on a combination of the Federal Benefit Rate and your state’s supplementary SSI payment . The FBR is a dollar amount that is established by the federal government every year in 2023, the FBR was set at $914 for unmarried people and $1,371 for married couples. If your income is greater than the FBR plus your state supplement, you won’t be able to get SSI.

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What Is A Trust

A trust is a legal instrument that allows for a trustee to manage money on behalf of someone else. The SSA will usually count the assets in a trust against a person when deciding SSI eligibility. For example, all of the assets in a revocable trust would be counted against you. In an irrevocable trust, the portion of the trust that could be used to make payments to you would be counted against you.

Fortunately, the SSA allows for the creation of specific trusts that allow for exceptions to these general rules. These are known as “special needs” trusts or “supplemental needs” trusts. There are three general types of trusts designed to protect disabled beneficiaries.

Benefits For Your Children

Top 8 Ways to Get Approved for Social Security Disability

When you qualify for Social Security disability benefits, your children may also qualify to receive benefits on your record. Your eligible child can be your biological child, adopted child, or stepchild. A dependent grandchild may also qualify.

To receive benefits, the child must:

  • Be under age 18 or
  • Be 18-19 years old and a full-time student or

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The Pooled Asset Trust

A pooled asset trust contains the resources of the disabled person but is established and managed by a not-for-profit company. Although the individual’s funds can only be spent on his or her behalf, the company “pools” the funds of all the participants into one trust that it then manages and invests. Like the self-settled trusts, a pooled asset trust must be created for the sole benefit of the disabled person by a parent, grandparent, legal guardian, or the court. Also, like the self-settled trust, any amount that remains in the disabled person’s account when he or she dies is used to repay the state any Medicaid costs related to the individual’s care during his or her life.

How Do You Qualify For Disability If You Can’t Meet The Listing

If you don’t meet OR equal the criteria for the medical listing, you can still qualify for disability benefits if your condition limits your functioning so much that you can’t work. Social Security will consider how your condition affects your ability to do routine daily activities and work activities, and will then determine whether there is any kind of job you can safely be expected to do.

First, Social Security determines your residual functional capacity by looking at how much you can lift and carry and how long you can walk and stand. Then the agency assigns you an RFC of heavy, medium, light, or sedentary work. If your RFC doesn’t allow you to do any jobs that you’re otherwise suited for, you can qualify for benefits “vocationally.” In a recent year, half of all approved disability applications were approved vocationallyâbased on the assessment of applicants’ limitations and the jobs available for someone with those limitations.

For more information on qualifying for disability vocationally, see our section on how Social Security decides if your limitations make you disabled.

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How The Money Can Be Used

Special needs trusts generally should not be used to buy basic necessities like food or shelter, nor should they be used to provide the disabled person with the assets needed to buy food or shelter. The reason for this is that the SSA may consider the money used for these purchases to be “in-kind” support and maintenance . ISM can reduce or in some cases eliminate your SSI benefits. Therefore, make sure that you check with a trusts and estates attorney before using the funds to buy food or shelter.

However, these trusts may be used to purchase clothing, and they can also be used to pay for things like physical therapy, entertainment, education, and travel.

Which Medical Conditions Are Likely To Qualify For Disability

What Medical Conditions Qualify for Social Security Disability or SSI ...

While any of the above medical conditions are qualifying disabilities, some medical conditions are more likely to lead to an approval of benefits than others. We recently surveyed our readers about their experiences in applying for disability benefits and compared their answers to government statistics. The conditions most likely to get approved were multiple sclerosis and some types of cancers. Respiratory disorders and joint diseases were also high on the list. For the details, see our article on survey statistics on getting Social Security disability for common medical conditions.

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Special Rules For People Who Are Blind Or Have Low Vision

We consider you to be legally blind under Social Security rules if your vision cannot be corrected to better than 20/200 in your better eye. We will also consider you legally blind if your visual field is 20 degrees or less, even with a corrective lens. Many people who meet the legal definition of blindness still have some sight and may be able to read large print and get around without a cane or a guide dog.

If you do not meet the legal definition of blindness, you may still qualify for disability benefits. This may be the case if your vision problems alone or combined with other health problems prevent you from working.

There are several special rules for people who are blind that recognize the severe impact of blindness on a person’s ability to work. For example, the monthly earnings limit for people who are blind is generally higher than the limit that applies to non-blind workers with disabilities.

In 2022, the monthly earnings limit is $2,260.

Benefits For Widows Or Widowers With Disabilities

If something happens to a worker, benefits may be payable to their widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse with a disability if the following conditions are met:

  • The widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse is between ages 50 and 60.
  • The widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse has a medical condition that meets our definition of disability for adults and the disability started before or within seven years of the worker’s death.

Widows, widowers, and surviving divorced spouses cannot apply online for survivors benefits. If they want to apply for these benefits, they should contact Social Security immediately at 1-800-772-1213 to request an appointment

To speed up the application process, complete an Adult Disability Report and have it available at the time of your appointment.

We use the same definition of disability for widows and widowers as we do for workers.

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