Many individuals who file a Social Security disability claim are not approved because they lack the minimum tax credits reflected in their working career. Filing for disability before age 62 requires applicants to apply first based on their eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance, also known as SSDI. Those who can qualify based on tax credits that are deducted from earned wages are then assessed for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI. However, there are significant differences between the two programs.
Primary differences between SSDI and SSI
Social Security disability claims are approved when a claimant can demonstrate to a Social Security Administration judge that they cannot earn a substantive living wage due to a particular condition or multiple conditions similar to prior approved claims. SSI recipients are approved by the same rules. The programs differ most significantly in the fact that SSDI is a permanent disability award while SSI approval is re-evaluated periodically.
What an SSI continuing disability review includes
Each year, SSI recipients are evaluated for continued eligibility based on specific factors. The first Social Security disability reconsideration element is the financial status of the claimant. SSI rules for approval state that a recipient cannot have more than $2,000 in financial assets or $3,000 for married couples. Certain exemptions exist for ownership of a primary home and a reasonably valued vehicle. SSI recipients are also severely restricted in any income allowance, so tax records and paycheck receipts can be requested as well. Along with these financial evaluations, recipients are assessed for improvement in their medical condition or the condition of an approved dependent child.
It is imperative for all SSI recipients to understand the restrictions for their disability award. The law requires a continuing SSI review at least every three years. Anyone who has been notified of a pending review may want to consult with a disability attorney before being evaluated.