In many circumstances when we discuss Social Security Disability benefits, we are
talking about an adult who is filing for SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance). But in
some cases, a disabled adult will not qualify for SSDI and should file for SSI
(Supplemental Security Income) instead.
Medical qualifications for SSI. The medical qualifications for receiving SSI are the
same as SSDI requirements. The Social Security Administration uses the same
standards for determining whether an individual is “disabled”, whether they apply for
SSDI or SSI. The disability must be expected to last at least 12 months or result in the
The difference between SSDI and SSI. Even though the medical qualifications are
identical, some adults should apply for SSI rather than SSDI. The difference lies in the
claimant’s work history.
In order to receive SSDI, an adult must have accumulated enough work credits in the
past. Some adults have not accumulated those work credits, due to their disability or
some other circumstance. In this case, they can only qualify for SSI.
Financial and asset qualifications for SSI. Aside from medical qualifications, an
individual must also meet requirements regarding income and assets, before they will
receive an approval for SSI benefits. Assets such as cash, retirement funds, real estate,
and vehicles cannot exceed certain strict limits. The claimant’s annual income must also
fall below certain levels (calculated by The Social Security Administration according to
An individual who has failed to qualify for SSDI due to inadequate work credits might be
eligible for SSI, if he or she would otherwise qualify medically. However, income or
assets over the specified limits could prevent qualification for SSI.
If your application for SSDI was rejected on the basis of inadequate work history, or
your SSI application was rejected for any reason, give us a call. We can take a second
look at your status, make recommendations to help you win benefits, and assist you throughout the appeal process.