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Most Common SSDI Questions Part 1

In our Social Security Disability forum there are several common questions which are asked by hundreds of Social Security Disability claimants. This blog will address these questions.

1.    Do I qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance?

This is the number one question asked by claimants. There are several issues to consider with this question including the nonmedical requirements and the medical requirements of the Social Security Disability program. Whether you are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income you will first have to meet several nonmedical requirements. If you do not meet these requirements the severity of your condition will not matter.

For both SSI and SSDI you must be disabled with a severe health condition which does not allow you to perform substantial gainful activity for at least 12 continuous months. If you are working and making too much money you will be automatically denied benefits.

For Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) you must also have enough work credits and be considered insured by the Social Security Administration. To obtain work credits you must have worked and paid employment taxes for a specific number of years. If you have not worked and paid taxes, if you have worked and not paid taxes or you have worked but stopped working for many years, you will not qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance.

For Supplemental Security Income (SSI) you must meet the requirements outlined above but you also must have very limited income and resources. For instance, individuals cannot have more than $2,000 in qualifying resources and couples cannot have more than $3,000 (some resources are exempt).

2.    Can I work part-time and get Social Security Disability Insurance?

The disability process can take months. With this in mind, many disability claimants are hoping to keep their job and support themselves while the SSA makes their disability decision. But is this a good idea?

It may be possible to work a few hours per week, but the Social Security Administration (SSA) may determine that if you are working part-time that with a little more effort you could work full-time and you are not disabled.

Remember, as mentioned above, if you work and perform substantial gainful activity you will be automatically denied Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

3.    Can I get  Social Security Disability Insurance if my spouse is working?

This question seems to be very confusing for many claimants and it is because the answer can be different if you are applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

SSDI claimants do not have to worry about the income of their spouse. The SSA will not consider spousal income when they are making their disability determination. SSDI is based specifically on the disabled applicant’s own work history and health condition.

For SSI, however, because of the resource and income limitations, if your spouse is earning too much money the SSA will “deem” a part of their income to you (assuming that it will be used in part for your support) and you could be denied Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.


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