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SSI and SSDI and the Single Mom

We have many single moms ask if they will have an easier time getting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) because they are a single mother with kids.

Although many benefits programs offered by the Federal Government do give preferential treatment to certain groups of applicants, SSDI and SSI do not. For instance, Medicaid, which is a health insurance program supplied by the Federal Government, is given to individuals who have very low income and resources. This means that is not unusual for women and their children to qualify for this benefit.

Additionally, food stamps are also offered to households of a certain size who meet the specific income levels. Because many single moms and children have limited income, they may, on average, be more likely to qualify for food stamps than other traditional two parent households.

Who gets Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits?

The Social Security Administration awards disability benefits to workers who have a severe mental or physical health condition and who are unable to perform work for at least 12 continuous months. The SSA has two disability programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Social Security Disability Insurance is paid to workers who have worked and earned sufficient work credits to be considered “insured” by the Social Security Administration (SSA). When determining whether or not an applicant qualifies for SSDI benefits the SSA does not review the applicant’s resources or income from a spouse. Therefore, for this particular program a single mother would have no advantage winning SSDI benefits over any other SSDI applicant.

Supplemental Security Income or SSI is not dependent on a workers’ work history, and workers will not have to be insured to qualify. SSI, however, will require that a worker still be determined disabled, using the same criteria which is used for SSDI, and also prove that they meet income and resource limits outlined by the SSA.

Because SSI is only provided for applicants with limited income and resource levels, all else being equal, it is possible that a disabled, single woman with several children may be more likely to meet the income and resource limits than a married woman who is currently supported by a spouse.

What are my options if I am a single woman with children?

If you are a single woman with or without children, who has become disabled and cannot work, you can review the requirements for SSDI and SSI to determine if you would qualify for SSA disability benefits.

If you are not disabled, however, SSDI and SSI will not be paid to you simply because you have limited income or resources or children. You would have to see if you might be eligible for other federal benefits such as Medicaid, food stamps, and housing assistance because you will not be approved for SSA disability benefits.

Talking to a Supplemental Security Income lawyer

Disability lawyers can review your case and help you determine if you meet the basic requirements of the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Disability lawyers provide free case reviews and are only paid if you win.