In order to receive either Social Security Disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income, you must meet both medical and non-medical requirements.
If you receive a decision stating you’ve met the medical requirements but the Social Security Administration is still determining if you’ve met the non-medical requirements, they are reviewing the following:
If you’ve filed a claim for Social Security Disability, SSA must determine if you have worked long enough or recently enough to qualify. If you paid taxes into Social Security while working, you earn work credits and establish what is called a “date last insured.” In order to receive Social Security Disability benefits you must be found disabled prior to this date. A general rule of thumb is that you must have worked five of the past 10 years.
If you have never worked or do not have enough work credits, you may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). In order to qualify for SSI you must meet certain financial requirements. SSI is a needs-based disability program, SSA needs to make sure that your resources are low enough before awarding any benefits.
Your local SSA office will look at your household income, resources and living arrangements. The resource limit for an individual is $2000 and for a couple it is $3000. But certain things do not count against your resource total. For example, the house you live in and one car. Unlike Social Security Disability benefits, SSI benefits are offset by any additional income you receive.
It is possible that you could meet the non-medical requirements for both programs. In that case, SSA cannot pay you both Social Security Disability and SSI. You will receive benefits from whichever program offers you the highest amount. The maximum monthly benefit for SSI is $698. For Social Security Disability, the amount varies per person based on how much money they have paid into SSA.
These factors were evaluated when you first filed an application, but SSA will take another look when you are approved. After SSA has finished evaluating the non-medical requirements, the Notice of Award will be issued. This will outline your payments and any necessary deductions.