General Eligibility for SSDI and SSI

What is SSDI and SSI? SSDI is the common acronym for Social Security and Disability Insurance whereas SSI is the acronym for Social Security Insurance. At Horrigan & Norman Law, Mark Horrigan has the experience it takes to win your SSDI or SSI claimant case in the greater Lynn and Boston, MA area. Read on for general requirements.

For general eligibility for both SSDI and SSI, you must:

  • Be a citizen or qualifying legal immigration status
  • Be an adult over 18 and must be totally disabled
  • Be a child under 18 who is either blind or have functional limitations that are marked severe by regulation

SSDI Specific Eligibility

  • Must be “currently insured” at time of Disability onset:
    • Determination of “current insurance” – must have certain number of quarters of coverage in proximity to date disability began – generally20 out of last 40 calendar quarters must have tax withholdings.

SSI Specific Eligibility

  • Must have very limited financial resources – generally cannot have more than $2,000 in assets at any point in time

What does the Social Security Administration Look Into?

  • Burden of proof in on claimant during steps one thru four below; at step 5 burden shifts to SSA to establish claimant can do work which exists in the economy
  • Step 1: Is the claimant currently performing substantial gainful activity (i.e. earning income over a specified amount)? If so, claim is denied
  • Are the claimant’s alleged impairments severe enough to significantly limit his or her physical or mental ability to do basic work activities? If not, the claim is denied. Otherwise, proceed to step 3
  • Does the claimant have an impairment which meets one of the specified listings found in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Appendix 2? If so, the claim will be allowed and benefits will be awarded
    (The listings generally require severe or marked impairments supported by very substantial medical evidence)
  • Considering all of the claimant’s impairment and their effect on his or her ability to perform work-related activities, can the claimant do his or her past relevant work? If so, the claim is denied. Otherwise, proceed to step 5
  • Step 5 – Considering all of the claimant’s impairments and their effect on his or her ability to perform work-related activities, and also considering the claimant’s age, past education and work experience, can the claimant be expected to perform any other work in the national economy?
    Judge will consider vocational factors – jobs available in the economy and claimant’s ability to perform those jobs
    If yes, the claim is denied. If no, benefits will be awarded