3 Common Questions About Social Security Disability and SSI Benefits

Filing a claim for social security disability benefits is a complex process. There are many reasons why you may be eligible for compensation or social security disability benefits, but they may not always be easy to identify. Many applicants also make mistakes that can prevent approval.


Each year, millions of people receive social security benefits, and if you have a qualifying disability, you may be eligible for benefits.

Disability insurance is particularly important. According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, there are more than 10.9 million people and 8.8 million workers in the disability insurance program.

If you are injured or disabled, and you are looking to claim disability benefits, we can help. At How Do I Apply for SSDI, we will help you find someone to assist with your application process for Phoenix disability benefits. Please complete the contact form, and we will connect you with someone in your area who may be able to assist.

When Is a Person Considered Disabled by Social Security Disability?

Disability Secrets says that the Social Security Administration (SSA) defines “disability” as an impairment that prevents you from performing substantial gainful activities. These impairments can be medical, psychological or psychiatric in nature.

At the same time, these impairments must have prevented you from doing substantial gainful activities for at least 12 months. The SSA may also classify you as disabled if you are likely to be impaired for the following 12 months. According to Disability Secrets, the durational requirement is important as it prevent you from filing claims for less severe injuries such as wrist sprains.

Substantial gainful activity is often difficult to pinpoint, but it currently means you are able to work and earn more than $1,070 per month. For people who are self-employed or do contract work, the SSA uses other means to establish substantial gainful activity limits.

What Is the Difference Between SSDI and SSI?

This is a common question that many prospective applicants ask. As Disability Secrets discusses, the key difference between Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability—SSDI or SSD—is that SSD exists for employees who have earned a particular number of work credits. SSI disability benefits, on the other hand, exist for low income earners who do not generate enough money to be eligible for SSD, or who have never worked.

These are two totally separate governmental programs, and it is important to remember this when researching social security disability grants.

How Do I Qualify for Disability Benefits?

SSDI sends your claim to a state agency, often called Disability Determination Services (DDS). DDS will determine if you are doing a certain minimum amount of work and if you are medically disabled. If you are doing a certain minimum amount of work, you will not be eligible for benefits.

Applying for social security benefits is a complex process, and an expert can help you file your claim in a way that gives you the best chance of succeeding. At How Do I Apply for SSDI, we can connect you with an expert in your area. To get started, please complete the online contact form.