Social Security Disability versus Supplemental Security Income
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits consist of monthly payments and/or Medicare benefits which provide compensation to those who are totally disabled from performing substantial gainful work of any kind.

Social Security benefits can be obtained through two programs:

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Both SSDI and SSI have the same medical requirements for disability. However, SSDI requires a person to have worked at least 5 of the last 10 years full time. SSI, on the other hand, is based solely on financial need, regardless of prior work history.

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Five Steps

Five Steps to Determine Disability 

1. Are You Working?

 If you are and your earnings average more than $1,010 a month, you generally cannot be considered disabled.

3. Is Your condition Found in the List of Disabling Impairments?

Social Security maintains a list of impairments for each major body system which are so severe they automatically mean you are disabled. If your condition is not on the list, Social Security must decide if it is of equal severity to an impairment on the list, and if so, the claim is approved.

2. Is Your Condition Severe?

Your impairments must interfere with basic work-related activities for your claim to be considered.

4. Are You Working?

 If your condition is severe but not of same or equal severity with an impairment on the list, Social Security determines if it interferes with your ability to do the work you did in the last 15 years. If it does not, your claim is denied. If it does, further consideration is given.

5. Can You Do Any Other Type of Work?

 If you cannot do the type of work you did in the last 15 years, Social Security determines if you can do any other type of work with consideration given to age, education, past work experience, and transferable skills. If you cannot do any other type of work, your claim is approved. If you can, your claim is denied.