Question of the Month: “Can I get SSI While I Am Waiting for My SSDI to be Approved?”

March 2, 2022

There are two disability programs: Social Security Disability Insurance, which is known as SSDI, and Supplemental Security Income—commonly referred to as SSI.

SSDI pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you have a disability and you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes. SSI is based on financial need. The Social Security Administration (SSA) says, “It is designed to help aged, blind, and disabled people, who have little or no income.”

All too often, the process of qualifying for SSDI benefits can be lengthy. Understandably, disability applicants get frustrated while waiting for a decision from Social Security and ask: “Can I get SSI while I am waiting for my SSDI to be approved?”

“The short answer,” says disability attorney Demetra Geller, “is no, with limited exceptions.”

Both programs have the same standard for what qualifies as a disability, she says. That means, “Your best course of action is to work toward building and winning your best disability case. And working toward winning means getting treatment for your impairments, updating Nash Disability Law on any changes in your treatment, or new treatment providers, and submitting the paperwork required by Social Security. One of the most important SSA forms is the “Residual Functional Capacity” (RFC) form. The RFC form, filled out by your doctor, measures your physical abilities, and it allows him or her to explain how your medical conditions limit you from working.”

The disability lawyers at Nash can advise you of the best treatment and evidence to win your claim, so do not hesitate to reach out for a free consultation: (312) 443-0900.