Can I Get Disability if I Have Not Worked Before?
Social Security administers two disability programs - Supplemental Security Income disability and Social Security disability. Social Security disability is based upon insured status that is gained through work activity and if you have not worked then you would not be eligible to receive Social Security disability. So what can you do if you have not worked but find yourself disabled?
Your only chance of receiving disability in this case would be through the Supplemental Security Income disability program. This disability program is based upon financial need rather than your work history. However, SSI has it’s own non-disability criteria that must be met prior to an individual receiving disability benefits.
Supplemental Security Income disability program has limits on the resources you may own (cars, your house, land, bank accounts, retirement plans, stocks, 401K programs etc) and income (earnings, long term disability benefits, veteran’s benefits, short term disability, etc).
The 2009 limit for resources for an individual is 2000.00 (extra vehicles, land, bank accounts, etc, to name a few) or 3000.00 for a couple. If your "countable" resources are over the limit, you would not qualify for this program either. However, do not make any assumption regarding countable resources. Leave that to the social security field office claims rep to determine what they are.
- Income limits for disability program eligibility go up each year; therefore, you may wish to contact Social Security to find out what the current limits are should you wish to pursue a disability claim with Social Security.
- For SSI cases, Social Security does count your spouse’s income (it is deemed) as well as their resources if they are living in your household. So even if your personal resources and income are not over the limit, your spouse's income or resources may potentially make you ineligible.
- If you meet the income and resource limits of the SSI disability program, your disability claim will be sent to the state disability agency for a medical determination. All Social Security disability medical determinations are done the same way whether you are filing for Social Security disability, Supplemental Security Income disability, or both.
- If you are found medically disabled by Social Security, your SSI disability case will be returned to your local Social Security office for an end of the line review. Once again, a Social Security claims representative, or CR, will review your income and resources to make sure you still meet the limits. If you do not meet the limits, your claim will be denied---even if you were found to be medically disabled by Social Security by a disability examiner.
Return to the homepage for the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog
Will I Qualify for Social Security Disability?
How to get disability
Social Security disability appeal process
Thoughts on how to get Social Security Benefits if You are Disabled
Social Security Disability denied
Social Security Disability Hearing Decisions
How does Social Security Disability use your Work History?