Social Security Disability
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has responsibility for two disability programs. Title II is the Social Security Disability Insurance program, which is an insurance program for those who have worked and paid into the system. This is comparable to private disability insurance. Title XVI is the Supplemental Security Income program (SSI) that provides for individuals (including children under 18) who are disabled and have limited income and resources. Many individuals who have worked in the past but are now disabled qualify for payments from both programs.
The process for qualifying for Social Security Disability and for SSI are the same. Once an individual has applied for benefits there will be a medical determination made. If the medical evidence shows that the person is disabled, then the income and payment history will determine whether the person qualifies for either or both of the programs. Although it is not part of the medical evaluation, physicians who care for disabled patients can be very helpful in qualifying for benefits.