Social Security Disability: Basics About The DIB and SSI Programs




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Attorney licensed in Indiana
Contributor Level 5
The SSA, with the authority granted to it by the Social Security Act, provides cash and insurance benefits to individuals through two disability programs, both of which use the same disability determination process, but both of which also have different, yet complementary, goals.
The first program is the Social Security DIB program, which is part of the comprehensive social security insurance program, and the second program is the Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") program, which is a means-based program designed specifically to guarantee a minimal level of income to only the poorest of the aged, blind, and disabled. Because SSI benefits are means-based and consist of only nine-percent of the benefits paid by the SSA, this article focuses on DIB. 
To be eligible for DIB, the SSA requires that an applicant be unable to engage in "substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death on which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than twelve months." To make this disability determination, and in an attempt to balance the need for efficiency with the need of ensuring that a claimant is treated fairly, the SSA adopted a subjective, five-step sequential process that considers the uniqueness of a claimant'simpairment or impairments. This five-step sequential process is discussed in detail in my next article.

Additional Resources

To read more, please follow the below link to my article published in the Valparaiso University Law Review. The article has been posted on Traver & Traver, S.C., a nationally recognized Social Security Disability law firm who has been advocating for a practical approach that is both scientific and reliable:

http://ssaconnect.com/content/view/7/175/

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