If someone already receives SSI, is it possible that they might qualify for SSDI instead? Is it worth pursuing?
When an applicant files for SSI, they are automatically also considered for any SSDI benefits (or other associated benefits) for which they may be eligible at the time of application. If the applicant is not eligible at the time of application for SSDI, but is eligible for SSI, they may become eligible for SSDI in the future. This occurs one of two ways:
- If the beneficiary works and earns enough work quarters to qualify for SSDI based on their own earnings record, they could be moved to SSDI. The beneficiary can check their work quarter status by signing up for a “my Social Security” account.
- If the beneficiary became disabled before age 22 and was receiving SSI, they may be able to switch to SSDI based on a parent’s earnings record if the parent retires, becomes disabled, or dies.
If the beneficiary believes that he/she may be eligible based on the above situations, we encourage him/her to reach out to SSA to discuss their circumstances before filing the application.