The Social Security Administration maintains two separate types of disability programs for Kentucky residents who can no longer maintain gainful employment based on a medical condition. Those programs are Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income. Also known as SSD, the former awards total disability to those who are covered through their work record tax payment history. Those who cannot qualify are then evaluated for Supplemental Security Income, also known as SSI, but there are specific financial need standards and restrictions that must be met before an award is issued.
SSD is a permanent award for those who have earned 20 Social Security credits in the past 10 years and a total of 40 credits over their entire working career. Approvals for SSD are based on the claimant’s inability to continue working in a position they have traditionally held. The type of work they have traditionally performed can matter significantly, and especially if their job is sedentary. Rules also differ for applicants under 50 years of age.
Being approved for SSI involves the same physical disability rules as SSD, but the awards are subject to annual review. While SSD requires a claimant to be unable to achieve SGA for six months immediately prior being approved, SSI payments can begin immediately if approved. Even total disability can result in a temporary award for one year. Claimants cannot have over $2000 in financial assets, or $3000 if married, and they are not allowed to earn significant income without being substantially penalized.
Those who are awarded SSD will benefit from it being a federally-operated program. SSI is awarded by SSA rules, but the cases are approved annually at the state level by the Kentucky Division for Disability Determination Services.