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Who qualifies for disability determinations?

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at


600. Who qualifies for disability determinations?

We make disability determinations for:

  1. Insured individuals who apply for disability benefits or for a period of disability (as described in Chapter 5);

  2. Widow(er)s and children who qualify because of relationship to an insured worker;

  3. Adults who qualify and apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability payments;

  4. Children under age 18 who qualify and apply for SSI disability payments (see §517).

This Chapter explains generally how the terms and requirements in Chapter 5 pertain to evaluating disability. It also covers what evidence is needed to make a disability determination.

Last Revised: Jul. 26, 2005

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