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Thursday July 5th, 2001

Tom Tobin, Acting Press Officer

For Immediate Release

410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973

Social Security Online


Social Security Administration Quality Review
Identifies Eligibility for Social Security Disability Benefits

As a result of an internal Social Security Administration (SSA) quality review, approximately 130,000 low-income Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability beneficiaries nationwide may now be eligible to receive Social Security disability insurance payments because they have earned sufficient work credits to qualify for the disability insurance program. In addition to being eligible for higher ongoing monthly payments - $20 or less on average - they will also be eligible for retroactive payments averaging over $2000 per individual.

About 99.7 percent of the current 45.5 million Social Security and 6.6 million SSI beneficiaries receive a monthly payment that represents the precise amount they are due.

"We are proud that our internal quality review system worked and, as a result of our efforts, some of our low-income disabled beneficiaries will be eligible for additional dollars," said Larry G. Massanari, Acting Commissioner of Social Security. "This benefit increase will improve the lives of people with disabilities."

Social Security Administration employees in local offices across the country will contact those individuals affected by the review and provide assistance to them in applying for the higher benefits; no one need contact SSA. Most of those affected are individuals who have gained the necessary work credits to be eligible for Social Security disability insurance since they began receiving their SSI benefits.

SSA identified the cases through its ongoing quality review process and is distributing a list to the offices servicing these customers. Each case will be screened for eligibility. For those who are eligible for Social Security disability benefits an application will be secured and the necessary action taken to start payment of Social Security benefits. Because of the complexity of these cases and, in many instances the need to obtain medical evidence and make new disability determinations, it may take a year or more to process some of the cases.

It is anticipated that retroactive benefits amounting to an average payment of $20 or less per month will be due in the majority of cases. The period involved could range from a few months to several years. There will be instances where the Social Security disability benefits will cause the SSI benefits to terminate. Because SSI benefits require recipients to apply for any and all benefits for which they might be eligible, Social Security benefits must be elected if eligibility exists.

SSA pays SSI benefits to 5.3 million disabled individuals.

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SSA Press Office 4-H-9 West High Rise. 6401 Security Blvd. Baltimore, MD 21235
410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973

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