Can I switch from SSI to SSDI?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 04/08/2016 - 18:12

I'm legally blind and receive SSI because I became disabled before I had any work credits. I've been self-employed since 2012 and believe I'll have enough credits for my age soon. Once I get enough credits for my age, can I switch from SSI to SSDI as long as my earnings don't exceed the limit for SSDI eligibility?

Fri, 05/06/2016 - 16:54 Permalink

Hi there,
If you are on SSI, it is unlikely that you have been earning enough to later qualify for SSDI. If you do somehow have enough work credits, you can actually earn both at once if your SSDI benefits are less than $733 per month. You can look at our chart on work credits to determine exactly how many you need to qualify:

Phillip (not verified)
Wed, 06/29/2016 - 04:56 Permalink

How do you determine how many work credits that you have?


In reply to by Phillip (not verified)

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 16:31 Permalink

Hi Phillip,
This will depend on how much income you earn. You earn one work credit per $1,220 of taxable income you've made, but you can only get four per year. So if you've been making at least $5,000 per year, you will have enough work credits to qualify.

Anonymous (not verified)
Fri, 07/21/2017 - 21:21 Permalink

I have a permanent condition that causes my disability and am under 24. I have been receiving SSI since I was 18. I am a recent college graduate and working towards my career. Do I understand the chart correctly, that if I earn 6 work credits before I turn 24 then I qualify for SSDI? My SSI is adjusted to $627.50 because I have $83.50 earned income so does that mean I may qualify for both SSI and SSDI since my SSI is under $733? Also please explain Diversions since my most recent NOD for SSI mentions HMA $735 under diversions. Thank you.


In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Tue, 07/25/2017 - 08:54 Permalink

Hi there,
You may be eligible for SSDI benefits, however the amount you would receive would be based on the amount you had paid in. If you get SSDI benefits, you would qualify for SSI benefits if the amount you receive for SSDI is less than $735. Also, Diversions may be a part of the benefits that you receive from your state, so you may want to contact the office than handles benefits in your state for more information.

DJM (not verified)
Wed, 09/27/2017 - 20:59 Permalink

I recently was on SSI age 63; can you switch to SSDI after a disabilty with a heart attack and Dialysis 3-times a week?


In reply to by DJM (not verified)

Thu, 09/28/2017 - 09:14 Permalink

Hi There,

Those conditions may qualify you for SSDI. In certain cases actually one can receive SSI And SSDI at the same time.

Joe (not verified)
Fri, 01/26/2018 - 03:15 Permalink

I’m 40, I have been on ssi for 5 years or more, I was short a few credits to qualify for ssdi, I had not worked the past 9-10 years until this year I earned 6000$ getting 4 credits- if I now or in the future have enough credits can I upgrade to ssdi? Or will they say I don’t have enough in the right time period or what? In general is it possible to go from ssi to ssdi if u start earning credits while on ssi??

Ruth Parson (not verified)
Sun, 04/01/2018 - 18:14 Permalink

Actually asking for a friend: Who has had severe mental illness since childhood. He has been receiving SSI since moving out of a state mental hospital. He has worked on and off at supported part time paid work, for which he paid taxes, for about 15 years. Over the last three years he has worked steadily at the same part time job. He is interested in switching from SSI to SSDI, is this possible? His mental illness is chronic and he manages his illness with medication and therapy. He has never worked full-time and we are concerned that an increase in hours could exacerbate his anxiety and illness. Thank you in advance of your response.


In reply to by Ruth Parson (not verified)

Mon, 04/02/2018 - 16:19 Permalink

Hi Ruth,

Generally, those mental illness cases are tough to win for SSDI. However, if he has enough work credits, he could be able to qualify for SSDI.

karen fiste (not verified)
Tue, 06/18/2019 - 08:50 Permalink

My son is 31 and has cerebral palsy has not worked and he gets SSI can he get full disabitity

GC (not verified)
Wed, 06/19/2019 - 13:20 Permalink

I had a stroke and have not been able to work in 3 years. I have work credits from my past jobs. But not being able to work I was put on SSI. How can I receive SSI?


In reply to by GC (not verified)

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 16:41 Permalink

Hi GC,

You should look over the SSA's Blue Book with your doctor to make sure you meet a listing. Then when you are ready to apply, you can apply online or visit your local SSA office to apply in person (make an appointment before you go!). Best of luck!

Anonymous (not verified)
Thu, 06/27/2019 - 08:49 Permalink

I've been on ssi for two years I'm 51 can I get ssdi


In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 14:57 Permalink

Hi there,

It all depends if you have a sufficient amount of work credits. If you do, then you could qualify for SSDI benefits.

Denise (not verified)
Wed, 08/07/2019 - 13:28 Permalink

I am 61 & on SSI and am wondering can I switch to SSDI... I was denied before but now my health is much worse. I’ve worked but I haven’t in over 10 years. Is that an absolute requirement?

Sara Moore (not verified)
Wed, 09/04/2019 - 22:34 Permalink

If I receive SSI now, but am returning to work part time this month earning 1000/month steadily as I plan to do over the next 5 years (which equals at least 20 credits), will I be able to apply for SSDI by the time I’m 40? Can you upgrade from SSI to SSDI if you are working part time while still receiving SSI?


In reply to by Sara Moore (not verified)

Fri, 09/06/2019 - 11:18 Permalink

Hi Sarah,

There is no "upgrading" from SSI to SSDI as they both have different qualifications. Since you plan on making $1,000 over the next 5 years, you'll be entered into the Trial Work Period. If at the end of the 9 month TWP the SSA finds that you are able to make above the Substantial Gainful Activity allowance, you may lose your SSI. If you are then unable to work and not make the SGA, then you may qualify for SSDI if you then have enough work credits.

Topher (not verified)
Sun, 09/15/2019 - 00:57 Permalink

I was receiving ssi benefits but got married, my wife made to much so my benefits were taken away. I am still considered disabled. Apparently I was only 3 credits away from receiving ssdi benefits, and have recently met those requirements. How hard will it be to get ssdi now?


In reply to by Topher (not verified)

Mon, 09/16/2019 - 16:44 Permalink

Hi Topher,

If you have the work credits then you may be able to receive SSDI. If you were able to work and make a decent living wage then the SSA may find that you are ineligible that way though. Best of luck!

John Iannucci (not verified)
Thu, 10/17/2019 - 23:09 Permalink

I am permanently disabled I did not qualify initially for SSD I have been receiving SSI is there any circumstances in New York state where after receiving 24 months of SSI can it convert to SSD


In reply to by John Iannucci (not verified)

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 14:20 Permalink

Hi John,

It is possible, but it depends on the amount of work credits that you have received. To qualify for SSDI, you must have been working and "paid into" social security in the form of taxes.

Donns (not verified)
Thu, 11/14/2019 - 09:36 Permalink

My daughter was receiving SSI from age 18 . Her Dad retired early and the representative recommended that she switch to SSDI and collect off of his earning record . At the time she was age 21. Her benefits were suspended in August 2019 due to overpayment . Her Dad earned more than permitted and they both have suspended benefits . They set up a payment plan but
Neither is currently receiving benefits . Social Security said they would start to get paid again in Feb 2020.. My daughter does not work can she switch back to SSI? This was very bad advice so much has happened that has caused her issues... Bad information from Social Security ...They told her that once she Signed a payment agreement that she would start getting back her benefit which has not happened... She needs this money for her living expenses. Can you provide any information on how we can remedy this issue.


In reply to by Donns (not verified)

Thu, 11/14/2019 - 16:17 Permalink


Without more personal information, I cannot give you an exact answer, but I will try to give a general one. I am sure that you are hesitant, but your local SSA office will be the best place to go over her individual case.

SSDI is based on work history, which it does not seem like your daughter will have. SSI is available for those that do not have a source of income. There are very specific income and asset limits. By making an appointment with the SSA, you will be able to go over the assets that she has and the household income that she has.

Fattie (not verified)
Fri, 11/22/2019 - 00:47 Permalink

How do you check your work credits

Elsa (not verified)
Thu, 01/30/2020 - 15:37 Permalink

My husband is on SSDI since he was 54, he is now 63 and would like to go back to work can he convert his SSDI to SSI so he can work full time without penalties?

A. Cri (not verified)
Wed, 02/12/2020 - 09:20 Permalink

Hi i am on ssi i was approved as a child when i was in foster care im 25 and has been informed that i cannot work at all due to my health conditions.. Conditions in which i just found out that i had myself.. Due to this will i be able to switch from ssi to ssdi


In reply to by A. Cri (not verified)

Thu, 02/13/2020 - 12:29 Permalink

Hi There,

You'll need to have enough work credits to receive SSDI. If you have enough, then your SSDI benefit may impact your SSI & reduce or stop the SSI benefit.

Nick (not verified)
Wed, 04/22/2020 - 03:06 Permalink

I am currently on ssi, my dad will soon get social security. I was told I will get a bump in ssi or go on ssdi. Is that true. Also they said there will be a phone interview, what will they ask me?


In reply to by Nick (not verified)

Fri, 04/24/2020 - 15:59 Permalink

Hi Nick,

If your dad is going to receive SSDI and you are under 18, then you may be eligible for auxiliary benefits (separate from your SSI). If that is the case though, your SSI may be reduced or stopped. For some under 18, their SSI is based on household income, which your dad's benefits will contribute to.

If you are over 18, you shouldn't see any change in your SSI.

Skilgore (not verified)
Fri, 05/01/2020 - 10:44 Permalink

Why did my SSDI decrease this month when my situation/finances did not change? The only change was getting stimulus check..


In reply to by Skilgore (not verified)

Fri, 05/01/2020 - 14:50 Permalink

Hi There,

Because we are not affiliated with the SSA, that is not information we have access to. You can try calling the SSA at 1-800-772-1213.

Lisa (not verified)
Mon, 05/04/2020 - 18:35 Permalink

Why do men on SSI never pay child support when their check is as much as someone making minimum wage?


In reply to by Lisa (not verified)

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 14:50 Permalink

Hi Lisa,

Disability benefits and child support are two different entities. Child support is decided by the Courts while disability benefits is a federal program.

Coates (not verified)
Wed, 06/17/2020 - 06:18 Permalink

I'm on ssi how can I get on ssdi?


In reply to by Coates (not verified)

Fri, 06/19/2020 - 13:49 Permalink

Hi Coates,

You will need to apply for SSDI. To qualify, you'll need to have earned enough work credits (which are earned by working and paying into Social Security). If you are approved for SSDI, you SSI may be reduced or stopped since it is based on income.

John (not verified)
Sat, 07/11/2020 - 15:32 Permalink

Received ssi and navy retired also 70 % va disabled.can I received ssi disability


In reply to by John (not verified)

Wed, 07/15/2020 - 11:07 Permalink

Hi John,

Eligibility for ssdi is dependent on the work credits that you have earned. This article by the SSA will give you a little more information on work credits:….

If you believe you meet those qualifications, consider connecting with an attorney here:

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