Module #10

Assisting Youth in Transitioning to the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Program

You can use this toolkit to explain to youth and their families: how a youth may become eligible for SSDI in the future; and the potential ways to qualify for or continue Medicaid eligibility after SSDI payments start.

This toolkit will help you understand key two ways a youth who receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can transition to the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, with or without retaining a smaller SSI payment—this includes SSDI on the youth’s own record, for a youth who has worked and paid sufficient amounts into the Social Security trust fund; and Social Security Childhood Disability Benefits on the record of a parent who has paid sufficient amounts into the trust fund, when that parent is disabled, retired, or deceased. 


Social Security’s Red Book – A Guide to Work Incentives

Social Security Program Operations Manual System (POMS) Policies

Earning Credits for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Eligibility

  • Quarter of Coverage,  (explains how Social Security credits are earned; includes table showing the amount of earnings, by year, needed to earn one quarter or credit of coverage).  

Other Social Security Resources

  • Benefits For Children With Disabilities, Publication No. 05-10026 (January 2018), (provides information about both Social Security Childhood Disability Benefits and SSI for children under 18, and how to apply for them). 

  • How Workers’ Compensation and Other Disability Payments May Affect Your Benefits, Publication No. 05-10018 (July 2017),

Determining SSDI Benefits Amount

  • The potential beneficiary can create a My Social Security account, by going to, and then access an updated Social Security statement which will provide the expected SSDI payment amount if the person is found eligible for benefits. 

Kaiser Family Foundation Resources

  • Medicaid Financial Eligibility for Seniors and People with Disabilities in 2015 (The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, March 2016), (a good, brief summary of the many potential pathways to Medicaid eligibility in the states, including the optional medically needy spend down program and the optional Medicaid Buy-In for working people; with a table providing state-by-state information on the various pathways to eligibility).  A VR counselor can check with their State Medicaid Agency for any updated information. 

Social Security’s Ticket to Work “Find Help” Page


  • From home page can navigate to find contact information for number or resources for your state or region of a state, including Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Projects (offering free benefits counseling to Social Security and SSI recipients pursuing work). 

  • Also includes contact information for State Vocational Rehabilitation agencies, Employment Networks (providing services through Ticket to Work program), and Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security programs (providing free legal and advocacy services to overcome barriers to work).