Written by attorney Lawrence John Gibney Jr.

Common Abbreviations in Social Security Disability Claims

Social Security uses its own jargon when discussing a disability claim and here are some of the most common and these are followed by a general definition:

  • SSI (Supplemtal Security Income or Title XVI)
  • SSDI (Disablity or Title II benefits)
  • SGA (Substantial Gainful Activity)
  • RFC (Residual Funcitonal Capacity)
  • PRW (Past Relevant Work)
  • DLI (Date Last Insured)

SSI is a means based benefit. It is essentially a welfare program and there is some financial evaluation that is performed when assessing whether or not the person is entitled to this beneft. This benefit is also capped.

SSDI is a benefit for those who have paid the required amount of taxes and there is no financial evaluation. The amount of the benefit depends on the amount of tax that the person paid during their lifetime although this is also capped.

If someone has income on their earnings record the Administration will assess whether or not that income rises to the level of SGA; the amount has changed over the years but currently the SGA level is slightly over $1,000 per month.

The term RFC is a term that measures the ability of the person to perform certain work related activity. This is a masure of the person's ability to sit, stand, lift, carry,push, pull and reach among others.

The term PRW is used to describe the type of work that the individual did in the past. The work will be described in terms of the exertional level of the work: sedentary, light, medium, heavy and very heavy as well as whether or not the job was unskilled, semi-skilled or skilled.

When a person applies for Disabilty benefits, the Adminstration calculates the date last insured or DLI. In order to be entitled to Title II benefits, the person must establish that he or she was disabled before that date.

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