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Who's Eligible For Social Security Disability Benefits?

Last updated: April 12, 2023

You don't automatically qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits because you're disabled and unable to work. You may have to fight for what you deserve. To receive disability benefits, you must be disabled in addition to working. Read on for information on basic eligibility requirements.

What Are the Work History Eligibility Requirements for SSDI?

The work eligibility requirements for disability qualifications require that you have been working for a sufficient amount of time and recently enough to qualify. Having earned a certain number of work credits determines your eligibility. If you earn a certain amount from work during a quarter, you can earn one work credit.

You would earn four credits for the year if you earned $1,700 per quarter or more in 2017. In 2017, for example, if you earned $1,700 per quarter or more, you would earn four credits for the year. Depending on your age, you will need to earn several credits to qualify for benefits. The rules are as follows:

  • Generally, you need to earn 40 credits of work, 20 of which must have been obtained within the last ten years.
  • In the case of young people under 31 years of age, SSDI benefits might be available with fewer work credits.

Disability Requirements for Social Security Disability Benefits

SSDI benefits can only be received if you are also deemed disabled. To satisfy the disability qualifications, you must meet the following criteria:

  • ‚ÄčThe job you previously held is no longer available to you; and
  • Due to your medical condition, you cannot perform other work; and
  • At least one year has passed since your disability began, or your disability is expected to result in your death.

The Social Security Administration maintains a Medically Approved Listing of Impairments. Having your medical condition on the list automatically qualifies you for benefits. Nevertheless, if your disability is not on the list, this does not mean you are not eligible for SSDI benefits.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits may be available if you are not eligible for SSDI. The program requires that you be disabled and meet strict asset and income requirements.

Get Help With Your Social Security Disability Claim

The decision to deny your SSDI application shouldn't surprise you, even if you qualify for benefits. The Social Security Administration denies many legitimate claims. Consider seeking help from a disability lawyer if you need assistance when filling out an application for disability benefits or if you need help arguing for your benefits.

Applying for Social Security benefits can be an overwhelming process. NJDDC offers a comprehensive guide about Social Security Disability benefits. To learn more, visit DisabilityHelp.org today!

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Zoey Appleton
Zoey has worked with Cheri for years and has been creating the best articles not only for Disability Help but for our readers. Her job hits close to home for she has a brother with special needs. She hopes to see science and technology pave the way for a better life, with Disability Help to cover it and share it with those that need it.
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