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Social Security Requirements For Disability

Do You Qualify For Social Security Benefits

File NOW if you meet this social security disability requirement!

The Social Security Administration s income support program commonly known as Social Security, offers both retirement benefits as well as disability income support . These benefits are intended to replace loss of income due to old-age or disability.

To qualify for either Retirement Benefits or SSD, you will need to satisfy certain eligibility criteria. This article will provide an overview of the eligibility criteria for both Retirement Benefits and the SSD, to help you identify whether or not you will be successful in an application for financial assistance from the SSA.

What Is The Difference Between Ssi And Ssdi

SSI eligibility is determined based on age, disability and available resources, while SSDI is based on a persons disability and work credits.

For most people, medical requirements that will allow you to receive disability payments are the same for both, and disability is determined using the same process. Both SSI and SSDI are managed by the Social Security Administration as well.


Location and monthly income

Record of earnings

The most notable difference between SSI and SSDI is that SSDI is only available to people who have accumulated enough work credits, while SSI is available to low-income individuals who have not accumulated enough work credits or who have never worked. In addition, SSDI is based on your work history, but SSI is strictly based on a financial situation of considerable need.

Additionally, SSI benefits begin on the first of the month that a social security disability application is submitted and approved, but for SSDI there is a five-month waiting period. People who qualify for SSI can also receive Medicaid benefits. After receiving SSDI benefits for two years, a disabled person will be eligible for Medicare benefits. The amount of SSI benefits depend on where a person lives and what their monthly income is, while SSDI benefit amounts are dependent on a persons earnings record.

Can You Do Any Other Type Of Work

If you cant do the work you did in the past, we look to see if there is other work you could do despite your medical impairment.

We consider your medical conditions, age, education, past work experience, and any transferable skills you may have. If you cant do other work, well decide you qualify for disability benefits. If you can do other work, well decide that you dont have a qualifying disability and your claim will be denied.

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What We Mean By Disability

The definition of disability under Social Security is different than other programs. Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or for short-term disability.

We consider you to have a qualifying disability under Social Security rules if all the following are true:

  • You cannot do work and engage in substantial gainful activity because of your medical condition.
  • You cannot do work you did previously or adjust to other work because of your medical condition.
  • Your condition has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

This is a strict definition of disability. Social Security program rules assume that working families have access to other resources to provide support during periods of short-term disabilities, including workers’ compensation, insurance, savings, and investments.

Social Security Entitlement Requirements

Social Security Disability Benefits Guide

Many people who are eligible for Supplemental Security Income may also be entitled to receive Social Security benefits. In fact, the application for SSI benefits is also an application for Social Security benefits. We often need to obtain additional information from the person before we can award Social Security benefits.

The following sections provide information on who may be entitled to Social Security benefits.


    Age 62 or older, or disabled or blind and

    “Insured” by having enough work credits.

For applications filed December 1, 1996, or later, you must either be a U.S. citizen or lawfully present alien in order to receive monthly Social Security benefits.


We measure work in “work credits”. You can earn up to four work credits per year based on your annual earnings. The amount of earnings required for a work credit increases each year as general wage levels rise.

To be eligible for most types of benefits , you must have earned an average of one work credit for each calendar year between age 21 and the year in which you reach age 62 or become disabled or blind, up to a maximum of 40 credits. A minimum of six work credits is required, regardless of age.

The rules are as follows:

Born After 1929


If you are receiving retirement or disability benefits, your spouse may qualify if he or she is:


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Alabama Social Security Disability Benefits Lawyer

According to the Social Security Administration, in 2019 there were more than two million applicants for disability. Unfortunately, the rate of approval for initial applications for Social Security Disability is about 30 percent. Yet Social Security Disability benefits can be invaluable for helping those who are disabled and unable to work support themselves and their families. Social Security has two sets of criteria for determining whether an applicant is disabledone relates to medical conditions, and the other encompasses non-medical conditions. Regarding medical conditions that qualify for SSD benefits, it is important to familiarize yourself with the Blue Book which outlines all impairments and conditions that will qualify an applicant.

The Social Security Act Defines Disability Very Strictly

Eligibility rules for Social Security’s disability program differ from those of private plans or other government agencies. Social Security doesn’t provide temporary or partial disability benefits, like workers’ compensation or veterans’ benefits do.

To receive disability benefits, a person must meet the definition of disability under the Social Security Act . A person is disabled under the Act if they can’t work due to a severe medical condition that has lasted, or is expected to last, at least one year or result in death. The person’s medical condition must prevent them from doing work that they did in the past, and it must prevent them from adjusting to other work.

Because the Act defines disability so strictly, Social Security disability beneficiaries are among the most severely impaired in the country. In fact, Social Security disability beneficiaries are more than three times as likely to die in a year as other people the same age. Among those who start receiving disability benefits at the age of 55, 1-in-6 men and 1-in-8 women die within five years of the onset of their disabilities.

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Extended Period Of Eligibility

Following your trial work period, you will enter a 36-month extended period of eligibility. It is in this period that you can work and still receive benefits only as long as your earnings are less than what Social Security considers substantial. Social Security deducts what they consider work expenses that are a direct result of your disability from your total monthly earnings. These work expenses can range from prescription drug copays, transportation to and from work, and specialized work equipment.

Ssdi Work History Eligibility

Medical Conditions that LOSE in Social Security Disability! Must See.

While SSI does not have any work history requirements, SSDI does. Depending on your age and the time at which you became disabled, you will need to have accumulated a certain number of work credits to qualify for SSDI. Heres the most up-to-date Social Security Disability age chart:

Age you became disabled
60 or older 9.5

While the chart above shows the approximate number of work years required to qualify for SSDI, the SSA calculates your eligibility based on work credits. The numbers change a little each year, but as of 2020, you accumulate 1 work credit per $1,410 of earned income. You can earn a maximum of 4 work credits per year.

So, if you become disabled when youre 44, youll need to have worked for about 5.5 years, which equals about 22 work credits. The maximum number of work credits required by anyone is 40, half of which must have been earned within the 10 years prior to your disability.

There are some exceptions for younger adults who become disabled. Additionally, children who become disabled can qualify for SSDI benefits without a work history. You can learn more about these exceptions on the SSA website.

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Information You Need To Apply

Before applying, be ready to provide information about yourself, your medical condition, and your work. We recommend you print and review the . It will help you gather the information you need to complete the application.

Information About You

  • Your date and place of birth and Social Security number.
  • The name, Social Security number, and date of birth or age of your current spouse and any former spouse. You should also know the dates and places of marriage and dates of divorce or death .
  • Names and dates of birth of children not yet 18 years of age.
  • Your bank or other and the account number.

Information About Your Medical Condition

  • Name, address, and phone number of someone we can contact who knows about your medical conditions and can help with your application.
  • Detailed information about your medical illnesses, injuries, or conditions:
  • Names, addresses, phone numbers, patient ID numbers, and dates of treatment for all doctors, hospitals, and clinics.
  • Names of medicines you are taking and who prescribed them.
  • Names and dates of medical tests you have had and who ordered them.

Information About Your Work:

  • Award letters, pay stubs, settlement agreements, or other .

We accept photocopies of W-2 forms, self-employment tax returns, or medical documents, but we must see the original of most other documents, such as your birth certificate.

Do not delay applying for benefits because you do not have all the documents. We will help you get them.

How Much Does The Di Program Cost

In 2016, the disability insurance trust fund received $160 billion, mainly from the 1.185 percent tax on wages that workers and employers both pay. Total payments from the DI trust fund were $146 billion, mainly for benefits to disabled workers and their families, meaning that income exceeded outgo by $14 billion in 2016. The cumulative assets in the disability insurance trust fund totaled $46 billion at the end of 2016. Administrative expenses were 1.9 percent of outgo from the DI fund, and the remaining portion paid for benefits.

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Is Your Condition Found In The List Of Disabling Conditions

For each of the major body systems, we maintain a list of medical conditions we consider severe enough to prevent a person from doing SGA. If your condition is not on the list, we must decide if it is as severe as a medical condition that is on the list. If it is, we will find that you have a qualifying disability. If it is not, we then go to Step 4.

We have two initiatives designed to expedite our processing of new disability claims:

  • Compassionate Allowances: Certain cases that usually qualify for disability can be allowed as soon as the diagnosis is confirmed. Examples include acute leukemia, Lou Gehrigs disease , and pancreatic cancer.
  • Quick Disability Determinations: We use sophisticated computer screening to identify cases with a high probability of allowance.

For more information about our disability claims process, visit our Benefits for People with Disabilities website.

Tips For Getting Retirement Ready

If Your SSI Was Denied Will Your SSDI be Denied Too?
  • A financial advisor could help you prepare for retirement. SmartAssets free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If youre ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Relying on Social Security alone may not be the best option when it comes to saving for retirement. As you approach early retirement age, its best to save as much as you can along the way. Our retirement calculator can help you determine how much money you need to retire comfortably.

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What Are The Social Security Disability Requirements

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If you suffer from a debilitating injury or condition, youve probably wanted to know the answer to one important question: what are the Social Security Disability requirements? Though you may think its pretty cut and dry, the Social Security Disability criteria can be somewhat complex. Your eligibility will depend on your age, citizenship status, work history, income, and the type and severity of your disability.

So, what medical conditions qualify for Social Security Disability? How old do I need to be to apply? And finally, what other factors will affect my Social Security Disability eligibility? Though the process of applying and getting accepted for Social Security Disability Insurance can be complex, there are four basic requirements to qualify. So, lets take a closer look at each Social Security Disability requirement:


What Are The Medical Requirements For Ssd Benefits

To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits your condition must be severe enough to restrict you from workingyour condition must interfere with basic work-related activities. Disabled individuals are usually unable to work, and unable to complete normal tasks they could have completed prior to their disability. If your disabling condition does not fall under one of the Blue Book listing impairments as described above, you will be required to work through additional steps.

You must show your disabling condition is severe enough to limit your ability to do the type of work you did prior to your condition. If your condition is severe enough to limit your ability to engage in the work you did prior to becoming disabled, you will also have to document your inability to do other types of work. With the determination of your disability, the SSA will look at your specific medical condition, your age, your education, the specific type of work you did prior to your disability, and whether you have transferable skills that would translate into a new type of work.

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How A Schaffer & Associates Attorney Can Help You Through The Ssd Process

If you are disabled and unable to work, you need help in the form of Social Security Disability benefits. To receive those benefits, you need a highly skilled legal professional from Schaffer & Associates to guide you through an often complicated and challenging process. At Schaffer & Associates, we are experienced, compassionate, and fully dedicated to you and your future. At Schaffer & Associates, LPA, we have extensive experience helping injured individuals and their families living with disabilities. We can help you file your claim and will remain accessible to you throughout the life of the claim. Contact Schaffer & Associates today!

Who Determines If My Condition Meets The Social Security Disability Requirements

Who Is Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits

Once you apply for SSDI or Supplemental Security Income , your eligibility will be processed through one or more local Social Security field offices. Your case could also be handled by your states Disability Determination Services agency. If your initial application is denied, appeals will be sent to the SSAs Office of Hearing Operations.

However, these agencies only determine if your condition meets the requirements for Social Security Disability eligibility. Before applying for SSDI or SSI, you will need to be diagnosed with a qualifying disability by a licensed health professional. In most cases, your physician will need to provide evidence and documentation of your disability as part of your application. The local SSA office or DDS will reach out to you or your doctor if additional documentation is required.

However, Social Security Disability eligibility is not just determined by your condition. The appropriate agencies will also look at your work history when you apply for SSDI.

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Wait Time For Decisions And Hearings

The amount of time it takes for an application to be approved or denied varies, depending on whether it is an initial decision or a decision based on an appeal. In fiscal year 2019, it took an average of 120 days for SSA to make an initial determination on a disability claim. The figure increased following the COVID-19 pandemic and, for months in fiscal year 2021, the average wait time for an initial decision is 165 days.

The high number of cases and long wait times for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge has drawn significant attention from Congress in recent years. Congress provided additional funding for this workload and the number of cases and wait times have declined. In fiscal year 2020, the average wait time for a hearing was 386 days .

For some cases, SSA will expedite disability determinations. These include Quick Disability Determination and Compassionate Allowance cases. These are cases where statistical models or medical diagnoses indicate the person has an extremely severe medical condition. These cases can often be processed in under 30 days. Additionally, many cases involving military veterans are expedited.

Which States Offer Supplementary Disability Payment Programs

The majority of all disability payment programs are administered on the federal level, but there are five states that offer state-funded disability programs in addition to SSDI and SSI. Currently, those five states are California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. They are intended to supplement, but not replace, federal disability payment programs.

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