Qualifications for Social Security Disability

On Behalf of | May 5, 2022 | Social Security Disability |

If you have a disability that prevents you from working your normal job, you may be wondering what your options are. If you have worked and contributed to Social Security, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

These benefits pay out monthly for those who qualify, and they continue until the person is able to return to work on a regular basis. Before applying, it is important to know what the eligibility qualifications are.

Basic qualifications

According to the Social Security Administration, the main two eligibility requirements are that you have a medical illness or disorder that meets the SSA’s disability definition, and that you worked long enough in one or more jobs that contributed to Social Security.

Just contributing to Social Security is not enough, as a person needs to earn a minimum number of work credits to qualify.  The number of credits for younger people may be lower for older workers, which is usually 40 credits. Also, 20 of those need to be from the previous 10 years.

Disability definition

In order to qualify for SSDI, the workers’ disability needs to be total, which means short-term and partial disabilities do not qualify. For a total disability, there is an expectation that the condition will last more than a year or will end with death. A disability also refers to the worker’s inability to perform not only their current job but also any other type of work.

Examples of conditions that qualify for disability

The SSA provides Blue Book listings that contain mental and physical disorders that automatically qualify a worker for benefits if meeting the main requirements, and AARP lists these conditions. Some examples include:

  • Cardiovascular illnesses
  • Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Neurological disorders
  • Cancer
  • Mental health and cognitive disorders
  • Immune system diseases

Even if you do not have one of the conditions listed in the Blue Book, you may still qualify for SSD benefits if you can prove the severity of your condition or disorder.

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