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Do I qualify for SSDI benefits?

Following a life-changing injury, you may have questions regarding Social Security Disability Insurance. SSDI provides income to people who cannot work because of a disability. However, not everyone qualifies to receive SSDI benefits. 

Keep reading for more information regarding SSDI payments and eligibility requirements. 

The definition of “disability” 

According to the Social Security Administration’s website, you must meet their definition of disabled to qualify for benefits. This definition includes the following. 

  • Your disability prevents you from performing the work you previously did 
  • Your disability will likely last more than one year or become fatal 
  • Your disability prevents you from adjusting to a different type of work 

The SSA is very strict with their definition of disability and if you do not meet the requirements, they will deny your benefits. 

Necessary work credits 

In addition to meeting the SSA’s definition of disabled, you must also accrue enough work credits to be eligible for SSDI. Typically, the SSA will require that you have 40 credits to establish eligibility, 20 of which must be from the previous 10 years before your disability. There are different credit requirements for young people with disabilities, however. For example, if you become disabled before age 42, your credit requirement is 20 work credits instead of 40. Additionally, there are different requirements for people who are blind or have low vision. 

Work credit requirements change every year. In 2020, you will receive one work credit for every $1410 you earn through work or self-employment. You may only earn four work credits in any given year, however, regardless of how much money you earn.