Understanding the Social Security disability program

On Behalf of | Dec 23, 2021 | SSDI

If you have a disability that prevents you from holding a job and making an income, you may be wondering if there is any help available. If you have worked in the past for a job in which you paid into Social Security, you may be eligible for benefits from the Social Security disability program.

To qualify for benefits, you must meet specified requirements.

Disability requirements

According to Benefits.gov, one requirement is that your condition must meet the definition of disability as defined by the Social Security Administration, and this condition prevents you from working and will last for at least one year. In addition, the disability must be permanent and not short-term.

Past work requirements

According to the Social Security Administration, even if your medical condition meets the disability definition, you must meet the work requirements. Because Social Security benefits pay for the disability benefits, you must have contributed to the program via past work.

You receive work credits depending on your yearly income, and you must have earned a specific number of credits in order to qualify. In addition, you must have earned half of these credits within the previous ten years.

Additional requirements

If you meet the disability and work requirements, the SSA also considers other factors. If your disability prevents you from working in your previous job, but you can adjust to other work, you will not qualify for benefits.

You also must be younger than full retirement age to receive disability benefits. If you are receiving disability benefits when you turn retirement age, the amount you receive stays the same, but your benefits will switch from disability to retirement.