Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits protect those who can’t work to support themselves because of a severe medical condition. Not everyone who might benefit from SSDI will qualify to receive benefits.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) tracks the contributions of individual workers and reviews benefit applications. Only those with serious medical issues can qualify for disability benefits before retirement age.
If you recently got hurt or your doctor diagnosed you with a serious medical issue, you may hope to receive SSDI benefits to cover your basic cost of living expenses. To get SSDI benefits, you need to meet the three criteria below.
You need to have a long-lasting medical condition
Even the most debilitating medical condition won’t necessarily qualify for benefits if you can undergo treatment for it quickly. For someone to qualify for SSDI benefits, they need medical documentation affirming that their condition will persist for at least a year or the rest of their life. Terminal and chronic conditions lead to more straightforward claims than intermittent conditions or those that will eventually respond to treatment.
The condition must prevent you from working at all
For a condition to meet the SSA’s definition of debilitating, it needs to either prevent you from working at all or make you dependent on someone else’s help for the basic tasks of daily life, like getting to the bathroom. The only exception to this rule is for those with minimal education and a lengthy work history involving physically-demanding labor. Otherwise, if someone can work even the most basic job, they won’t qualify for benefits.
They need to have worked for long enough
SSDI benefits are a reflection of the contributions someone has made to the SSA during their working life. You can earn credits based on your taxable income. The SSA will grant you up to four credits per year. Your age at the time that you make your claim and your recent work history will determine whether you have enough credits to qualify.
If you believe that you have worked for long enough, have a condition that is severe enough and will persist for long enough, you may want to consider applying for SSDI benefits.