How To Qualify For Social Security Disability?

The Social Security Administration pays disability benefits through two programs: Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. The programs are quite different in the benefits they provide and the requirements a person must meet in order to qualify.

Here is a closer look at the qualification requirements for SSDI and SSI to give you a better understanding of each program until you meet with a Social Security disability lawyer at London Eligibility. Letting an SSD lawyer handle your application ensures that it contains enough information and medical evidence to meet eligibility guidelines. Their lawyers also assist with the appeal process to challenge claim denials.

Qualifying for the SSDI program

To qualify for the SSDI program, you must have an earnings record and a disability that meet the standards established by federal law. SSDI is only available to people who worked long enough at jobs or through self-employment. You must have contributed to the Social Security system through payroll taxes on your earnings or through the payment self-employment taxes.

You must have worked long enough and recently enough to satisfy the work requirements to qualify for SSDI. How long and how recent the earnings from work must be depends on how old you are at the onset of your disability.

For example, if you become disabled before you are 24 years of age, you must have worked for at least 1.5 years during the three years before you became disabled. An SSDI lawyer at London Eligibility can review your earnings record to determine whether or not you meet earnings criteria to qualify for SSDI.

Establishing an earnings record is only one of the requirements you need to meet in order to qualify for disability benefits through the SSDI program. You also must meet the medical standard by being unable to work because of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death.

Meeting the strict definition of “disabled” to qualify for SSD benefits

The fact that you qualified for temporary disability benefits through your state cannot be used as an indicator of the likelihood of winning an approval of your application for benefits through either the SSI or SSDI programs. Federal law establishes a strict definition for disability that Social Security must follow when determining whether you qualify for benefits.

The definition of disabled that is used to qualify adults applying for benefits through the SSDI and SSI programs is the same. You must satisfy each of the following requirements:

  • 1). You must be unable to engage in substantial activity (SGA).
  • 2). The disability must be caused by a medically determinable impairment that can be either physical or mental or a combination of impairments.
  • 3). The impairment must be severe and expected to last for a continuous 12-month period or be expected to result in death.

A different definition of disability applies when a child applies for benefits through the SSI program. A child is disabled when medically determinable physical or mental impairment or impairments that are expected to last for at least 12 continuous months cause marked and severe functional limitations.

When an applicant for benefits through SSDI and SSI claims to be blind, federal law has a specific definition that must be met based on the person’s vision when corrected and visual field. The blindness must be expected to last for at least 12 months when the application seeks benefits through SSDI, but there is no duration requirement for applicants seeking SSI benefits based on being blind.

If your impaired vision does not meet the criteria to qualify for SSDI as blind under the definition used by Social Security, an SSDI lawyer may be able to help. Even though your vision does not allow you to qualify for benefits as blind, it may allow you to qualify for SSDI by satisfying the disability definition.

Qualifying for SSI

SSI is a need-based program available to people who are 65 years of age or older or are blind or disabled. A work history is not an eligibility requirement for SSI as it is for the SSDI program, but you must have limited income and resources and be a U.S. citizen, national or in one of several categories of aliens to qualify for benefits.

The total value of resources you own cannot exceed $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for couples. Resources generally mean anything you can use to acquire food or shelter, including cash, bank deposits, personal property, land and other assets.

Learn more about how to qualify for SSD

Find out more about how to qualify for SSD benefits during a free consultation with an SSD lawyer at London Eligibility. The lawyer answers all of your questions about benefits available to you, reviews your claim, and explains the application process, including qualifying requirements, with you in detail. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.