Who Is Eligible for Social Security Disability?

You may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits if you are unable to work due to a medical condition or an injury. However, first you have to meet the criteria that the Social Security Administration has set.

The application process for Social Security Disability benefits is complex. As a result, it can be confusing. U.S. News and World Report describes the most significant eligibility requirements.

Health Requirements

The SSA only pays Social Security Disability benefits to people whose condition is severe and chronic. You can qualify for Social Security Disability with a condition that you expect to either result in your death or last more than a year. If it has already lasted a year, that may be a point in your favor.

Work History

You can only receive Social Security Disability benefits if you have worked and paid Social Security taxes long enough to earn work credits. You need 40 credits to qualify for SSD benefits. For every year you work, you earn up to four credits. You have to have earned at least half of your credits within the 10 years prior to your disability.

Claim Approval

The Social Security Administration makes the final determination of whether you are eligible to receive SSD benefits. Your doctor’s assessment is a factor that it takes into consideration, but it will not base the decision on that alone.

The SSA often denies the first application. You should not give up if you do not receive immediate acceptance. There is an appeals process through which you can challenge the decision. Deserving people who submit appeals often gain acceptance eventually.