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How do you qualify for SSDI benefits?

| Mar 21, 2021 | Social Security Disability |

Not only can a serious injury or illness be extremely painful, but it may also interfere with your ability to work and to support yourself and your family members. Fortunately, if you meet eligibility requirements, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. 

Funded through payroll taxes, SSDI provides income to individuals who have a restricted ability to work. Even if you are eligible for SSDI benefits, obtaining them can be challenging. An SSDI benefits attorney can help you determine if you have enough work credits and a qualifying disability. 

How many work credits do you need?

To qualify for SSDI benefits, you typically must have at least 40 work credits, 20 of which you must have earned in the immediate decade before your disability. It is possible to earn up to four credits each year you work, although the amount of money you must make to earn a work credit changes frequently. 

If you are younger worker who may have had insufficient time to accumulate 40 work credits, you may be able to qualify for SSDI benefits with fewer work credits. On other hand, if you have a disability but do not have enough work credits, you may qualify for a separate program, Supplemental Security Income. 

What counts as a disability?

The Social Security Administration has a strict definition of what it means to have a qualifying disability. Generally, your disability must meet each of the following criteria: 

  • It must last at least a year or for the rest of your life 
  • It must prevent you from doing your job  
  • It must prevent you from doing different work 

Luckily, there are a few different ways to prove you have a qualifying disability. Gathering extensive medical records about your condition, though, may be the first step in securing the SSDI benefits you deserve. 

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