Maybe you are unable to work because of one or more medical conditions. But you still need money to live on. You may wonder about qualifying for government benefits like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). First you need to understand what the Social Security Administration is looking for when reviewing a request for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits.
Enough Work Credits to Qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits
You must have enough work credits, which are accumulated based on:
- how much you worked, and
- your recent work history.
Your work credits arise from your total yearly wages or income from self-employment. However, you can earn only four credits per year.
The amount of money you need to earn one work credit changes annually. To earn one work credit in 2018, you need to make $1,320. Four credits are accrued after you have made $5,280.
Now that we know what a work credit is, we need to look at how many you need to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.
That amount is calculated on a sliding basis based on your age at the time you became disabled. Basically, though, you typically need 40 credits to qualify. Twenty of those credits must have been earned in the 10 years immediately before you became disabled.
Evidence of a Disability that Meets Social Security Disability Insurance Standards
To receive disability benefits, you must show you have a disability. The Social Security Administration will consider the following questions when reviewing your application:
- Are you working?
If so, you may not be considered disabled if you made more than $1,180 per month.
If you are not working, the Disability Determination Services office will decide if you are eligible for SSDI benefits.
- Is your condition “severe”? Have you found it difficult or impossible to do basic things like “lifting, standing, walking, sitting, and remembering” for the past year. If not, you may not qualify.
- Is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions? The list is long and complicated.
- Can you do the work you did previously? For example, if you drove heavy machinery before your condition began, can you go back to it?
- Can you do any other type of work? Disability Determination Services personnel will see if there is other work you can perform despite your condition. If you can no longer drive heavy machinery, for example, do you have the ability and skills to take another job, perhaps in an office?
The following factors may make it difficult or impossible to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits:
- You don’t have enough work credits.
- You can still perform basic functions.
- Your condition is not on the list of disabling conditions.
- You are unable to return to your previous line of work.
- You are unable to perform any other kind of work.
It’s not always easy to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.