Realizing you can’t work anymore is devastating to most people. As you get settled into your post-work life, you’ll recognize the need to replace your income. If you cannot work because of a disability, you may be able to get SSDI and SSI. You just have to apply and be approved by the Social Security Administration.
Qualifying for SSDI When You Can’t Work Anymore
The basic requirements that must be met to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are:
- You must have a medical condition that meets the SSA’s definition of disability; and
- You must have earned enough work credits.
To the SSA, you are disabled if you cannot perform any substantial gainful activity “because of a medically-determinable physical or mental impairment(s):
- That is expected to result in death, or
- That has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months.
The work credit requirement is a little complicated. You can earn up to four work credits every year, based on the amount of money you made. However, the number of credits needed to qualify for SSDI varies depending on your age:
- Under age 24 – you may need six credits that are earned in the 3-years before you became disabled.
- Age 24 to 31 – you may need credit for working half the time between age 21 and the onset of your disability.
- Age 31 and up – you may need between 20 and 40 credits.
So, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I have a medical condition that prevents me from working?
- Am I going to die or be disabled for at least 12 months?
- Have I earned enough work credits?
If you answer “Yes” to these questions, you should consider applying for SSDI.
Qualifying for SSI When You Can’t Work Anymore
The requirements for SSI are different. The most important thing to remember is that you don’t need a work history or work credits to qualify for SSI. Instead, eligibility is based on your:
- Age (65 or older);
- Blindness; or
- Limited income and resources;
- U.S.. citizenship or qualified alien;
- Residency in the United States, District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands.
Applicants also must not be absent from the country for some time before applying or confined to an institution that is paid for with government funds. During the application process, you will be expected to apply for any other benefits for which you might be eligible. Also, you will give the SSA permission to check your financial records.
If you meet the requirements listed above, you should consider applying for SSI.
If You Can’t Work Anymore, Find Out More About SSDI and SSI
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience in the legal field. Much of their work involves Social Security disability cases. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.