August 9, 2022

Do You Meet the Social Security Disability Requirements?

Should you become unable to work to due to an injury or illness, you may meet Social Security disability requirements and therefore be eligible to collect Social Security disability benefits. These requirements are set forth by the Federal Government and include an application process.

Note that if you become disabled, it is advisable that you apply for Social Security disability benefits a soon as possible. The process to file a single claim can take several months. Additionally, should your initial claim not be approved, you may choose to enter into the appeals process.

How does the Government define disability?

According to the Federal Government, in order to meet Social Security disability requirements, one must:

  • Be unable to perform the work that they did prior to their medical disability;
  • Be unable to adapt to other working conditions due to their medical disability; and
  • Have suffered from their medical disability at least one year or have a medical condition(s) that will result in death.

Can you qualify for Social Security disability benefits if your doctor says you are disabled?

No. In order to meet Social Security disability requirements and subsequently receive benefits, one must formally file for benefits with the Federal Government and will be asked to provide extensive documentation that may include:

  • Medical records from doctors, hospitals, therapists, clinics and caseworkers;
  • Contact information for your healthcare providers;
  • Lab test results;
  • A list of the medications you are taking;
  • A list of your employers and job duties from the past 15 years.

Does age or length of employment impact one’s ability to receive Social Security disability benefits?

As you work and pay taxes, you accumulate Social Security “credits.” For example, in 2010, you earn one credit for each $1,120 of wages or self-employment income. Workers can earn a maximum of four credits per year. Generally, most people need 40 credits (10 years of employment) in order to be eligible to receive disability benefits.

Should you be a younger worker, there are measures in place that will allow you to receive disability benefits based on your time in the workforce. For more information on how younger workers may qualify with fewer credits, click here:

What questions should you ask yourself before applying for Social Security Disability Benefits?

When it comes to understanding Social Security disability benefit eligibility, it is helpful to ask yourself the following questions prior to beginning the application process:

  1. Is your medical condition on the Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments? Certain conditions are considered so severe that you may automatically be deemed disabled. For the Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments for adults, click here:
  2. Are you currently working? If so, do you make more than $1,000 per month? If your answer to both of these questions is yes, you do not meet Social Security disability requirements.
  3. If you cannot continue in your current line of work, can you do any work? If you cannot, your Social Security disability claim will likely be approved.
  4. If you are not currently working, is your condition so severe that it interferes with your ability to do simple work-related activities? If your answer to both of these questions is yes, you may meet Social Security disability requirements.


  1. Carlie Stevenson says:

    I find myself coming back to your web-site only because you have lots of awesome insights and also you happen to be at this a while, which is very impressive and tells me you know your stuff.

  2. Patty says:

    Applying for SSD and getting it is so hard. It is such a long and complicated process.

    Sometimes, you have to apply twice. If you get turned down – then apply again.


  3. Didi says:

    I finally got approved after 6 months- so keep the faith – all of you folks that are going through the process, or just starting to apply for social security disability. Didi

  4. Truly says:

    I have been disabled for 2 years now, been applying for SSD benefits for the past year – and I wish I would have found this site earlier.

  5. unity2001 says:

    I have carpal tunnel syndrome, so bad that I can’t do my job. Can I qualify for social security disability benefits? How much can I get?

  6. cat secret says:

    Great information! I’ve been looking for some info on this subject for a while now. Thanks!

  7. brian dortmund says:

    How do you get the whole SSD application process started?

  8. M. Sawyer says:

    Why is applying for SSD such a difficult process? I mean come on – seriously? M.S.

  9. F. M. says:

    Can you get social security disability for mental illness? F.M.

Speak Your Mind