October 19, 2021

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: http://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/AdultListings.htm
  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.

Social Security Disability Requirements

Social security disability requirements are determined by the way in which your medical condition impacts on your ability to work and support your family. At the outset you should contact a social security administration office in person or through phone mail, or online, and request a starter kit that should provide you with all the information you will need to put together a successful application.

There are strict criteria that must me met if you are to achieve a desirable outcome. For example this would include having a condition that prohibits full time employment and which must be expected to exist for at least another twelve months or until death. It is important to note that documented evidence needs to be provided that backs up your claim. It is up to the individual handling your case to determine whether you are eligible for payment as opposed to the decision being made by your local doctor.

The process from start to finish can take as long as six months. During this time you need to make certain that you have access to funds to support yourself. There is no way that your aces can be fast tracked above others as every individual applying for a disability payment will be in the same predicament.

The actual amount of time required would depend upon the amount of supporting documents that are given. You can help to ensure there is no unnecessary delay by making sure you attend every SSA appointment on time and present the required information that is asked for.

The decision on whether you are granted social security disability benefits would require you to complete a medical and job worksheet correctly. It is important to provide details of your past employment so that the individual handling the application will understand that up until the disability arose you were employed or at least searching for work.

Whenever you have any confusion you can refer back to the information contained within the starter kit you were given at the initial stage. Remember to inform your GP to inform them that you are seeking disability benefit. They will be contacted by the SSA so therefore it is better that they are forewarned. You will need to ensure that you provide information relating to the medications you are receiving as well as the doctor’s appointments you have had to attend.

Do not worry about your personal information being used in an unexpected way. All the data that you give is kept secure and confidential. If you are not comfortable speaking English it is vital that at the outset you request an interpreter to be available whenever you are contacted or are called for an interview.

If you have a dependent such as a child who you believe is eligible for disability payments the process that needs to be followed is similar to that discussed above. The primary difference is that you first point of call should be with an agency such as the CPS or DFCS. If denial is the outcome there is always the option of a referral.