SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS - American Resource FinderAmerican Resource Finder


What is SSDI?

Commonly known as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), it’s a United States Federal Government Program that’s designed to provide monthly benefits to those who qualify.

Who Qualifies?

If you or a loved one has a medical condition that’s expected to last at least one year or result in death, you may be eligible.

However, just because you’re disabled and aren’t able to work, that doesn’t mean you automatically qualify for SSDI. You’ll need to document your work history and disability in order to prove you meet the requirements for benefits.

What Are The Disability Requirements?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses the following requirements:

  • You can no longer perform your former job
  • You cannot perform other work due to your condition
  • Your disability has lasted (or is expected to last), at least one year, or result in your death.

The SSA conveniently maintains a Medically Approved Listings of Impairments as a resource.  Note: Just because you have a disability that isn’t on this list doesn’t automatically mean you aren’t eligible.

What Are The Work History Requirements?

The main requirement for eligibility here is duration and recency of work. You will have needed to work a certain amount of time within a certain time period.

Eligibility is then determined using a credit system. For each quarter of work with a “qualifying incoming” amount, you’ll receive 1 credit.

The amount needed for a work credit changes from year over year. For example, in 2021, you earn one credit for each $1,470 in wages or self-employment income. When a total of $5,880 has been earned, you’ve earned your four credits for the year.

The work credits needed to qualify for disability benefits are dictated by your age and when you became disabled.  Generally speaking, you need 40 credits, half of which (20) have been earned in the last 10 years, ending when you became disabled.  Note: Younger workers may still qualify with fewer credits.

When Should Someone Apply?

SSDI benefits have a 5 month long waiting period. So if you think you may qualify, you should not delay.  The SSDI waiting period begins the first full month after the date they decide your disability began.

How Can You Apply?

The good news, you can apply online! Or if you are unable to complete the online application, you can apply by calling the toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213. To apply online, click here.  For additional information, please visit SSA’s website on SSDI, here.

Editor’s Note: American Resource Finder is in no way associated with the United States Government or the Social Security Administration.  This information is provided to help people get a better understanding of benefits they may qualify for. It is the responsibility of the individual to understand the requirements of the Social Security Disability Insurance Program before applying for benefits.