Beginner’s Guide to SSDI Eligibility Requirements

You need to understand the SSDI eligibility requirements you must meet to enroll in this program. Not everyone qualifies to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Therefore, if you are wondering, “Who qualifies for SSDI?” remember that you must meet certain qualifications. Usually, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will take into account different criteria to determine your eligibility.

The SSDI requirements you need to meet do not just relate to your medical condition. However, this is a major component of your eligibility. When determining SSDI eligibility, the government looks at different criteria. It is important that you become familiar with these requirements before you apply.

Medical SSDI Eligibility Requirements

When determining who qualifies for SSDI, the federal government will take into account your physical and mental wellbeing. Depending on your age, the SSA has a list of specific medical conditions you may have in order to qualify for benefits. Generally, these relate to issues with your:

  • Digestion or breathing abilities.
  • Musculoskeletal system.
  • Mental health or neurological system.
  • Immune system.
  • Skin or blood.

Furthermore, remember when you are researching what disabilities qualify for SSDI that you must be impaired as a result of your disability. This means that you have a loss of function that only occurred after you developed the particular medical condition. Likewise, you can no longer do the work you did prior to obtaining your disability. Additionally, your disability needs to last or be expected to last longer than the year. You can also qualify if your condition is predicted to result in your death.

When you apply, be prepared to prove that you meet these SSDI benefits eligibility requirements. The SSA needs to determine that your medical condition prohibits you from working. Therefore, it is important that you can verify this when you apply.

Non Medical Requirements for SSDI

You may be wondering, “What is SSDI eligibility dependent on besides disabilities?” There are some additional criteria you need to meet to receive benefits through this program. Therefore, if you want to know how to qualify for SSDI, keep in mind you must meet the following requirements.

SSDI Age Requirements

“Do I qualify for SSDI if I am older than a certain age?” is a question you may need answered. Likewise, you may wonder if you can collect SSDI if you are younger than a specific age. Usually, SSDI benefits are available to adults. This is because you need to have worked a certain amount of time to receive benefits. However, there are specific SSDI eligibility requirements for potential beneficiaries who are in their 20s or 30s and become disabled. You may be able to receive benefits if you are younger, but you may need to provide additional information to do so. Consult with an SSA worker regarding your specific circumstances.

Furthermore, remember that you may qualify for SSDI if you are an adult who was disabled before you turned 22 years of age. This is referred to as a “child” benefit. To receive this, one or both of your parents must be receiving Social Security retirement benefits or disability insurance. Alternatively, you can qualify if one or both of your parents who qualified for Social Security are deceased.

Working Requirements for SSDI Eligibility

There are also work-related requirements for SSDI eligibility that you need to meet. For example, you need to have 40 work credits in order to receive SSDI. You can earn a maximum of four credits each year and they are based on how much income you earn. In addition to the 40-credit requirement, there are SSDI eligibility rules you also need to review. For example, you are required to have earned at least half of your credits within the 10 years before you became disabled. However, the amount of credits you need can be reduced if you are disabled early in your career. For example:

  • If you are disabled when you are 24 years of age or younger, you can qualify for SSDI if you have six work credits. You must have earned these credits within the three years before you became disabled.
  • If you are disabled when you are between 24 and 31 years of age, you can qualify for SSDI benefits if you worked half of the time between your 21st birthday and when you became disabled.
  • If you are disabled after you turn 31 years of age, the number of work credits you need depends on your exact age.

SSDI Eligibility Income Requirements

The financial requirements for SSDI benefits that you must meet relate to the work credits you have. In order to earn a work credit, you must earn a certain amount of income during a calendar quarter. However, this income requirement changes by year. Make sure you understand these financial SSDI eligibility requirements before you apply.

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