How to Qualify for Social Security Disability Programs

If you are unable to work due to a physical or mental disability, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

There are two types of disability benefits available to disabled Americans: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which is for those who have paid money into the system through previous employment; and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is for those who haven’t met this qualification but meet other criteria for approval such as low income. First, we’ll explain how to qualify for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits.

How to Qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI)

Not sure how to qualify for Social Security disability? You may qualify for SSDI benefits if you meet the following requirements:

  1. You cannot do any substantial work due to a physically or mentally disabling medical condition.
  2. You have a disability that has lasted or be expected to last at least 1 year, or result in death.
  3. You are under the age of 65.
  4. You have worked at least 5 of the last 10 years.
  5. You have a doctor that can provide medical evidence to support your disability claim.

How to Qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

If you do not qualify for SSDI because you have not worked 5 out of the last 10 years, you may still qualify to receive disability benefits through Supplemental Security Income. This program is available for those who are disabled but have not earned enough credits to qualify for disability insurance benefits. This also applies to children with disabilities and is calculated based off of your household income, resources, and assets. If you still aren’t sure if you qualify for either SSDI or SSI, use our evaluator to see if you may qualify for these benefits and get a no-cost consultation to properly file this type of claim.

To help you determine how to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, we created an easy to follow infographic with the 5-step determination process. Click here to view. 

Improve Your Chances of Approval

The Social Security Administration reports that at least 38% of all Social Security disability claims are denied due to various errors throughout the application process. If your claim is denied, you could be required to wait 18 months before being able to appeal the denied claim. suggests that all applicants consider the advice of an experienced Social Security disability advocate or attorney before filing a claim. This service costs nothing out of pocket to you.

To see if you may qualify for legal assistance with your claim, click the button below now to start your free benefits evaluation.

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