If you can no longer work because of a physical or mental disability, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. This federal program is available to those with an eligible medical issue who have earned a certain number of SSDI work credits.
You must have earned enough work credits in order to qualify for benefits. In general, eligible individuals have worked and paid Social Security taxes for at least 10 years. Then, you must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disabled. While this varies by condition, generally, the agency considers a person disabled if he or she has a condition that prevents employment for at least 12 months or that will result in a death.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses these five questions to determine if a person has a qualifying disability:
Special guidelines exist for people who cannot work because of low vision or blindness.
When you are approved for SSDI benefits, payments should start the sixth month after the onset of your disability. If your claim is denied, do not give up. Many claims are wrongfully denied for a wide variety of reasons. You do have the right to appeal that decision, and many people are successful only after appealing.