When you get hurt or fall ill, you may not be able to take care of yourself — let alone keep working. Thankfully, there are Social Security benefits that can help those no longer able to support themselves.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits can help support those unable to work due to serious medical conditions. However, not everyone who is too ill or too injured to work qualifies. What criteria do you need to meet to receive SSDI benefits?
You need to have worked for long enough to qualify
Unlike certain other government benefits, SSDI is a program that each individual taxpayer contributes to on their own behalf. Every time you receive a paycheck, your employer will withhold a certain amount for Social Security contributions.
Once you have made enough contributions, you can then plan on receiving Social Security during your retirement or claim SSDI if you develop a disabling medical condition.
Your medical condition must be serious
To qualify for SSDI benefits, your diagnosis must be a condition serious enough to affect your daily life or prevent you from working. Conditions ranging from mental health issues to different forms of cancer can be significant enough to qualify someone for SSDI benefits. The diagnosis generally matters less than the verifiable impact of the condition on your daily life.
The condition will need to last for a year or longer
Some people have severe medical conditions or injuries but then soon recover. SSDI benefits are only for those who have long-term medical issues.
The condition will need to last at least 12 months or be a lifelong condition in order for someone to qualify. You don’t have to wait for 12 months before applying but will instead need medical documentation that supports the claim that the condition we persist for a year or longer.
If you meet all three of these criteria, cannot work and still need to support yourself, applying for SSDI could be an option.