What Do You Need to Qualify For Social Security Disability Insurance?

There are several federal benefits programs that provide various advantages and financial assistance to seniors and persons suffering from disabilities that prevent them from working. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is one of the most popular programs from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

The SSDI program pays benefits to certain persons and their family members if they can get insured. Meaning they must have paid Social Security taxes on their work earnings and worked long enough under a specific recent time.

Here’s everything you need to know to qualify for SSDI.

What You Need to Qualify

Social Security provides monthly benefits for people that are unable to work for a year or more because of their disability. So, to qualify for SSDI benefits, a person needs to:

  • Have worked in a job covered by Social Security.
  • Have a disability or medical condition that meets Social Security’s precise definition of disability.

These benefits continue until you can work like usual on a regular basis again. Work incentives are also provided for recovering people to help them transition back to work, this includes continued benefits and health care coverage.

Additionally, if you reach full retirement age while receiving SSDI benefits, the disability benefits get converted to retirement benefits. The earliest that a person can receive retirement benefits is 62.

How to Know if Your Disability Counts

Social Security’s definition of disability is quite different from most other programs. People with short-term disabilities or partial disabilities are typically not eligible for SSDI. There are other sources to provide support for short-term disabilities. For instance, if you were hurt badly in an accident, you can hire a car accident lawyer and get fair compensation.

As per their definition of disability, you can qualify if the following statements are true for you:

  • Working and engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA) is not possible due to your medical condition.
  • Working at your previous job or adjusting to different work is not doable because of your medical condition.
  • Your condition is expected to last for at least one year or potentially result in death.

To determine if a person has a qualifying disability, Social Security uses a step-by-step process that involves five crucial questions. These are:

  1. Are you working?
  2. Is your condition severe?
  3. Is your condition included in the list of disabling conditions?
  4. Can you perform the work you did previously?
  5. Can you perform any other type of work?

Additional Benefits of SSDI

On top of the monthly SSDI payments, people can qualify for various other benefits as well. A Social Security disability lawyer can help determine which benefits may be available for you and review your qualifications for them.

Family Benefits

Disabled persons with SSDI can receive family benefits if their household includes:

  • A spouse
  • Children under 18
  • A disabled adult who acquired their diagnosis before the age of 22

Each dependent could receive around 50% of your approved monthly benefit.

Medicare Benefits

When you receive SSDI for two years, the SSA enrolls you in Medicare. It’s a government-sponsored healthcare plan that includes hospital insurance and medical insurance.

Tax Benefits

You will only be required to pay taxes if you’re getting additional income in your household from a working spouse or unearned income, like a rental property. You won’t have to pay taxes on your SSDI benefits.