How do I Know if I’m Eligible for Social Security Disability?

f you are unsure whether you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits, you should start by learning the basic requirements. First, you should know that there are actually two different SSA disability benefits programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Social Security Disability Insurance

There are two initial requirements you must meet to be eligible for the SSDI program. First, you must have worked in a job (or jobs) that is covered by Social Security. In addition, you must have worked long enough to earn enough “work credits” to be eligible. The number of credits you need to qualify for benefits depends upon your age and when you became disabled. (To calculate work credits, it’s best to visit the official Social Security website.)

The second requirement for the SSDI program is your type of disability. The basic medical conditions that qualify include cardiovascular conditions (such as heart disease); respiratory conditions (such as COPD); musculoskeletal problems (such as back or neck injuries); vision or hearing loss; and mental disorders (such as bipolar disorder).

Supplemental Security Income

The SSI program provides benefits for adults 65 or older who are disabled and have little or no income and assets. The medical conditions that qualify for SSI include total or partial blindness, as well as any condition that prevents you from doing any type of work for at least one year. In addition, children who are blind or disabled may also qualify for SSI.

The financial requirements for SSI can vary, but in general your assets (things you own) must total less than $2000. Your income must also be very low (less than $771 per month as of 2019).

If you believe that you may qualify for disability based on these basic requirements, it could be well worth it for you to explore the possibilities of filing an application.