If you are like most California residents, you rely on a job to pay bills, put a roof over your head and provide for your family. Whether you work in an office, in a warehouse or on a construction site, a severe injury that prevents you from working puts other areas of your life in jeopardy. We often assist clients in applying for Social Security disability benefits and filing appeals for denied claims.
According to the Social Security Administration, to qualify for SSDI, you must have a medical condition that meets the SSA’s disability requirements, worked in jobs covered by Social Security and earned enough work credits.
SSA disability definition
The SSA considers you disabled if you meet the following criteria:
- You can no longer perform the job duties you did before.
- Your medical condition prevents you from adjusting to other types of work.
- The medical condition has already existed or may continue for more than 12 months or will result in death.
Work credit accrual
For the majority of people, 40 is the minimum number of work credits needed for SSDI qualification. The credits stay on your record so that if you do not have enough, but return to work later, they continue to build. If you fall short of the required credits, other options may be available to you. Individuals typically earn up to four credits per year if they pay Social Security taxes. However, there are guidelines for individuals who become disabled before the age of 24 and between the ages of 24 and 31.
Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for survivors benefits or meet the requirements for a special situation, such as low vision or have a disabled child. Although there is a waiting period for SSDI benefits, you may receive disability payments faster if you have a serious condition.