You can apply for Social Security disability insurance if you cannot work because of a disability. The issue can be either physical or mental, but it must persist for at least 12 months.
The Social Security Administration determines eligibility based on your medical condition and your work history.
Disabilities that qualify
You must provide medical history about your disability. Documentation from your health care provider must show that you cannot work. You must also be unable to learn a new type of employment.
The SSA Blue Book details eligibility requirements for thousands of disabling conditions across several broad categories. Examples include cancer, heart disease, mental illness, traumatic brain injury, limb impairment or loss, and blindness. Certain illnesses fall into the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances program. You can receive expedited approval for benefits in case of severe, life-threatening diseases such as pancreatic cancer, as well as brain disorders and rare conditions.
Work credit information
You can earn a maximum of four work credits for every year you work for an SSDI-covered company. If you have been steadily working for several decades when you become disabled, you will likely meet the requirement of 40 work credits. Younger people who have limited work history have a lower maximum credit requirement for SSDI.
You must provide thorough details about both your work history and your disabling condition when you submit your application for SSDI. The SSA will deny you for benefits if it cannot confirm your work history or the extent of your disability. However, you have the right to appeal your case.