If you have a disability that prevents you from working, you may be eligible for disability benefits. Social Security Disability Insurance provides benefits that help cover expenses normally paid for by the missing income.
Not everyone who applies for these benefits is eligible. There are strict requirements that applicants must meet in order to receive assistance.
Social Security contributions
According to the Social Security Administration, because the funds for the insurance benefits come from Social Security, one must have contributed to Social Security through one or more jobs. You earn work credits for covered earnings, and you must have a minimum number of credits to apply for SSDI. The credits earned also need to be within a certain time period of applying for disability benefits.
The SSA has a strict definition of what qualifies as a disability. According to www.benefits.gov, it must be a medical condition that inhibits your ability to work for a minimum of 12 months, or there is an expectation that the condition will result in death. The Social Security Administration does not cover disabilities that are partial or short-term.
To apply for disability benefits, you must also be younger than retirement age.
If you meet the basic requirements and apply for benefits, the SSA will review the application closely, evaluating the condition and current work activities. It generally approves or denies the application within three to six months of receiving the document. If there is a denial, you can appeal the decision, but you must request the appeal in writing within 60 days of receiving the denial letter.