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How To Qualify For Disability Benefits

If you are unable to work because you are experiencing a disabling condition, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides two programs, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). These two programs have some similarities and differences in qualifying.

Medically Qualifying for Disability Benefits

Both SSI and SSDI have the same medical requirements. You will need to meet a listing in the SSA's Blue Book. The Blue Book is available online. It is broken into 14 sections, each with the requirements for various qualifying conditions. You should review the Blue Book with your doctor to make sure you meet a listing.

If you do not meet a listing but are unable to work for at least one year, you may be able to qualify with an Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form. This form will be filled out by a doctor, demonstrating that you are unable to work in your field due to your condition.

Other SSDI Qualifications

To qualify for SSDI, you'll also need to have enough work credits. Work credits are earned by paying into Social Security. Though the number of required credits varies by age, typically if you have worked 5 of the last 10 years, you'll likely have enough credits.

Other SSI Qualifications

For SSI, not only will you need to medically qualify, but you'll need to be within specific household income limits. If you are single, then you must have less than $2,000 in assets. For those married, your spouse's income will be factored into your eligibility. You must be under $3,000 in total assets to qualify.

Getting an Attorney's Help

A disability lawyer can help you establish your eligibility for benefits. They can help you navigate the Blue Book to figure out if you qualify. Complete the Free Case Evaluation above to get in contact with a lawyer that takes cases in your area today!