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What are basic eligibility requirements for SSD benefits?

If you sustain an injury on the job or contract a medical problem that stops you from earning a living, you can help support your lifestyle and your family through Social Security disability payments. However, unless Social Security considers you eligible, you will not be able to benefit from this provision.

Though the process of applying for benefits might confuse you, you may feel more confident about your chances if you understand the basic requirements for receiving SSD. According to U.S. News and World Report, there are two basic standards anyone should meet in order for Social Security to approve disability benefits.

Paying into Social Security

One basic standard is that you must have paid enough in Social Security taxes. Social Security uses a work credit system to determine your eligibility. For each year you work at a job, you may earn at most four credits. Usually, you would need at least 40 credits to attain disability, with 20 of those credits earned in the last ten years prior to your disability.

If you are a young worker and did not have sufficient time to earn enough credits, you do not have to panic. Social Security does make provision for younger workers who have earned fewer credits to qualify for disability.

Having a qualifying health problem

While your health condition may be serious, it still must meet certain requirements for Social Security to grant you disability. These standards include the following:

  • Your condition has lasted for at least one year
  • You expect that your condition will last at least a year
  • Your medical condition is likely to result in death

You will probably learn the full extent of your disability and your future health prospects from your doctor. While the Social Security Administration will take the judgment of your doctor into consideration, it is ultimately up to the SSA to determine if your condition merits disability benefits. Presenting evidence like lab test results and an adult disability report that discusses your work history and current medical condition may help your case.

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