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McKown & Myers, LLP
McKown & Myers, LLP

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Am I eligible for Social Security Disability?

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2022 | Social Security Disability

If you are diagnosed with or develop a medical condition that makes you unable to work, you may be wondering what the parameters are for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). While each case and situation are different, there are some important guidelines to remember that help determine if you can apply for SSDI.

You must be disabled based on specific criteria

Following the Social Security Administration (SSA) guidelines for someone who works a job that pays into Social Security, being disabled means that you:

  • Have a severe medical condition that makes you unable to complete your job functions be they sitting at a desk, lifting items or completing other basic tasks. 
  • Cannot work for a minimum of 12 months while you recover or seek treatment.

While the SSA has a list of approved medical issues that it uses in determining eligibility, that doesn’t mean that if your condition isn’t on the list that you won’t be able to get benefits. If you have a different medical condition, the SSA will evaluate your case to see if your diagnosis prevents you from completing your job functions.

Other important situations

Even if you don’t work at all but have a qualifying disability, you might still be able to receive SSDI benefits. The situations generally include:

  • You are a disabled dependent child.
  • You are a disabled dependent adult child (DAC) and your disability started before you were 22 years old. 
  • You served in the military and were wounded.
  • You are the disabled widow or widower of someone working who died.
  • You are blind or have extreme vision and health issues combined.

Income requirements and other lines of work

It’s also important to remember that the SSA has specific guidelines for income to determine eligibility. If you are working, you must earn $1,350 a month in 2022. If you are blind, that figure increases to $2,260 a month in 2022.

Additionally, the SSA will also evaluate if there is another type of work that you might be able to complete if you can’t perform the basic functions of your current job. Your past work experience, qualifications and training, medical issues and age are all taken into consideration when figuring eligibility. If the SSA determines that there is another type of job that you can complete despite your medical disability, you will not be eligible for SSDI benefits.