Requirements When Applying for SSDI

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a fund for people whose medical conditions or disabilities deprive them of the capacity to work.

The insurance is funded by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) payroll taxes, administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), and benefits people with severe medical conditions that are chronic or terminal.

Differences Between SSI and SSDI

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is an insurance type that benefits disabled people or adults over 65 years of age. There are a series of differences between SSI and SSDI.


SSI eligibility is determined mainly by the benefactor’s age, resources, and disability. SSDI eligibility is largely determined by the benefactor’s disability and work credits. If you have a good work record and proper work credits, any of your disabled family members can benefit from SSDI using your work credits.

Medicaid Access

If you qualify for SSI, you can receive Medicaid right away. However, if you rely on SSDI, you are eligible to get Medicare after two years.


In SSI, your earning records determine the payout amount, while in SSDI, the payout is determined by your monthly income and location.

When applying for SSI, you start getting payouts from the 1st of the month following your approval. However, you may have to wait for five months to get a payout in SSDI.

Requirements for SSDI Application

The SSA pays monthly benefits to those who get approved for SSDI payouts. They give payouts for as long as you cannot work, offering work incentives like healthcare insurance to help you get better so you can get back to work.

There are strict rules and guidelines for SSDI applications. To rely on the benefits, you must have worked in jobs covered by the national social security.

According to the Social Security definition, you should have a medical condition that falls under disabilities, making you unable to work for more than a year. Also, you must be a legal resident of the United States.

If your SSDI application is denied, you can appeal through a local Columbus, OH, social security disability lawyer.

Work Requirements

To benefit from SSDI, you must have worked long enough and accumulated enough work credits through tax payments. The minimum number of credits you need to qualify depends on your age and the period of your disability.

Generally, you require 40 credits, with 20 of those from the last ten years before you became disabled. However, younger people need fewer credits than older ones.


To apply for SSDI benefits, you need to be below your retirement age (generally 65). The minimum age for you to apply is 18, which is the legal age to start working. People aged 18 to 45 are considered young, while ages 45 to 49 fall under the ‘younger’ category.

Applicants aged between 50 and 54 are considered close to advanced age, while those between 60 and 65 are said to be approaching retirement. The chances of qualifying for benefits increase with age.

Proven Disability

To qualify for benefits, you need to show proof of severe disability that prevents you from working in your previous job or any other type of work. Your condition should be listed under the Social Security disabilities, and it should not be expected to heal in the next year or longer.

Blindness or Low Vision

Legally, you qualify to be called a blind person if your vision in your stronger eye cannot exceed 20/200 after correction or if your field of view is less than 20 degrees when using a corrective lens. Because blindness severely affects one’s working capabilities, blind people may get higher payouts than others.

Disabled Widows and Widowers

If an SSDI-insured worker dies, their benefits may be passed on to their surviving spouses if they meet the following criteria:

  • They should be aged between 50 and 60
  • They should have lived with a medical disability that started seven years or more before their spouse’s death

Final Thoughts

To learn more about SSDI benefits and how to access benefits, contact a specialized lawyer. Many law firms offer a free initial consultation. You can use this opportunity to review the more urgent matters of your case.

About the author: Irma C. Dengler

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With a BA in communications and paralegal experience, Irma decided to make the best of her writing skills. She decided to turn complicated legal matters into something more

palatable for the masses. Therefore, Irma became a law communicator who writes about everyday problems so everyone can understand them and take the appropriate action. She specialized in personal injury cases, as they are more common than anyone thinks, but her areas of expertise also include civil law, criminal law, insurance-related issues, and more.


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