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Who is eligible for Social Security Disability benefits?

For those individuals who work hard for their living, a severe injury can prevent them from providing for themselves and their loved one. Fortunately, there are government programs that can assist people who are in these types of situations. One such program is the Social Security Disability Insurance program.

This government program provides benefits to disabled individuals who are qualified to receive them. The question then becomes, who is actually eligible for these benefits?

Eligibility

Whether or not a person is eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits is determined by whether or not they meet the criteria laid out by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The main determining factors are the person’s disability and work history.

· Disability

According to the SSA, an individual is considered to be disabled if they cannot do the work they used to do, they are unable to adjust to doing other work and the disability either has lasted or is expected to last at least a year or will result in death.

The SSA does not provide benefits to people who have partial disabilities or disabilities that should only last for a short amount of time. They have, however, compiled a list of qualifying disabilities.

· Work

For the purposes of determining if someone is eligible for SSDI, the SSA uses a system of work credits. These credits are earned when you work and pay Social Security taxes and you can earn up to 4 credits every year.

As a general rule, you need to have earned a total of 40 credits and you need to have earned 20 of those credits within the last 10 year period. In practice, the amount of credits needed to be considered eligible for SSDI can vary depending on whether you are younger or older than 40 years old.

Special situations

Exceptions to the standard procedures outlined by the SSA are not terribly common, but there are some situations in which exceptions can be made. Some of these situations include,

· People who are legally blind

· Veterans

· Children

· Widows/Widowers

Determining eligibility for SSDI benefits and then applying for them can be a long and complicated process. It can take even longer if everything is not done properly the first time around. As such, it is highly recommended that you obtain the services of an experienced legal professional if you intend to apply for these benefits.

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