When you file for Social Security disability, you need to ask yourself a question:
Do I have enough work credits?
If you know you do, then keep on going forward with your Social Security disability claim. If you think you may not, then you are going to have to make an extra step in the disability process. And, this step could be critical to you moving forward.
As we all work, we pay into the Social Security system. We earn work credits every three months we work, and these credits are used to qualify us for not only disability but retirement as well. If you have not worked consistently, then you may not have enough work credits to qualify for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits.
For a quick review, you need to understand that there are two kinds of disability. The first is the above-mentioned
SSDI. Again, as you work consistently, you pay into the system and earn credits. Just like private insurance, these credits "buy" you a continuation of your policy. Once you stop working, you only have so many years before these credits expire and you no longer qualify under this system. If you go back to work, after a period of time, you will reacquire this particular type of disability benefits, and you can file for disability under the SSDI (Title II) system.
The other kind of benefits fall under Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Here, you do not need enough work credits to qualify, but since this disability program is based solely on financial need, you have to have a limited amount of assets and income to qualify.
But, both types of disability require you qualify both medically and financially. If you do qualify medically, then you must have either sufficient work credits or be below a certain income and asset level.
So, the basic rule (and there are variations) is this: You must have worked consistently at least five out of the last ten years to qualify for SSDI. Once you have filed your disability application, you then need to look back at your work history and make sure you have worked at least five out the last ten years. The variations come when a person has not yet had the opportunity to work for five years (Ex: someone who is 21 years old).
If you have, and you know you have, then you only need to follow the additional instructions given to you from the Social Security Administration after filing your disability claim. From there, your case will be transferred to your state Disability Determination Service (DDS) and a decision will be rendered on your case.
If you do not have enough work credits/have not worked consistently five out of the last ten years, then you are going to have to schedule an SSI appointment. At this appointment, the Administration will then review your financial information to make sure you qualify. If you have a limited amount of assets, then your case will also be transferred to the state Disability Determination Service and a decision will then be made on your case.
We hope this helps. We help claimants throughout Texas and Oklahoma fighting for their Social Security disability benefits. Please always feel free to call our office at: (888) 780-9125.