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How to know if you qualify for Social Security Disability

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If you have a disability that prevents or limits you from working, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance. These benefits help cover the income lost by not being able to work in a full capacity.

The eligibility requirements for SSD are strict. Before applying, you should understand what qualifications you need to meet to be eligible.

Have An Eligible Impairment

According to the Social Security Administration, one of the steps in the application process is determining whether the applicant has an impairment that the SSA determines to fall under the definition of disability. If you feel you have one of the impairments, you must submit medical documentation from your healthcare provider. An SSA agency in your state may also request an independent consultive examination.

Meet Work Requirements

Just having an eligible impairment is not enough to qualify for SSD benefits. You must have worked in a job in which you contributed a minimum amount of money to Social Security. If you do not meet this requirement, there are other benefit programs for which you may be eligible.

Meet Additional Requirements

According to, along with contributing to SS and meeting the definition of disability, you must also meet other requirements. Your disability must be permanent, which generally means that medical experts expect that your condition will last a minimum of one year or has an end result of death. Your age must also be younger than retirement age. During the evaluation process, they will also look at your ability to perform not only your past work but also other work based on your experience, education and age.

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