To receive monthly cash assistance due to your disability you will need to meet specific conditions regarding your medical condition and the amount of time that you have worked. This means falling within the government’s definition of disability and meeting certain basic earnings requirements.

To be included under the Social Security definition of a disability your condition must be severe, long-term or total. Read on to learn more about what these definitions entail, as well as the earning requirements for disability benefits.

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How to Qualify for Disability Payments

Severe — Your disabling condition prevents you from doing the same work that you did before and also makes you unable to do a different job.

Long-Term — Your disabling condition must be predicted to last at least a year or result in your death.

Total Your disabling condition must render you unable to do work. In SSA terms, this means that you cannot make more than a specified amount of money every month from an occupation. In 2022, you could not make more than $1,350 per month if you wanted to receive SSDI benefits.

Earnings Requirements

To receive SSDI benefits you must pass two work tests or basic earnings requirements.

  1. Recent Work Test: This test requires that you have worked for a certain number of years before you became disabled. To determine this number, the SSA looks at your age and the number of years that you worked before becoming disabled.
  1. Duration of Work Test: This test determines whether you have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI. Work credits correspond to the number of quarters of a year that you worked and paid Social Security taxes before becoming disabled.

Now that you know the requirements of SSDI, it is time to learn how to apply.

Updated on 05/24/2022