Who is Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Updated on January 26, 2022

Social Security Disability is a federal program that provides aid to people with disabilities. People with disabilities are eligible to receive these benefits, and they are usually given to people with a disability who have not been able to work for over a year. There are a few credentials that the federal government will need each person to meet for them to start receiving income. 

Five different questions must be answered for you to qualify for social security disability. 

Question Asked to Qualify for Social Security Disability

Your answer to each question will determine whether you can qualify for social security disability benefits. 

1. Are You Employed?

The social security disability office wants to know if you have substantial gainful activity (SGA) when it comes to working. Having SGA means making more than $1,350 ($2,260 if you are blind) a month. If you make more than this amount monthly, the social security disability office will not consider you disabled. If you are not making at least $1,350 a month, you could be regarded as disabled and qualify for benefits. Still, there are a few other things they need to consider before officially approving your application. Since this is the first step in the application process, you do not need to go through the other steps if you do not pass this question because making less than the decided amount is a requirement. 

2. Is Your Condition Considered “Severe”?

Although you may have a disability, it may not be so severe that you cannot do certain activities, which means you can work with minimal or no aid. For your disability to be severe, you must not be able to do work-related activities like lifting, standing, walking, or sitting for at least twelve months. If you have limited ability to do these activities or cannot do them at all, then you may qualify for social security disability. But if at any time within the twelve months you can do these activities, then you most likely will not receive benefits. 

3. Is Your Disability on the List?

Even though your disability may be considered severe, social security employees will need to verify that your disability is on the list of verified medical conditions to determine if you are eligible for social security disability. 

Some of the disabilities included are:

  • Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Special Senses and Speech
  • Respiratory Disorders
  • Cardiovascular System Disorders
  • Digestive System Disorders
  • Genitourinary Disorders
  • Hematological Disorders
  • Skin Disorders
  • Endocrine Disorders
  • Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body Systems
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Mental Disorders
  • Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases)
  • Immune System Disorders

These disabilities qualify for both children and adults. Although there is one disability that only applies to children, it is Low Birth Weight and Failure to Thrive. 

These disorders are considered severe enough that if a person has any of them, they are not able to perform SGA. Suppose your disability is not on the list. In that case, the federal government must decide if your disability is as severe as one of the medical conditions on the list for you to qualify for disability. 

4. Can you Perform Your Old Duties?

You must also be unable to perform the work of your previous job because of the disability. If your disability is severe enough that you cannot perform your previous line of work, you may qualify for disability. However, if you can still perform those duties, you will not be issued benefits. 

5. Can You Do Other Types of Work?

Even though you are disabled and cannot do your previous line of work you need to prove that you are unable to do other kinds of work as well. There are a few things the social security administration considers, like age, education, medical conditions, past work experience, and skills. If you cannot work and meet the other qualifications, you are eligible for SSD benefits. 

However, there are exceptional cases that may make you eligible for social security disability benefits in any situation. 

Special Cases

If you think you qualify due to a special circumstance, you have the right to apply for benefits. 

You are Blind or have Low Vision

The social security administration (SSA) considers someone to be blind if they cannot see better than 20/200 and if their visual field is 20 degrees or less, even with a corrected lens. If you can get around with a cane or guide dog, the SSA may still consider you blind. Also, if you have trouble seeing and have another severe medical condition, you may qualify for benefits. 

Widows or Widowers with Disabilities 

If a significant other dies due to a work accident, the widow or widower with a disability may receive benefits. The widow or widower must be between fifty and sixty years old. They must meet all the criteria set in the questions asked, and the disability must have happened before or within seven years of their partner dying. If you have questions about this, click ghitterman.com to get answers. 

Children with Disabilities 

Children who have a disability will be eligible for benefits until the age of 18 unless they are going to a high school or elementary school full time, in which case they can get help until they are age 19. If a child receives benefits through an adult’s social security record, they are only eligible until 18. 

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.