For you to be eligible for social security disability claims (SSD) benefits, you must have worked jobs covered by social security and have a disability that meets the social security disability administration’s definition of disability. Social security disability administration pays you monthly benefits if you are unable to work for at least a year or more due to a disability. 

You earn the benefits continually until you can work again on a regular basis. If you are getting SSD benefits when you attain your full retirement age, your disability benefits convert to retirement benefits even though the amount is the same. Many people have encountered situations where they file for an SSD claim but are denied it due to failure to meet the requirements. 

Familiarize yourself with these SSD rules to help you avoid making mistakes that can ruin your social security disability claim.

You must meet the SSD definition of disability.

To get social security disability benefits, your condition must meet the SSD’s definition of disability. Note that there are no benefits payable for short-term or partial disability. According to SSD, you are disabled if:

  • You can’t do any substantial gainful activity due to your disability.’
  • You cannot work as you previously did or in any other kind of work due to the disability.
  • The disability has lasted, is expected to last at least one year, and could result in death.

You must meet the work requirements.

You have to have worked long enough and recently under social security to be eligible for the benefits in addition to meeting the SSD’s definition of disability. You can earn up to four credits annually based on your yearly wages or self-employment income. 

But the amount necessary for a work credit differs from one year to another. The number of work credits you need to be eligible for SSD benefits depends on your age when you become disabled. In simple words, you have to have earned the required number of work credits in a particular period that ends when your disability begins.

Timelines for filing the claim

You must file for a social security disability claim as soon as you discover you are disabled; otherwise, you may lose the right to collect the benefits. Note that SSD insurance has a five-month waiting time. That means you will not get your benefits until the sixth full month of disability. The waiting period starts the first month after the date the SSD decides your disability began.

A disability that begins before 22years of age

A person with a disability that began before 22years of age is eligible for SSD benefits if their parent starts receiving their retirement or disability benefits or is deceased. It is considered a child benefit because it is paid through the parent’s social security earnings report. However, the disabled child must be 18years or older, unmarried, became disabled before 22years of age, and have a disability that meets the SSD definition of disability for adults.


50% of social security disability claims filed every year are denied mostly because of failure to meet the requirements or follow the rules. Knowing the SSD requirements and rules leaves on the safer side.


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