Social Security Disability (SSD) is a federal program that provides financial assistance to individuals who are unable to work due to a disability. To qualify for SSD, an individual must have a physical or mental impairment that is expected to last at least one year or result in death, and must have worked and paid Social Security taxes for a certain period of time. SSD benefits are paid to the disabled individual and, in some cases, to their dependents. The amount of the benefit depends on the individual’s work history and earnings. SSD benefits are not taxable and are not affected by other income. In addition to the monthly benefit, SSD recipients may also be eligible for Medicare or Medicaid. SSD recipients must also meet certain work requirements in order to continue receiving benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) reviews each case to determine if the individual is still disabled and if they are meeting the work requirements. If the individual is found to be no longer disabled or is not meeting the work requirements, their benefits may be terminated.
To be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, you must have worked in jobs covered by Social Security and have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s definition of disability. Generally, you must have worked 5 out of the last 10 years before you became disabled. You must also have a certain number of work credits, which are based on your total yearly wages or self-employment income. The number of work credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age when you become disabled. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you became disabled. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits. In addition, you must have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s definition of disability. Your condition must be expected to last at least one year or result in death, and it must prevent you from doing any substantial gainful activity. Substantial gainful activity is work that involves doing significant physical or mental activities. Social Security will consider the following when determining if you are disabled: your medical condition, your age, your education, and your work experience.