To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must be totally disabled. This means that your injury or illness prevents you from performing any “substantial gainful activity,” and has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months, or to result in death. Also, you must have earned wages, and paid into the Social Security system.
You will be required to show that your medical condition significantly limits your ability to do basic work activities, and has, or will do so, for at least one year. The Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments (or Blue Book) describes impairments to each major body system that are considered severe enough to prevent an adult from doing any substantial gainful activity.
If your medical condition matches a Blue Book impairment, you should qualify for SSDI. If there is no direct match, the team evaluating your case will decide whether your condition is “equal” in severity to a listed condition.
Next, you must qualify under two earnings tests. You must have worked “recently” and you must have worked long enough. The amount of time necessary to meet each requirement increases according to your age at the time of disability.
Here’s a more complete discussion of Social Security Disability requirements.
A Ginarte law firm attorney who works with SSD requirements on a daily basis can best advise you about your potential eligibility for benefits, and help you file an application that will meet the Social Security Administration’s scrutiny without problems.