Social Security Disability Criteria | SSD | SSDI | SSI | Disability Lawyer

Disability Criteria

Social Security Disability benefits are available to those people who have sufficient work history and earnings records to qualify them for the federal program.

Calculating recent work history can be complex and Social Security Administration regulations often change, but generally, workers aged 31 and up must have worked five out of the previous 10 years before becoming disabled to qualify for benefits.

Workers must also pass a “duration of work” test to show they worked long enough to receive benefits. For a 50-year-old worker to qualify for SSD benefits, he or she must have worked a total of seven years prior to becoming disabled.

Once the Social Security Administration checks whether a person has sufficient work history to qualify to benefits, then a person’s medical records are scrutinized by the office of Disability Determination Services to see whether a claimant can be considered disabled.

The Social Security Administration will ask the claimant’s doctor the following questions: 1) what is the claimant’s medical condition?; 2) when did the medical condition begin?; 3) how does the medical condition limit the claimants activities?; 4) what have medical tests shown?; 5) what treatment has the claimant received? The claimant’s doctor will also be asked how the condition impacts the claimant’s ability to do work-related activities.