What are the Social Security Disability Requirements?

July 1st, 2014 | by RON BELL

The individual is required to have worked five out of the last ten years prior to filing a Social Security Disability application.  This requirement is for people between the ages of 31 and 54.  The five years do not need to be consecutive to meet the requirement.  Individuals disabled before their 24th birthday, must have worked at least 18 months of the previous three years.  People disabled between the ages of 24 and 30 must have worked at least half the time from the 21st birthday to the time of the disability in order to qualify for benefits.

The person must be disabled, or be expected to be disabled, for more than 12 months.  If the individual is disabled for at least 12 months, is expected to remain disabled for more than 12 months, or has a disability that will result in death, this requirement is met.  Social Security Disability payments are for people under the age of 65, so you must be younger than 65 to qualify.  The disabled individual must be unable to perform substantial gainful activity.

This is intended to describe the ability of the individual to perform work.  This can be paid work, school, volunteer work, or another gainful activity.  Individuals able to perform any type of work do not meet this requirement.  A doctor’s diagnosis and medical evidence are required for a claim.  There are several ways to meet the requirement of showing medical evidence of a disability.  There is a list of impairments that qualify for disability benefits and the list includes criteria that must be met.  Disability applications are often approved when the condition is on the list and the evidence is provided to support the claim.  The requirements can be complex, but an experienced NM disability attorney can help you navigate the system and ensure that you have the evidence required to support your claim.

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