Getting Social Security Disability if You Haven’t Worked Recently

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides financial assistance to disabled individuals who are not able to earn a living. But, not everyone is eligible for disability benefits under this federal program.

To qualify for SSDI, you must the work history requirements – and if you haven’t been employed for quite some time, there’s a good chance you may not have enough Social Security work credits. However, you may still be able to receive disability benefits through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.  For more details, read on.

Should I apply for SSDI or SSI?

Qualifying for SSDI

As the name suggests, Social Security Disability Insurance works like an insurance policy. And as with any other type of insurance, coverage lapses if you stop paying the premium. With SSDI, that premium is the FICA taxes withheld from your paychecks – so if you haven’t been working, you haven’t been paying into the system.

How soon does SSDI coverage lapse? As a general rule, if you haven’t worked in the past ten years, you are no longer covered. However, if you can prove that you became disabled prior to the date your coverage ended, known as the date last insured (DLI), you may still qualify for SSDI benefits.

Getting Benefits through SSI

If you’re disabled and haven’t worked recently enough to qualify for SSDI, you may be able to receive disability benefits through the SSI program. Eligibility for Supplemental Security Income isn’t determined on the basis of past employment – it’s a needs-based program.

To qualify for SSI, you must be disabled, blind or over the age of 65. In addition, you must have both a limited income and limited resources. If you meet these requirements, your Supplemental Security Income claim is likely to be approved.

Navigating the Social Security Disability Process

Determining eligibility for SSDI and SSI is far from simple, as the rules frequently change – and exceptions to the rules can also be found. As such, you may benefit from getting an expert to help with your disability benefit claim.

The professional team at Mountain West Disability can save you time and get the ball rolling on your claim. We’ve been helping people obtain disability benefits through SSDI and SSI since 2013, and we’re ready to provide the assistance you need.

While the purpose of disability benefit programs is to provide assistance to people just like you, getting through the claims process and coming out with an approval is often quite challenging. Many people have their initial SSDI or SSI application denied, but your odds will be much better with Mountain West Disability on your side. For more information on how we can help, or to schedule a free Social Security Disability case evaluation, contact us today.