People usually don’t bother learning much about Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) because they assume they will never need it. Only after they get diagnosed with a severe medical condition or suffer a debilitating injury do they start to wonder whether they might qualify for those benefits.
Before you put in the time and effort necessary to apply for SSDI, you will probably first want to familiarize yourself with the Social Security Administration (SSA) requirements for benefits.
The condition must be truly debilitating
For the SSA to even consider approving your application, you will need a formal diagnosis and medical evidence that you have a condition. Beyond that, you will need evidence of the severity of the condition.
Conditions can present differently in every individual, which is why the SSA needs proof of how you experience your diagnosis and its effect on your ability to work or handle your daily needs without support.
The condition will need to persist for a year or longer
You could have a truly debilitating condition related to a fracture that may only leave you unable to work for several months. Even if a condition results in your complete disability, if you recover within 12 months or if doctors expect you to recover within 12 months, you will not qualify for SSDI benefits.
You will need to have reason to believe that the condition will last for at least 12 months. Conditions that are genetic or terminal will obviously qualify. Other conditions may require documentation to show how long professionals expect the condition to last.
In addition to having a qualifying condition, you will also need to have paid enough into Social Security to get those benefits. Learning the requirements to qualify for SSDI can make it a little easier for you to apply for benefits.