The Social Security Administration says that one out of every four people who are 20 years old will suffer from a disabling condition before reaching retirement age. The statistic may seem rather staggering to some people. But, many baby boomers felt invincible at age 20 and are now receiving Social Security disability insurance benefits. In general, workers earn credits for this important federal insurance program throughout their work history.
The SSDI program is funded through payroll taxes, commonly referred to as FICA deductions from a paycheck. Workers can earn up to four credits each year. To qualify for retirement benefits, a worker generally must have 40 earned credits, with 20 of the credits earned within the ten years ending with the year the worker became disabled.
However, for the SSDI program, the rules allow for a person to qualify based upon their age and work history when he or she becomes disabled. For workers under the age of 31, the SSA understands that it would be unfair to require as many credits and younger workers may qualify with fewer credits than required under the general rule. A worker who has become disabled before the age of 24, for example, may qualify with six credits.
Although there is a work history component to a SSDI application, the medical condition does not have to be work related as in a workers’ compensation program. San Diego workers who suffer a permanent disabling condition (which may involve a mental or physical impairment) may qualify for SSDI benefits. Essentially, the medical condition must have lasted for at least one year, is expected to last at least one year, or is expected to be a terminal condition to qualify as a permanent disability under the SSDI program.
In addition, the condition must sufficiently impair the person’s ability to continue to work. There are several moving parts to an SSDI claim. A Southern California SSDI lawyer may provide workers with disabilities with advice and assistance in seeking an SSDI claim.
Source: Tyler Morning Telegraph, “Disability benefits are good for what ails you,” Leo Rossler, Feb. 22, 2014