FAQ: Eligibility for SSD

FAQ:  Eligibility for Social Security Disability:

  • Do I have to be unable to do any work to be eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits?  No.  Many times people qualify even if they can perform some jobs for a short period of time, but because of their medical conditions they would not be able to keep the job or jobs.  One example is people who have to miss many days each month due to their injuries or conditions.  Most vocational rehabilitation experts will agree that you cannot maintain a job if you will miss many days every month due to your condition or need for treatment.  Another example is someone who must lay down for periods of time during the work day due to their injuries or conditions.  Most jobs cannot accommodate a worker who must have repeated periods of standing, sitting, or laying down throughout the day.


  • What makes a Social Security Disability case strong?  If your disability or inability to work is clearly noted in the medical records and reports, then you are much more likely to win.  Other important factors are your age, education, and prior work history.  As a general rule you are more likely to win if you are older (arguably harder to train), less educated (prevents office jobs), and have a prior work history of heavy labor.


  • Can you qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits if you have never worked?  Yes if you can qualify for disability benefits under someone else’s earnings record.  These situations normally involve a disabled adult child, a widow, a widower, or a dependent child.  People who have don’t qualify for SSDI often can apply for SSI.  You can apply for both and let the Social Security Administration determine if you qualify for either.