Make Sure You Meet The Work Requirement
You can find out about the work requirement from your "assigned reading". It's important to understand it because if you're applying for SSDI payments on the basis of your own work and you don't meet the work requirement, you're not eligible to receive SSDI no matter how disabled you are, so no evaluation will be made of your condition.
The work requirement for Social Security Disability Benefits is different from the work requirement for Social Security Retirement Benefits. Most people who have been working steadily for five years or more just before their disability began will meet the work requirement. If you're not sure whether you meet it, contact the nearest Social Security office and ask to speak with a representative about your "insured status" for "disability benefits."
Your Social Security Number
Have your social security number handy when you call. (If the telephone number for your local office is not listed in the telephone directory you can get it by calling SSA's toll-free number 1-800-772-1213.) In addition to checking your "insured status" the representative can discuss your possible eligibility for other types of benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI). (Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a Federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes). It is designed to help disabled people, who have little or no income.)
If You Meet The Work Requirement
If all is well and you meet the work requirement, then you're ready to focus on the other requirement for Social Security Disability Benefits - disability.
Applying For Social Security Disability Benefits - A 5 Part Self-Help Guide
In the next part, Part 2 - Build Your Case, I'll give you suggestions to help you build your case for disability by getting vital information into your medical records.
Related Resources - Social Security Disability Benefits
About the author: Janie Laubscher was directly involved in the Social Security disability claims process throughout her 25-year career with the Social Security Administration. As a Claims Representative, she helped applicants complete their applications for SSDI benefits, and as a manager, she oversaw the entire disability process in her offices. She also worked as a disability determination specialist for the agency in her state that makes disability decisions for Social Security. In that position, she made the disability decision on initial SSDI claims. More recently, after her retirement, she was a successful applicant for her own SSDI benefits.