Social Security disability benefits are an essential part of the structure of our country’s workforce. However, many people still don’t understand the finer details of the system. This ignorance goes so far that some people think that disability benefits are an entitlement program. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
What You Should Know About Social Security Disability Benefits
The Social Security Administration is responsible for two programs that assist people who cannot work due to health conditions. These programs are the Supplemental Security Income program, SSI, and the Social Security Disability Insurance program, SSDI. While eligibility for SSI is determined by financial need, SSDI eligibility is based off you work record. When people talk about disability benefits, they are usually talking about the SSDI program.
You see, the Social Security taxes taken out of your paycheck not only go toward the country’s retirement program, they also fund Social Security’s disability benefits. This provides insurance for workers who may find themselves injured and unable to work before reaching retirement age. This is why disability benefits are not considered an entitlement.
To qualify for benefits, an individual must have a condition that prevents him or her from working. That condition must either be terminal or be expected to last for more than a year. A person must also meet several work requirements to qualify.
Depending on that person’s age, he or she must have a minimum amount of work credits to qualify for disability benefits. These credits are earned based on your yearly wages, and you can only earn four a year. A 48-year-old must earn 26 work credits to be eligible for disability benefits, a 32-year-old must earn at least 20.
There are even more rules and regulations that must be considered before you can become eligible for Social Security disability benefits. Keep following the Troutman & Troutman, P.C. Disability Law Blog to learn more about these requirements.