Friday, February 21, 2014

Social Security Disability Eligibility 101

Workers in high-risk occupations often face severe disability risks that can render them unable to earn a living on a permanent basis. Fortunately, employees can address that risk by paying into Social Security so they can qualify for disability benefits as the need arises.

Employees need to meet certain requirements before they can be considered eligible for Social Security benefits. For starters, employees must have substantial work histories and disabilities expected to last, or have lasted, for 12 months. Qualification, in turn, depends on age and duration of work, which are stipulated as follows.

On or before the age of 24, employees must have 1.5 years of work during the 3-year period ending with the quarter their disability started. In the quarter after age 24 but before the quarter before age 31, employees must have worked half the time for the period starting with the quarter after turning 21 and ending with the quarter they became disabled. Finally, in the quarter after age 31 onwards, employees must have worked during 5 out of the 10-year period ending with the quarter their disability started.

The moment disabled employees meet any of the above eligibility requirements is the moment they can file for Social Security benefits.


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