If you aren’t able to work due to a severe disability that’s preventing you from working as you typically would, Social Security Disability or SSD benefits can help provide you with income. These benefits are designed to help those with a severe disability that is preventing them from carrying out what the Social Security Administration(SSA) defines as substantial gainful activity (SGA) But to get SSD, you have to meet certain requirements. Here’s what you need to know about Social Security Disability Criteria for Benefits.

Criteria for SSI

To meet the requirements for SSI, you have to be considered disabled under the rules of the SSA. This includes not being able to work several hours due to the result of a mental or physical impairment brought on by your condition. The condition cannot be temporary. It must last for at least 12 months or longer or be expected to be a life-long impairment. For example, if you have back issues but the doctor states you will be back to normal within six months, you will not meet the criteria to get SSI. Also, What the SSA considers as substantial in regards to income, includes making $1,180 or more per month in gross earnings, as of 2018. This amount is higher for those that are blind at $1,970.

Criteria for SSDI

If you want to qualify for SSD benefits, your condition must be severe and your condition must be one that is listed in Social Security’s Bluebook. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will first determine if you are capable of doing the last job you had or work from previous employment in the past 15 years. If you are unable to do the work of your past jobs, the SSA will then determine if you can work in other job fields. The SSA will factor in the highest education you obtained, your work skills and your age. For example, if your education is in construction, you won’t be expected to do work as a programmer.

List of Disabling Conditions

There are many disabling conditions qualify for SSI/SSD. Here are some of the major categories:

  • Respiratory Diseases. These include disabling conditions or impairments, such as asthma. This section covers anything that will give you a difficult time moving air out the lungs or moving air in the lungs.
  • Senses issues. This can include loss of vision or hearing.
  • Immune disorders. Immune disorders, such as arthritis and HIV/AIDS are included as meeting the criteria for severe disabilities that qualify for SSD/SSI.
  • Cancer. Cancer may also qualify for SSD benefits. This is based on your responses to anti-cancer therapy.
  • Cardiovascular issues. Cardiovascular issues, such as chronic heart failure, may qualify for SSD benefits.
  • Neurological conditions. Childhood neurological impairments, such as epilepsy and benign brain tumors, are also included as qualifying conditions for SSI and SSD.
  • Mental disorders. Mental disorders, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and bulimia may also qualify for meeting the SSD criteria.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking to obtain SSD benefits, it’s important to understand the criteria to qualify. But it’s important to know that a denial of SSD does not mean the decision is final. You have the opportunity to appeal these denials. Also, you can consider using the help of a disability lawyer to understand your options and the process for appealing your denial in the event you receive a hearing notice.