Even though workers may be eligible for Social Security retirement when they reach age 62, they unfortunately may not be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance. In order to qualify for SSDI, workers are required to have worked both long enough and recently enough. Two tests, the duration of work test and the recent work test, determine whether a worker qualifies for SSDI benefits. Located in both Tampa, Florida and Chicago, Illinois, an injury and disability attorney at the Disparti Law Group can help you figure out if you should be receiving SSDI benefits.

Duration of Work Test

The first test to determine whether you are eligible to SSDI is the duration of work test. This test takes a look at your work history and makes sure you were employed and making payments to the Social Security system for a sufficient period of time before collecting SSDI. For example, if you became disabled before the age of 28, you need to have worked 1.5 years in order to collect benefits. If you became disabled before you turned 44, you need 5.5 years of work before you can collect benefits. Finally, if you were disabled before you reached 62 years of age, you need to have 10 years of work to collect SSDI benefits.

Recent Work Test

The recent work test determines whether you are eligible to receive SSDI based on how recently you were employed before your disability rendered you entirely unemployed. The rules for this test are based on calendar quarters for when you turn or have reached a certain age.

Calendar Quarters:

  • First Quarter: January 1 – March 31
  • Second Quarter: April 1 – June 30
  • Third Quarter: July 1 – September 30
  • Fourth Quarter: October 1 – December 31

Rules:

  • If you become disabled in or before the quarter you turn 24, you need 1.5 years of work during the three-year period before your disability began.
  • If you become disabled between the quarters you turn 24 and 31, you need to have worked for half the time between the quarter after you turned 21 and the quarter you became disabled.
  • If you become disabled in or after the quarter you turn 31, you need five years of work out of the ten year period before your disability.

Family Eligibility

Depending on certain factors, some of your family members may be able to receive benefits from your SSDI. Some situations in which family members may receive benefits from your SSDI include:

  • You have a spouse that is 62 years old or older.
  • A spouse or former spouse is caring for your child who is either disabled or under 16 years of age.
  • You have an unmarried child (possibly adopted, a stepchild, or a grandchild) who is under 18 years or under 19 years if they are in secondary school full time.
  • You have an unmarried child 18 years or older who has has a disability that began before they were 22 years old.
  • A former spouse is not currently married that you were married to for at least 10 years.

Even after meeting all of the necessary financial requirements, you will need to convince Social Security that you are medically eligible for SSDI. These rules can be confusing enough, and negotiating with Social Security might be tricky. An injury and disability attorney at Disparti Law Group can make this process easier on you and your family. Contact Disparti Law Group for more information and even chat online with one of their representatives.