Topic Categories:

Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Requirements for Disability

Applications for disability

Tips and Advice for Disability Claims

How long does Disability take?

Winning Disability Benefits

Common Mistakes after a Denial

Mental Disability Benefits

Denials for Disability

Appeals for denied claims

Disability Benefits from SSA

SSI Benefits

Child Disability Benefits

Qualifications and How to Qualify

Working and Disability

Disability Awards and Notices

Disability Lawyers, Hiring Attorneys

Social Security List of Conditions

What Social Security considers disabling

Medical Evidence and Disability

Filing for Disability Benefits

Eligibility for Disability Benefits

SSD SSI Definitions

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What If You Did Not Work Long Enough To Qualify For Disability?

If you did not work long enough to qualify for disability, there may still be a way for you to receive disability benefits. Many people do not know that work is not a factor of entitlement for all Social Security disability programs.

Social Security disability eligibility is determined by insured status, which in turn is gained through work activity. If you have not worked long, you may not be insured for Social Security disability on your own earnings record.

However, there are a couple of other ways you might be entitled to disability benefits through the Social Security disability program.

If you are an adult disabled child of a parent who is receiving retirement or disability benefits, you may be able to receive Social Security disability benefits through their work record. You are eligible to apply for adult child disability benefits if you became disabled prior to the age of twenty-two and are either unmarried, or married to an individual who is receiving Social Security disability benefits.

If you are married to a non-disabled person or a person who is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability, you are not eligible for adult disabled child’s benefits on your parents record.

If you do not have a parent who is receiving benefits or you do not qualify for adult disabled child’s benefits due to your marital status, you may still be able to receive disability benefits if you become disabled between the ages of fifty and sixty and you are a widow of an insured individual. If your spouse passed away no more than seven years prior to the date you became disabled, you may qualify for disabled widow’s benefits.

If you are not insured, or you are not an adult disabled child, or you are not a disabled widow/widower, you do not qualify for any Social Security disability benefits. However, there is still one other way you might be entitled to disability benefits with Social Security.

Social Security administers the need-based Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability program, which offers disability benefits to people who have little or no work, children, or people who just have not been able to work in years. SSI disability applicants must meet income and resource limits in addition to being found medically disabled in order to receive monthly disability benefits. If the disabled person is a child, their parents income and resources are counted toward the resource and income limits until they are age eighteen.

SSI disability beneficiaries have their income and resources regularly reviewed. If their income or resources exceed the limits at any point they will be ineligible for SSI disability benefits even if they remain medically disabled.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

Who qualifies for disability? - Qualifying is based on evidence of functional limitations
How to qualify for disability - The Process of Qualifying for Benefits
To qualify for Social Security disability or SSI, how severe must a condition be?
Can You Qualify for Disability if you did not work much?
How Do You Qualify For Disability without Money To Go To the Doctor?
The Qualification Criteria for Social Security Disability
What If You Did Not Work Long Enough To Qualify For Disability?
Qualifying for disability benefits with the social security administration
Qualifying for Disability - What is Social Security Looking for?
Do You Qualify For Social Security Disability Insurance?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
Do You Have To Qualify For SSI Financially?
How does work qualify you for disability? (work credits)

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria