Georgia Disability Lawyers

What Are the Eligibility Requirements to Get Social Security Disability Benefits?

Social Security Disability (SSDI) Benefits are intended to assist the disabled or others who are unable to work because of a physical or mental condition. Disability Attorney Samuel E. Earley can help you determine if you meet the eligibility requirements for SSDI.

Benefits for the Disabled

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is federally-funded assistance intended to help meet the basic needs of those who have become disabled or otherwise unable to earn a living. It is part of the overall benefits program known as Social Security, into which most Americans pay during their working career.

What are the Eligibility Requirements for Social Security Disability?

In order to be eligible to claim and receive Social Security Disability benefits, an applicant must meet minimum compliance in two basic areas: Work Credits earned while able to work, and some form of disablement that meets the established criteria. Below we will briefly review each. Disability attorney Sam Earley can explain more and help you work through the eligibility process.

Work Credits

Basically, a person must have worked long enough as an adult to have earned a sufficient amount of work credits in order to qualify for SSDI benefits. This includes working for another employer or as self-employed, as long as you paid self-employment taxes. When you file a claim for SSDI, your cumulative total of all the years you have worked at any job where you paid into Social Security will be counted.

How Many Credits Do I Need?

This number is calculated according to the age at which you become disabled. However, a basic guideline to follow is having earned 40 total credits, half of which were earned in the last 10 years you worked. Of course, this can change according to your specific circumstances. Younger workers can qualify with a lower number of credits. Disability lawyer Sam Earley can help you with your unique situation.


The Social Security Administration has established a definition of disability to help determine what disabling conditions are covered under SSDI. A basic understanding of that definition includes:

  • A disability that has lasted or is expected to last at least one year or will result in death.
  • The inability to perform work you did previously because of a medical condition.
  • The inability to adjust to another type of work because of a medical condition.

There is also an SSA-approved list of disabling conditions. Your condition must be on this list; however, there can be other factors that grant you disability status if your condition is not listed. There are a series of questions the SSA will use to determine disabled status.

Other Disability Factors

Those who are the widow, widower or a surviving divorced spouse of a deceased worker, or those who are legally blind, can also qualify to receive SSDI benefits.
Disabled children and those children receiving benefits at age 18 or who become disabled before age 22 may also meet certain qualifications to receive SSDI benefits.

We Can Help You Apply for SSDI Benefits

Disability attorney Sam Earley is highly qualified and experienced in helping people just like you apply for SSDI benefits. He can explain each step of the process and what you will need to submit an application. This will include reviewing your work history and collecting all the necessary documentation of your disabling condition from the appropriate medical specialists.

Get Help Determining Your Eligibility

Determining your eligibility for SSDI involves meeting some very specific requirements and calculations. Sam Earley and his team can answer your questions and help you determine how your specific circumstances may meet the eligibility qualifications. We offer a free consultation so you can get all the information you need to take the next steps.

Contact Disability Attorney Sam Earley Today

You may qualify for SSDI benefits, but you need a seasoned SSDI attorney to help you through the process. Call SSDI Attorney Sam Earley at 770-881-7171 or complete our online contact form. Sam and his team will give you the compassionate and personalized service you deserve.