Social Security Disability Benefits Q and A

Q: I recently applied for Social Security Disability Benefits and was told that I did not have enough “credits” to qualify. I do not understand because I worked until I became sick. Is that Right?

A: Social Security actually has two separate disability programs; Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (SSDIB). SSI is income/asset limited and pays disability benefits regardless of your work status, if you qualify. SSDIB only pays benefits to individuals who have worked at least 40 quarters of coverage (i.e., have paid FICA taxes) and have worked at least 20 quarters out of the last 40. That means if you have not worked for several years, you may not be eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits. You may be eligible for SSI benefits, depending on your assets and family income. You can review the rules by contacting the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or go to and click on the Benefits link.

If you have applied for benefits and been denied, contact a legal professional

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