Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can be a blessing for those who have been hurt and are struggling to make ends meet. It provides cash benefits that allow recipients to survive and pay bills while they focus on recovering or living as well as they can despite their circumstances.
To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you need to meet two different earnings tests. If you can't meet these, then you may be unable to obtain SSD.
What are the Social Security Disability earnings tests?
The first test is a recent work test. This considers your age when the accident or illness disabled you. The second earnings test looks at how long you worked and whether or not you worked long enough to legally seek Social Security benefits.
Here's an example. If you get hurt at 23, then you will be in the first group of people who can qualify for SSD based on their incomes. You'll need to show that you worked at least for a year-and-a-half during the three years before you were disabled. Someone who is hurt over the age of 31 will need at least five years of a work history. They must be able to show that they've worked five years out of the last 10, including the time during which they were hurt and disabled.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) knows that not everyone will have years and years of experience on the job before they get hurt. To that end, they provide the age test to make sure you have a fair number of years on the job prior to applying for Social Security Disability benefits. Your attorney can help you understand if you qualify.