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Home / Social Security Disability / How Long Do I Need to Work to Qualify for Social Security Disability Payments?

How Long Do I Need to Work to Qualify for Social Security Disability Payments?

Each year, thousands of people apply for and are denied Social Security Disability benefits. Many do not qualify under the law, which states that for adults over 31 must have worked at least 20 quarters (five years) during the last 10 years. Those younger than 31 must have worked at least half the time since they were age 21 (e.g., if you are 25 years old, you would need to work at least 8 quarters or two full years before you would be eligible to receive SSD).

In addition to the years of work requirements, you must also meet the injury qualifications to be eligible for SSD payments. The injury you have sustained must:

  • Completely prevent you from working as you did before the injury
  • Prevent you from reasonably transitioning to other work
  • Be expected to persist for at least one year or result in death

Typically, the SSA should provide benefits to anyone who meets the above requirements and continue to pay these benefits until (if ever) you are ready to return to work. But given the bureaucracy of the Social Security Administration, ostensibly designed to prevent fraud, people often obtain the help of a qualified Social Security Disability lawyer to get their proper and deserved disability benefits. At Lanier Law Group, P.A., our attorneys often work on contingency: rather than being paid up front, we only get paid when you are paid.

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