Non-Medical Requirements for Disability BenefitsBy Kenton Koszdin Law Office on March 6, 2023 | In Social Security Disability
You might know that qualifying for Social Security disability benefits requires a physical or mental health condition that leaves you unable to work, but did you know that eligibility also depends on non-medical disability requirements?
These non-medical disability requirements vary depending on whether you’re applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Failure to demonstrate these requirements puts you at risk of being denied Social Security benefits.
Kenton Koszdin Law Office helps clients successfully navigate the SSD benefits process. Contact us today to speak with a California SSD lawyer about meeting the non-medical disability requirements.
What Are the Non-Medical Disability Criteria?
If you’ve never applied for SSD benefits before, this may be your first time hearing that non-medical requirements are an important element of qualifying. It’s natural to be wondering, “What are the non-medical requirements for Social Security disability?”
Disability non-medical requirements include any criteria not related to your physical or mental health, such as:
- Citizenship status
- Marital status
- Work history
Meeting the non-medical disability requirements when you apply for state assistance can be a confusing process, which is why working with experienced disability lawyers increases the likelihood that your application is successful.
What Are FICA Taxes and How Can They Impact My Benefits?
The answer to “What are non-medical requirements for disability?” begins with FICA taxes (FICA refers to the Federal Insurance Contribution Act). Social Security benefits are funded by FICA taxes.
A history of earned income and contributions to supporting disabled individuals is one of the non-medical requirements for disability benefits. Essentially, workers earn Social Security disability benefits by paying FICA taxes.
Part of satisfying the Social Security non-medical requirements means having enough qualifying work credits. Having a sufficient earning history is one non-medical disability requirement that helps you qualify for disability payments.
SSDI Non-Medical Requirements
If you have a physical or mental impairment and are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), your next question should be, “What are the non-medical requirements for SSDI?”
One of the non-medical requirements for SSDI pertains to earning ability. Earning over the limit means you’ll fail to meet the non-medical requirements for SSDI benefits and will not qualify, even if you meet the medical requirements for SSDI.
In 2023, the substantial gainful activity limit (SGA limit) was $1470. To qualify for SSDI, your earnings history and pay stubs must stay within this limited income amount — otherwise, you’ll fail to meet the SSDI non-medical requirements and risk a technical denial.
Required Number of Work Credits for SSDI
The non-medical requirements for Social Security disability depend heavily on your earnings history. It doesn’t matter how bad your health condition is — if you don’t meet the SSDI non-medical requirements around your current income and earnings in years prior, you won’t qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance.
The Social Security Administration uses two different tests to identify whether an applicant’s earning history meets the non-medical Social Security disability requirements for SSDI benefits: the duration of work test and the recent work test. Gaining disability benefits depends on these non-medical eligibility tests.
The duration of work test requires that applicants have contributed a sufficient amount to FICA taxes based on years of earned income. The recent work test requires that an applicant worked for a certain period before medical conditions made employment impossible.
The number of work credits disability applicants need depends on the age at which the disability began. Typically, younger workers who are medically disabled are required to have fewer work credits than older applicants with a longer employment history. In addition to showing a sufficient work credit history, an applicant must not exceed the SGA income limit.
|Age at Disability||Work Credit Requirements for SSDI|
|< 24||6 work credits in 3 years preceding disability|
|24-31||8-18 work credits in half of the time between age 21 and disability|
|31+||20 work credits in past 10 years|
Disabled people who have a work history showing fewer credits than required by the Social Security Administration will fail to meet these income-based non-medical requirements for disability and will likely not qualify for SSDI benefits.
SSI Non-Medical Requirements
If you lack the work credit history needed to qualify for SSDI, you have options. When work credits prevent you from receiving SSDI benefits through Social Security, Supplemental Security Income benefits are a possibility.
What is non-medical disability criteria for SSI? These are the non-medical requirements for SSI benefits that an individual must demonstrate to the Social Security office. These non-medical requirements are mostly concerned with personal assets and earnings.
When medical records show that a disability claim merits coverage, Supplemental Security Income can help you gain benefits through Social Security.
Income and Resource Limitations for SSI
Individuals can qualify for Supplemental Security Income if they meet the non-medical requirements for disability benefits:
- Own under $2000 in personal property
- Are U.S. citizens
- Are blind, disabled, or over age 65
- Make less than $915 in monthly income
These figures reflect the 2023 limits. For an SSI applicant, “income” includes:
- Wages earned at a job
- VA benefits
- Workers’ compensation benefits
- Money given by friends or family
- Free resources
Similarly, “personal property” includes many types of assets:
- Personal items
- Insurance money
When medical records show that a disability claim merits coverage, Supplemental Security Income can help you gain benefits through Social Security. Meeting the non-medical requirements for SSI benefits is an option when SSDI isn’t available.
If you have questions like “What is non-medical disability?” or “What is non-medical requirement for Social Security?” you should speak with a disability lawyer. An attorney can also offer advice in areas like the medical review for SSDI.
Get Help from a Disability Lawyer Today
Successfully applying for Social Security disability benefits can be challenging. The application is complex, and providing sufficient medical evidence of disability is only the first step. A disability lawyer can guide you through the complicated process so that you aren’t denied the benefits you deserve because of the results of your non-medical review.
Take the time to attend a free consultation with a disability benefits lawyer experienced in SSI and SSDI non-medical requirements. This consultation could be the factor that makes or breaks your chances of gaining disability coverage.
If you don’t meet certain non-medical requirements, you will not receive disability benefits. Your application will never make it past the claims representative at the Social Security office.