Understanding how to qualify for SSDI in California can be challenging. At Kenton Koszdin Law Office, we help applicants learn about their options and fight to get them the benefits they deserve. If you are wondering, “Do I qualify for SSDI?” contact our office today for a free consultation.

What Are the Basic Qualifications for SSDI Program in California?

Social Security Disability Insurance is a benefits program administered by the Social Security Administration. It provides monthly payments for disabled workers who meet the following SSDI requirements in California:

  • The applicant has SSDI insurance coverage
  • The applicant has a disability that meets Social Security’s disability standards

Insurance coverage for Social Security Disability Insurance kicks in for a non-work-related illness when you have earned enough credits.
Eligibility for SSDI in California also requires that your disability meet Social Security standards. The disability must significantly impede your ability to engage in basic regular or customary work for at least 12 months.
The Social Security Administration maintains a list of eligible conditions for the individual body systems. If you have a condition not found on the list, the SSA must determine whether to add it.
In some cases, children and spouses of an individual receiving benefits may also qualify for SSDI payments. With these disabilities-related claims, there is no requirement that the spouse or the child be disabled to continue receiving benefits.
Child disability benefits for individuals with disabilities acquired before the age of 22 may also qualify for their own disability claims through Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB).

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Work Credit Requirements for SSDI

Qualification for disability in California under SSDI begins when you have 40 work credits. Workers who pay Social Security tax receive up to four work credits for every year of work, which means SSDI eligibility requires a minimum of 10 years of prior qualifying work. Additionally, 20 of the 40 required work credits must have been earned within the 10 years preceding the date your disability begins.
In 2022, for instance, you received one credit for every $1,510 in wages or self-employment income you brought in.

What Are the Qualifying Disabilities for SSDI?

Who is eligible for disability in California? As mentioned earlier, it depends on the specific disability. Qualifying disabilities worthy of SSA medical certification are conditions that prevent you from engaging in work for at least one year or are fatal.
In order to come to a decision, the Disability Determination Services (DDS) must carefully consider the medical certification portion of your application (to be filled out by a doctor, nurse practitioner, or an accredited religious practitioner) along with various aspects of your personal and work life. This information determines whether your disability prevents or limits your ability to work.
Certain illnesses qualify a person to receive benefits automatically. Known as compassionate allowances, these conditions are uniformly debilitating and life-destroying. They include Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

Don’t Get SSDI Mixed Up with Other Programs

There are a few disability programs available on top of SSDI, but they have different eligibility rules and benefits.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is another federal disability program for individuals with low resources and no substantial gainful activity. That’s the major difference between SSI and SSDI: the work history. Lack of it means you will not qualify for SSDI benefits.
With SSI, you may seek benefits through a disability claim based on a situation of limited income. SDI or state disability insurance may also be available for some, but it is available only for short-term relief.

Take a Short Quiz to Find Out if You Are Eligible for SSDI Benefits and Get a Free Case Review

Take our quiz to determine your disability eligibility in California for SSDI benefits, and call us for a free consultation. We can help you understand the qualifications for disability in California.

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