SSDI Eligibility and the Factors That Influence It


Have you recently suffered a disability that has placed you out of work? A Greenville, SC attorney for social security claims like Robert Surface can help you obtain your rightful benefits.

Determining eligibility for SSDI benefits is a long, drawn-out process. The SSA needs to review specific information regarding your disability and medical history, along with other items, to determine if you’re eligible for compensation and how much.

It’s not an easy task to be approved for SSDI. There are several factors that can impact your eligibility based on your work history and the disability you’ve encountered.

Here’s a basic overview to help you understand more about SSDI and its eligibility.

What Is SSDI?

SSDI stands for Social Security Disability Benefits. It’s different than SSI (social security income), which is geared toward helping individuals with a disability that have limited resources and income.

SSDI is for individuals who have worked an SSA-covered job for a period of time before experiencing their disability. If you work an SSA-covered job, a percentage of your income goes to social security that individuals can receive once they reach retirement, a certain age, or need to draw early for SSDI.

To start receiving SSDI, you will need to fill out their application that you can either mail or take to your nearest SSA office for review. It takes several months to hear if your claim has been approved or denied.

AS of February 2022, the average monthly payment of those who have been approved for SSDI is $1,370.58.

How Do You Qualify for SSDI?

The SSA advertises that the two ways a person can qualify for SSDI are to work an SSA-covered job and to have a disability, but they are really strict in what their definition of a disability is.

The SSA’s definition of disability is as follows:

  • You are unable to work as a result of a medical condition
  • You are unable to work your previous job or make necessary adjustments because of your disability
  • The condition or disability is expected to last for a year, several years, or the rest of your life

Speaking of work, the length of your previous working history must meet certain requirements, unless you are a young worker, to also qualify for SSDI.

In order to apply and qualify for SSDI benefits, the person must have a minimum of 40 work credits to be eligible. The average work credit earned each year is around 4. A working person earns one credit for $1,150 earned. Once you’ve reached $6,040 for the year, you’ve earned the 4 work credits for that year.

Younger workers can still qualify for SSDI benefits as long as they have earned 6 work credits over a 3-year time span.

It can be confusing to understand or know how many work credits you have in this eligibility process. A great way to clear any confusion would be to hire a knowledgeable attorney to help you in this process of the SSA benefits application.

Social Security SSDI lawyer in Greenville

Factors That Impact SSDI

When your SSDI application is sent in for review, here are some factors that can make or break your claim and impact your overall SSDI eligibility or monthly amount.


Typically, the older you are, the greater your chances of being approved are. That’s because the SSA recognizes that people over the age of 50 are reaching older age and do have the body functions or ability to go back to school and learn new skills like younger workers.

However, this does not mean younger workers are completely out of the running to receive benefits. To ensure your age does not play a factor in your claim denial, it would be a good idea to have a Greenville, SC attorney for social security claims on your side from the start.

Disability Status (Mental or Physical)

As already stated, the mental or physical disability/medical condition you experience plays a large role in SSDI benefit acceptance. There needs to be substantial medical proof that your condition meets SSA requirements and is completely hindering your ability to work.

Work Experience & Credits

If you have below the requirement of 40 work credits, then you will not be eligible for SSDI benefits. However, you could be eligible for SSI.

Work credits are based on age, so a younger worker will have a lower number of work credits they must meet than an older worker. If your claim is denied because you do not have the required number of work credits, speak to your attorney about filing for SSI.

You should be aware that SSI pays lower than SSDI. As of this year, the average SSI payment for an individual is around $841.

Previous Education

Less educational history tends to mean your approval for benefits is greater. If you have a history of higher education and are a younger worker, this indicates to the SSA that your potential for adapting new skills in a new position is greater than an older worker’s.

How A Greenville, SC Attorney For Social Security Claims Can Help

It’s a great idea to contact an attorney who specializes in communicating with the SSA before you file your claim.

While hiring an attorney is not a requirement, your chances of being accepted on the first go-round are greater since you will be working with a professional who better understands the system.

Proving your disability to the SSA for benefits is similar to filing for insurance, but is just a little bit harder. The attorney you work with will be excellent at taking your medical records and other information to thoroughly review them and help you fill out your application to make sure everything is complete.

In the happenstance that your claim is denied, your attorney can step into the role of your advocate and help file an appeal while also speaking for you in your hearing.

Speak To Robert Surface Today

If you have any questions regarding your eligibility for SSDI benefits, the experts at Robert Surface Law are ready to help. We are an SSDI-oriented law firm in Greenville, SC that can help you review your claim and application to ensure everything is in order to receive your benefits.

We can start with a free case evaluation to determine the best angle of approach for your specific needs. To schedule, please call our firm at (864) 300-4994.