Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI is a benefit paid to you after the Social Security Administration determines that you are disabled and insured. Insured, in this case, has nothing to do with health insurance; instead, it has to do with whether you paid into the system through FICA contributions and worked long enough. The Social Security Administration will first decide whether you meet the insured status requirement before looking at whether you are disabled.
To have insured status, prior to becoming disabled, you have to have worked and paid into the system. There are 4 quarters in a year; therefore, you can earn a maximum of 4 quarters of coverage — or 4 credits — per year. The minimum number of credits you need to be insured is 6 and a maximum is 40. To be fully insured, you need 1 credit for each year after you turned 21 up until the year you became disabled. That doesn’t mean that you needed to log at least 1 credit per year, rather you can do it all at once. If you work for 6 years, for example, you earn 24 credits.
For ease of understanding, if you have to have worked 20 out of 40 quarters, a total of 5 out of the last 10 years AND paid into the system, you should meet the insured status requirement. If you were paying taxes while you were working, usually you will meet the insured status requirements. In some cases, for example, teachers are ineligible because the school district paid into another benefit program and they do not meet the insured status requirement. Check with your employer to make sure the proper contributions are being made on your behalf.
If you meet the insured status requirement and you are applying for Social Security Disability benefits, you must prove that you became disabled prior to you “date last insured.” That is, you need to prove your disability before your insured status runs out. Contact Yancey Disability, Inc. to discuss your options regarding Social Security Disability.