Eligibility Requirements for Application
- You must have worked five of the last ten years.
- During that time, you must have paid FICA taxes on your pay.
- You are between ages 21 and 65.
- You have medical evidence of physical or mental illness and confirmation from a physician that shows you can no longer work.
- Your disability must last twelve months or longer, or will contribute to your death (i.e., ALS or stage-4 cancer).
- Visit www.ssa.gov to check your eligibility.
Apply as soon as it’s clear you can’t work for twelve months or longer. If you are still working, you will be denied. There is a five-month waiting period before your benefits will kick in. About 34 percent of those who apply for benefits are approved without appeal. Appeals can take years.
Listen as Mary Dale Walters joins Melanie Cole, MS, to discuss how to improve your chances to receive your Social Security disability benefits when needed.