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In such cases

Marshfield Mariner - 1/3/2018

In such cases, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits, which replace a portion of lost income when a worker becomes seriously disabled. Here are three of the key factors we use to determine if you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits:

You must have a lasting medical condition so severe that it prevents you from doing the work that you did in the past or adjusting to other types of work;

Your physical or mental impairment(s) must have lasted or be expected to last at least a year or result in death; and

You must have worked long enough - and recently enough - in jobs covered by Social Security.

To learn more about disability benefits, visit

You become eligible for Social Security benefits by working and paying FICA taxes, which translate into Social Security "credits." How many credits you need to receive disability benefits depends on how old you are when you become disabled.

For example, if you become disabled at age 31 or older, you generally must have earned at least 20 credits in the 10 years immediately before you became disabled. Twenty credits are equal to five years of substantial earnings. Younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.

To see how many credits you have earned and to estimate future benefits, log in to or create your my Social Security online account at

Those who have not worked enough to qualify for Social Security benefits may be eligible for help through our Supplemental Security Income program, or "SSI." SSI provides financial assistance to disabled children and adults, as well as the aged and blind people, who have little or no income or resources. Learn more about SSI at

Social Security helps you and millions of other Americans secure today and tomorrow by providing important financial benefits, information, and planning tools. Learn more at

Kristen Alberino is a Social Security Public Affairs Specialist.


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