Social Security Disability Requirements: What You Need to Know in 2024

there If a medical condition, expected to last for at least a year or result in death, prevents you from working, you might qualify for benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program.

SSDI is a federal program that provides monthly income and health care coverage to people who meet certain requirements.

However, qualifying for SSDI is not easy.

You need to prove that you have a severe disability that prevents you from doing any substantial gainful activity (SGA), and that you have enough work credits under Social Security.

In this article, we will explain the latest information about the SSDI requirements and how to apply for benefits in 2024.

A picture of an individual filling up a disability security benefit application form.[photo courtesy: Berger and Greene]
Individual filling up a disability security benefit application form. After you submit your application, Social Security will review it and contact you if they need more information or evidence.[photo courtesy: Berger and Greene]

What is the SGA limit for 2024? social security disability income limits

The SGA limit determines your monthly income amount for Social Security disability qualification, based on your earnings.

This limit changes annually, influenced by the national average wage index.

For 2023, the SGA limit is $1,400 for non-blind individuals and $2,360 for blind individuals.

This means that if you earn more than these amounts in 2024, you will not qualify for SSDI benefits, regardless of your medical condition.

How many work credits do you need for SSDI?

Work credits are based on your total yearly wages or self-employment income.

You can earn up to four work credits per year.

The amount of earnings needed for one work credit changes every year. In 2023, you need $1,640 of earnings to get one work credit.

The number of work credits you need to qualify for SSDI depends on your age when your disability begins.

Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year your disability begins.

However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.

For example, if you become disabled before age 24, you only need six credits earned in the three years before your disability starts.

What is Considered To Be a Disability? The definition of disability as Per SSDI

The definition of disability for SSDI is different from other programs.

Social Security only pays benefits for total disability, not partial or short-term disability.

You must have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s strict criteria and is supported by objective medical evidence.

Your condition must prevent you from doing any SGA, not just your previous work.

To be eligible for SSDI benefits, your condition must also last at least 12 months or lead to death.

Social Security maintains a list of impairments that its rules classify as disabling.

This list is referred to as the Listing of Impairments or the Blue Book. If your condition matches or is equivalent to any of these listings, you will receive automatic approval for SSDI benefits.

However, if your condition does not match a listing, you may still qualify if Social Security determines that your residual functional capacity (RFC) is so low that you cannot do any other work that exists in the national economy.

To read more on the list of impairments and the most approved disability cases, visit our website  for more articles on this.

You can also check this article on our blog concerning the most approved disability claims:

How to apply for SSDI benefits in 2024?

social security disability status check online

You can apply for SSDI benefits online, by phone, or in person.

The online application is the fastest and most convenient way to apply. It can be accessed through the Social Security website.

You will need to provide information about your;

  • personal details
  • work history
  • medical condition
  • treatment sources
  • medications.

In addition, you will submit documents that prove your;

  • identity
  • citizenship
  • age
  • earnings
  • disability

These may include your birth certificate, W-2 forms, tax returns, medical records, and test results.

After you submit your application, Social Security will review it and contact you if they need more information or evidence.

They will also send your case to the Disability Determination Services (DDS) office in your state. This is the agency that makes the initial decision on your disability claim.

The DDS will evaluate your medical and vocational factors and determine if you meet the SSDI requirements.

The DDS may also request additional medical exams or tests at no cost to you.

How Long Does the SSDI Processing Take?

The processing time for SSDI applications varies depending on the complexity of your case and the availability of evidence.

It may take anywhere from three to six months or longer to get a decision.

If Social Security approves your request, they will send you a letter stating the amount and date of your benefits.

You will also receive a Medicare card after 24 months of receiving SSDI benefits.

If you are denied, you will receive a letter explaining the reasons and your appeal rights.

You have 60 days from the date of the letter to request a reconsideration or a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ).

To learn more about how you can appeal and find a good lawyer for the case, visit our website for more informative blog.


Qualifying for SSDI benefits can be challenging and time-consuming.

You need to meet both the medical and non-medical requirements and provide sufficient evidence to support your claim.

However, if you are truly disabled and unable to work, you should not give up on your right to receive the benefits you deserve.

You can use the online tools and resources provided by Social Security to help you with your application and appeal process.

You can also seek the help of a qualified disability attorney or advocate who can guide you through the system and increase your chances of success.

If you enjoyed this article and want to learn more about the SSDI Claim, don’t forget to check out our website for more interesting and informative content.

You can also check out these other articles on our blog:

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