How Do You Qualify for Disability if You Have Never Worked?

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If you are disabled but have never worked, you may still qualify for disability benefits.
If you are disabled but have never worked, you may still qualify for disability benefits. (Image: disabled parking sign image by Jeff Dalton from Fotolia.com)

It is possible to qualify for disability if you have never worked, in certain cases. The type of benefit that you receive is SSI or supplemental security income. To be considered disabled you must have a mental problem or physical problem that prevents you from working and is expected to last for a year or eventually result in death.

What is SSI and How to Get it

Providing SSI to adults who have not worked in the past but who are disabled is a possibility. SSI is also provided to disabled children. If a person has worked in the past, but has no insurance benefits at present or his earnings were low or sporadic at the time he worked and didn’t earn him enough “credits” to qualify for disability but he is now disabled he, too, may qualify for SSI. Credits are earned by working for at least five of the last 10 years. The credits are based on income and are utilized to determine eligibility for retirement, survivor benefits and disability. SSI disability is specifically a disability benefit program. If you have never worked, you may still qualify for this service.

Undertake the process of filing with the Social Security Administration (SSA) knowing that this can be a long and potentially arduous and frustrating process. You may need the services of an attorney who specializes in disability claims.

Producing medical records showing that you are disabled is imperative because you must substantiate your claim. Keep good records. Medical records must be current. You must get supporting information from your physician. If you haven't seen your doctor in a long while you must make an appointment to see him so she can update her diagnosis and substantiate that you are presently disabled.

Consider that if you have no income or limited income and are disabled, blind or are older than 65 years and have limited assets, you very well may be eligible for SSI even if you have never been employed.

Apply to the Social Security Administration, making a claim. You can proceed on your own or consult with an attorney. SSI claims have soared in recent years, notes Social Security-Disability.org. Denial rates for first-time claims are as high as 60 percent. The process can be discouraging but you can apply again.

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