Applying For Social Security Benefits? What You Should Know About Eligibility Requirements

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If you've recently been diagnosed with a disability that will prevent you from working, you're probably worried about how you'll support yourself. That's where Social Security disability benefits come in. Even if you're not old enough to retire, you may still be eligible for benefits through the Social Security Administration. The disability program is designed specifically for individuals who've paid into the system, but aren't old enough to retire. In addition to receiving benefits for yourself, you may also be able to receive benefits for certain family members. Here are the eligibility requirements for you and your family members.


If you've been paying into the Social Security system, you may have earned enough credits to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. For each $1260 you earn each year, you're allotted one Social Security work credit. If you're disabled and your disability is expected to last at one year, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits.

Your Spouse

If you're married at the time you become disabled, your spouse may be able to collect Social Security disability benefits as a result of your inability to work. There are two eligibility requirements that your spouse will need to meet. First, your spouse must be the caregiver for children under the age of 16 – or a disabled child of any age – or be at least 62 years of age. If your spouse meets one of those requirements, you should apply for spousal benefits as well.

Your Children

If you're unable to work due to a disability, your children may also qualify for Social Security disability benefits. In order to qualify for benefits, your children must meet the following eligibility requirements.


If your children are under the age of 18, attending school full-time and living at home, they may qualify for dependent benefits under your disability claim. It's important to note that they must also be unmarried.

Educational Level

Under certain circumstances, children may continue receiving dependent benefits even after they turn 18 years of age. If you have a child who has not turned 19 years of age and has not graduated from high school yet, they may still qualify for dependent benefits.


If you have a child who suffers from a disability, they may be eligible for dependent benefits until they turn 22 years of age.

If you have a disability that prevents you from working, make sure that you have the benefits you need to provide for yourself and your family. If you're not sure how to apply for Social Security benefits or you've had your application denied, be sure to speak to a Social Security attorney as soon as possible.