If you live in California and have a disability severe enough to prevent you from working and supporting yourself or your family, you may be thinking about applying for Social Security disability benefits from the U.S. Social Security Administration. In order to be eligible for such benefits, however, your condition, situation and work history must first meet certain terms.

More specifically, the U.S. Social Security Administration notes that there are two main criteria you must meet in order to be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. First, you must have worked for a certain amount of time in a position covered by Social Security, and you must have a certain number of “work credits” logged by the time you apply for disability benefits. The number of work credits you must have in order to apply for benefits depends on several factors. First, it changes from year to year, but it also depends on how old you are when you become disabled.

The second eligibility requirement for Social Security disability benefits involves having a disability the administration deems a “total disability,” meaning it cannot be partial or short-term in nature. Essentially, this means your disability prevents you from earning a living in the manner you once did, and that your employers making reasonable accommodations in an attempt to make work easier for you would prove fruitless. It also means your disability is likely to last a year or longer or ultimately lead to your death.

If your condition and work history meets the above terms, you may be able to find success in applying for disability benefits. In some cases, however, applicants have their initial claims denied, but some may find they have more luck after filing an appeal.

This information is educational in nature and does not constitute legal advice.