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Non-Medical Disability Criteria

Social Security disability (SSD) benefits are determined by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and may help your financial situation if you have become disabled and are unable to work. Most of the information the SSA reviews to determine if you are eligible for SSD benefits is based on medical and mental health evidence provided by your doctors. There is, however, other information, such as your age, employment history, and how much money you have paid in FICA premiums. This other information is known as your “non-medical disability criteria” and is provided by you and your employers.

Your age can be proved with a copy of your birth certificate. It is important in determining how long you have had to work, before becoming disabled, to be covered by Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

The SSA will also want to look at your employment history. This will help determine what type of work you have performed in the past and if any of this work can be expected of you with your disability. This also relates to your SSDI coverage, as your employment history will help show how much money you have already paid in FICA premiums, which are automatically taken out of your paycheck to go towards your SSDI.

If relevant to you, the SSA will also look at your marital status. If married, your spouse’s income may affect whether or not you qualify for SSD benefits.

It may be wise to seek the help of a disability advocate or a lawyer who specializes in SSD benefits to help you prepare your application and the relevant materials you will need to submit to the SSA.