If you have paid taxes into the Social Security Disability Insurance program through your employer but can no longer work due to debilitating medical issues, you may qualify for SSD benefits. Unfortunately, if you are under the age of 50, the Social Security Administration will probably be much stricter when it comes to approving your claim.

The reason? The SSA considers those under age 50 young enough to retrain for other work, even if a medical condition prevents them from returning to the same type of job as before. That means that, if you are under 50 and need to file an SSDI claim, you must be able show strong medical evidence that you can no longer do work of any kind.

Basic SSD eligibility requirements

In addition to being at least 18 and not currently receiving Social Security benefits, to apply for SSD, you must have one or more medical conditions that will last for at least one year or be terminal. The SSA is also more likely to approve your claim if you had been working for several years immediately before you became ill or disabled.

Proving disability

Making sure to keep track of all medical records related to your condition is essential for making a strong case to the SSA that your condition is truly debilitating. The agency maintains a list of medical criteria for evaluating different types of impairment. When you file, the administration will ask you for detailed information about your illness or injury, including:

  • Contact information and treatment dates for all doctors, hospitals and clinics that you have visited
  • Names of medical tests you have had and who recommended them
  • Names of medications you are on and who prescribed them
  • Side effects of any medications

You may also want to ask your doctor to provide a statement confirming that your condition keeps you from performing any kind of work.